Church Alive Interview pt. 4

Attorney Jason Kessler discusses personal injury law with Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: Getting back to a few questions, there is terminology I think we need to know. And we hear a word deposition coming up and we read it in the paper and a lot of people are saying, what is a deposition?

Attorney Jason Kessler: A deposition is also called an examination before trial; it’s an oral examination by defense counsel of the plaintiff vice versa by the plaintiffs your attorney against the defendant. It’s a series of questions that are asked they ask you about your background, they ask you about your injuries and questions that are important to them to evaluate your case.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: Alright I want to back up on giving some people some guidelines on having an accident. I have my niece she was getting off the bus she was walking down the sidewalk and she tripped on a broken pavement okay and she is injured to the point where she has to have a nerve ending operation. What are the steps she should take?

Attorney Jason Kessler: First you know she should be aware of where she was injured. Exactly where the cracked sidewalk in the case is, what streets and if she is taken.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: What about witnesses?

Attorney Jason Kessler:  Well that’s very good I was going to get to that Reverend. If there are witnesses make sure she gets witness statements or the names and numbers so that the attorney can get witness statements. It’s very important to figure out who witnessed the accident get as much information as possible for the attorney. Sometimes people are very seriously injured they slipped and fell and you know no one is planning on slipping and falling it just happens you know that’s why they call it an accident. That’s why you should get a loved one to get back to the scene of the accident as soon as possible. You know in the city of New York sometimes potholes and sidewalks seem to be there for years but one time there is an accident you would be so surprised when the city comes the next day and clears up that pot hole or clears up the crack. That’s why it is important to get to an attorney and to get documentation as soon as possible.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: What you are really saying is that you should have an attorney before the accident. I mean we should all have an attorney of reference.

Attorney Jason Kessler: That’s right.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: Okay and that is where you come in.

Attorney Jason Kessler: Well thank you.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: The other situation is you mentioned potholes. Well I know of a situation where a person was driving and hit a pothole and it just leveled the universal on the car, driveshaft whatever they call it and they went to the city and the city said we can’t help you. We can’t help you.  Why would that happen? That they can’t help them?

Attorney Jason Kessler: Well they would have had to have notice of the defective condition in this case the pothole.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: But how can I notice by the pothole before I hit the pothole.

Attorney Jason Kessler: Well you can’t and that’s why it is important, the Good Samaritan rule I call it. It’s important if you see in your neighborhood a pothole to write to the New York city a department of transportation or New York city and give them the notice by certified mail, by a phone call by documentation because that could be you driving over the pothole. That could be a loved one driving over the pothole but your right Reverend the city of New York they need notice of the defective condition the pothole.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: So we should actually look out for one another.

Attorney Jason Kessler: That’s right; we have a duty to look out for one another.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: So if I coming down the street I see a serious of potholes maybe I dodged them but somebody behind me didn’t. But if I dodge them and I take my cell phone and I call up the city highways and whatnot and say I’m telling you on 167thstreet there is a pothole and whatnot. That report will help the next person behind me?

Attorney Jason Kessler: Well hopefully I would also follow that up with writing but it’s very important that you tell somebody about the pothole because you don’t want people to get into accidents. You know we have a responsibility to look out for one another and on a basic level I think it’s important that we are our brother’s keepers.

Rev. Dr. Timothy Birkett: I want to say that again because there are potholes all over the city of New York and I know I hit one the other day I was praying that nothing happened underneath the car but it could of and I would have been at a situation of my car and that’s an expensive assets and not being able to get any reports at all well that’s devastating.

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