Allow a Suffolk County Car Accident Lawyer to Help You Secure Full Compensation
Car accidents can be incredibly debilitating. When you consider the damage to your vehicle, potential medical bills, the mental anguish, and the fact that an insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, it's a lot to have on your plate. If you have any hopes of coming out of a car accident claim successfully, you will require some expert legal navigation.
Fortunately, there's no need for you to figure it all out on your own. The Law Office of Carl Maltese can assist by providing you with one of the best car accident lawyers practicing in Suffolk County. You need only reach out to the law firm for a free consultation that requires no commitment. If you're ready to learn what your legal position is and what your options are from an expert, call (631) 857-3703.
Damages Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Recover
The damages synonymous with a car accident can mount incredibly quickly, and without adequate support, you can find the course of your life changed drastically. For some injury victims, this change is permanent. Nevertheless, Long Island car accident attorneys will fight to recover compensation on your behalf in the following forms.
Economic damages are so named because they allow for one-to-one financial recovery. In other words, these elements of your settlement have defined costs that can be objectively proven. These include:
Medical Bills - These may be past or future medical costs that could span physical therapy, emergency room care, medication, etc.
Lost wages - Any lost income that is a direct result of the car accident. Damages may also be claimed for a reduction in your future earning capacity.
Vehicular damage - This spans any repair costs to your vehicle after a car collision.
Your Suffolk County car accident lawyer is crucial here as there are no reference costs. Instead, expert valuation is required. Such damages include:
Pain and suffering - The physical pain and mental anguish that you suffer because of the accident.
Loss of consortium - Married persons have an intimate responsibility to each other. If the car accident renders such a person to be unable to meet this requirement, loss of consortium may be claimed.
Typical Displays of Negligence That Lead to Car Accident Cases
Especially on the highways of Long Island, accidents happen all the time because of the sheer negligence some drivers display on the road. Typically, when they see highway-like road designs, they become more reckless than usual. Even on normal roads, some drivers will begin to ignore the principles of safety entirely. Some of the most common forms of negligence are:
Failure to yield the right of way
Driving under the influence of drugs
Failure to obey a traffic light or other road sign
Failure to adhere to traffic laws
Lack of vehicular maintenance leading to defects
A Long Island car accident lawyer works to identify which of these or other forms of negligence may have had a part to play in the accident. Additionally, if recklessness on your part is a factor in the auto accident, your attorney will advise you of your position and the best way to proceed.
Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Suffolk County
Car accidents in Suffolk County can happen in numerous ways, many of which are synonymous with serious injuries. Personal injury lawyers deal with these all the time, which has led to the establishment of a list of the most common ones. These are as follows:
Head-on collisions - These are some of the most dangerous since tremendous force tends to come from both directions. At least one serious injury typically happens here.
Rear-end collisions - Many car crashes see a victim being hit from the rear, which is a recipe for whiplash and other unfortunate injuries.
T-bone collisions - In these car accidents, the vehicle is hit from the side. The proximity to the vehicle occupants often means severe injuries result.
These accidents sometimes involve other elements that make the injury worries even more serious. Examples include vehicle rollover, penetration from metal and glass, etc.
Comparative Fault Is a Part of New York Law
New York is one of the states that uses comparative fault rules in car accident cases. Put simply, anyone who has any part to play in the cause of the crash bears liability for it. Essentially, there is a 100% measure of fault present in any motor vehicle accident. This fault can be apportioned among those who were negligent.
In some cases, one person is 100% responsible meaning complete liability lies with that individual. However, sometimes multiple parties are responsible. Note that the responsible parties are not necessarily always people. For example, a driver may have been doing something reckless while using a roadway. At the same time, the road was unsafe because it was in a structurally compromised state.
In this scenario, the state is partially responsible for the accent. A car accidents lawyer in Long Island will hold the state accountable and attempt to recover compensation for accident-related expenses and non-economic damages on your behalf.
Dealing with No-Fault Insurance Rules in New York
If dealing with the comparative fault principle wasn't enough of a challenge, New York also employs the no-fault system. You must reach out to your own insurance provider first if you end up in a car accident in a no-fault insurance state. This rule applies regardless of if you were the responsible party.
Even your own insurance company is not in a hurry to compensate you after a serious car accident. That's why Suffolk County car accident lawyers stand beside their clients to ensure that justice is served.
Challenges That You Need a Car Accident Attorney to Handle
Some elements of car accident cases present a much higher level of difficulty than others do, and these are often attempts made by other parties to reduce your chances of getting maximum compensation or any at all. Long Island car accident lawyers can assist you through these challenges, which may include:
Denial of injury severity and process handling - An insurance company may go this route to fight your case. First, they may say that your personal injury lawsuit is making your injuries out to be more serious than they really are. Additionally, if there was a delay in filing your insurance claim, they may insinuate that you made your injuries worse.
Partial liability - As New York is a comparative fault state, unwarranted accusations are often used to fight a personal injury suit. Even if you had no part to play, arguments may be made to say you did.
Low settlement offers - Insurance companies are notorious for giving car accident victims lowball settlement offers at the onset.
Personal injury law is synonymous with these unjust tactics, which is why your car accident attorney is familiar with and can counter them.
The Statute of Limitation for Personal Injury Cases Imposes a Time Limit for You to File a Claim
It's a good idea to start by saying that you should never wait unnecessarily long to seek medical attention or file a car accident claim. Either of these things can make it more difficult to get compensation for your auto accident case than is necessary. Don't wait until a car accident has caused you unwarranted expenses and a reduced quality of life.
Furthermore, the New York statute of limitations for car accidents expires in three years. This is not absolute, however, as certain factors you may be unaware of could mean your limit is as little as three months. Eliminate all the guesswork and reach out to a Suffolk County car accident lawyer as soon as possible for a free initial consultation.
What Car Accident Victims Should Do Immediately After the Incident
After a car crash, you need to take the right series of steps to prevent an insurance company from successfully denying you fair compensation for your ordeal. Here's a simple reference list of the way you want to handle the situation.
Get Medical Care
Nothing is more important than your health in a car accident case. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Traffic accidents are notorious for spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, etc. You need to be taken care of immediately.
Additionally, getting treatment creates medical records. Not only do these show that you needed treatment following the accident, but they also provide an accurate record of the medical expenses you had to deal with. Such information is crucial when the time to recover damages comes along.
File a Police Report
Typically, a police officer will be called to the scene after a Long Island car accident has occurred. If you do not see this happening, call one. There are some cases where a car accident caused the victim to be in no condition to make this call. If this happens to you, get to the station as soon as you can to file one.
A police report is often one of the centerpieces of a car accident case, and not having filed one can hurt you in the long run, especially if you have no visible injuries by the time your attorney is seeking compensation on your behalf.
Relevant evidence can also make all the difference in your ability to collect compensation after a car crash.
Essentially, you want to gather everything that can prove that the accident took place, you needed medical treatment and have a potentially damaged vehicle, and you were not at fault. Police reports may include some of this, but it's not enough. Consider getting the following:
Pictures of the accident scene showing damage to all vehicles involved
Pictures of skid marks
License and registration details of all involved
Contact information for all involved
Contact information of any witnesses who may have seen what happened
Avoid Speaking to Any Insurance Company at the Onset
Remember that regardless of what you hear, an insurance company is never on your side. This goes for your insurance company as well. Speaking with one of them too early can see them use techniques to cripple your chances of financial recovery. Don't trust the fact that you have been loyally paying for insurance coverage. Deny commenting without a lawyer.
Reach Out to Your Long Island Car Accident Lawyer
Injury victims in a Long Island car accident are advised to reach out to their attorneys as quickly as possible for guidance and representation after a crash. Your lawyer will advise you on what actions to take to avoid jeopardizing your case.
Understanding the Contingency Fee Principle
The free consultation is not the only financially advantageous element of retaining a Long Island car accident lawyer to help you seek financial compensation. Typically, a car accident case is taken under a contingency fee agreement.
There's a misconception that you need to put a hefty sum of money together before law firms will even look in your direction. However, this is not the case.
A Suffolk County car accident lawyer's interest lies in your getting the settlement you deserve. Put simply, having a contingency fee agreement in place means that you don't have to pay any legal fees unless you win your case.
At that point, your charges are calculated as a percentage of the amount you are awarded, meaning you'll be able to afford the legal representation afforded to you.
The Legal Representation Process for Car Accidents in Suffolk County
While the process followed for claims involving car accidents involves several elements, this high-level explanation should allow you to wrap your head around the basics of what you can look forward to.
Free Legal Consultation
The free case evaluation is the first stage of the engagement after your car collision. The idea here is to get a full understanding of the elements of your position and situation. While personal injury attorneys have seen car wreck cases before, they are not all the same and should not be treated as such.
One case may not involve high medical bills, for example, while another may have seen a serious injury lead to death, which necessitates a wrongful death suit. Your options are then discussed with you as well as what the legal process would look like optimally.
Investigation and Case Building
Once you retain the services of the legal team, a thorough investigation follows. This involves collating all relevant data including insurance policy documentation, pictorial evidence, witness statements, videos, records of medical bills and treatment, etc. Once it's relevant to supporting your case, you can rest assured it will be collected.
The personal injury attorney is supported by a team at the law firm, which is dedicated to your best interests.
With the investigation complete, a claim can be submitted to the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are typically assigned at this stage and a claim number is provided for tracking. Any documentation the adjuster requires will be provided.
Next, the insurance company reviews the submission and provides a settlement offer. Your Long Island car accident attorney will only wait a reasonable amount of time for this.
In an ideal scenario, the settlement proposed initially would be optional. However, this is rarely the case, which means your lawyer must negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement.
If the attempt to fairly seek compensation from the insurance firm doesn't work out, it means your case will require litigation. In this scenario, your attorney proceeds to file a lawsuit, complete the required discovery, and prepare to take the case to trial.
You will be represented in court by your Long Island personal injury attorney who will attempt to ensure you are properly compensated for your lost wages, medical treatment, pain and suffering, and any other damages your legal rights grant you after the negligence displayed by the other driver.
Mandatory Car Crash Reporting in New York
Long Island is governed by the mandatory crash reporting element of New York law. Any crash that causes a personal injury or death must be reported to the police. This obligation is placed on the driver who caused the accident.
If there is no injury or death, then property damage is likely at play. In this case, the responsible party is only required to submit a report if the other driver is not on the scene or if the damage exceeds $1,000.
The mandate requires a written report to be filed within 10 days of the crash. However, there is an exception that allows drivers to submit the report once they are physically able to do so.
What Does New York State Law Consider Serious Injuries?
There is a no-fault claim limit of $50,000 in New York. Lawsuit filing generally becomes required once compensation beyond this limit is required. Of course, this means that victims of traffic collisions must demonstrate that their basic economic losses exceed that threshold.
Serious injuries are a part of the considerations here, and they fall under the following categories:
Bone fractures or breakage
Permanent limitation or loss of any bodily function, organ, member, or system
Any injury or impairment that prevents a person from going through previously standard daily activities for at least 90-180 days after the accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Suffolk County Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Long Island accident law can be difficult for injured clients to navigate, particularly with the overwhelming mental pressure that tends to be synonymous with car accident cases. Even when there are obviously liable parties, insurance companies will do their best to deny the just compensation that is to be paid out to victims.
Thankfully, you don't need to be submitted to legal hardships as you attempt to recover from the ordeal. What you need is an experienced Suffolk County car accident attorney who is familiar with the legal system and can circumvent all the attempts to deny you what you are owed.
Schedule a free consultation today with the Law Office of Carl Maltese by calling (631) 857-3703.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What's the Average Timespan for a Car Accident Case in Suffolk County?
It's difficult to place an average figure considering the number of variables involved and the fact that the potential timespan's lower and upper limits are so far apart.
On the lower end of the spectrum, the entire ordeal could be wrapped up in two months, however, this is quite uncommon. Equally uncommon are cases that run for as much as five years, though it has happened.
What Are the Main Factors That Influence the Outcome of a Car Crash Claim?
Typically, the factors that impact the outcome of your case depend on how straightforward it is. Sometimes, there is confidence beyond the shadow of a doubt that the defendant is wholly responsible for the accident.
In other cases, however, there are questions about the plaintiff's negligence, the severity of injuries, etc. All these and other factors could be major influences on how things turn out.
Does New York State Law Require Me to Retain a Suffolk County Car Accident Lawyer?
New York doesn't require anyone to retain the services of a law firm following a car accident. However, it would not be in your best interest to attempt to stand on your own against experienced attorneys and insurance companies who know how to prevent you from getting the maximum amount of compensation you should.
Sometimes, insurance companies can avoid paying people with painful injuries and high expenses because they knew their way around the system. You need the professional opinion and representation of a Suffolk County car accident legal professional who also possesses the same kind of familiarity.
Do I Have a Case if My Injuries Are Not Serious?
Don't try to evaluate the severity of your injuries on your own. Many drivers who are victims of a car accident feel as if they have no case because they aren't suffering from extreme circumstances. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today and have the matter evaluated by an expert.
How Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Family Member Who Died in a Car Accident?
The process here is the same as in typical personal injury scenarios. You begin by scheduling an initial consultation with a New York legal professional who will advise you of your legal options, as well as the best way to move forward.