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Staten Island Car Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a car accident, you need to know if you can seek damages through a personal injury claim. Find out what your case could be worth by consulting a Staten Island car accident lawyer.
Car accidents happen without warning. In the blink of an eye, your life can change for the worse forever, which leaves you and your family with the overwhelming process of seeking medical treatment, missing work, and losing income. The physical and emotional pain combined with the financial burden can cause stress and anxiety for victims.
Staten Island roads and highways are busy, which makes car accidents an everyday occurrence. Although most drivers operate their vehicles while following the rules, many drivers are careless and do not obey traffic laws, which makes them financially liable for any crashes they cause
Suffering serious injuries in a car accident can have a profound effect on your life. You may not be able to work while you recover, or you may be permanently unable to work at all. In addition, the emotional damage can be traumatizing. Expensive medical treatments, surgeries, and rehabilitation can all be a financial drain on your bank account.
When confronting serious injuries in a car accident, an experienced Staten Island car accident lawyer from Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP can help you navigate the legal process and work hard on your behalf while you recover from your injuries.
Causes of Car Accidents on Staten Island
Most people will experience a car accident at some point in their life. There is a multitude of potential causes that could all implicate a number of different parties. Considering all causes is essential to identifying all of the responsible parties—and maximizing your compensation.
With head-on, rear-end, and side-impact collisions, there are myriad reasons car accidents occur on Staten Island, which include the following:
- Driver error, such as failing to obey traffic signals and signs
- Distracted driving, such as through cellphone use, texting, or eating
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Reckless driving, including weaving in and out of lanes at high speeds and tailgating
- Drowsy driving (especially common in trucking accidents)
- Dangerous road conditions (a common cause of motorcycle accidents)
- Road construction
Keep in mind that not all these accident types are always the fault of another driver. In some cases, the driver might have been involved in an accident while on the clock. In this case, their employer could be the one responsible for your damages.
In other cases, if you’re injured by road hazards, the fault for the accident might be with the government agency responsible for keeping the roads safe. If the New York Department of Transportation doesn’t make sure the roads are safe, they put New York drivers in unnecessary, avoidable danger. Fortunately, knowing what caused your car accident can help you pinpoint the right responsible party.
Four Elements to Prove Negligence in Car Accidents
Car accident claims can be complex, and proving negligence requires an experienced Staten Island car accident lawyer who will work on your behalf to hold the person responsible accountable.
Accident victims in Staten Island must prove that the negligent party caused the collision by demonstrating the following four elements:
- Duty – The law requires that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care. Drivers must be mindful of the safety of passengers, people in other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.
- Breach – The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act in a particular way. For example, failing to stop at a red light or failing to yield to pedestrians is a breach of duty.
- Causation – The defendant’s actions caused injuries and harm to the victim.
- Damages – As a result of the defendant’s action, the victim was harmed or injured.
Under the legal principle of negligence in New York, when a party causes an injury to another person through careless actions, that person is legally liable for any resulting injuries.
Car Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
For many victims, car accidents can cause minor injuries that require either minimal or no medical treatment. However, for others, the injuries can be severe and life-altering, often devastating victims and their families.
It’s important to get medical attention immediately following a car accident as some injuries, such as head trauma, can be delayed and are not always apparent until days or even weeks after the collision.
Depending on the impact of the car accident, your collision could have resulted in any number of potential injuries, all of which will directly affect the amount of compensation you can receive:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Cuts, lacerations, and bruises
- Broken bones
- Face, neck, and back injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other emotional disorders
Unlike minor wounds, serious injuries can require long-term or lifelong medical treatment and rehabilitation. This is particularly true in cases of severe trauma, such as paralyzing back injuries, amputation, and brain damage. Additionally, the physical pain and inability to work can cause emotional turmoil for many victims, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders.
Navigating Insurance After a Car Accident
When people get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they are committing to driving with caution and safety in mind. When they fail to obey traffic laws and cause an accident, they are liable for their careless actions and can be held accountable.
Once your own no-fault personal injury protection is exceeded, it’s up to the driver who caused the crash and their insurance company to compensate you for your damages. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and paying out as little as possible, though. Don’t fall for their trap and accept a settlement without a personal injury attorney by your side.
A Staten Island car accident lawyer from our firm can deal with the grueling task of haggling with insurance companies on your behalf and will negotiate the best possible outcome for your claim.
The Serious Injury Threshold and Car Accidents
When you’re involved in a car accident, your no-fault car insurance should give you the help you need to recover. Unfortunately, that settlement amount is not always enough. Your insurance can only cover a certain amount of damages. Once you’ve surpassed that limit, though, you may be eligible to file an injury claim in court.
This limit, called the serious injury threshold, gives you the opportunity to file a Staten Island accident claim against the responsible party if you’ve suffered serious injuries, or if your damages total more than $50,000. Although your no-fault insurance policy can streamline the settlement process, you might need to take your claim to court in order to recoup the full worth of your claim.
You’re typically eligible for these damages if you’ve suffered a permanent loss. For example, losing a limb or losing the use of a limb is a devastating experience—one that can’t be fixed. Worse, you might have lost a loved one during the car crash, or you may have suffered the loss of a fetus because of a reckless driver. In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation beyond your insurer’s settlement offer.
Recovering Damages for a Car Accident in Staten Island
When seeking damages from the person responsible for the motor vehicle accident that caused your injuries, a Staten Island car accident lawyer can investigate your claim and determine who was at fault, the cause of the accident, and the amount of compensation you deserve to be awarded.
Unfortunately, these damages are not always simple to determine. Although your economic damages cover your financial losses, which can be calculated from your bills, you’ll also need to account for your future costs, such as lost earnings and any future surgeries.
Additionally, you will need to include your non-economic damages, as well. These are the losses you faced that don’t always come with a bill—things like pain, suffering, and mental anguish. An experienced lawyer can help you attach a dollar figure to these items.
You could be entitled to recover compensation for any financial and non-economic damages you suffered because of the car accident:
- Medical expenses, both past and future
- Lost wages and future income
- Vehicle repair and replacement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Lost enjoyment of life
After suffering injuries in an accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence, it’s crucial to hire a car accident lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the system and can negotiate the best possible settlement.
Can a Lawyer Get You Punitive Damages?
Although you should receive compensation for your economic and non-economic damages, you may also be entitled to damages beyond these losses. Depending on the other driver’s behavior, you could be awarded punitive damages as part of your total settlement amount.
These damages are unique because they’re not intended to cover the costs of your damages. Instead, these additional damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer for egregious or intentionally harmful actions.
Punitive damages are typically only awarded when the other driver was acting severely negligent or intending to cause harm. For example, if someone with road rage is driving aggressively, they may intentionally run you off the road. If they caused the accident because they were acting willfully malicious, your attorney can seek punitive damages for these actions.
Although punitive damages aren’t often awarded, the judge might decide to award them in order to make an example of the defendant and hopefully deter other people from acting in the same manner.
Staten Island Car Accident FAQ
After a car crash, you almost certainly have a large number of concerns and questions that all need to be addressed. In the following section, we’ve provided answers to a few of the more common queries we receive. For more specific information as it pertains to your case, please contact our firm to speak with a Staten Island car accident lawyer.
When can I file a personal injury claim for a car accident?
Because New York is a no-fault state for car insurance, you can only pursue a personal injury claim when certain conditions have been met. This includes suffering any of the following: bone fractures, disfigurement, loss of a limb’s use or bodily function, and full disability for at least ninety days.
Who’s responsible when a defective car part causes an accident?
If the defect is the result of poor design or manufacturing, then the company who made the defective part would be responsible. If the part simply wasn’t installed correctly, then the company or individual who performed the installation would be at fault.
Can I seek compensation when a family member dies in a fatal car accident on Staten Island?
You can file a wrongful death claim to pursue financial damages, but New York only allows the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to do so. This individual is then expected to distribute the compensation to the family.
Seek Help from a Staten Island Auto Wreck Attorney
The lawyers at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP understand the difficulty you face after being injured because of another person’s carelessness. The physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial burden can all be overwhelming and stressful.
Leave it to us to handle the legal process while you recover. We can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to and alleviate the legal hassles so you can move on with your life.
We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in damages for thousands of car accident victims just like you in Staten Island and throughout New York City. Discover how we can help you get justice for your injuries.
Contact us online through the form below or call us at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) for a free case evaluation to discuss your accident. There is never an obligation to proceed, and we don’t get paid unless we recover a settlement for you.