Car accidents are common occurrences in the New York City area, and Queens is assuredly a location for many of those collisions. Very few places in the United States are known for crazy traffic quite like New York. Settling auto accident in New York can be complicated as well, especially when there are extenuating circumstances involved. Although much of the traffic in Queens is moving at nominal speeds, accidents can still result in serious injuries and significant vehicle damage, especially when there are commercial vehicles involved. In addition, the local municipalities of New York City also all have considerably-sized public transportation systems, which means that many times the opposing litigants in an accident case will be the state or local governments. Accidents involving government agencies areusually subject to differing rules when it comes to making a claim concerning a car crash. The wide range of potential accidents means that claims can get complicated and often defended strongly, and having an experienced Queens car accident lawyer is vital to an equitable settlement in many instances.
Investigating Your Accident Case
Almost all car accidents will be investigated by local law enforcement officials on some level, even in minor mishaps that do not result in injuries. However, insurance companies can be as difficult to deal with in small claims as in claims for very serious property damage and injury. Every valid claim represents a company payout that insurance claims adjusters handle daily and attempt to reduce in value or deny completely. This is why it is never a good idea to handle your own accident claim. Experienced Queens car accident lawyers understand how to completely investigate your accident case for all negligent actors, including auto parts manufacturers, and pursue damages from all negligent parties. This can be an important aspect of being properly compensated for accident damage and injuries because multiple insurance policies could be in play and caps on each insurance policy can be combined in an effort to make the injured plaintiff financially whole in a case settlement. A Queens car accident attorney can also question the official police report and build a solid case that may result in punitive damages in egregious serious injury cases.
Comparative Fault in New York
Comparative negligence is one of the most complicated and contested issues in settling a car accident case. New York uses pure comparative negligence law, which means that the only way an injured plaintiff can be denied injury compensation is when they are totally at fault for the claimed injury, especially in intentional act situations. Even an accident victim that is 90% at fault can recover 10% of the total available damages after all items are evaluated. This is also where trained professional insurance claims adjusters work the hardest when attempting to reduce a total payout on a claim, including taking the case to a full trial for a jury evaluation. This can be a two-edged sword when the defendant is attempting to avoid a claim that the plaintiff attorney can turn around and claim a punitive damage award when the insurance company is acting in bad faith.
Standard compensatory damages are always the basis for financial recovery. They include payment of medical bills, lost wages, necessary expenses, and non-economic damages for pain-and-suffering. The pain-and-suffering damages are usually the final component of a claim when the insurance company adjuster is agreeable that the claim is valid and there is no gross negligence involved. However, in accident claims where a Queens car accident lawyer can prove gross negligence or bad faith by the respondent insurance company, punitive damages could be available. This is a common occurrence in wrongful death claims involving a drunk driver or a negligent hit-and-run driver. Illegal behavior can often denote gross negligence, and a solid Queens car accident lawyer can take the case to a full trial for a punitive damage award from a sympathetic jury that agrees with the case argument.
All car accidents can be complicated and may be worth much more than the injured parties realize. It is always a sound decision to discuss your accident case with an experienced and aggressive car accident attorney who understands how to craft a case for maximum settlement amount.