When you get into your car and turn the key in the morning, it is unlikely that you plan to get into an accident that day. Few, if any, people ever plan to get into a motor vehicle accident, and the process following a car accident on Long Island is complicated and involved. In addition to dealing with your injuries, as well as mounting lost wages and medical bills, you will need to go through a claims process with the insurance company that will involve things like medical exams, furnishing documents, making statements, and ultimately negotiating with the insurance company to get the money that you deserve. Combined, all of these issues can lead to a lot of stress throughout the process, and often ends with the victim receiving far less for their settlement than they actually deserve.
Working with a car accident lawyer in New York is one of the best ways to make sure that you have a fair shot at getting the money that you deserve. Your personal injury case deserves to be handled by a law firm with a history of success fighting for motor vehicle accidents, and the team at Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson, LLP is here to help. Contact us now for a free consultation, where we will be able to discuss the severity of your injuries, the impact that your accident has had on your life, and more. In addition, we will discuss how we can help you fight for the money that you are entitled to while you focus on getting your life back on track.
Contact Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson, LLP For a Free Consultation Today
The sooner you contact us for your consultation, the sooner we will be able to take your case and start fighting for the money that you deserve for your personal injuries. Long Island car accidents happen every day, meaning that the insurance company that you will open a new case with will have lots of experience getting to the lowest settlement amounts possible. Insurance companies have built an entire industry around these practices, so trying to represent your own case while recovering from injuries after car accidents is generally a losing practice.
When you are represented by the team at Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson, LLP, you can be confident that there is a dedicated Long Island car accident lawyer taking the insurance company head-on for you, and working to calculate and fight for every dollar that you are entitled to. Read more below about what to expect while working with a law firm after a Long Island car accident, and contact us now to get started on your case today.
The Complexity Of An Insurance Claim
After vehicle accidents in New York, it is common for the victim to file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for their damages such as repair or replacement costs for the motor vehicle, lost wages, and medical bills. The insurance company assigns a claims adjuster to the case who takes the following weeks to investigate all details of the car accident in Long Island before returning to the victim with an offer for a one-time settlement payment. Sounds simple, right?
Think again. Insurance companies have been settling claims for car accidents for as long as these types of accidents existed, and for the insurance company to remain in business they must pay as little as possible for any given claim. Your motor vehicle accident is no different, and no matter how pleasant the claims adjuster assigned to your case may be, the reality is always the same: every piece of information you provide will be combed over to find ways to reduce your settlement. When you have a car accident lawyer handling these communications, providing the information, and advising you on how to handle things like the medical exam that you may need to submit to, you will not need to take on the additional stress while trying to recover from your injuries.
What To Do After the Initial Settlement Offer
It can be overwhelming when you are mending an injury from a vehicle accident at the same time that your medical bills pile up and your lost wages threaten to cause serious, long-lasting financial damage to your life. This fear and anxiety are what the insurance company relies on when they make you a low settlement offer, as they have been doing for New York car accidents for decades. They hope to avoid any interactions with a personal injury attorney, and will position this initial offer as “the best you will get.” However, this could not be further from the truth, and working with a personal injury attorney after Long Island car accidents will give you the negotiating power that you need to navigate this case successfully.
Your personal injury attorney will use the time that the claims adjuster is investigating your motor vehicle accident to perform their own investigation, and will examine all of the elements of your injury case to identify all possible damages that you are entitled to compensation for. An injury can take the form of something like a broken bone, but an emotional injury is equally justifiable when seeking compensation after motor vehicle accidents, and your New York car accident lawyer will have the experience to quantify these damages to ensure that nothing is missed or overlooked. These negotiations may go on for the entire length of the New York statute of limitations, which is typically three years from the date of the accident.
If your car accident lawyer is unable to reach an out-of-court settlement agreement with the insurance company, the next option may be to file a lawsuit in the New York courts and take the fight in front of a judge or jury if it goes all the way to trial. Throughout these negotiations, you and your lawyer will have plenty of time to discuss your options and goals so that when the time comes to determine whether or not a lawsuit is appropriate, you will know how to proceed.
The Most Important Steps To Take Right After New York Accidents
After car accidents, it can be difficult to figure out how to handle the situation appropriately, especially when you are thinking about the likely case that you will need to open with an insurance company to recover damages. The following steps are meant to give you a general idea of what to do after a Long Island car accident, but understand that no two accidents are the same, and your path forward may vary.
Focus On Your Safety
Immediately following the crash, take a moment to scan your injuries, see if your passenger has any injuries, and scan the scene in order to identify and ongoing threats to your safety. If possible, you may want to move your vehicle out of oncoming traffic in order to avoid additional injury, or may want to leave the vehicle to get to the side of the road. However, if you determine that it is dangerous to leave the vehicle, or if you suspect that you or one of your passengers has a spine or neck injury, do not move them, and stay where you are.
When your injuries are minor, the Long Island car accident was not serious, and the other driver pressures you to handle things with them directly, it can be difficult to call 911 if you feel like you are overreacting. However, after an accident in New York, it is important that you call 911 so that a police officer will be able to complete an accident report at the scene. Without an official report of your Long Island car accident, you may be surprised to see how quickly the other driver will change their story one you open a case with their insurance company.
In addition to the legal benefits, you will, of course, have the opportunity to have your injuries examined by an EMT at the scene of the accident. They will be able to make a recommendation of whether you need to take an ambulance to the emergency room or if you can leave on your own, but the first thing that you should do if you leave under your own power is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.
See Your Doctor
When you see your doctor about an injury after an accident, you are doing two things: you are getting treatment and preventative care for any injuries that may result from complications, and you are establishing a paper trail that will prove your injuries when you are working with the insurance company. Your personal injury case will rely on your word against the word of the other driver if you do not have proper documentation, and insurance companies will outright deny claims for injuries that you are unable to prove.
Hire a Long Island Car Accident Lawyer
Many people choose to file an accident claim on their own after a Long Island car accident, but the reality is that you should focus on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back on track while your attorney handles your case for you. During the claims investigation, every statement that you make will be closely examined and picked apart by the insurance adjuster to identify any possible way to pin additional fault on you or poke holes in your very valid personal injuries.
Determining Fault After Car Accidents in Long Island
Before you even file a claim after a motor vehicle accident in New York, the first thing to do is determine fault, which can get complicated quickly. This is one reason why it is so important to call 911 right after your crash and to hire a Long Island car accident lawyer before you even make contact with an insurance agent. Fault in New York is determined through a rule known as “comparative negligence,” which allows for someone to accept partial fault for an accident while still being able to seek compensation for their injuries at the same time. Ultimately, the victim’s final settlement is simply reduced by the percent that they are responsible for the accident.
For example, if your personal injury lawyer has negotiated a $100,000 settlement, but you accepted 10% of the fault for the crash, then you will ultimately receive $90,000 for your award. Personal injury cases focus on getting the victim the maximum amount that they are entitled to, and by allowing for a victim to accept partial responsibility, this rule makes it fair to all involved. If you think that you are partially responsible for your crash, though, discuss it with a personal injury lawyer during a free consultation— DO NOT admit this fact to the insurance agent.
There are many ways that your lawyer will be able to prove who is at fault, including using the accident report that the police officer wrote, as well as contacting eyewitnesses, possibly recovering surveillance tapes or traffic camera footage, and much more. However, it is important that you let them take these actions while you focus on your injuries because their years of experience fighting for fair settlements will give them the leverage that they need to successfully negotiate on your behalf.
Calculating Damages After a Long Island Car Accident
Calculating damages in a personal injury claim is complicated and looks closely at both tangible and intangible impacts of a Long Island accident in order to quantify the amount of money that a victim is owed. The following is a simplified explanation of damages so that you can understand what your attorney is looking at while they are calculating the money that they will seek during negotiations once the claims investigation has concluded.
Economic damages are the basis of all personal injury cases because they seek compensation for the most measurable and obvious damages that a victim suffers. They include all of the medical-related costs and expenses, such as hospital stays, ambulance rides, surgeries, treatments, physical therapy sessions, assistive devices, medication, and even co-payments. Your health insurance will need to be paid back for anything that the company covered before you are able to receive any of these damages for yourself.
In addition to medical damages, economic damages include all work-related costs and losses, including lost wages, impacts on your long-term earning capacity, as well as any long-term disability that you may suffer as a result of your injuries. There are many other economic damages recognized in New York, as well, all of which your lawyer will be able to closely examine and then build a compelling argument for during negotiations, or in front of a judge in the New York courts.
Non-economic damages are trickier to calculate, and as such are much more likely to be contested by the insurance agency during negotiations. They seek compensation for things like the pain and suffering that you have endured following your Long Island accident, which, as you can imagine, is an abstract impact that can be nearly impossible to prove. There are many other non-economic damages that your attorney will need to compile and clearly quantify before approaching the negotiation table, as well.
There are a variety of methods to take these abstract damages and assign dollar values to them, including using a sliding scale to indicate the severity and then applying that point on the scale as a multiplier against your economic damages. This is, unsurprisingly, known as the “multiplier” method for calculating non-economic damages. There are other ways, such as choosing a “per diem” amount of money that you will seek for each day that you have suffered these damages, but determining the amount that you are owed each day is equally complex both to calculate and to defend in negotiations. Your attorney will be able to handle this for you.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Long Island
The following are just a few examples of the many types of car accidents that take place across the country every day. Whether or not you see an example of your accident below, contact our firm as soon as possible for your free initial consultation so that we can get started on your insurance claim as soon as possible and start fighting for the money that you truly deserve for your accident that someone else caused.
Getting rear-ended can range from being frustrating and causing damage to just your vehicle to having severe, long-term consequences from the injuries that you sustained. These crashes are most common at intersections, yields, stop signs, merges, and anywhere else that traffic either slows or comes to a complete stop. Even at low speeds, this crash can cause serious injuries like whiplash, seatbelt or airbag injuries, and more.
A sideswipe crash happens when two vehicles traveling either in the same or opposite directions swipe each other, causing damage to the side of the vehicle that made contact. In some cases the initial contact might not cause much damage but can cause a driver to swerve either off the road or into oncoming traffic, causing a second crash or impact that can be much worse. These accidents are common when people do not use blinkers or miss the other vehicle in their blind spots before changing lanes.
When someone is taking a left turn across an oncoming lane of traffic, it is their responsibility to ensure that the lane is free and that they can safely make the turn. All too often, drivers make left turns without blinkers, in front of oncoming vehicles, or from a far-right lane in front of vehicles moving in the same direction. This is why typically the driver taking the turn is assumed to be at fault, although this is not always the case.