There were over 300,000 motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States between 2010 and 2018–this is an average of about 33,000 fatalities every single year. There were also between five million and seven million police-reported motor vehicle accidents of all types every year during this time. These figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show just how serious the problem is in our country.
If you were involved in a car accident, call Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. for a free consultation today at (631) 451-7900. A Patchogue car accident lawyer can help you determine whether you have grounds for a third-party claim against an at-fault party responsible for the accident. Call us today to learn more about evidence collection, the statutes of limitations, and the requirements needed for a lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Patchogue, call 516-451-7900
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
To file a car accident lawsuit, you must:
- Identify the at-fault party
- Gather evidence to demonstrate liability
- Prove that the standard of care was breached
- Evaluate your damages
- Understand personal injury insurance
Here we provide details on each of these steps.
Patchogue Car Accidents Lawyer Near Me 516-451-7900
Identify the At-Fault Party
A car accident can occur in many ways, including speeding, aggressive driving, and reckless driving. These are examples of negligent driving. Other examples of negligent driving include driving while intoxicated, distracted, or drowsy, and driving without the proper licensing or experience required to drive safely.
Other causes of accidents include environmental factors such as poor weather, inadequate lighting, damaged roads, narrow roads, and slippery roads. Finally, vehicle malfunctions and vehicle design issues can also lead to an accident.
Depending on how your accident occurred, you may be able to hold another vehicle operator, owner, a town or city, or a product or vehicle manufacturer at-fault for your accident. Another driver can be held liable for accidents caused by negligence of any form, and towns and civic municipalities can be held responsible for accidents caused by poor road maintenance or accidents caused by traffic control signal issues within the jurisdiction of the town or city in question.
In some cases, based on “dram shop” laws, businesses that sell alcohol can be held liable for accidents involving driver intoxication. This applies if it can be shown that the business or establishment in question knowingly served alcohol to someone who was intoxicated. It also applies to serving alcohol to someone about whom it was known that they would be driving while intoxicated.
Gather Evidence to Demonstrate Liability
In New York, you can file a third-party personal injury claim for losses and damages such as pain and suffering that are not included in basic no-fault coverage.
To do this, once you have identified the at-fault party as outlined in the previous step, you must gather evidence to prove that party’s liability. Evidence you can use includes police reports, blood alcohol content test results, eyewitness statements, and photo or video evidence of the accident. You can also use vehicle maintenance logs, road maintenance logs, pre-travel maintenance checklists often used by commercial trucks, and similar forms of evidence to establish fault.
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Identify the Breach of the Standard of Care
If you operate a motor vehicle on the road, you are assumed to owe others a duty of care. This means you are expected to operate your vehicle safely and responsibly. A failure to do so is tantamount to negligence. Similar rules of responsibility apply to towns and cities responsible for road repairs and the maintenance of traffic control signals. A failure to repair damaged roads or maintain traffic control signals can indicate negligence on the part of a town, city, state, or local government office.
The evidence collected in the previous step can be used to demonstrate that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care but breached it by not performing actions such as safe driving or road maintenance. Your evidence must show that the negligence of the at-fault party caused or contributed to your accident.
Evaluate Your Damages
You must quantify your damages when filing a claim. A dollar figure for your losses can be arrived at using prior case value research, medical care receipts, vehicle repair invoices, and any proof of income that you lost because of your injuries. Call Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. for assistance with evaluating your losses. We can be reached at (631) 451-7900. Our Patchogue car accident lawyers can evaluate all of your accident-related damages so that you can include relevant damages in your personal injury claim.
Understand Personal Injury Insurance
After identifying the at-fault party, gathering evidence to prove their fault, and evaluating your damages, you need to break down the different insurance coverages that may apply to your accident.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), all vehicles in New York must generally have:
- $10,000 in property damage coverage per accident
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage and $50,000 for death of one person
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage and $100,000 for the death of two or more people per accident
If you were involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver or were struck by a hit-and-run driver, you can make a claim against your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy–if you have one–to cover some of your losses as well. Additionally, if there is no available coverage, a claim can be made against New York’s Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).
Filing a Lawsuit
Once you have completed all of the steps above, you are ready to file a lawsuit. You generally have three years in which to do so, but certain exceptions can apply that may shorten this deadline, such as if you are suing a municipality, or when bringing a wrongful death claim.
Contact Us to Learn More
Contact Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. to learn more about filing a lawsuit, gathering evidence, or identifying the at-fault party responsible for your accident. We provide services in Spanish as well, and our team can be reached at (631) 451-7900. Our Patchogue car accident lawyers can help you with all of the steps above, and we look forward to assisting you with your case.