Car Accident Attorney in Long Island
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Long Island Car Accident Lawyer
Suppose you've suffered substantial injuries in a Long Island car accident. In that case, you may worry that you might be barred from seeking compensation from an at-fault driver. While New York state observes no-fault insurance law, some circumstances allow you to get out from behind this law and legally pursue another driver for your damages. However, you may have discovered that this process is not simple. That's why you're looking for an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer.
Morgan and Morgan have extensive knowledge about the laws that will impact your ability to recover compensation from a negligent driver. You deserve a chance to explore your legal options with an attorney who understands what you are going through and how to overcome this system. That's why we urge you to contact us today for a free case evaluation.
After learning about the facts of your case, we can provide you with advice concerning a legal path forward to recover compensation. We understand your situation, and our empathetic team will do their best to give you the first-class legal counsel required to get the most for your claim.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more.
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What Kind of Compensation Could I Get for a Long Island Car Accident?
It makes sense that one of your most important questions is what kind of compensation might be available. After all, being faced with high medical bills and perhaps no way to pay because you're unable to work after a serious injury is a scary predicament to be in. You may also wonder if your ongoing medical care will be covered until your physical and mental health has improved. Likewise, you may be curious how pain and suffering and other additional losses are handled. Although we can't speak to your exact circumstances until after we've reviewed your case, here is a general list of damages that may be available depending on the details of your car accident.
What Are Possible Economic Damages for a Long Island Car Accident Claim?
Medical expenses - Including the cost of emergency room care, ambulance transport, hospitalization, surgery, testing, rehabilitation care, doctor's appointments, medications, assistive devices, transportation to and from appointments, and more.
Future medical expenses - Serious injuries usually require ongoing medical care. Your Long Island car accident lawyer will work with your doctor to establish the likelihood and cost of future medical treatment to ensure you get the necessary care covered.
Lost income - Should the car accident result in injuries that prevent you from attending your job for any length of time, lost wages will be factored into any settlement or award.
Lost future income - Some forms of injury may interfere with your ability to perform the same kind of work you used to do prior to the accident. In some cases, that means a reduction in pay. The difference should be accounted for in your compensation. If your injuries are such that you can no longer work and are disabled, lost wages should be recoverable.
Non-Economic Damages May Include:
Pain and suffering - The physical toll of serious injuries is not only compensable for the financial trouble caused but also the discomfort and hardship endured.
Mental anguish - Substantial injuries frequently cause emotional damage to the victim, whether it be anxiety, depression, or any other form of mental distress.
Loss of enjoyment of life - Being unable to continue life as normal has consequences. The loss should be accounted for if you can no longer participate in activities you once enjoyed, like golf, bowling, gardening, dancing, or even playing with your children. The party to blame should be held responsible for compensating you for these losses.
While it may seem harsh to boil non-economic losses such as mental anguish and pain and suffering down to sums of money, financial compensation is the only method civil courts give us as a means to remedy the losses.
How Can a Long Island Car Accident Lawyer Help Me With My Claim?
At Morgan and Morgan Law Firm, our car accident lawyers specialize in personal injury claims just like yours. Hiring a professional that dedicates their practice to personal injury is the best way to ensure all your legal options are laid out and that you get the proper counsel to make a good decision. In most instances, we start by helping you file an insurance claim. However, in some cases, the best strategy will be to file a lawsuit. We'll advise you of the pros and cons of each path. Generally, our process includes the following:
- Determining which damages to pursue
- Calculating the value of your damages
- Gathering evidence through an investigation to establish the other driver was negligent
- Managing all communication with other involved parties
- Using a winning negotiation strategy to ensure you get the most significant settlement possible
- Providing advice concerning the fairness of any settlement offers
- Handling all necessary paperwork
- Representing you in court if necessary
- Looking out for your best interests every step of the way
A Long Island car accident lawyer may be optional for many run-of-the-mill claims. Still, when your injuries are severe enough to step outside the no-fault insurance law barriers, you'll likely run into issues because a lot of money could be at stake. Here are some of the problems your Morgan and Morgan attorney will be prepared to combat:
Lowball settlement offers - This is a tried and true tactic for insurance companies because it often works when car crash victims don't understand their rights or what they're entitled to recover. If the number doesn't sound right, it probably isn't. Still, even if you think it's a decent offer, it's best to run it by a seasoned attorney. Since we have extensive experience in these types of cases, we've learned to include things you may not have even considered as compensable, like child care, nursing care, modifications to your house to accommodate a disability, transportation costs, and more.
A complication with your claim - It's not unusual that when significant money is on the table, the insurance company will nitpick and look under every rock to find a problem. You may get denied for bogus reasons, or they may find a reason to argue your claim isn't worth as much as you say. When that happens, a legal representative can make all the difference. We can counter their arguments, shut them down, and fight for what's fair.
Multiple-party involvement - Not every accident is between two drivers. Suppose the other driver was driving in a commercial capacity. In that case, their employer may also be liable, which could mean additional insurance money. Likewise, if the accident involved more than one private driver, there could also be more insurance money. Suppose you don't have a lawyer reviewing these things. In that case, you could miss a significant opportunity to recover additional compensation.
Disputes concerning fault - Since fault is a condition of liability, the other side may argue that you were responsible for the accident or are partly to blame to minimize their financial accountability. We'll explain more about why this matters.
How Does Comparative Negligence Affect My New York State Car Accident Claim?
New York is a no-fault state but also observes the comparative negligence rule. This means that if you had some blame in your car accident, any financial award you receive would be reduced based on the percentage of blame you carry. However, even if you were partially at fault, that doesn't bar you from seeking compensation from the other driver. In many instances, disputes concerning how much fault each party bears are why insurance claims are escalated to the civil court system. Here is how that works:
Suppose your lawyer and the other driver's insurance company cannot agree on fault, thus hindering a fair settlement for you. In that case, we would file legal documents so a judge and jury decide instead. In this instance, our job would be to diminish your fault while providing compelling evidence pointing to the other driver's portion of responsibility to sway opinions in your favor. When the jury decides on the degree of each party's fault, the award will reflect their decision. Here is an example:
The jury decides that you bear 30% of the responsibility. Perhaps you were exceeding the speed limit or failed to signal a lane change. The other party is then found 70% responsible. They award you $100,000 for your damages. However, since you have 30% responsibility, the actual award is reduced to $70,000.
Because comparative negligence can seriously affect how much money you receive, it's imperative to work with a Long Island car accident lawyer that can uncover necessary evidence and provide a compelling argument in front of a jury.
While lots of law firms say they are great at negotiating, trials are a different situation. The last thing you want is to work with a lawyer that isn't comfortable in a court setting. In fact, you might be surprised that many active lawyers rarely see the inside of a courtroom. However, that's never an issue at Morgan and Morgan. Our lawyers are trial-ready and battle-tested. We never back down and settle for less than your case is worth just because it's easier. If we think a trial will result in the best outcome for your legal matter, that is what we will pursue. With more than $15 billion recovered for clients, our track record tells a story of dogged determination.
What Allows Car Accident Victims to Step Outside of New York's No-Fault Law?
The other driver's negligence and the extent of your injuries will determine whether you can pursue a claim or lawsuit outside the no-fault doctrine. Traditionally, under no-fault insurance law, each party uses their own insurance to cover medical expenses and lost income regardless of fault. However, New York state allows victims of serious injury to pursue damages against the other party if their negligence was the cause of the accident. Here is how New York state defines "serious" injury:
- Broken bones
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of an organ
- Loss of bodily system or function
- Substantial disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Loss of brain function
- Substantial full disability for the duration of at least three months
When a loved one dies in a car accident due to another driver's negligence, this is legally referred to as wrongful death. Certain surviving family members may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim to recover losses associated with their death. For example:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost financial support
- Medical expenses before death connected to the car accident
- Conscious pain and suffering of the victim before death
- Reduction in inheritance
- Loss of parental guidance for victims with children
- Services that the deceased provided, such as childcare and household maintenance
Hopefully, this list helps you consider whether you would be eligible to file a claim against another party's insurance or pursue a lawsuit. However, we urge you to reach out to us personally if you have any questions regarding eligibility, as we understand each case is unique.
Don't Wait to Learn About Your Legal Rights
You may not realize that a legal countdown started as soon as you had your accident. You have limited time to seek compensation, even in the case of severe injury and negligence. That's why reaching out today for a free case evaluation is so important. You have a limited amount of time to initiate personal injury cases and even less for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Morgan and Morgan have helped tens of thousands of clients recover the compensation they deserve. Our services don't require any upfront payment, and you owe us nothing unless we resolve your claim successfully. You're entitled to seek justice when another party has wronged you through negligence. Morgan and Morgan are here to help.