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NYC Car Accident Lawyers

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Protecting Your Rights and Interests with Skilled Car Accident Lawyers

Over 1,100 people are killed in car accidents on New York roadways annually, according to the U.S. Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thousands more are injured in car accidents, oftentimes seriously so.

If you have been injured in a car accident, or if you have lost a family member in an automobile collision, you need to understand your rights and interests. You must appreciate the ways in which skilled, experienced car accident lawyers can best protect your rights and interests in the aftermath of a car accident.

Compensation in a Car Accident Personal Injury Case

The nature and extent of compensation depends on the specific facts and circumstances of a car accident, and associated injuries. With that noted, there are some types of compensation for injuries, damages, and losses that typically can be recovered in a car accident case. These include:

  • medical bills and expenses
  • pain and suffering
  • mental anguish
  • permanent injury
  • permanent disfigurement
  • lost wages

A skilled, experienced personal injury attorney can fight to ensure that you obtain not only compensation for existing losses, but also for those that you reasonably can expect to incur in the future. For example, in the aftermath of an automobile accident, you very well may need medical care and treatment into the future. This includes physical or occupational therapy. Compensation in your case needs to take this into consideration.

In addition, you may face ongoing pain and suffering and you may not be able to return to work any time soon. These are also types of future losses for which compensation is crucial as part of a car accident settlement of a claim or judgment in a lawsuit.

In some cases, the conduct of the party that caused the accident in the first instance is particularly reckless. In that type of situation, an experienced personal injury attorney will seek what are called punitive damages on your behalf in a lawsuit.

Punitive damages are an additional type of compensation in a car accident case. Punitive damages are intended not only to provide you with additional financial recovery, but they are also designed to serve as a punishment of a third party for particularly egregious conduct associated with a car accident. For example, if the driver who caused the car accident was drunk or texting, punitive damages may be possible. Similarly, if the driver that caused the collision left the scene of the accident, that may also call for an award of punitive damages.

Representation in a Car Accident Wrongful Death Case

If you have lost a beloved family member in a car accident because of the negligence of someone else, nothing can fully compensate you for that loss. With that said, you are entitled to justice. The law in the state of New York permits the personal representative of the state of the deceased family member to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

If the deceased individual had a will, the lawsuit would be brought by the executor of that family member’s estate. The beneficiaries of the lawsuit would be those entitled to inherit pursuant to the terms and conditions of the will.

If there is no will, an estate can nonetheless be established through the probate process. The beneficiaries in that case would be those family members entitled to inherit money from the deceased person in the absence of a will.

Compensation in a car accident wrongful death case depends in part of the relationship between the family member that ultimately may receive compensation For example, a spouse may be entitled to compensation for what is known as loss of consortium. A child may be entitled to compensation for loss of support and companionship.

Dealing with Automobile Insurance Companies

Car insurance companies are in business to make money for their stockholders. Consequently, claims adjusters and others associated with an automobile insurance company will do whatever they can to reduce or even prevent you from obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled following a car accident.

An experienced car accident attorney understands how to effectively counter strategies of insurance companies designed to prevent you from obtaining appropriate compensation. This reality underscores the need for any injured person to take a proactive stance in regard to obtaining suitable legal representation.

Distracted Driving Car Accidents

In New York, and elsewhere across the United States, distracted driving has contributed to a significant percentage of the automobile accidents that occur on Empire State and U.S. roadways annually, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. One of the most prevalent types of distracted driving that leads to automobile accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries involves texting and driving.

In New York, it is illegal to text and drive. Indeed, it is illegal to use any type of handheld communication device while driving in the state.

Despite the law prohibiting texting, and even talking on a handheld mobile device, while driving, many motorists continue to engage in this type of activity. Because texting and driving, and similar activities, is illegal in New York, if you are injured as a result of this type of distracted driver, a car accident attorney may be able to pursue a case based on a legal principle called negligence per se.

A case based on a negligence per se means that your lawyer will not need to prove negligence as part of fighting to obtain justice for you. Rather, the mere act of the other driver texting while driving in violation of the law is considered to be negligent conduct in and of itself.

Impaired and Intoxicated Drivers

Drivers operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol is another frequently occurring underlying cause for automobile accidents in New York. As is the case with distracted drivers, these types of accidents cause a considerable percentage of car accident deaths and injuries each year.

Attorney Fees in a Car Accident Case

As a general practice, a car accident lawyer would utilize what is known as a contingency fee agreement. Through a contingency fee agreement, you pay no attorney fees in the case unless your car accident attorney obtains a favorable settlement or judgment for you.

Initial Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer

The process of engaging the services of a car accident lawyer typically begins with an initial consultation with legal counsel. During this preliminary appointment, a car accident attorney provides an evaluation of your case. In addition, he or she responds to any questions that you might have regarding your situation. More often than not, a car accident lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.

New York Attorneys Can Help A Car Accident Victim

Nobody starts out driving in New York City with the anticipation of being in a car accident. It does happen, and once it does, there are many things that need to be considered. An accident victim needs to be compensated for property damage, injuries and more. It could be as simple as having an attorney negotiate the best possible settlement with an insurance company. It’s also possible the circumstances may evolve into something very legally complex requiring a lawsuit.

No-Fault Insurance
The state of New York follows no-fault car insurance rules. When a driver in the state of New York is involved in an accident, the first place they try to get compensation is from their own insurance company. An accident victim can receive compensation up to a certain dollar amount. It is possible for an accident victim to pursue a claim outside of New York’s no-fault system. They can pursue a claim directly against a driver who has been proven to be at-fault for the accident. In order to do this, the victim’s injuries must be identified as serious based on New York’s standards. It’s also important to know that New York’s no-fault rules do not apply to property damage. An accident victim can pursue a property damage claim with at-fault driver’s insurance company. An accident victim is also able to file a lawsuit directly against a driver if necessary.

Statutes Of Limitations
Should an accident victim’s injuries be serious enough to be exempt from New York’s no-fault rules, they will have to be aware of the state’s time limits associated with filing a personal injury lawsuit. This is called a state’s statue of limitations. An accident victim will not be able to file a lawsuit concerning their accident once this time has expired. An accident victim has three years after their accident to file a personal injury lawsuit for personal harm suffered, medical bills and more. They also have three years after the accident to file a lawsuit to get compensation for property damage. This includes vehicle damage and more. This is covered in New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules section 214.

Comparative Fault
There are rules in the State of New York that cover vehicle accidents where more than one party is at fault for causing an accident. They are called comparative fault rules. This makes it possible for a person to receive compensation from any of the at-fault parties. The degree of an accident victim’s fault does not matter. The compensation received by an accident victim will be decreased by a percentage equal to their share of determined liability for an accident. This is a legal standard known a pure comparative negligence. The system in place in New York applies when an accident victim is attempting to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company. This rule applies to juries deciding a formal lawsuit as well as an insurance claims adjuster determining a settlement.

Accident Scene
There are certain things a person is expected to do when they are involved in a vehicle accident in New York. The first thing is to stop the vehicle. This must happen if the accident involves a parked car, moving car, pedestrian and more. The driver must stay at the scene and exchange information if possible. Reasonable assistance should be provided to any individuals who are injured. If a driver leaves the scene of an accident, they could be charged with the crime of hit and run. The driver will then be facing some serious legal charges. They could be given a fine, sent to jail or both. Doing this could also cause a court to take an individual’s driver’s license. It is important to immediately call 911 or contact law enforcement as soon as possible. This must happen if there is an injury or death from the accident. Should a person hit a parked car, they are required to contact the owner with contact information. Information can be left in a note on the parked car. The accident should then be reported to local law enforcement. When they respond, law enforcement will analyze the accident scene and assess the damages. They will also interview key witnesses and use this information to try and determine the cause of the accident. The police report can be a very important piece of evidence when seeking compensation.

Gathering Information
When an accident happens, it’s important to get information from the other driver or drivers. If possible, accident victims should get the names of the other drivers, their vehicle’s license number as well as their vehicle’s identification number. A person should try to get the name and address of the other driver’s insurance company as well as insurance policy number. Law enforcement does not come to every accident scene. When they do, law enforcement will try and obtain this information. If law enforcement does not come to the scene, then getting this information is up to the driver. It’s also important to get the names of any passengers in the car as well as any witnesses. Recording the traffic pattern as well as weather conditions can also be helpful. If possible take pictures and draw a diagram of the accident scene. This could prove to be very helpful in the future.

Report of Motor Vehicle Accident
If the property damage resulting from an accident for any party exceeds $1,001, then all of the drivers involve must complete and file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (MV-104) form. This is required by the New York State Vehicle and Traffic law. This must be done within ten days after an accident occurs. Should this not be done, the DMV can legally suspend a person’s driver’s license. If a person is injured or killed as a result of an accident, the driver is required by law to notify law enforcement. The police and all drivers involved in the accident have to file a report with the DMV. An accident report will be part of the driving record of all drivers involved. The accident form does not indicate who was at fault for the accident. The DMV will not attempt to assign fault in a vehicle accident.

Insurance Claim Process
There is a good chance fair compensation can be obtained through the insurance claim process. It’s important to realize the goal of an insurance company is to pay as little as possible. A person should always give themselves plenty of time to negotiate and file an accident lawsuit if necessary. The earlier the negotiations process begins, the better leverage a person will have with insurance companies. An experienced New York vehicle accident attorney has the knowledge and experience necessary to help a person can get the best possible results from their individual car accident situation.

Car Accident Injuries

Personal injury claims resulting from an auto accident can be difficult when attempting to recover financial damages. Receiving a fair and equitable settlement from a respondent insurance company is always a challenge because insurance company adjusters are always focused on the company bottom line and protecting their negligent client. While it is a reasonable step to first contact the insurance company and potentially file a claim without the benefit of legal counsel, it is not a good decision to accept any kind of offer during the very first conversation. If an insurance adjuster makes a quick offer, you can be guaranteed that it is much lower than the claim value and the adjuster will ask for a full future medical responsibility release. The disposition of the adjuster on the first contact can also be an excellent indicator of how difficult they will be to deal with for your attorney as well. Even a car accident injury claim concerning a minimal injury should be discussed with an attorney before accepting an offer because there may be several avenues of compensatory damage pursuit.

Potential Damages
Financial damages stemming from a car accident injury are generally divided into two categories. The most common category is compensatory damages. These claims are recovery for medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic pain-and-suffering allowances. The damages that can be documented and calculated concerning real lost resources like medical bills and lost wages are special, or pecuniary damages. Pain-and-suffering are not out-of pocket expenses, but rather payment for the inconvenience and discomfort the injuries have created. For injuries that result in disability or take a significant time to rehabilitate, pain-and-suffering damages can be the largest component of a total settlement. Punitive damages may also be available in gross negligence cases when a car accident attorney is willing to take a case to a trial in hopes of an extra award from a sympathetic jury based on the egregious nature of the case. This is particularly common in wrongful death suits and accidents involving drunk drivers or commercial vehicles. They also tend to be extensive damages meant to send a message to certain sects of society.

Understanding Comparative Negligence
Passengers of vehicles involved in an accident who suffer injuries rarely have any comparative fault assessment, but all drivers involved in a car accident will be evaluated by the court and the respondent insurance company for comparative negligence. Depending on the state of occurrence regarding the accident, the type of comparative negligence law used in the state can have a major impact on the amount of damages that may be available. Four states, along with the District of Columbia, use pure contributory negligence law, meaning that anyone with even 1% of fault for causation of an accident that produced their own injuries will be barred from any damage recovery completely. In other states, the standard is either modified comparative negligence or pure comparative negligence. Modified comparative negligence sets the bar for personal comparative negligence at either 50% or 51% fault, while pure comparative negligence law allows that anyone injured in an accident is entitled to compensatory damage recovery unless they are 100% at fault for a car accident. Total compensatory damages are calculated first, and then the total is discounted by the percentage of fault assigned to the injured driver claimant.

What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for Your Case
It is never a good decision to attempt handling a car accident injury claim personally. Insurance adjusters are trained professional negotiators and are always looking for a method to reduce the total payout on any claim. They are not obligated to the injured claimant beyond paying a claim, regardless of the amount. There are several methods that can be used by the insurance company agent that are unknown to the typical injured victim and they will assuredly use them in every situation. It is not their job to pay a claim. It is their job to try to deny it and then attempt to lessen the total payout when possible if the claim is obviously valid. Car accident attorneys are professional negotiators as well and they deal with insurance companies on a daily basis. This provides your own negotiation team to counteract any move by a respondent insurance company to avoid paying an claim, regardless of validity. And, insurance representatives can even attempt to discourage claimants in retaining an attorney, which may be part of a woefully inept settlement offer. Your attorney can also investigate the accident for multiple negligent parties, which could result in claims against other negligent actors.

The expense of hiring a car accident attorney often results in additional damage awards that are well beyond the fee. Attorneys known when a claim has extensive value, and consulting with a car accident attorney following a collision is always the most prudent step for any injured victim. First discussions are always free, and it could result in a much better final settlement.

Car Accident Shoulder Injury
Car accidents are among the most common types of cases that we see in our office. Far too many insurance companies don’t want to take full responsibility for the car accidents they are responsible for covering. They try to settle for less or argue that they are not responsible for certain damages. It’s our job to get tough with insurance companies who try to deny our clients full compensation. This injustice is a part of the reason that we practice law.

Shoulder injuries are common in car accidents. Shoulders are highly movable joints and therefore tend to be injured more often than other joints in the body. They are also in close proximity of car parts that cause damage to people during accidents. We’ve learned in our time taking on these tough cases that a knowledge of shoulder injuries is vital to successful car accident lawsuits. While not all shoulder injuries are caused by car accident, a large number of the 7.5 million shoulder injuries suffered per year come from an auto accident. When this happens, we’re there to lighten the burden for our clients.

The first question that many of our clients have is just what kind of compensation they can expect from a shoulder injury lawsuit brought about because of a car accident. Our answer is that compensation is never simple addition and subtraction. There are many complex factors that determine what amount is owed from an injury, but a good blueprint is possible to construct.

Compensation from shoulder injuries

What things can you or a family member expect a lawsuit award to contribute to? Here are just a few:

– Lost wages

– Pain and suffering

– Physical therapy for the shoulder injury

– Medical bills

– Sometimes wrongful death (If the shoulder injury results in death from a complication such as infection)

How we win a shoulder injury case

We don’t receive a dime of compensation from you unless you receive compensation because of our hard work. Until then, you don’t pay us. During our early investigation of the shoulder injury you’ve suffered, we rely on many variables to build a strong case. We ask for and read over witness accounts of the accident. We might analyze photos of the scene to determine what happened. We thoroughly calculate your medical bills, lost wages, and any other financial losses you’ve suffered because of the accident.

Once we’ve built a strong scenario of what happened to cause the shoulder injury you or a loved one suffered, we go to work on how to best present this evidence to the court so that it sides in your favor. We truly believe that we’re the best lawyers for the job if you’ve been in a car accident that resulted in a shoulder injury. We’ve seen these cases time and again, built strong relationships with experts, both medical and legal, and have a strong desire to see our clients succeed so that they can move on from their tragedy and build a better life for themselves.

Recovering damages and moving on

No one ever completely forgets an auto accident. It’s always there which is one of the reasons people truly deserve the compensation they receive. This is a life altering event for our clients. We’ve learned that once damages have been recovered and the practical matters such as loss of wages and financial losses are taken care of, the client needs to heal emotionally and be ready to move on with life. We don’t just win your case for you but make sure that after the case is over, you heal from the ordeal. Whether it’s you who suffered an injury or you’re suing on behalf of a beloved family member who deserves compensation and justice, we are here to help you get the best possible outcome from your legal case.

We work tirelessly on behalf of our clients to see to it that they heal not just physically but also emotionally from their accident. It’s not enough to get money and be able to have security in life again. We expect our clients to receive counseling and other things they need in order to heal fully from a bad auto accident. If a family member has been taken from you, you need healing from that as well and to feel as if they received the amount of justice they deserved from their horrible accident.

Call us today

We pursue auto accident lawsuits rigorously and we aren’t satisfied until you receive just compensation. Please allow us the opportunity to work with you, build a strong case for you, and help you secure your future and take care of medical bills that should have never been your responsibility. Call us today to learn more.

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