Seeking Compensation for Your Auto Collision Injuries
The damages you can recover after a collision on Long Island depend on several factors.
If the law restricts you to only filing your no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, your recoverable damages would include:
- Your medical bills and related expenses (up to policy limits)
- A portion of your lost income (up to policy limits)
- Certain daily expenses, such as traveling to and from the hospital
When you meet one of the exceptions to file a fault-based claim—which is possible for many people with moderate or severe head injuries—you can also pursue compensation through a liability auto insurance claim or lawsuit.
In this case, your recoverable damages could include:
- Additional medical care expenses
- Future and ongoing care costs
- Additional lost income
- Diminished earning capacity for permanent injuries
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages
Our attorneys can help determine what damages you may be able to recover in your case. We develop strong support for any claims and lawsuits we file, always fighting for fair compensation for our clients. We understand that a serious head injury can affect every member of your family. You should not have to worry about your financial future during this challenging time.
Understanding Your Options for Compensation After a Head Injury Crash
An accident victim may recover damages following a collision on Long Island through:
- Their no-fault PIP policy, which covers basic expenses and losses
- The at-fault driver’s auto liability policy (if they qualify to file a fault-based claim)
- A civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver (if the law allows this type of case)
Two of the first things our attorneys consider when we assess a crash case with a potential client are the severity of their injuries and the cost of their care. These two factors play a significant role in the recoverable damages in cases like these. According to the New York State Department of Financial Services, these two things also determine if you can pursue a fault-based case.
“Serious” Injuries According to New York Law
You may be able to sue the at-fault driver or recover compensation from their insurance provider if your medical expenses exceed your PIP coverage or if your injuries meet the description of serious as New York law defines.
The law deems head injuries serious if they include:
- Fractures (including skull fractures)
- Loss of use of a significant body part
- Permanent, consequential limitation of a body part or function
- The victim misses work and other activities for at least 90 of the first 180 days after a collision because of their injuries
- Significant limitation of a body function or system
For those whose concussion is not serious enough to allow them to pursue fault-based damages, they could still potentially qualify if they have additional injuries. This is especially important in auto accident cases because there is no way to recover non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) when the law limits you to only filing a PIP claim. You also cannot recover future medical care needs through your no-fault PIP insurer.
Pursuing a Fault-Based Claim
When we pursue fault-based cases, our team may call in experts or your treating doctors to help us understand your ongoing and future care needs and how much they will cost. We also estimate your income losses if you cannot return to work at your previous level (or at all). Finally, we put a price on your non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering and reduced quality of life. Then we fight for a settlement or verdict that covers all these damages.
For example, if you required hospitalization for a head injury after a rear-end crash in Nassau County, your PIP policy would likely cover the ambulance ride, medical bills, and some of the income missed while you were out of work (up to policy limits). If your injury is serious enough for a fault-based claim, you could also recover money for your ongoing rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and more.
Navigating the Legal Process After a Head Injury Crash on Long Island
Once we determine that our client can file an auto liability insurance claim or lawsuit, we thoroughly investigate the case to gather as much evidence and support as possible. This is necessary because we have to prove that the accused driver acted negligently—meaning they were careless or reckless, which caused the crash. Proving negligence is unnecessary with a no-fault claim, but essential when holding the other driver legally liable.
Investigating a traffic accident case requires our team to use the resources, knowledge, and experience only available from a firm like ours that handles these cases frequently.
Some of the tasks required to identify, collect, and analyze car accident evidence include:
- Obtaining official records such as the accident report and medical records
- Identifying and interviewing any crash witnesses
- Seeking and reviewing video footage and photographs of the collision
- Surveying the crash scene
- Working with accident reconstruction specialists
- Meeting with medical experts to better understand our client’s prognosis and future care needs
- Gathering documentation of damages
Proving Negligence in Your Long Island Auto Accident Case
The goal of building a case is to show that the at-fault driver was negligent.
There are four elements of negligence required:
- The driver had a duty to do a certain thing, usually because of traffic laws
- They breached this duty
- Their breach caused the collision
- The victim suffered injuries due to the crash
Without documentation to show the insurer, judge, and jury that negligence occurred, it will be difficult to recover compensation based on an insurance claim or lawsuit against them. Our attorneys know how to show negligence in any type of crash and link it to your head injury and other damages. Developing a strong claim is the best way to recover a fair settlement or win a verdict in a car crash injury case.
Our team handles filing all your claims when we represent you in a collision case. We identify the involved insurers and send a demand letter. This letter outlines your case and evidence and demands fair compensation, including the value we believe is fair. Most insurers will not agree to pay this amount but send a counteroffer instead. And so settlement negotiations begin, where our attorneys aggressively seek a fair payout on your behalf.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit on Long Island After a Head Injury Collision
Some circumstances may require us to sue the driver who caused your collision and injuries. When this occurs, we prepare the complaint and file it in a Nassau or Suffolk County civil court, or in another New York county. The settlement negotiations may continue, but so will preparations for taking the case to trial. This includes the discovery process, where both sides gather additional evidence and build their case.
What the defense team learns during this process may lead them to increase their offer, and a settlement may become possible. If not, our attorneys are ready to take your case to mediation, arbitration, or trial. We represent our clients throughout this process and fight for their best interests. We have an extensive history of recovering compensation for our clients through both settlements and verdicts, and we will take your case to trial if necessary.
Under New York law, we usually have up to three years to begin a lawsuit on Long Island. We must file the initial complaint in the appropriate court before this deadline expires. Missing this deadline could mean losing your right to sue and recover damages through the civil court system. Certain exceptions could mean you have even less time to act, such as when the liable party is a government agency.
The Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP personal injury lawyers offer free consultations for crash victims who suffer head injuries. We also work with families whose loved ones have a catastrophic TBI and may not be able to represent themselves in this type of case.
We are a contingency fee firm, which means you never pay anything upfront. You only pay an attorney’s fee if we are able to win your case.
We have team members who are ready to speak with you in English or Spanish. To get started, contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.