Car Accident Attorneys Seeking Justice for Car Injured Victims Throughout Long Island, New York City, & Westchester County
In New York, many citizens just like you get around by driving their car. Whether they are commuting to and from work, running errands, or going out to spend time with family and friends, getting around town with your car can often simplify the way you get from point A to point B without having to rely on other modes of transportation. However, for some motor vehicle drivers, getting injured in a car crash can end up being a real possibility. Car accidents are very common throughout America and especially in New York. With so many drivers on the road, even the slightest slip up from a negligent driver can lead to severe injuries, property damage, and a lot of other consequences. Because so many serious injuries can occur in a car accident, it is important to understand the rights motor vehicle accident injury victims have.
Filing a car accident claim with the help of our team of car accident lawyers in Long Island can help you recover damages for the injuries you have suffered in your car accident. We can help you seek damages no matter how substantial or minor your injuries are. We have helped motor vehicle accident victims recover damages after they’ve sustained injuries that include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Brain injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Back injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Ligament damage
- Road rash
Any type of injury you sustain in a car accident has the ability to affect one aspect of your life or another. You can pursue compensation by hiring a car accident lawyer from our personal injury law firm to assist you with your injury claim today. You can rest assured that you will have all the legal help and resources at your disposal to get the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. Call us today at 1-855-RIZZUTO or (516) 622-0606 to learn more about what our team of accident attorneys can do for your potential car accident case.
What are the 7 Things You Should Do After a Car Accident?
1) CALL THE POLICE
- Notify the police that you were in a car accident and give your full cooperation in completing the police report.
- Identify any factors that may have contributed to the accident.
- Identify any witnesses.
- Inform the officer of any injuries or if you are experiencing pain.
2) EXCHANGE INFORMATION
3) GET MEDICAL TREATMENT
- If you are injured get treatment right away!
- If you wait, the insurance company will question whether your injuries are related to this accident.
- Many people will feel some discomfort after a car accident but not everyone will follow up.
4) TAKE PICTURES
- If you are capable, take photographs of the accident scene, the position of the vehicles, the roadway, and any damage to the vehicles.
- Photograph any visible injuries, such as cuts and bruises.
- If possible, try to position a newspaper in the background to confirm the date of the photographs.
5) FILE AN MV104
- Filing a police report creates a record of your account of the accident.
- The insurance companies may view these when investigating a claim.
6) FILE A NO-FAULT APPLICATION
- You have 30 days from the date of the accident to file this form.
- No-fault benefits are payments that YOUR insurance company will make for medical treatment if you are injured.
7) TALK TO AN ATTORNEY
- An experienced team of personal injury attorneys can explain the options available to you and help get you on the path to recovery.
Can an Auto Accident Lawyer Help Me Prove Fault in My Car Accident?
Proving the negligence of the at-fault parties in motor vehicle accidents is key to getting the justice victims deserve for their injuries. In your case, you can seek compensation for your injuries if negligence can be proven on behalf of the other driver in your case. Figuring out why your accident happened can be crucial for the success of your car accident claim. Did distracted driving play a role in your car accident? Many negligent drivers that cause accidents are often found to be distracted while behind the wheel of their car. Whether it is talking on the phone or checking emails on their commute, a distracted driver can cause serious damage out on the road. Other negligent actions such as drunk driving can be dangerous for other motorists on the road. Unfortunately, drunk driving can often lead to severe injuries for the victims in a car accident.
Other causes of car accidents include reckless driving, speeding, disobeying traffic laws, disobeying traffic signs such as a stop sign, and more. No matter how your accident occurred, a car accident lawyer can investigate the specifics of your accident to give you the best chance of getting the justice you deserve. A car accident lawyer can examine the police report from the car accident scene and take a look at any photographs, videos, and testimony available. With this evidence in hand, a car accident lawyer can put you in a good position to recover damages for lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and more. Contact our Long Island car accident law firm today to see how our team of injury attorneys can help you alleviate your situation and make things right for you.
What is “No-Fault”?
New York State is a “No-Fault” Insurance State, which means that insureds are generally reimbursed by their insurance company for damages regardless of who was responsible for causing the accident. Insureds can be reimbursed for medical costs and other losses that might surface after the accident.
No-Fault, also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), is designed to pay promptly, regardless of who is at fault or whether there was any negligence, for economic losses (meaning medical/health expenses, lost earnings, and certain other reasonable and necessary expenses related to injuries sustained), up to $50,000 per person (“basic No-Fault coverage”), to the driver and all passengers injured in your car as well as any pedestrians injured by your car, because of its use or operation in New York State.
The purpose of No-Fault insurance is to restore individuals hurt in auto accidents to health and productivity as swiftly as possible. Because of New York’s No-Fault law, lawsuits due to auto accidents can be brought only for economic losses that exceed No-Fault benefits and for non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) only if a “serious injury” (as defined in the Insurance Law) is sustained.
No-Fault is a personal injury coverage and does not pay for auto body repair of your car or damage to any other party’s motor vehicle or other personal property. No-Fault is also primary to health insurance, which means it pays first in the event injury is due to an auto accident.
Under this coverage, your insurer provides you and all relatives who reside in your household with protection against economic losses arising from injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents anywhere within the United States, its territories and possessions, or Canada. It also provides coverage for any passengers injured in accidents in New York State while in your vehicle, as well as any guest passengers who are New York State residents injured in your vehicle anywhere in the United States, its territories and possessions, or Canada, if they are not covered under another auto insurance policy in New York State.
All pedestrians injured by motor vehicles in New York State are also protected by No-Fault.
Basic No-Fault Auto Insurance Coverage Includes:
- reasonable and necessary accident-related medical and rehabilitation expenses (in accordance with established fee schedules);
- 80% of lost earnings from work, up to a maximum payment of $2,000 per month for up to three years from the date of the accident; subject to statutory offsets for New York State disability, Worker’s Compensation, and Federal Social Security disability benefits.
- up to $25 a day, for up to a year from the date of the accident, to reimburse other reasonable and necessary expenses, (e.g., household help, and transportation expenses to/from medical treatment) resulting from the auto accident; and
- a $2,000 death benefit (in addition to the $50,000 basic No-Fault limit), payable to the estate of a person eligible for No-Fault benefits who is killed in a motor vehicle accident.
However, under most insurance policies, a person will be ineligible for No-Fault benefits, if:
- driving while intoxicated or impaired by use of a drug that contributes to the accident, except for emergency health-related services performed in a general hospital or by an ambulance worker outside of a general hospital. However, the No-Fault insurer has the right to recover from the intoxicated or impaired driver the full amount of those No-Fault payments made by the automobile insurer for the emergency services provided to the driver if the driver is convicted of driving while intoxicated or impaired through the use of alcohol or drugs.
- intentionally causing his or her own injuries;
- riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a motorcycle as operator or passenger (a pedestrian struck by a motorcycle or ATV is covered);
- injured while committing a felony;
- injured while in a vehicle known to be stolen; or
- an owner of an uninsured vehicle.
AN APPLICATION FOR NO-FAULT BENEFITS MUST BE FILED WITH THE APPROPRIATE INSURANCE COMPANY WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE ACCIDENT.
Liability Insurance-Bodily Injury & Property Damage
This liability coverage protects you (and anyone driving your car with your permission), if a claim is made against you by another person (“third-party”), alleging that you were negligent or otherwise at fault. Thus this coverage will make payments on your behalf to that injured third party, in the event your car is involved in an accident that results in serious injury or death to others or damage to their property.
In addition, your insurance company must provide you with a legal defense against such claims, without reducing your policy’s liability limits.
The minimum limits of third-party bodily injury liability coverage mandated by New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury (not resulting in death), or $50,000 for any injury resulting in death, sustained by any one person in any one accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury (not resulting in death) sustained by two or more persons in any one accident, or $100,000 for any injuries resulting in death sustained by two or more persons in any one accident (subject to the above per person limits).
Since the minimum limit of coverage required by law for property damage liability protection, for damage to another party’s car or property, is $10,000 per accident, these minimum liability limits in New York are sometimes together referred to as “$25,000/$50,000/$10,000” or “25/50/10”.
If, however, your vehicle is used or operated in another state or Canadian province that requires higher liability limits than the above New York mandated limits or what is purchased, your policy will provide coverage for those limits required by such other jurisdiction.
If you are injured in an auto accident, or your car is damaged, due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to make a claim against that other person’s auto insurance policy for bodily injury and property damage liability. You must establish that the other party was at fault. You have a right to sue another party involved in the auto accident for pain and suffering, only if you sustained a “serious injury” as defined in the Insurance Law. You can also go to court against a third party for property damage and, when bodily injury has been sustained, for other economic loss not covered by, or exceeding the limits of, your No-Fault coverage.
Suing another party would be your own personal action and does not involve your insurance company under the provisions of your policy. If you decide to sue someone else, your insurer under your own policy is not required to provide or pay for a lawyer you might want or need to handle your claim against another party.
While your automobile liability insurance policy provides coverage for every passenger in your vehicle injured in an accident caused by the driver’s negligence, it will most likely not provide any liability coverage when the injured passenger is your spouse unless you purchase Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance. However, your spouse would still be eligible for basic No-Fault coverage as discussed earlier. When shopping for insurance, please check with your insurance company, agent or broker about whether your policy affords bodily injury liability coverage to your spouse.
Uninsured Motorists Coverage
Another important feature of your auto insurance policy is bodily injury protection for you, all family members who reside in your household, and occupants of your car, in the event you or they are injured as the result of negligent actions by an uninsured vehicle or hit-and-run motorist. This mandatory coverage applies only in regard to bodily injury due to accidents occurring in New York State, and does not cover auto body damage to your car or damage to other property.
For New York accidents, the amount of uninsured motorists’ protection required to be provided is the same minimum bodily injury limits as required for liability insurance. For a small additional charge, this uninsured motorist’s coverage can be extended to provide coverage for out-of-state accidents by endorsement, so you should check with your agent, broker or insurer if you want this extension of coverage.
If anyone in your car is injured by the driver of an uninsured vehicle or a hit-and-run motorist, a claim should be filed with your auto insurance company under this coverage. Similarly, you should file a claim with your automobile insurer if you or a member of your family is injured while unknowingly occupying an uninsured vehicle, or injured as a pedestrian by an uninsured or hit-and-run motorist. If you do not own a car, but a relative in your household does, you may file a claim under that policy.
If you don’t have your own policy and are not covered by a family member’s policy in your household and if you are injured as a pedestrian by an uninsured vehicle or hit-and-run driver or as an occupant of an uninsured vehicle in New York State, you may still be eligible for uninsured motorists protection and No-Fault coverage. You or your representative should immediately report the accident to proper authorities, and then promptly (because there are stringent time limits) file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC), located at 110 William Street, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10038 (Tel: 646-205-7800) (Fax: 212-732-1826). Additional information on the MVAIC website.
Insurance Information and Enforcement System (IIES)
Be aware of the importance of maintaining required motor vehicle insurance coverage on a continuous basis as long as you own a car. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a system, called the Insurance Information and Enforcement System (IIES), that detects uninsured vehicles.
Insurers are required to report to the DMV information, such as cancellations, renewals, and issuance of new policies, on all persons they insure for motor vehicle insurance. This information is entered into an electronic database that will continuously track insurance coverage for each registered vehicle. Failure to maintain liability insurance coverage for your car at all times can result in the suspension of your vehicle registration and driver’s license, as well as other substantial monetary penalties.
These procedures could result in you getting a letter from the DMV inquiring about your insurance status – even if your vehicle is currently insured. Don’t delay in handling any correspondence of this nature you receive from the DMV, even if you are confident that your insurance is in effect. Contact your insurance agent, broker or company for assistance in responding to these letters, or contact the DMV directly for information on how to handle such correspondence.
When You Rent A Car
Car rental agreements vary from one car rental company to another. However, all car rental companies must provide the minimum coverages required by law. Car rental companies may sell a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), also known as “Optional Vehicle Protection” (OVP). For rentals of 30 consecutive days or less, car rental companies in New York State can sell CDW, or, if not purchased, charge a renter for the total value of a stolen (lost) or damaged rental vehicle. The daily cost of the CDW may be as high as $12, depending on the value of the vehicle.
If you are currently insured under a New York auto insurance policy and you rent a car for 30 days or less anywhere in the United States, its territories and possessions, or Canada, you do not need to buy a CDW/OVP from the car rental company regardless of whether you have collision or comprehensive coverage on your own car. At present, such coverage is currently provided without any extra charge. Furthermore, many credit card companies also provide some form of “collision damage coverage” to their cardholders for vehicles they rent with that card. This is separate from any other coverage and usually covers losses only in excess of amounts collectible under other existing coverages. It should be noted that credit card companies do not extend this coverage to all vehicles. You may wish to check with your credit card company to verify exactly what protection it provides and what types of vehicles are covered. Coverage under these agreements is regulated under the New York State Insurance Law and must be underwritten by a licensed New York State insurer.
In addition, some car rental companies offer higher liability limits than the required 25/50/10 at an additional cost. You may want to purchase this additional coverage if you do not own a car. If you already have a policy with higher liability limits, it will provide the coverage while renting a car. Some rental car companies are also licensed to sell additional accident and health coverage (beyond required No-Fault benefits) and coverage for personal items stolen from the vehicle. These coverages are also regulated under the New York State Insurance Law and must be underwritten by a licensed New York State insurer.
What Damages Can I Get Compensated for in my Car Accident Claim?
When you pursue compensation for your car accident injury claim, you can claim multiple damages as part of your case. Because car accidents often leave victims like you with several injuries that can negatively impact the way you live your life, you may be eligible to recover compensation that can lead to your financial recovery. There are two primary types of damages you can get compensation for. The first is economic damages. Economic damages are damages you can claim that have severely impacted your financial life. These are some of the most prevalent types of economic and non-economic damages you can claim:
While some minor car accidents do not end up with a victim requiring medical attention, in many other cases, car accidents can end up with several trips to the hospital or doctor’s office before you have fully recovered. If your injuries are more severe than others, you may even require extensive surgeries and other treatments. Medical expenses such as healthcare costs, surgery costs, rehabilitation costs, and medication costs can be taxing on your financial situation.
While receiving medical care following your car accident can be absolutely essential for your health and overall well-being, the medical bills you may have to pay for can put you into a serious hole. Even more concerning is having to pay for future medical bills because your injuries are too severe to be treated in a short period of time. Some injuries can impact you for months or even years. Having to pay the medical bills associated with your medical treatment is unfair to you. We can help you recover compensation for the medical bills you have paid and may have to pay in the future.
Another negative outcome following car accidents can be sustaining lost wages as a result of your injuries. Lost wages happen when you are forced out of work for a certain period of time, causing you to miss out on pay you otherwise would have received if you were completely healthy. Lost wages can affect your ability to pay important bills such as your rent or mortgage, car payment, health insurance payment, and more. A car accident lawyer can help you recover lost wages you have incurred and may incur in the future, depending on the extent of your injuries.
A car collision doesn’t only damage the drivers involved in a crash but can also damage the car itself. In many car accidents, damage to vehicles is also guaranteed to some extent. Depending on the velocity of the cars in your accident were going, your vehicle may have sustained significant damage to its body. While cosmetic damage can be fixed, it can also be costly. On top of cosmetic issues with your car, you may also have serious internal damage done to your vehicle. In some cases, your car may be totaled as a result of your crash. Although your own insurance company can cover some costs for the car damage you sustained in your crash, it may not be enough to cover the entirety of your accident. We can help you seek compensation for the damage done to your property in your car accident.
Pain and Suffering
While the economic impact a car accident can have on your finances cannot be overstated, the emotional and mental consequences of a car accident can have just as much impact on your life as the economic damages you have suffered. One of the most prominent types of non-economic damages you can claim in your motor vehicle accident case is pain and suffering. Your injury may keep you from enjoying the day-to-day aspects of your life because you are consistently battling through pain management. This rigorous process can affect you mentally and emotionally as you may lose out on plenty of life opportunities because of your injuries. While much more difficult to prove due to the subjective nature of the claim, a car accident lawyer from our Long Island law firm can help you seek compensation for the pain and suffering your injuries have caused and may cause in the future.
When it comes to securing the justice and compensation you deserve for your injuries following a car accident, it is important to consider hiring a car accident lawyer that knows what it takes to protect your rights throughout your accident claim process. Motor vehicle collisions can be costly to both your financial health and physical health. Get the legal assistance you need to overcome the injuries you have sustained in your car accident and file a car accident claim with the help of our law office today.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident Injury?
In general, car accident settlements accepted from the insurance company responsible for paying out a claim can vary from case to case. The number of damages that can be proven and the negligence involved in the accident case can end up determining just how much compensation you can get in return for the injuries you sustained. However, getting a fair settlement offer can be incredibly difficult without the right injury lawyer helping you throughout your case. Insurance companies like the insurance company tasked with handling your case are renowned for not providing accident victims like you with fair settlement offers. In many cases, insurance adjusters working on behalf of the insurance companies in injury cases like yours utilize all the tactics at their disposal to minimize the risk for the insurance company they are working for.
Because the less an insurance company has to pay out to you in an insurance claim looks better for the insurance adjuster working your case, you may be taken advantage of without the right representation on your side. Our law firm is dedicated to providing much-needed representation for accident victims just like you. We believe you deserve a fair injury claims process and we do whatever it takes to hold the insurance company tasked with paying out your case accountable. On top of keeping your claim on the right track, we can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf so you do not have to worry about dealing with the insurance company directly. Reap the benefits of a car accident lawyer by hiring one from our experienced accident law firm in Long Island today.
Is It Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident?
Ultimately, with so much on the line, you should consider hiring a car accident lawyer to represent your car accident case. While many car accident cases end up settling outside of court, there are rare instances when a trial may be needed in order to recover the compensation you rightfully deserve. In any case, we can represent you in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company responsible for paying you out so you can avoid a trial or we can defend your rights in court. Although many people feel a car accident lawyer can be expensive, it actually costs you nothing! We get paid a contingency fee which means we only get paid if there is a recovery. Hiring the right attorney can significantly help to increase the value of your settlement and maximize the amount of compensation you end up receiving for your car accident claim.
At our law firm, we emphasize the rights of accident victims like you. We understand the nuance and complexities of injury law and know what it takes to handle every aspect of your case, from beginning to end. Take action against the reckless driver that caused your accident today. Contact our experienced Long Island personal injury law firm today by calling 1-855-RIZZUTO or (516) 622-0606. We will do whatever it takes to get you the results that you deserve.
What Makes The Rizzuto Law Firm Different?
We know there are thousands of car accident lawyers you can choose from. What makes The Rizzuto Law Firm stand out from all the rest is that we not only sue on behalf of our clients to make sure they get paid fair compensation for their personal injuries, we have been hired by numerous insurance companies and corporations to defend cases on behalf of them and their insured’s throughout the years. This has given our attorneys tremendous insight in what to do in litigating your case and we can anticipate the defense before we start litigation. We are Trial Lawyers and have tried thousands of car accidents and other motor vehicle cases to verdict as plaintiffs and defendants.