Motor vehicle accidents are unfortunate but common; in fact, there are over 130,000 hospitalizations due to motor vehicle accidents in New York State each year. Some can be minor, like fender benders, and only cause damage to your car or property; other accidents, however, can be severe and cause devastating injuries and fatalities to those involved. Victims of car accidents may sustain traumatic brain injuries, lacerations, fractures, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries.
Though you can take steps to avoid a collision, you cannot eliminate the risks of driving- especially if the accident is not your fault. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and believe someone else was at fault, contact a personal injury attorney at Halperin & Halperin, P.C. to learn more about your rights. To get the highest compensation possible, one of our experienced and dedicated car accident attorneys is here to help.
Types of Car Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents can take a wide variety of forms. Below are the three most common types of motor vehicle accidents that we see.
- Rear-end Collisions: Rear-end collisions often occur when a driver suddenly stops, and the car(s) following are unable to slow down in time. These types of crashes can be minor; however, a rear-end collision at high speeds can be devastating. Rear-end collisions can be avoided by keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the car ahead of you.
- Side-impact collisions: This type of accident, commonly referred to as a T-bone collision, occurs when one car collides with the side of another vehicle. Side-impact collisions account for over one-third of serious motor vehicle accidents.
- Single-vehicle accidents: A single-vehicle collision occurs when only one car is involved in a motor vehicle accident. This is a broad category, as it means anything from driving off the road to collisions with pedestrians or other objects. Common causes of these types of accidents involve distracted driving, driving under the influence, or even poor roadway maintenance. This category of accidents can be complicated as it may include third-party liability.
What To Do Following A Car Accident
Below are steps that you should take to protect your rights and strengthen your potential case after a motor vehicle accident.
- Call 911: The first step you should take immediately following a motor vehicle injury is to call the police. Not only can the police provide you and those involved with immediate assistance, but they can also write an accident report and record any relevant information to help determine liability.
- Record and exchange information: Be sure to exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved. Also remember to record their license ID number, insurance information, and license plate number.
- Take photos and identify any witnesses: Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident and injuries. It also helps to note any relevant facts or witnesses relating to your accident, including a narration of the events that transpired. These images and details are crucial and can help strengthen your claim in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Seek medical attention: If you have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident, be sure to receive proper medical care. Have a doctor assess your injuries and keep track of medical reports, expenses, and other relevant documents. Doing this will help prove that you sustained your injuries during the accident.
- Contact an attorney: Consult with an attorney before providing any written or recorded statements to your insurance company. Insurance companies often avoid or delay paying claims; our experienced car accident attorneys can provide crucial advice to obtain a higher reimbursement than what insurance companies often offer.
What Types Of Compensation Are Available?
New York State allows many forms of compensation to those injured in motor vehicle accidents and to the family members of those killed. The most common types of awarded damages include:
- Past and future lost wages: If you are unable to work after a motor vehicle accident or are limited in your mobility or capacity, you may be eligible for compensation to cover any past or future wages that you might have lost as a result of your injuries.
- Medical expenses: Serious accidents can result in hefty medical bills. You may be eligible for compensation to cover your expenses.
- Pain and suffering: Victims of motor vehicle accidents can be compensated for any pain and suffering experienced during or after an accident, in addition to financial costs.
- Property damage: compensation may be awarded to cover any damage to your personal property.
- Punitive damages: In some instances, punitive damages may be awarded to the plaintiff, in addition to the compensation listed above; this discourages the offender from causing a future accident.
- Loss of financial support or parental guidance: You may be compensated if a motor vehicle accident results in the death of a parent or head-of-household.
Statute Of Limitations
The statute of limitations, in most cases, for motor vehicle accidents in New York State only extends three years from the date of the accident; however, this time limit may be longer if the victim of an accident is under 18 years of age. For accidents involving wrongful death, the statute of limitations is only two years from the date of the victim’s death. Lastly, if another vehicle involved in the accident was owned by a municipality, whether a state, or the federal government, a Notice of Claim must be filed immediately – usually not longer than 90 days after the accident. It is crucial that you contact an attorney and file your claim before the statute of limitations expires.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What if I am partially at fault for the accident?
A: New York State allows for comparative liability, meaning that you can still receive partial compensation for your injuries.
Q: What if my insurance company offers compensation?
A: Even if the insurance company offers you compensation for your motor vehicle accident, it is essential to consult with a personal injury attorney. Our experienced attorneys can help you determine how much your claim is worth and negotiate a higher settlement.
Q: What if I cannot afford an attorney?
A: You can afford us. Halperin and Halperin P.C. operates on a contingency basis. We do not require any payment unless and until we recover damages.
Why Choose Halperin & Halperin P.C.?
Our car accident attorneys at Halperin & Halperin P.C. have handled thousands of cases related to motor vehicle accidents and can help you gather the appropriate materials to make a strong claim. Our experienced car accident attorneys will give your case the attention and dedication it deserves. We have proven results in securing significant settlements and trial verdicts for our clients.