In car accident cases, the state of New York follows the principle of comparative negligence or comparative fault. According to the principle of comparative negligence, an injured driver can recover compensation for damages even if he or she is mostly at fault in a car accident. However, the amount of compensation an injured driver is eligible to receive will be reduced by the percentage of his or her fault.
For example, if you suffer $100,000 in damages but are deemed 70 percent at fault, the most you could recover is $30,000; alternatively, if you are found 40 percent at fault, the most you could recover is $60,000. As a result, insurance companies have a vested interest in shifting as much blame for an accident as they can onto you, the injured driver. The system also means that you have a vested interest in reducing your share of fault for a car crash, and the best way to do that is to team up with experienced Holtsville car accident attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-451-7900
INVESTIGATING CAR ACCIDENTS TO DETERMINE FAULT
After a car accident in Holtsville, most insurance companies will use internal accident investigators to determine what happened — especially in serious accidents where fatalities or catastrophic head trauma and spinal cord injuries have occurred. Additionally, a claims adjuster will likely call an injured person, often under the guise of trying to find out more about an accident. In many cases, the adjuster will try to gain the confidence of the injured person only to begin asking questions about what happened or the person’s injuries. You may be asked if you were wearing your seat belt, how fast you were going, if the sun was in your eyes, what you remember about the accident, etc.
The purpose of these questions is to collect information that can be used later to shift more or the entire fault for the accident onto you, the injured driver. Since insurance companies must first ask if they can record a call, they may tell you the conversation is being recorded for any number of reasons — training, quality assurance purposes or to make a record for internal reasons. If you consent to have the phone conversation recorded, your answers can be used later in court if your case goes to trial. Again, in many cases, insurers are simply looking for anything that might justify shifting more fault onto you, the injured driver.
Speaking with insurance adjusters after a serious Holtsville car crash is part of the claims process, but you should prepare for such a phone call in a number of ways. The most important step is to hire a skilled Holtsville car accident attorney to represent your interests and help you prepare for the questions that will be asked to you by the insurance agent. Also, remember the following bits of general advice when speaking to any representative of the opposing driver’s insurance company.
- Never admit fault for the accident, even a simple apology.
- Limit your responses as much as possible.
- Do not volunteer information unnecessarily.
- End the conversation if you feel pressured at any point.
HOW TO PROTECT MYSELF AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
You can be reasonably sure that after a car accident, the other driver’s insurer will begin the process of investigating what happened and trying to keep from paying out any more than they absolutely have to. If you hire a personal injury attorney in Holtsville to represent you, insurers must go through your lawyer and leave you alone. Not only does this help protect you from claims adjusters looking for anything they can use against you later, but it also means you’ll have someone fighting for your rights and interests.
Depending on the nature of the car accident, your attorney may begin his or her own investigation into what happened, collecting eyewitness testimony and other evidence important to your case. As a result, your attorney can take steps to make it more difficult for insurers to place a majority of the blame onto you.
The Work of Holtsville Car Accident Lawyers
In addition to collecting and preserving evidence of the opposing driver’s fault in a Holtsville car accident, attorneys can assist your claim in a number of different ways. For example, the lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck can connect with expert witnesses who can testify about the nature of your injuries, gather testimony from accident reconstructionists, work out an acceptable settlement in pre-trial negotiations, and more.
As local attorneys, we also have a strong sense of the way that local courts, judges, opposing counsel, and juries tend to act in these cases. This enables us to create better plans regarding how to proceed with your claim, and make better predictions of probable outcomes in your case, than out-of-town attorneys.
CONTACT HOLTSVILLE, NEW YORK, CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS ROSENBERG & GLUCK
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t wait until the insurance company has offered you an inadequate settlement — contact personal injury attorneys or call (888) 5454-2993 today. We can evaluate your case during a free consultation and help protect your rights and interests.
In some cases, injured people wait too long to contact an attorney because they fear having to pay for legal representation. At Rosenberg & Gluck, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not collect a fee unless we win your compensation for you. The peace of knowing that your Holtsville car accident claim is being handled by experienced professionals should not be reserved only for the wealthy. Let our attorneys manage your claim for you so that you and your family can focus on recovering from your injuries and restoring your life to its usual routine.