Long Island Car Accident Lawyer

Auto Accidents

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.

When to Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Long Island

Usually it is best to contact an attorney after a car accident, just to be sure you understand your rights.  Sometimes, retaining the attorney will not be needed.   For instance, if the property damage is minimal and all involved parties have been cleared by a doctor for having no injuries, you probably do not need to hire an attorney.  But in most cases, it will never hurt to talk to a lawyer, especially since most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. You will want to call a lawyer as soon as possible after the wreck, just so you are fully aware of your rights and whether to consider legal action. You should absolutely contact a Long Island car accident lawyer once you get a settlement offer from the insurance company. During a free consultation, the attorney can evaluate your case, including the offer, and let you know if they can get you greater compensation. However, once you accept the offer, you give up your right to seek further compensation.

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

What Your Lawyer Will Help You Prove After Your Accident

After your car accident, your lawyer will most likely try to prove the legal theory of negligence. In very few instances, your wreck may have been caused by the intentional actions of someone else. But most likely, it will be caused by someone acting in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t — which is the basis of negligence.

Elements of a Car Accident Case in Long Island

If your accident was potentially caused by negligence, your lawyer will need to prove four distinct but related elements. These include:

  • An established duty of care: Every driver has a duty of care to drive carefully, follow all traffic laws, and take all reasonable steps to avoid causing wrecks.
  • A breach of duty of care: If a driver doesn’t follow their duty of care, and they cause injuries, they may be held negligent. However, if the wreck is caused by an unforeseeable event that no reasonable person could have avoided, they may not be held responsible.
  • Injuries caused by the wreck: Any injuries you sustained must be caused directly by the other driver’s actions. For example, if you have a broken arm, and the condition is not made worse by the car wreck, you can’t sue for that injury.
  • Real compensable damages: Finally, you must have real damages that can be compensated. This may include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

Steps You Can Take to Support Your Car Accident Case

There are quite a few ways you can derail your car accident case. Obviously, you don’t want to do anything that could jeopardize your right to compensation. Here are a few steps you can take to support your car accident case:

  1. Take your doctor’s orders seriously: If your doctor orders you to stay off your feet, stay off your feet. Take your medicines. Follow through with your treatment plans. If you don’t obey your doctor’s orders, you could not only make your injuries worse, but you could also give the defendant ammunition to say you were never really injured in the first place.
  2. Let your lawyer know any time the insurance company contacts you: Your insurance company is looking for any reason to not give you the compensation you deserve. If you get any forms to fill out, a settlement offer or other correspondence from the insurer, run it by your lawyer. If they call asking questions, let them know they can talk to your attorney.
  3. Avoid talking about your case: Many of us have the bad habit of posting everything about our lives on social media. If you post about your case on social media or talk to people about it, you could put your compensation at risk. For example, if you post a picture of you having a beer with the guys, and you’re supposed to be taking medicine that shouldn’t interact with alcohol, the defense could claim you weren’t injured and never needed medical attention in the first place.

Steps Your Attorney May Take to Investigate Your Case

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.

Getting Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries

Every car accident case is different, so the amount of compensation available after a wreck is also different. However, compensation, or damages, is broken down into two general categories: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages pertain to real money you lost as a result of the wreck, such as lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and more. Noneconomic damages pertain to the intangible losses you suffered. This may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, and more. Noneconomic damages are more difficult to prove, but an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer can help you determine how much compensation you’re owed. It’s important to note that not all car accident cases qualify for greater compensation, thanks to New York’s no-fault insurance laws.

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:

No-Fault Insurance

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

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.

Don’t Give a Written Statement Without Talking to Your Lawyer

After a wreck, you may be asked to provide a written statement to the insurance company. Never do so without speaking to an attorney first! Just like on phone calls, the insurance company is looking for ways to reduce the amount they pay out to you. Your Long Island car accident attorney can help you fill out insurance forms and provide statements as needed without hurting your case.

New York Car Crash Statistics

  • Total Crashes
  • Crashes with Injuries
  • Crashes with Property Damage

Types of Car Accident Cases Sarisohn, Carner & DeVita Handles

Car accidents can take many different shapes and forms. Some of the most common types of car accident cases our lawyers handle include:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • T-bone collisions
  • Sideswipes
  • Rollovers
  • Highway accidents
  • Intersection accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Chain-reaction accidents

And many more. Safe to say, if an accident is caused by another driver’s actions or negligence, we have successfully handled those types of cases.

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.

Common Injuries After a Serious Car Accident

Serious car accidents often result in severe, and potentially life-threatening, injuries. Some of the most common injuries after a serious car accident include:

  • Broken bones in the arms and legs
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spine, back and neck injuries
  • Organ punctures and other wounds
  • Broken face bones
  • Broken ribs
  • Lacerations and bruises
  • Burn injuries
  • And more

How Common Are Car Accidents in Long Island?

On average from 2012 to 2014, there were more than 27,000 annual emergency room visits due to car accidents in Suffolk County and Nassau County. There were also about 2,500 annual hospitalizations, and about 200 annual deaths. Most commonly, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists are the ones ending up in the hospital for their injuries.

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.

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