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Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents can produce devastating injuries for all involved. Unfortunately, they are far too common. Common injuries range from bruises and scrapes to whiplash to broken bones and even death in some cases. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident and you believe someone else’s negligence was the cause, you may be able to file a successful personal injury claim. At Morgan & Morgan, we have been handling all types of car accident cases for decades. We will do everything in our power to ensure that you and your family get the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation.
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Statute of Limitations
In all personal injury and car accident cases, there is a time limit in which you must file your claim in order to be successful. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to file your case on time, it will almost certainly be dismissed. Even if you had a solid case and would have otherwise been entitled to compensation, you will receive nothing if you don’t file on time. In Brooklyn, New York, you must file your car accident claim within 3 years of the date of the accident.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Many people wonder if they can still file a claim and recover monetary compensation for a car accident case if they were partially at fault. New York state is governed by a pure comparative negligence law. This means that even if you were somewhat at fault for the accident, you can still recover compensation. Under pure comparative negligence, a plaintiff’s percentage of responsibility will be determined, and the monetary award will be reduced by the percentage they are deemed to be at fault. If you are in a car accident and it is determined that you were 50 percent at fault, you will take home 50 percent of the compensation. Therefore, if the award was $50,000, you will take home $25,000. You can recover compensation even if you are 99 percent at fault.
Price of a Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyer
Most car accident attorneys handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay them anything upfront, and they only get paid if they win or settle your case. Once the case is settled or won, they will take a percentage of your monetary award, typically between 30 and 40 percent. While this might seem like a lot, remember that without a lawyer, you could end up receiving nothing at all. Additionally, there is no risk to you whatsoever of initiating a case. A lawyer may take your case and spend hundreds of hours preparing it and litigating it, only to lose and receive no payment. When a lawyer works on a contingency fee basis and agrees to take your case, this means they truly believe you have a chance at success, and they will do everything possible to recover compensation because that’s the only way they will get paid.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be an incredibly terrifying experience. It’s important to think about what you need to do if you are involved in one so you can take the appropriate steps.
- Make Sure You’re Safe. After a car accident occurs, it’s crucial to make sure that you are out of harm’s way. You don’t want to move your car if possible. It’s best to take pictures of the scene exactly how the accident occurred and it’s helpful for the police to be able to see what happened as well. However, if you’re on a highway or are worried about your safety for any other reason, move your car or move yourself to ensure that you are out of harm’s way.
- Call the Police. After a car accident, it’s important to call the police. When they arrive, they can survey the scene, take photos, talk to witnesses, and write up an accident report. This will help you with any insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits. Make sure you get a copy of the police report. Ideally, you are present when the police arrive so you can give them a statement and make sure they know what happened. However, if you were seriously injured and can’t stay at the scene, you can always speak with them later.
- Exchange Information. Another important step to take after being involved in a car accident is to exchange information with all the parties involved. Get insurance information, name and phone number, driver’s license information, registration, and insurance information. In New York, you are actually required to exchange most of this information after a car accident. It will also be helpful should you decide to file an insurance claim or take the case to court. It’s also helpful to get information from any eyewitnesses that are willing to speak with you and your lawyer in the future. It can be difficult to find witnesses after the fact, so the sooner you can get their information, the better. This will give your lawyer an excellent place to start when they are investigating and preparing your claim.
- Gather Evidence. While your first thought after a car accident may not be about lawsuits and recovering monetary compensation, it’s important to keep in mind that you may be entitled to it. An important part of any personal injury case is evidence. If you’re safe and healthy enough to do so, it’s wise to take pictures of the scene. This includes photos of your car, any damage that occurred, the other cars involved and the damage that occurred to their vehicles, and photos of any property damage sustained during the accident. Additionally, take photos of any injuries you sustained. Also, write down as much information as you can recall about the accident. You might think that because it’s so fresh in your memory you will remember it all when you speak with the police or a lawyer in the future, but this isn’t always the case. It’s a stressful situation, and it’s easy to forget things or mix up facts. Writing down as much as possible immediately after the accident will be helpful in the future.
- Seek Medical Help. This might seem obvious, but if you are injured in a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Some injuries are visible, but it’s not uncommon to sustain injuries in a car accident that you can’t see right away. You could have a concussion or internal bleeding. Always make sure you go see a doctor as soon as possible. Additionally, seeking medical care after an accident can be helpful in the future if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you didn’t suffer any property damage or injuries in the accident, you won’t be successful in your claim. Having documented medical issues will help your claim to be successful.
- File an Accident Report. In New York, you are required to report a car accident unless there was less than $1,000 worth of property damage. While you might not know the exact amount of damage, a significant number of accidents are going to involve much more damage than this. It’s always a safe bet to report the accident. You must report it to The New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
No-Fault Car Insurance Laws
New York operates under a no-fault insurance system. This means that after an accident, regardless of whose fault it was, you must file a claim with your own insurance company. In some circumstances, you might also pursue a claim against the responsible driver and their insurance company, but you will need to contact yours first. If your insurance claim doesn’t cover the extent of your losses, you can attempt to recover compensation from the other driver’s insurance if you meet certain requirements.
All drivers in New York are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) of at least $50,000. PIP is purchased as part of your insurance policy and provides coverage for medical expenses should you be involved in a car accident. The amount of money you can receive through a PIP claim is based on how much you purchase when you initiate the coverage. PIP typically covers medical expenses such as medical and dental services, hospital expenses, surgical services, psychiatric and physical rehabilitation costs, diagnostic services, and ambulatory services.
Additionally, if you are unable to work because of the injuries you suffered in a car accident, your PIP will help cover the costs of your lost wages.
Don’t Speak to Insurance Adjusters
In many cases, an insurance adjuster will reach out to you to obtain a recorded statement. They will likely seem friendly and act as though they are trying to help and give you the impression that they have your best interests in mind. However, this isn’t usually the case. It’s almost never a good idea to speak with an adjuster without first contacting a lawyer. An insurance company has one goal—to make money. They do this by finding ways to pay out less money than you deserve or to pay out as little money as possible. You could end up talking to them and providing a statement that could be really hurtful to your claim without even realizing it. Always talk to an experienced Brooklyn car accident lawyer first.
Many people are inclined to apologize to the other party after a car accident, even if they aren’t at fault. This is human nature and makes sense—you were in an accident, and you are sorry that it happened, even if it was the other person’s fault. This can totally derail a possible claim in the future. Never say sorry! This can and will likely be used at trial to convince the jury that you aren’t entitled to compensation. Don’t apologize even if you believe you are at fault, either. The truth is, you may have no idea whose fault it is. In the moment, you might think it was your fault, but you don’t have all the information. Let your lawyers handle the talking.
Contact Morgan & Morgan For Assistance
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident and believe someone else’s negligence was to blame, contact Morgan & Morgan right away. We can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. When you hire us, the defendant and the courts will know you are serious. While most car accident personal injury cases are settled out of court, we will ensure that you get everything you deserve. We are never afraid to take a case to trial if necessary. All our attorneys are highly experienced in negotiating and litigating cases. As America’s largest personal injury law firm, Morgan & Morgan has the resources and expertise needed to succeed. Our team of attorneys will be with you every step of the way. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation.