According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), almost 435,000 automobile accidents happened in New York in 2018. Nearly 30% of those crashes involved at least one injury. Westchester County alone reported 20,595 auto accidents in 2018.
Car accidents can be very traumatic and cause serious injuries. A compassionate White Plains car accident attorney from Morelli Law Firm will be on your side if you or a loved one have suffered injuries in an accident. You have the right to file a claim against the driver who caused the crash.
Determining Negligence in Car Crash Cases
After a car crash, your case will need evidence to prove the other driver’s liability for your injuries and other damages. Indications that a driver could be found negligent in a car crash include:
- Issuance of a traffic ticket: A traffic ticket issued to the negligent driver by a police officer can be a key piece of evidence to prove reckless behavior prior to the crash.
- Distracted driving: If the other driver was eating, using a smartphone, or talking to passengers, they may not have had their full attention on the road.
- Driving under the influence: Even if the other driver did not violate New York’s DUI laws with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, your lawyer can argue that drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash.
- Faulty vehicle maintenance: Not maintaining a car properly, such as driving on unsafe tires or failing to fix burned-out brake lights, can cause an accident.
Other Negligent Parties
There is no law prohibiting you from citing more than one individual as negligent in your car accident case. For example, if the street where the crash occurred was in poor condition and it played a role in the accident, you may be able to add the road department to your claim.
Your lawyer can help you decide how to proceed with your personal injury case. After studying the facts of the case, they can determine exactly what happened and who should be held responsible for your accident.
Possible negligent parties who helped cause your injuries can include people and organizations like:
- Government offices
- Trucking companies (if you were involved in a truck accident)
- Defective car part manufacturers
- Car repair shops
There is also an outside possibility that you can sue an alcoholic beverage establishment if your accident was caused by a drunk driver. According to New York’s Dram Shop Act under N.Y. Gen. Oblig. Law § 11-100, places that serve alcohol can be held liable for damages caused by drunk driver if:
- The driver who was served alcohol was underage, or
- The driver who was served alcohol was visibly intoxicated at the time they were served.
The best way to determine all the available parties who might be negligent in your accident, and who may owe you compensation for your injuries, is to discuss your case with experienced car accident attorneys.
Types of Evidence White Plains Car Accident Attorneys Use
There are many avenues your White Plains car accident attorney can take to show the negligence of the other party or parties in your crash. Often, we use testimony from eyewitnesses and accident reconstruction experts to help prove the causes of the accident. Additional evidence may come in the form of:
- Official police records of the crash
- Footage of the wreck from nearby traffic or surveillance cameras
- Results of blood or breath tests for DUIs
However, negligence is only one element that you must prove in order to get the compensation you deserve. Your attorney also needs to show evidence of all your damages. This can include pay stubs showing lost wages due to injury, medical records of the extent of your injury, testimony from friends and family, your own testimony, and more.
Unfortunately, evidence can be lost over time. The car crash scene will be cleaned up, eyewitness memories can become muddled, and records can be lost the longer you wait to discuss your case with an attorney. To ensure that your lawyer has as much evidence as possible, call our lawyers soon after your wreck occurs.
White Plains Car Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
New York State Laws for Car Accident Claims
With the help of a car accident lawyer in While Plains, you can be advised of any relevant New York state laws that could impact how much compensation you receive and if you have time to file your lawsuit. Here are the laws that will affect your claim:
If you are at fault for some portion of the car accident, you can still pursue legal action. New York’s comparative negligence law states that your settlement or award will be adjusted by the percentage that you are found to be at fault for the accident by the judge or jury.
For example, if it is determined that the accident was 20% your fault and you were to be awarded $500,000, your final award will be $400,000.
Statute of Limitations
According to New York Civil Law §214.4, victims of personal injury claims have three years from date of their accident to file a claim with the court system. Your lawyer can advise you of any circumstantial factors that could extend this deadline for your case.
New York Is a No-Fault State
The New York No-Fault Law requires car insurance companies to provide compensation for medical expenses, loss of income and other incidental non-medical expenses to anyone who sustains personal injuries arising from an accident, regardless of fault.
The minimum amount of coverage required by New York law is $50,000 per injured person, but the insurance policy can provide a greater amount. This law also does not prevent you from also taking legal action against the liable party and collecting reimbursement for your damages.
What You Can Get Compensation for in a Car Accident Lawsuit
After being in a car accident, it’s imperative that you seek medical care for your injuries within a day or two. Any medical documents you receive from your doctor can be important in supporting your case. They can prove not only your current injuries, but also any long-term effects.
There are a few areas in which you can seek reimbursement after suffering an injury in a car accident. These often include:
- Medical costs: Expenses for doctor visits, surgeries, and other medical treatments that you have paid out of pocket
- Lost wages: Calculated from the time you were recovering from your injuries and were unable to work
- Pain and suffering: Compensates you for any long-term mental trauma related to the accident
- Future costs and losses: Estimation of your future medical bills for your ongoing treatments and compensation for wages you will not be able to earn
A car accident lawyer in White Plains can help you total up your losses. We will use the facts in the case to argue for a greater settlement amount on your behalf.
Car Accident Lawyers Can Fight Back Against Insurance Companies
Hiring a law firm for your car accident case can help provide the support you need to secure the right compensation for your injuries and losses. While an insurance adjuster may seem to be working on your behalf, they are primarily interested in resolving the case quickly.
When you hire a White Plains car accident lawyer, a legal team will work on your behalf, not on behalf of the insurance company. Your rights will be defended against the insurer and the full settlement amount you are requesting will be fought for.
Do You Have to Go to Court After a Car Accident?
No. In fact, the vast majority of car accident claims across the country resolve during negotiations long before they see the inside of a courtroom.
However, it’s important to keep the option of legal action open. The insurance company for the opposing driver will fight hard to pay you as little as possible, and accepting any lowball offer will mean that you lose the right to sue for more.
When you have an attorney on your side, you signal to the opposing lawyers and insurance agents that you are willing to take the case to trial if they do not offer a fair settlement.
We Take Pride in Defending the Rights of Car Accident Victims
The team at Morelli Law Firm is ready to work on your behalf, seeking the fairest possible judgment for you. We can negotiate with the insurance company for you, freeing up your time to heal and focus on your family.
As a testimony to how dedicated we are, we have worked tirelessly to win our clients millions in settlement. If you are facing an uncertain future because of the injuries you sustained, contact our White Plains car accident lawyers for a free consultation and to get started with your claim.