Long Island Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident can happen to anyone, even the most careful, responsible driver. Although you can't plan when an accident will happen, knowing what to do after you are involved in an accident can mean the difference between a smooth recovery and a life changed for the worst.
We at Sarisohn, Carner & DeVita want you to be aware of your rights after an auto accident. The proper legal strategy can put you in the best position possible to make a full medical and financial recovery.
If you’ve been injured in a wreck, call us today at 631-543-7070 or contact us online to speak with one of our Long Island car accident lawyers. Your first consultation is always free, and there’s no obligation to hire us after the consultation.
How You Can Benefit From Having a Long Island Car Accident Lawyer
Many people feel lost and aren’t sure who to turn to after an auto accident. Working with a personal injury lawyer can give you that support you seek. We will be your personal legal advisor who’s always on your side and wants to look out for your legal rights.
Insurance companies have their own set of interests at heart. A liability insurer you file a third-party claim with will try to pay out as small of a settlement as possible. They may also make misleading statements as to your rights and the best course of action for you to take.
While not every car accident will require the services of a personal injury attorney, injured parties can greatly benefit from having an advisor and legal representative in many situations.
You Should Consider Contacting a Long Island Car Accident Lawyer If:
- You have been injured personally
- Your property has been significantly damaged
- The other driver was uninsured at the time of the accident
- Someone makes a claim against you after the accident
- The party or insurers you’re attempting to make a claim against deny responsibility
- You have any questions about your legal rights or want to know the optimal legal strategy to maximize your potential compensation
Get a Free Consultation Regarding Your Claim, Contact Us Today
How Insurance Works After Your Car Accident
There are two types of insurance you will typically need to rely on after you have been injured or sustain significant personal property damage in a car accident:
Regardless of who is at fault in an auto accident, New York State Insurance law provides that basic No-Fault benefits will cover*:
- reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses;
- 80% of lost earnings with a maximum of $2,000 per month for 3 years;
- up to $25.00 a day for one year for specific expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
*(up to your policy limit and subject to certain limitations and exclusions)
New York State mandates that motorists carry a minimum of $25,000 in no-fault personal coverage.
Individuals can also add a Supplemental Uninsured Motorist Coverage endorsement to this policy to protect themselves in the event that they’re injured by someone with no insurance coverage or an insufficient coverage limit. Since this type of coverage is for your direct benefit, all automobile owners should carefully review these provisions of their policy. We would be happy to explain and assist with a free consultation.
Liability insurance claims are third-party claims available to those “seriously injured” in a car accident with another driver who is allegedly at fault for the incident. Unlike other states, New York requires claimants to meet the minimum standing for damages by having a “serious” injury.
There are many different kinds of injuries which fall into the category of "serious injury," so assessing whether a particular injury is "serious" is best left to review and consultation with your attorney.
New York State mandates that all motorists carry minimum liability coverage of $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons and $10,000 for property damage, per accident.
When Is a Lawsuit Necessary?
In New York State, an automobile accident victim retains the right to sue a negligent driver or vehicle owner for:
- Medical expenses and economic losses exceeding $50,000
- "Pain and suffering" if the accident causes disfigurement or other serious injuries
- Accidents that resulted in death
Negligent drivers include drivers who breached their duty of care to others on the road by making bad decisions that directly lead to harm. Examples of negligent driver actions include:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous aspects of driving on the road today. In 2016, there were more than 3,100 fatal accidents caused by distracted driving. New York has passed a hands-free law in an effort to prevent people from using their cell phones while driving. However, there are many more distractions than just cell phones. Passengers, the radio, and even billboards can distract drivers.
- Speeding: Speed limits are posted to tell people what speed is safe when driving on a specific road. Unfortunately, they aren’t always followed. In 2018, 200 accidents involved speeding resulted in a fatality. Despite laws that can heavily punish speeding drivers, speeding remains a constant problem of the roads, and those who drive too fast can cause serious accidents.
- Intoxicated/impaired driving: Though distracted driving has become a serious problem, drunk driving is statistically much worse. In 2017, 30% of all fatal accidents in New York involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Of course, alcohol isn’t the only way a driver may be impaired. Illicit drugs may cause a driver’s senses to slow down and cause a collision.
- Following too closely (Tailgating): We’ve all been stuck behind drivers who insist on driving below the speed limit or otherwise too slowly for our taste. This can cause tailgating, or following a driver too closely. Tailgating is highly dangerous. If the driver in front suddenly brakes, you will have little to no time to react.
- Illegal driving maneuvers: There are a variety of illegal driving maneuvers that can cause serious accidents. For instance, making an illegal U-turn or blowing a stop sign can put a car directly in the line of oncoming cars. Different illegal driving maneuvers carry different penalties, but for many, the convenience of making the maneuver outweighs the penalty or risk involved.
- Drowsy driving: Driving when you’re tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Your senses are dulled, and your reaction time is much slower. However, many don’t consider drowsy driving all that dangerous. After all, we’ve all driven home after a long night out. The truth is drowsy driving accounts for tens of thousands of car accidents a year.
- Texting and driving: Texting and driving is a form of distracted driving, and is specifically forbidden by New York law. However, many New York drivers ignore these laws, especially young people. When you’re driving 55 miles an hour, you can cover the distance of a football field while your eyes are off the road when you’re reading a single text. In addition, texting also takes your mind off the task of driving.
- Improper prescription or over-the-counter drug use: Just because a drug isn’t being used illegally, doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous for drivers. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs come with side effect warnings. Any drugs that warn against using heavy machinery, or say they can cause drowsiness, should never be taken before operating a vehicle.
How The Sarisohn, Carner & DeVita Long Island Personal Injury Team Can Help You
When you are injured, your needs and the full enforcement of your rights are our #1 priority.
After you receive your free consultation and decide to utilize our services, one of our experienced Long Island car accident attorneys will meet with you to explain your rights and how to best protect your interests. We can come to you at home or in the hospital, if necessary.
Your attorney team will investigate the facts of your case and determine the strength of any claim that you may have. By speaking with witnesses and performing meticulous legal research, they will uncover the full facts of your case and build a strong claim for a settlement amount that accurately reflects your current and future damages.
Our firm will make sure that all legal papers are filed properly and on-time. There are many different deadlines that you must meet when filing a claim. If you miss a deadline, you may be barred from filing a claim to collect money for your injuries.
Your attorney will aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and others to make sure that you are properly compensated for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost time from work and other expenses associated with the accident.
Sometimes a trial is the only way to obtain the compensation that you deserve. If your case does go to trial, we will vigorously act on your behalf. You can count on our considerable expertise.
Our team of Long Island car accident lawyers is standing by to help you. Contact us online or give us a call at 631-543-7070 for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your rights.
If you’re injured in a car accident in New York, you may be able to sue the person who caused the accident. This may be another driver who hit your vehicle or a pedestrian or bicyclist who forced you to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting them. You may also be able to sue the car manufacturer if a faulty vehicle caused your accident.
New York is a no-fault insurance state. This means you must carry an auto insurance policy that will cover your medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses up to your coverage limits. However, because of this, you can only file a lawsuit for greater compensation if you suffered a “serious injury,” such as significant disfigurement, broken bones, disability and more. However, you can sue the other driver for property damage without meeting these criteria.
Hit and run accidents aren’t as big of an issue in New York as they are in other states in regards to compensation because of no-fault insurance. This means your insurer will pay for your medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, up to your policy limits. However, to recover compensation for property damage, you will need to use your uninsured/underinsured insurance policy. If you don’t have this type of insurance, you may not be able to get compensation after a hit and run.
Just like in any personal injury case, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer by your side. A qualified New York car accident attorney can help you in a variety of ways. For instance, they may be able to help prove that you suffered serious injury, or ensure that you file your lawsuit within New York’s three-year statute of limitations. They can also help file the necessary documents with the court, or let you know if you don’t have a qualifying case.
You are required to report an accident to your insurance provider, even if you aren’t at fault. If you don’t, you could face serious consequences, such as having your coverage dropped. When you call your insurer, you will want to provide only the basic information. This includes the other driver’s contact and insurance information; the date, time and location of the accident; and the responding law enforcement agency. They will be looking for ways to offer minimal compensation, so the less you say, the better.
If you are unable to work, you can be compensated for lost wages. This type of compensation falls under your no-fault insurance coverage. Your insurance provider should compensate you for 80% of your wages up to $2,000 per month. In addition, if you are disabled because of the wreck, the state of New York will compensate you for half your wages, up to $170 per week.