MANHATTAN CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
When you operate an automobile, you probably do everything you can to keep yourself and other motorists safe on the roads of all our NYC boroughs. Unfortunately, a car accident caused by the negligence of other drivers may still leave you with serious injuries and significant financial losses.
Responsible parties and insurance companies should be the ones burdened to compensate accident victims for their injuries, but claims may be difficult without the legal advice of a professional with decades of experience to represent you. Turn to our team at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, where a skilled Manhattan car accident lawyer can help you claim your rightful damages.
What To Do Immediately Following Your Accident
A car accident is an incredibly abrupt, jarring, and often traumatizing experience, regardless of severity. At that moment, it can all feel very overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start. Below are some of the first and most important steps you can take after a crash.
Seek Medical Attention
Before anything else, it’s vital that you seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may find that emergency medical services have already been called to the scene. If that is not the case, it is important that you take yourself to the doctor as soon as possible.
When human beings experience trauma, our bodies produce adrenaline to keep us alert and functional until we can find a safe place to rest. Adrenaline also functions as a painkiller. This means that directly following your accident—and even for hours afterward—you cannot rely on your body to send you the correct signals about how injured you may be.
Receiving immediate medical attention is important to ensure that you do not resume your normal activity level and potentially exacerbate an unknown injury. It will also help your claim to have documentation of a prompt examination of your physical health following your accident. Be sure to get check-ups at regular intervals as well, to keep tabs on your medical situation.
Gather Photographic Evidence
If you’re feeling physically able to take photos at the scene of your accident, it would be wise to do so. Getting pictures of where the involved vehicles ended up, the damage to the surrounding area, any relevant signage, and the resulting damage to both vehicles could be helpful to your case. Taking extensive photos of your own vehicle, especially, can also be valuable to proving fault.
Get Contact Information
Gathering the contact information of the other driver is another crucial step immediately following your accident. If there were any bystanders that may be able to provide a witness statement, it would be worth your while to ask for their contact information as well.
Filing a Police Report
If the accident only resulted in minor property damage and no one has been injured, you’re only legally required to exchange your license information, insurance information, and vehicle registration with any other involved drivers. It’s illegal to leave the scene without exchanging your information.
If a person or pet is injured or killed, or someone’s property has been damaged and the owner cannot be found, you’re required to call the police and remain on the scene until they arrive.
You can request a copy of the relevant police report online at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.
COMMON CAUSES OF MANHATTAN CAR ACCIDENTS
The cause of your accident will begin to be determined by the police who are dispatched in response. To get started building your claim and proving the liability of the other party, your car accident lawyer will need to use these reports and other evidence to solidify liability. This will help prove the actions of the other party led to your collision and that they directly impacted your life.
Besides the police report, your attorney may collect other information by obtaining witness statements and photographing the accident scene. These types of evidence help prove to insurance companies that the events of an accident claim took place as described by injury victims and police, and the determination of our accident lawyers helps require them to compensate you.
From distracted drivers to construction zones, here are some typical causes of Manhattan motor vehicle crashes that commonly lead to lawsuits for personal injuries:
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- Speeding, running a red light, tailgating, or otherwise failing to follow traffic laws and signals
- Failing to yield the right-of-way, particularly to pedestrians
- Distracted driving, such as while texting, eating, fatigued or extremely emotional, or otherwise not paying attention to the roads
- Defective vehicle parts, such as failing engines, brakes, or tires
- Dangerous condition of roads
Some accidents are caused by people and things common to Manhattan—and every corner of the United States. Regardless of the cause, the accident lawyers of Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP are prepared to hold insurance companies accountable for settlements or verdicts to cover every possible expense when negligence has resulted in a vehicle accident and severe injuries.
COMMON INJURIES IN MANHATTAN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
To get you awarded all the damages you’re claiming, your attorney may need to provide significant amounts of proof of the types and extent of your injuries. Accident lawyers can do this by compiling information from your emergency medical evaluation post-accident. Photographs of your injuries immediately after the collision may be helpful. If needed, they may also hire experts for testimony.
Our lawyers can use all of this documentation, in addition to regularly reviewing detailed updates on your treatment, recovery, and medical expenses, to prove your accident injuries directly resulted from the negligent actions of another driver or other party. When insurance companies are hesitant to pay reasonable settlements, the more information we can provide, the better the typical outcome.
Some of the injuries that are commonly suffered by victims in Manhattan car accident injury lawsuits, many of which result in significant medical bills, include the following:
- Injuries involving the head, such as concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash, which can lead to surgeries or even paralysis
- Spinal injuries and their symptoms, such as decreased motor function, paralysis, or loss of sensation
- Sensory damage, such as impairment to or loss of the ability to hear or see
- Development of an emotional issue or mental health problem, such as symptoms of anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the accident
- Painful, severe burns from vehicle fires or the roads themselves
- Broken or fractured bones resulting in lengthy hospital stays or the need to operate
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement, possibly resulting in lifetime physical limitations
- The loss of a limb or extremity
Regardless of the specific types of injuries they’ve suffered, we know our clients don’t enjoy being in pain that has practical and financial implications for their families. The office of Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP can get your case started in the right direction by obtaining and compiling information about your injuries, and we’ll always communicate with you regularly throughout the process.
Who’s At Fault?
After a serious automobile accident, identifying the liable parties may complicate your claim. In some cases, you may be able to file an easy claim with your insurance company and be offered a settlement in a timely manner, but those settlements may only cover a partial amount of your losses. If you’ve suffered severe injuries, you may be able to achieve justice in a lawsuit with dedicated representation.
When your vehicle has crashed, it is likely that others can rightfully be partially or entirely blamed for your damages. Their insurance provider should be held accountable for covering present and potential losses, such as future medical expenses. Whether they were speeding or distracted, whether they’re an individual driver or they’re commercial trucking companies or bus drivers, they’ve caused an unfortunate and expensive circumstance for you.
When the Responsible Party Wasn’t Physically There
What if the party at fault for your accident wasn’t present, though? In some cases, your accident may not have been caused by other drivers or even by an individual, but by a manufacturer of faulty vehicle parts or products. You might have even been the only one present during the accident. However, this situation does not automatically mean the accident was your fault.
If you’ve been in an accident like this and are physically able, you may first want to check the road for standing water, for example, which can cause hydroplanes that result in wrecks daily. Poor road design like improper drainage can cause serious accidents, leaving the government agencies burdened with the safety of our boroughs’ streets liable for your damages.
In other cases, something was defective about your vehicle, which resulted in a crash. For example, perhaps you just had the brakes replaced, but they suddenly went out and caused a single-vehicle but preventable accident. You may need to seek out the manufacturer and file a lawsuit to recover the damages you’re facing for your financial losses and your pain and suffering.
When a defendant isn’t present at a collision, it does complicate claims for accident injuries. But backed by the experience of an attorney skilled in personal injury practice areas like vehicle accidents, it may still be possible to negotiate reasonable settlements with insurance providers. If needed, the lawyers of Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP are prepared to litigate your case before a judge to seek justice.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Following your accident, you may have already contacted at least one insurance company to file a claim and begin seeking compensation for your damages. However, while you must involve the insurance company in order to collect a settlement, it’s important to consider seeking and securing the representation of a Manhattan car crash lawyer.
The unfortunate truth is that insurance agencies may be less concerned with your injuries and more interested in their bottom dollar. They may be more invested in protecting that than in providing you with the financial support needed to cover your expenses, meaning these agencies may try to pin partial liability on you, for example, thereby mitigating their responsibility to compensate you.
To prevent this outcome, avoid discussing the details of your accident until you have an experienced accident lawyer to represent you. Your attorney can then proceed to take the proper steps when dealing with the insurance company. Our office communicates and negotiates on our clients’ behalf so the insurance companies aren’t able to get away with any types of dishonest tactics.
What You Could Win
The potential for suffering a serious injury in an automobile collision in Manhattan is unfortunately high. Accident victims often require extensive medical care, hospital stays, and surgeries, and are forced to request recovery periods from their employers to get their lives back on track after a wreck.
However, life does not stop moving for Manhattan families just because one person is injured. If you aren’t awarded reasonable compensation through your accident claim, you may find that the financial consequences of your crash are more than you are able to handle. Your family’s future can be at risk in a heartbeat.
Your Manhattan car accident attorney at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP will use every resource they have to ensure this does not happen. Though we can’t guarantee an outcome in dollars, we can guarantee that our experts make it their business to require the insurance company or negligent party to provide clients with comprehensive compensation offers and litigate cases in court when justice demands it.
With the help of your attorney, you may be able to get compensation for the following types of damages after your crash:
- Complete compensation for medical expenses, including medical bills for hospital stays, ambulance fees, surgeries, doctor visits, medications, travel costs, rehabilitation programs, and medical equipment
- Compensation for all damage to your vehicle or other belongings in the crash
- Compensation for any wages you lose from hours you would’ve worked during your recovery
- Compensation for loss of future earning capacity
- Wrongful death benefits in the ultimate tragedy of car accident fatalities caused by negligence
- Pain and suffering, such as mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and reduced quality of life
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Punitive damages, which serve to punish the negligent party and deter future wrongdoing
PROTECT YOUR COMPENSATION
When you’re injured in a car accident, you’ll need to protect the compensation you’ve rightfully earned from the liable party. The defendant does not want to provide the compensation you deserve, nor does their insurance company. They’re going to fight back, and New York laws can be used against you, so you need a fighter of your own on your team to represent you professionally and fearlessly.
FILE ON TIME
First, you’ll need to act in a timely manner. The statute of limitations, or the proverbial ticking clock on your case, begins the day of your accident and expires after three years. If you decide to file a lawsuit, know that you only have three years to file your claim. If you haven’t acted quickly enough, you’ll be barred from recovery, and a future claim for damages will likely be dismissed.
Fortunately, the statute of limitations can be used to your advantage. If you obtain legal representation in a timely manner, evidence that would degrade over time may still be usable for your claim. So, if you’re seeking compensation, you’ll need to protect it by acting quickly.
BE AWARE OF HOW NEGLIGENCE LAWS MAY AFFECT YOUR CLAIM
When you’re claiming damages for vehicle accident injuries, you’ll also need to protect your claim from accusations of partial fault. While the other driver may be found at fault, the legal doctrine of comparative negligence can come into play, meaning you could still be found partially to blame for the collision.
Unfortunately, comparative negligence can reduce the value of your claim. Here’s how: The other side might say you were 30 percent at fault because you were speeding when they T-boned you at an intersection. If that holds up, it leaves you with only 70 percent of the compensation needed for your recovery.
Without that compensation, you could spend unnecessary time and resources struggling with your bills on top of suffering through painful injuries. A Manhattan automobile crash attorney can help you deal with New York laws like these, so it is important to seek the legal help you need before you file.
SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION WITH A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER IN MANHATTAN
If you’ve been the victim of injuries from a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to face the burden alone. The office of Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP is committed to providing our clients with guidance and advocacy through difficult situations. Working with an experienced attorney can allow you to focus your energy where it matters most: getting well and restoring your quality of life.
To schedule a free initial consultation with a Manhattan car accident lawyer, give our team a call today at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462). You can also reach us online through our contact form at the bottom of the page.
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Manhattan Car Accident FAQ
After a car accident, we expect you to have questions about your compensation. After all, most people haven’t filed a lawsuit or had extensive dealings with insurers before. That’s why we’re always willing to help you understand your options and what’s going on with your case. The following are some questions our clients often ask us:
What is no-fault insurance, and how will it affect my claim?
New York is a no-fault insurance state. Put simply, this means you will file your initial insurance claim with your own insurance company, regardless of whose fault the crash was. However, certain circumstances will enable you to file a personal injury claim outside of the no-fault system. A car accident lawyer in Manhattan can help you understand your options.
Can I recover personal injury compensation for a single-vehicle crash?
In some cases, you can. You might assume you’re the only one to blame for a single-car crash, but what if your brakes failed? The vehicle manufacturer could be at fault. A government agency responsible for maintaining safe roads could also be to blame.
What if I’m partially to blame for the car accident?
Being partially at fault doesn’t mean you’re unable to recover personal injury compensation. Under New York’s comparative negligence rules, you can recover compensation for the portion of the blame the other party holds. If you suffered $100,000 in damages after your crash and were 15 percent at fault, you would receive 85 percent of your awarded compensation.
Does New York have a cap for non-economic damages?
Non-economic damages include emotional tolls, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. These damages may not have a specific price tag, but they’re important to get covered for the suffering you experienced. In New York, there are no caps instituted for non-economic damages in car accident cases. This means that there is no limit to the amount of compensation you can receive in this category.