If you have been injured in a car accident in Long Island, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and additional losses that you suffered. Our Long Island car accident attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. are skilled legal representatives who will work to protect your rights, your financial future, and your wellbeing. As discussed in more detail below, New York’s car accident laws are complex. You will have a better chance of being fully compensated for your losses when you have a skilled Long Island car accident attorney advocating for your recovery.
The most common cause of car accidents throughout Long Island is driver error, which may be the result of:
Drivers often engage in activities that take their attention away from driving, such as texting or talking on the phone, eating, drinking, interacting with passengers, adjusting a radio or GPS, etc. Distracted driving accidents are likely to cause serious injuries because the accident normally occurs before the inattentive driver can brake or swerve.
Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for the current road conditions, makes it very difficult to stop and can magnify the impact of a collision. For more than 20 years, speeding has been a determining factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) beyond the limit of 0.08 percent is illegal. Additionally, so is driving while under the influence of any combination of alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medications. Nonetheless, drunk drivers cause accidents daily. Every 48 minutes one person dies from an alcohol-related crash in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition to injured victims having the option to pursue a civil claim, the drunk driver may also face criminal charges.
Sleepy, fatigued, or drowsy driving results in slower reaction times and the inability to make sound decisions. Accidents are often catastrophic, due to the collision taking place at full speed.
Tailgating is the primary cause of rear-end collisions. No matter how slowly someone is traveling, it is never a good idea to tailgate. Too small of a space between two vehicles leaves little time to react and avoid an accident if the car in front were to take a sudden turn or completely stop.
Horrible accidents can be caused when a driver has “road rage,” or is driving recklessly. Reckless actions can include abrupt lane changes, running red lights or stops signs, speeding well over the limit, or making dangerous passes.
When driver error is not to blame, accidents are often caused by:
The physical condition of the road can be a prominent factor in the cause of a car crash. Examples include, dangerous weather that affects visibility or makes the roadway slippery, construction sites, potholes, animals crossing the road, and more. In some instances, a government agency may be liable for this type of accident.
A flaw in the vehicle itself can sometimes be the cause of an accident. This can occur when a vehicle is improperly maintained, a mechanic fails in their repair, or there is a manufacturing defect.
Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. are injured in car accidents every year that send them to the emergency room.
Serious auto accidents have the potential to cause a number of grave injuries to innocent motorists, including:
Frequently seen after a car accident, and are oftentimes caused by the head hitting the steering wheel or side window. Brain injuries can range from a mild concussion to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), resulting in permanent cognitive impairment. TBIs occur when a sudden, violent blow or jolt to the head causes damage due to the brain colliding with the skull. Car accidents may also lead to skull fractures, broken bones, or facial lacerations and bruises, potentially causing lifetime or long-lasting damage.
Whiplash is the most common form of neck injury among those affected by automobile accidents, especially those involved in rear-end collisions. This is due to the sudden jolt of the neck in a back and forth motion. Serious cases can result in a cervical spine fracture, whereas milder cases have symptoms that may disappear in a few days or weeks. Other neck or back injuries that regularly occur in a collision are herniated discs and spinal cord injuries.
The most common cause of chest or abdominal injuries is from the seatbelt or coming into contact with the steering wheel. A broken sternum or ribs, internal organ damage, or severe contusions can all result from the impact of a motor vehicle accident.
The impact of a car accident can also affect the legs and knees when they hit the dashboard, resulting in bruises, scrapes, sprains or broken bones.
Psychological Injuries such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety may also manifest after a severe crash. No matter how minor an injury may seem, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Not only will the documentation be vital when pursuing an injury claim, but existing injuries can worsen with time or new injuries may surface.
We know that losing a loved one is extremely difficult. It can be even more difficult when someone else’s wrongful conduct caused your loved one’s death. If you have lost a close family member in a car accident caused by someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation under a wrongful death claim. We know that a financial recovery will not replace your family member. It may however, help you begin to prepare for life without your loved one and provide much needed financial security for you and your family.
The amount of damages will vary on a case-by-case basis, but in general, injury victims have the option of seeking compensation for:
A Long Island car accident lawyer will have the ability to calculate an estimate of your claim’s worth after looking over the details of your case.
Serious car accidents are life-changing experiences. The crash itself is only the beginning of what can be an extremely long process, involving filing an insurance claim, determining fault, and most importantly, getting the compensation you need to move on in life. Taking on an insurance company to get what you deserve can be intimidating. Being represented by an injury lawyer with the resources to fully investigate an accident and build a strong case for compensation will not only be vital, but will also give you much needed peace of mind. In order to prove fault and secure a settlement, a car accident lawyer will:
Evidence of fault is particularly critical in Long Island, as the state of New York operates as a “pure comparative negligence” state. This means some level of fault will need to be proven in order to hold a party liable. When a case is taken to court, a judge or jury will compare fault then reduce the amount of damages awarded by the percentage of fault. For example, a victim who is found to be 20 percent responsible for an accident and awarded $1,000 in damages, will only recover $800 as 20 percent will be deducted from the total award.
Victims must also act quickly, as they are allowed only three years from the date of the accident to pursue a personal injury lawsuit under the state of New York’s statute of limitations law.
New York’s no-fault car accident laws can be confusing, especially when injuries are involved. A lawsuit against the at-fault driver or a claim with their insurer can only be filed when injuries are severe. That definition includes broken bones, considerable disfigurement, permanent damage to a limb or a body organ, an injury substantially limiting a body function or system, or an injury that leaves you incapable of performing your normal activities for at least 90 days.
There are filing requirements and deadlines for property damage and injury claims. If you miss any requirements or deadlines, you may waive your right to recover compensation. Every car accident claim and personal injury is different, and the no-fault laws do not apply in certain car accident circumstances. Because of the legal complexities and filing requirements, only experienced Long Island car accident attorneys should handle New York car accident claims.
As previously mentioned, every case is important to us, and that is why we are always engaged with our clients. We will keep you informed about the progress of your case, update you when there are new developments, and make sure that you are prepared for every step in the litigation process. We are also available to discuss all of your concerns and answer your questions.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, contact a Long Island car accident lawyer at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. to schedule a free consultation. Our compassionate attorneys will go over the details of your accident, the extent of your injuries, and discuss your financial recovery options. We take car accident cases on a contingency fee basis so that you can focus on your physical recovery while we work on securing your financial recovery. We will not collect attorneys’ fees until you are compensated for your injuries and damages. Contact our law firm today so we can seek full compensation for you.