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Frequently Asked Questions By Crime Victims

Do I Really Have A Case?

justice gavelGenerally speaking, if someone else’s negligence resulted in an injury to you, you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. The specific laws and regulations governing each situation vary from case to case. For example, the laws regarding robberies differ from those which address the rights of shooting victims. In some cases, the loved ones of a deceased victim may be able to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of the victim.

What Will This Cost Me?

We strive to provide clients with a no pressure, no stress environment. The first consultation is always free of charge. After that, we work on a contingency fee basis which means that you won’t pay anything until we win the case.

What Is My Case Worth?

This is one of the most difficult questions to answer and it is impossible to make generalizations about the value of your case. Thankfully in most cases, the law allows compensation for a wide range of situations and a lawyer should pursue every available option for receiving that compensation. Our New York crime victim lawyers will sit down with you and review the specifics of your case before providing an estimation of it’s worth.

Should I Speak With An Insurance Adjuster?

woman calling lawyer as rape victimWhile many insurance companies require that all persons involved in an accident make recorded statements detailing what happened, it is unwise to speak with the insurance company prior to consulting your lawyer.

In many instances, the insurance company pushes you to make a statement immediately after the accident before you are fully aware of the extent of your injuries.

Once a statement is made it can be difficult to correct or explain your responses later on. These could affect your ability to recover full compensation for your injury.

Will We Go To Trial?

While many cases are settled before going to trial, our firm is committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for you. At Banville Law, our experienced lawyers will guide you and assist you in making the best decision for you and your loved ones.

If We Go To Trial What Can I Expect?

The Lawsuit Process

The Pleadings

lawsuit papers filed in crime victim caseEach entity, the plaintiff and defendant, will file initial papers, also known as pleadings. Basically, the pleadings tell each side’s story in the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s pleading is known as the complaint and explains why the plaintiff suing the defendant. It details what the plaintiff believes the defendant did or failed to do.

The defendant is able to respond with an answer which details why they believe the plaintiff does not have a valid legal complaint. The defendant may also choose to file a counter-suit against the plaintiff.


This phase is often the longest part of the lawsuit. Each party gathers information with which they will build their case. This includes research into the law, document reviews, medical record analysis, and witness interviews.

Each witness is questioned under oath and in the presence of a court reporter. Expert witnesses, such as medical professionals, may also be called upon to explain technical information or provide validation to an argument.

Motions to settle procedural disputes between the representatives of the plaintiff and defendant may also be filed at this time. Procedural disputes occur when one side disagrees with the manner in which the opposing side applied certain aspects of the law.

Motions can also request one party to produce documents or to exclude specific evidence from the trial.

The Trial

At trial, both the plaintiff and the defendant present the evidence they have accumulated during the discovery phase to the assigned judge and, in some cases, the jury. The judge is presented with a brief which outlines the arguments to be used by both sides. The plaintiff and their representative go first and are then followed by the defendant.

At the end of the trial, the jury and/or judge deliberate and make a final decision. A verdict is then issued.


If either party is dissatisfied with the verdict they may choose to appeal. During the appeal process, a higher court is asked to review the trial court’s proceedings. Appeals are granted when the appellate court finds that there was an error in the trial court’s proceedings. If it determines that there was an error, the appellate court can reverse the verdict or order the trial court to conduct a new trial.

Are There Time Limits For When I Can File A Lawsuit?

Clock ticking on statute of limitationsYes. Each state has its own regulations regarding the statute of limitations, the amount of time a victim has to file a claim after being injured. It is best to consult a lawyer as soon as possible as failing to file a claim during the time restraints can result in the victim losing possible compensation forever.

Related Pages

Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: August 24, 2016
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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