Dealing with a car accident can be challenging. They occur abruptly, and the stress or adrenaline rush can obscure your rational thought process. You may be dealing with severe property damage and/or injuries at the moment following the catastrophe.
You may have to make difficult decisions if you are the victim. Knowing what to do when involved in a motor vehicle accident will make recovery more accessible, whether you are at fault or not. Deciding whether to deal with the liable party’s insurance company or to sue them depends on several factors.
A successful personal injury suit requires proof that you suffered non-economic or economic damages due to the other party’s negligence. Find a car accident attorney with auto accident expertise to help you establish who is at fault and whether you should pursue a personal injury suit.
Types of Car Accidents
Car crashes occur in many ways and may cause severe injuries and fatalities. They may also lead to damages that result in financial losses. Understanding the various types of accidents may help you build a stronger case and potentially recover compensation for the damages incurred.
The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that some of the fatal collisions are:
- Rear-end collisions, which account for 5 percent of severe injuries
- Side-impact collisions, which cause approximately 23 percent of fatal injuries
- Head-on crashes account for 58 percent of highway fatalities
- Other forms of collisions, primarily rollover crashes, account for 5 percent of inoperable injuries
A Long Island car crash lawyer will help you determine the best approach to seek the compensation you deserve after a collision. They will also explain the fundamentals of New York Car Insurance laws and the steps you need to take to cover income losses, medical care, and more.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident on Long Island?
The first thing you should do after a car crash on Long Island is to prioritize your well-being and health. Seek medical attention and get your injuries treated within a few minutes, hours, or days after the crash. In severe cases, you may require surgery, hospitalization, and other therapies to ensure your well-being as much as possible.
Once your health is stable or the doctors stabilize your loved one’s injuries, consider the next steps. The hospital will inform you about the medical bills within a few days or weeks after the collision. What if you or your loved one are not able to pay them? Here are some options.
Hire a Car Crash Attorney
A Long Island car accident attorney will help you regain peace of mind.
Most law firms offer a free consultation where you can:
- Discuss how they can help you
- Explain integral details about New York’s insurance claims process
- Assess your medical needs and injuries to highlight your legal options
- Talk about the potential outcomes of your case
- Respond to any questions about their services and your case
- Explain payment terms and how they work
The consultation with your car accident attorney will give you a better idea of the next best steps. It will help you understand the legal process and provide you with confidence that you have someone to advocate for fair compensation.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Case
While the lawyer may also help with the PIP claim, their primary focus is proving the other party’s liability due to negligence. This will play a pivotal role in holding the at-fault motorist legally responsible for the damages and losses.
The four critical elements of proving negligence include:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
An attorney will investigate specific factors about the accident and document the above elements depending on your case facts.
Allow your Attorney to Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Your attorney will provide strong evidence and demand compensation from the negligent party’s insurance provider. The insurer may also investigate the collision independently, looking for premises to deny or decrease the payout.
The lawyer has the legal power to reject low offers and propose an offer that concurs with the estimated fair settlement range. This process proceeds until the case goes to trial or a settlement agreement.
What Are Some Reasons to Sue Another Driver?
Minor accidents can produce substantial damages and injuries. Seek immediate medical attention even if you believe you are fine. Some injuries do not present themselves for weeks after the accident. Even minor accidents may impose extra costs on you after some time, which makes it essential to get a medical evaluation shortly after the crash.
You may benefit from a personal injury suit if the physician establishes that you suffered injuries due to the crash and the losses exceed your no-fault policy.
Pursuing legal action against another driver, even after a minor accident, may help you get compensation for property damages, medical bills, or the stress resulting from the incident. You should consider a lawsuit if the negligent party or their insurance firm fails to compensate you fairly and your attorney present sufficient evidence to support your claim.
A knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney will brief you on what to expect from the settlement process and may help you receive compensation if the negligent party’s insurance company’s offer does not resonate with your expectations.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
It is difficult to establish the worth of a claim without presenting specific details about your injuries or the crash. Several factors can alter the potential settlement value of a car accident claim on Long Island, including your medical expenses, the severity of injuries, and other losses and costs incurred.
No two crashes are the same, even if they cause similar injuries or occur similarly. Treatment costs will vary, as well as other factors such as long-term medical needs, income losses, and other significant case facts.
A Long Island car accident lawyer will help you build a strong case, identify and document losses and expenses, and fight for fair financial compensation through a lawsuit or settlement.
Your payout depends on several legal options. The severity of your injuries will also play a pivotal role in the potential recovery range.
Recoverable damages after a fault-based claim may include:
- Pain and suffering and other intangible damages
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Diminished earning capacity due to injuries sustained
- Lost earnings for time spent away from work
- Ongoing or future care and support costs
- Medical expenses and associated costs surpass your PIP coverage
Your lawyer will gather evidence to build a case to help determine recoverable damages.
Some of these documents may include:
- Expert statements about your prognosis, future costs, and care needs
- Relevant medical records
- Medical bills
- Outcomes and information from previous cases
A Long Island car accident lawyer will use their experience in similar suits and evidence to estimate a fair settlement that covers all your losses and expenses. They can use these estimates to negotiate a settlement and demand fair compensation from the insurer.
Suing the Negligent Party
Consider a negligence lawsuit if you have made an insurance claim but have not received an offer for the compensation you deserve. As a motorist, you have the legal right to sue the other driver if you sustained injuries due to the negligent actions of another party.
Most states have restrictions on suing an insurance company unless they fail to honor a claim or act in bad faith. If you filed a suit with the at-fault party’s insurance claim and your lawyer negotiated extensively but refused to compensate you, filing a lawsuit may be the best option.
You can sue the at-fault party personally if they do not have insurance coverage. However, drivers who do not carry insurance coverage often do not have sufficient personal funds or assets to pay for the damages and injuries. In this case, you should consider your insurance coverage for further assistance.
If you hold uninsured motorist coverage, you could file a claim with your policy to help recover the damages. Sometimes, the provider may refuse to settle a claim even if you pay premiums for your insurance coverage. Discuss with your Long Island car accident attorney the possibility of a lawsuit against the company.
Some insurance companies may worsen an unpleasant situation, especially if you have suffered injuries. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys as one of the first steps to help you recover compensation for your damages.
How Do Lawsuits and Insurance Claims Work?
The victim of a car crash typically files an insurance claim after the accident in an attempt to receive compensation for incurred damages. However, the insurance provider may not cover injuries like emotional distress, lost wages, and medical care costs. This does not imply that you cannot hold the negligent party liable for vehicle-related damages or other expenses.
You must prove fault to hold the at-fault party liable for vehicle replacement or repair costs, injuries, and other losses.
This process requires you to verify that:
- The driver was legally obliged to follow specific rules
- They failed to uphold this and caused the accident
- The accident resulted in some injuries
- The non-economic and economic damages sustained
Please consult one of our experienced car accident attorneys to ensure the insurance company does not undervalue your claim. They will help you secure and preserve vital evidence that may help you get compensation.
Insurance providers do not always make sufficient settlement offers to car crash victims. Even when they have plenty of evidence of damages and liability, adjusters mainly offer an amount lower than what you deserve.
You do not have to get any compensation or accept a low settlement offer since the law gives you the right to file a suit. The legal process is time-consuming for insurance providers, so they may raise their offer if you sue them. There is a heightened risk that an insurance company may lose track of a case if it proceeds to trial, which inspires them to reclaim control by compensating you for what you deserve.
Hiring a lawyer provides crucial leverage in such claims. Proper legal representation gives you oversight on the claims process, may help you get a reasonable offer, and ultimately eliminate the need for a lawsuit. However, this is not always the case because greedy and stubborn insurers force clients to file a suit to get the compensation they deserve.
When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident
If your lawyer believes that a lawsuit is appropriate in your case, the time factor comes into play. New York law provides that you have three years to file the initial complaint. This is the statute of limitations on New York’s personal injury claims. However, there are exceptions to this rule, giving you a shorter duration.
For instance, if a city worker is involved in a collision with a work vehicle, you will sue the municipality for the settlement you deserve based on its liability insurance policy. The deadline in such a case will be shorter, hence the need to act quickly to get the help of an attorney and initiate the legal process.
Contact a Car Crash Attorney on Long Island to Manage your Car Accident Claim
Hiring an experienced car crash attorney allows you to focus on your recovery while they work to get you the compensation you deserve. An attorney benefits your case by negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company. Insurers tend to offer lowball payments to accident victims to avoid paying the actual value of damages.
A Long Island car accident attorney will gather sufficient evidence of the at-fault party’s negligence and represent you in court if the insurance company fails to provide a fair settlement. Contact a car accident attorney for a free consultation.