Recently elected President of the Irish American Bar Association of New York, Darren T. Moore, a personal injury lawyer originally from Ireland and now based in New York, is back chatting to IrishCentral, and this time he's answering his most frequently asked questions.

As we start the year, you or a loved one may have a personal injury circumstance hanging over you. In this article, lawyer Darren T. Moore is here to help readers better understand their rights - from construction to car accident injuries, health insurance concerns, and what you can do if you're an undocumented citizen. Make this the year you take back control of your life. 

The Law Offices of Darren T. Moore P.C. is a full-service injury law firm based in New York that offers FREE consultations. Click here to find out more.

If a reader has been involved in a car accident in New York, but has no health insurance, what are they to do?

I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me, “I was in a car accident but didn’t go to the ER because I have no insurance.” I ask, “Was the car insured?” They say “Yes” and I have to explain that they do in fact have medical insurance.  

In New York, if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, and by that I mean, you are a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian/bicyclist that is struck by a motor vehicle, you are entitled to "No-Fault Insurance".

It’s called "No-Fault" because it doesn’t matter who is at fault for the accident, if someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident, they are at least entitled to medical coverage. 

If someone has been injured in a construction accident, what can they do?

There are two components to this - Workers' Compensation and The Labor Laws: 

Workers' Compensation: If a construction worker is injured on-site, they are entitled to Workers' Compensation benefits, which will cover any medical bills related to the injuries sustained and cover the workers lost wages up to a certain limit.

Sounds straightforward forward but the applications can be technical to navigate, and dare I say some insurance companies aren’t very helpful, so having an attorney handle the process is what I advise anyone who contacts me. 

The Labor Law: Injured construction workers may also be entitled to bring a 3rd party claim under the New York Labor Law, which specifically protects construction workers and is designed to put the onus for site safety and workers' protection on the owner of a project and the general contractor. Owners and GC's can’t just turn a blind eye to rogue contractors who neglect and endanger their employees. 

How long does someone have to bring a lawsuit in New York?

Generally, it’s three years from the date of the accident but if the case involves a municipal entity e.g. the City of New York, NYPD, MTA, etc the statute is one year and 90 days and, to qualify for that, you must file a Notice of Claim with that specific entity within 90 days of your accident.

I always caution people that those deadlines are final deadlines and waiting around can be fatal. If you're injured in an accident, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. 

Can an undocumented citizen still make a personal injury lawsuit in New York?

Absolutely. Your status doesn’t prevent you from bringing an action where you have been injured as a result of someone’s negligence.

New York is home to over a million illegal immigrants and the New York Courts have ruled that your status should not prevent you from seeking legal help. In saying that, I have found that most illegal immigrants never feel at ease when involved in legal situations like this so it’s crucial to find an attorney you’re comfortable with and get answers to all of your worries and concerns.

What has been a highlight for The Law Offices of Darren T Moore since we last spoke?

In 2022, we had the 4th highest car accident settlement in all of New York State and the 27th highest in the whole country.

Big results like this are obviously great but we take on cases, not always because of the value but to see justice rendered. In November of 2023, we finally got to go to trial in the Bronx for a deserving young woman who was messed around for five years by an insurance company. They blamed her for the accident, denied responsibility, and offered $0 right up to trial. The Bronx Jury didn’t see it that way and awarded her $250,000.00.

What does it mean to you to have been elected as the President of the Irish American Bar Association of New York? 

It’s a huge honor for me and my family. When I first came to New York after passing the Bar Exam, I had no job or even legal connections and the first organization I got involved with was IABANY.

It has always been a great resource to me and many others so now that I am President, I get to give something back. It’s a fantastic organization, with great people involved from all over Ireland and the US and our goal for the year ahead is to further strengthen our organization's impact and foster greater collaboration within the Irish American community, from both a legal and a cultural perspective.

You can find out more about The Law Offices of Darren T. Moore P.C. by checking out their website or calling them on (917) 809-7014 today for a FREE consultation. You can also keep up to date with them on Facebook and Instagram.