Over 30,000 men, women, and children are killed in automobile accidents in the United States each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hundreds of thousands of people of all ages are injured in car accidents annually as well, oftentimes with serious injuries.
A Long Island car accident lawyer stands ready to assist you if you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile collision because of someone else’s negligence. With this in mind, there are some basic factors that you need to bear in mind in the aftermath of being involved in a Long Island car accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
Justice and Compensation in a Long Island Car Accident Case
In the final analysis, there really is no way to completely compensate you for injuries and losses arising from a car accident. The closest you can come to obtaining a sense of justice is by obtaining an appropriate amount in the way of financial recovery following an accident.
The type of compensation awarded in a personal injury case is contingent upon the specific facts surrounding an accident and associated injuries. There are types of injuries, damages, and losses that are compensated in a significant percentage of Long Island car accident cases. These include:
- medical bills and expenses
- pain and suffering
- mental anguish
- permanent injuries
- permanent disfigurement
- lost wages or salary
An experienced personal injury lawyer will fight to ensure that you are fully compensated following an automobile accident. This includes obtaining full compensation not only for your existing losses, but also for those that are likely to exist in the future as well.
Due to the nature of car accident injuries, you may endure pain and suffering well into the future. This represents a type of loss that is compensable.
Medical care and treatment may also continue into the future. This may be in the form of physical and occupational therapy. You may not be able to return to work any time soon. These are also types of losses you may face following a car accident for which you are entitled to compensation.
Long Island Car Accident Wrongful Death Case
If you are in the truly sad position of having lost a family member due to the negligence of another motorist, you may be in a position to obtain justice through what in New York is called a wrongful death case. In New York, the personal representative of the estate of your deceased family member is the individually legally vested with authority to file a Long Island car accident wrongful death lawsuit in court.
Compensation in a wrongful death case depends not only on he facts surrounding the accident but the relationship between a particular relative and a deceased family member. Compensation can include:
- loss of companionship
- loss of support
- last medical bills
- funeral and bural expenses
Retain a Long Island Wrongful Death Attorney
Retaining an experienced, tenacious Long Island car accident lawyer is crucial to ensuring that you obtain justice in your case. The reality is that an injured person is far more likely to end up with appropriate compensation when represented by legal counsel. In fact, an injured person receives more in compensation when represented by a Long Island car accident lawyer than is the case of a person without an attorney. This proves to be the case even when attorney fees are taking into consideration, according to the American Bar Association.
The first step in retaining a Long Island car accident lawyer is scheduling an initial consultation with legal counsel. The initial consult is designed to provide an attorney the opportunity to evaluate your case.
During an initial consultation, you are also able to ask questions about your case. There usually is no legal fee charged for a preliminary appointment with a Long Island car accident attorney.
Speaking of legal fees, a Long Island car accident lawyer uses what is known as a contingency fee arrangement in these types of cases. Through a contingency fee agreement, you pay nothing in the way of attorney fees until a Long Island car accident lawyer obtains a favorable settlement with the insurance company, or judgment in court, for you. The contingency fee agreement is determined by the attorney and client before the course of legal representation commences.
If a bike and a car collide, who is at fault for the accident?
About 550 people die in bicycle accidents with motor vehicles every year. More than 50,000 others are injured. When you’re on a bicycle, and you collide with a car, you’re virtually unprotected. There aren’t any seatbelts to restrain you, and there aren’t any airbags either to cushion the blow with the vehicle and the pavement. The only crumple zones that you have are your bones and joints.
Rights and duties of bicyclists
Whether or not bicycles are classified as motor vehicles is irrelevant. The general rule is that bicyclists are granted the same rights and subject to all of the duties as drivers of motor vehicles. That means drivers of motor vehicles have a legal duty to safely share the road with bicyclists.
The law of negligence controls nearly all crashes involving bicycles and motor vehicles. In order to show that the driver of a motor vehicle was negligent, the bicyclist must prove certain elements. Those are That:
The driver of the car owed the bicyclist a duty of care
He or she breached that duty
The breach of that duty caused the crash
The crash caused the bicyclist’s injuries
The bicyclist suffered legally recognized damages
Should the bicyclist fail to prove any single one of these elements, the negligence case fails in its entirety.
Common causes of bicycle crashes with motor vehicles
Any number of acts or failures to act by motorists can be causes of bicycle crashes with motor vehicles, but some of the more common causes are:
Failure to yield the right-of-way when turning left
Turning into a bicyclist on the right of the vehicle
Disobeying traffic signals or stop signs
Rear-end crashes with bicyclists preparing to make left turns
Backing into a bicyclist
Opening a vehicle door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist
Common injuries in bicycle crashes with motor vehicles
When a bicycle crashes with a motor vehicle, most injuries are to the upper and lower extremities. Those are followed by injuries to the head, neck, face, teeth, abdomen and thorax. Road rash abrasions might vary from superficial scratches to those reaching full skin thickness that require removal of embedded debris. Dislocations and fractures requiring surgery are common. Head injuries are responsible for about 60 percent of all bicycle accident fatalities and the majority of long-term bicycle accident disabilities.
Damages that can be awarded in bicycle accident cases are consistent with those that might be awarded in a typical auto accident case. Those might be:
Past and future medical bills
Past and future lost earnings
Any permanent disfigurement
Any permanent disability
Pain and suffering
Loss of a normal life
Funeral and burial expenses in the event of a wrongful death
The uninsured motorist
Take a look around you when you’re driving, and more than one out of every 10 vehicles that you see is being driven by an uninsured driver. If you carry uninsured motorist insurance, you’ll likely be insured as a bicyclist if you’re injured in a crash that was caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Your spouse and children are probably insured too.
The bicyclist’s uninsured motorist claim
When you make an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurer, it steps into the shoes of the uninsured driver who caused your injuries. That makes your own insurer your opponent, so expect to be treated accordingly. You’re strongly advised not to attempt to represent yourself in that claim. It will either be denied, or any offer of settlement will be ridiculously low. Contact us to discuss having our firm represent you.
Sometimes an injured bicyclist is partially at fault for a crash with a motor vehicle. That’s when you can expect the opposing insurer to raise the affirmative defense of comparative negligence. With comparative negligence, if you’re determined to be partially at fault for an accident, the percentage of negligence attributable to you is deducted from any gross settlement or verdict. For example, if the value of your case is $100,000, and you were found to be 20 percent at fault, your net award would be $80,000.
If you or a family member was injured in a bicycle accident that was the fault of somebody else, contact us right away for a free case consultation and evaluation. You don’t need to pay anything up front either. We take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that there are no legal fees until such time as we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
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