A motor vehicle accident can be devastating for those involved. You could lose your health, your abilities and your occupation. While New York is a no-fault coverage state, this does not mean that you cannot receive financial compensation after an accident. In many cases, medical bills, property loss, and other damages can exceed the $50,000 limit available in car accident claims under no-fault policies.
If your bills exceed your policy limit, you should speak to a car accident law firm as soon as possible. Working with car accident lawyers can help ensure you receive a settlement that helps you recover from your accident.
The Impact of Auto Accidents
In the U.S., about 38,000 people die every year in a motor vehicle crash, resulting in $55 billion in medical and work loss expenses. Even accidents without fatalities can cost individuals thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands of dollars. When you’re in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve to have your expenses covered.
Medical costs can devastate individuals and families. After a car accident, there are various injuries that a victim may face. To be hit with crippling medical expenses because of someone’s negligence can add insult to injury.
There are several common injuries you may face when it comes to motor vehicle injuries. These injuries include:
Neck and back injuries
The rapid back and forth force your body undergoes during an accident can lead to disc ruptures in your spine. Neck and back injuries can limit your mobility and cause severe pain. If you experience consistent pain following an accident, you may have a herniated disc. While some injuries can be permanent, even temporary injuries can take weeks or months to recover from.
Whiplash occurs because of rapid back and forth movement. The movement causes a strain on the muscles and ligaments in your neck. Whiplash can be a severe injury that takes several weeks to recover from. In rare instances, whiplash can result in chronic pain.
In an accident, your body may collide with other parts of your car. This puts your entire body under stress. For instance, your arm can become pinned against the door, or your ribs could suffer a break due to the force of the seatbelt. While broken bones rarely result in permanent injuries, you may require surgery. After a break, you may need a month or more of rest to recover fully.
If you hit your head during a motor vehicle accident, it may result in a concussion. Concussions can affect your ability to remember an accident or short-term memory. Other head injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBI). A TBI may affect the way your brain functions or processes information and emotion. Unfortunately, severe TBI’s can become a chronic health problem.
Motor vehicle accidents can cause damage to your organs. When your organs become damaged, they may bleed. Internal bleeding can be life-threatening if not treated as soon as possible. Our car accident attorneys will understand the various and most common car accident injuries. Knowing the injuries and having experience in settlements for these injuries can benefit your case.
When it comes to car accident repair costs, minor repairs may range from $300 to $800. At the same time, accident damage that affects the car’s driveability may cost as much as $6,000. Frame damage and engine damage can cost as much as $10,000. When it comes to totaled vehicles, it can cost you as much as the car’s worth, if not more. Unfortunately, you may owe more on your car than the car is worth in some cases.
If a driver has collision insurance, his or her insurance will pay for the damages. Collision insurance may pay for repairs or replacement costs for totaled cars. Drivers who do not have collision insurance cannot use their insurance to pay for repairs. Additionally, some drivers who have collision insurance do not have enough coverage.
During your recovery, you may be unable to work. You may have to think about a complete career change in some instances, mainly if your accident caused a disability. On top of medical bills, lost wages can be devastating. This is especially true if you have to take weeks or months off of work to heal or focus on your injury. Losing income can make it even more challenging to pay for the costs of the accident. Like other damages, lost wages are a significant impact of a collision.
Steps to Take Following a Car Accident
Following a car accident, it is natural to feel overwhelmed. A personal injury claim may be far from your mind even if you know that the other driver is at fault and caused your injuries. In New York, you only have three years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. On top of the time limit, you may be losing money every day that you do not file. With mounting medical bills and property damage, you deserve to have compensation as soon as possible.
Take Care of Your Well Being
You should always take priority following an accident. Receive medical attention as possible. For severe injuries, follow the instructions of the paramedics. Even if you do not feel you have suffered any severe injuries, you should see a doctor following the accident.
Some injuries do not manifest with symptoms until a few days later and some may not reveal themselves for longer. Injuries like traumatic brain injuries and internal bleeding may go unnoticed, despite potentially fatal if left untreated.
Document Your Accident
To file a personal injury claim, you need to keep documentation of the accident. Know the officers who arrived at the scene. Document their names and badge numbers. You also need to obtain a copy of the accident report. Your insurance company may ask for one in some cases, but you need one if you plan to file a claim. If you aren’t sure how to obtain a copy, your car accident attorney can help you get the copy from the police department.
If possible, take pictures of the accident. If you could not take pictures, find out if anyone else took the pictures. Friends, family members, witnesses, and the other driver may have photos of the accident. You should also have photos of your vehicle from different angles.
You may also want to obtain images of the accident scene following the accident. If there were witnesses, make sure you have names and contact information. Witnesses may be able to tell the story of your accident better than you can.
Contact a Car Accident Law Firm
As soon as possible, contact a car accident lawyer. Working with a car accident firm may ensure that you do not receive unfair treatment from your insurance company. Filing a personal injury claim can be complex and overwhelming, but with the assistance of an attorney, you can take a step back and breathe, knowing you’re being taken care of.
Notify Your Insurer
Your insurance company is contractually obligated to provide you with the coverage promised. You need to speak with your insurance company to report an accident. You should talk to your insurance company as quickly as possible. However, you may want to speak to a car accident lawyer first to learn what to say to the adjuster. For example, you never want to comment on how you feel because the company could use it against you for the money you receive.
Why Hire a Long Island, NY Car Accident Law Firm?
After an accident, you may wonder whether it is worth it to hire an accident firm. If you’re worried about the cost, keep in mind that personal injury lawyers do not ask for payment until you receive your settlement. Most work for a contingency fee, which means they receive a percentage of your settlement.
If you do not have legal training, you probably do not know the New York laws that pertain to car accidents. On the other hand, your lawyer does understand how no-fault insurance states work. When most people hear that New York is a no-fault state, they may believe they cannot receive compensation or file a personal injury claim against the other driver. Your lawyer can explain how you can file a claim and demand a settlement for your injuries and damages.
Insurance Company Experience
If this is your first time dealing with an insurance company after an accident, you may not know what to expect. If you do not have legal representation when dealing with an insurance company, you could lose the amount of compensation you deserve. The insurance adjuster is interested in profit rather than compensating you for the total amount you deserve. The attorney has dealt with insurance companies before and will know how to handle negotiations to ensure that you receive the compensation that fits the accident.
Car Crash Claim Experience
If the claim goes to court, a car accident attorney knows how to prove liability. To establish fault is complex, but the lawyer can show that the other driver owed you a duty of care, that the driver breached his or her responsibility and that you suffered injuries as a result. In some instances, you may require an expert witness to determine how the car accident happened or whether a defect in the vehicle was the cause.
To build your case, your lawyer will look through all of the evidence, including photographs, video evidence from security cameras, accident reports, medical records, and statements from witnesses.
Types of Car Accident Compensation
There are various damages you may suffer following a car accident. While most people understand you can ask for medical expenses and property damage, they may not know what other forms of compensation they can ask for, such as punitive damages and pain and suffering.
To receive punitive damages, the other driver needs to act with complete disregard for your health or safety. Proving that a person acted willfully and wantonly has a higher standard than other personal injury cases. In-car accident cases, driving under influence (DUI) cases may allow for punitive damages. The driver willfully drank and put other lives in danger by driving when it comes to DUI.
Punitive damages are provided by the court but tend to occur only in rare cases. Generally, the court will look at similar cases to determine punitive damages.
Pain and Suffering
While you may have heard of pain and suffering, many car accident victims do not understand what it means. It sometimes has a bad reputation for being frivolous, but it is far from reality. Those who have permanent disabilities or severe emotional distress often ask for pain and suffering. The question you may have is how your lawyer can calculate the pain and suffering compensation you deserve?
To calculate pain and suffering, most use a multiplier. The multiplier is between 1.5 and 5. The number measures the seriousness of your pain and suffering. For example, if you suffer serious injuries that result in disability, your number may be five or higher. With the multiplier in mind, the car accident lawyer multiplies it by the medical expenses and other damages to determine the amount of pain and suffering you deserve.
Schedule an Appointment with Car Accident Attorneys on Long Island, NY Today
After a car accident, it is normal to feel lost and worry about how much you can recover. Between medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, you may not know where to turn. At Silverstein & Kahn P.C., we are committed to our clients. We have the resources to ensure you receive the maximum possible recovery in your car accident case.
We are prepared to sit down with you and discuss your options for a personal injury claim. Consult with our NYC car accident attorneys today to find out how we can assist you in your recovery.