Car accidents are one of the most common, and often one of the most dangerous, causes of personal injury in New York. Car accidents happen each and every day to many people across the state, and there is really no way to prevent them except for being a vigilant and safe driver when you are behind the wheel. But being a safe driver doesn’t mean that other people who share the roadways with you will also be safe and courteous drivers. Indeed, accidents happen to even the safest of drivers on the roads.
Being involved in a car accident can seriously impact and up-end your life. It can leave you injured, unable to work, and unable to get around because your vehicle is damaged. Serious injuries and fatalities may result from auto accidents, but accident victims may be able to recover compensation for their harms through a personal injury claim.
Common causes of auto accidents in New York include:
- Violating traffic laws, e.g., speeding, failing to obey traffic lights or signs, or not using turn signals when appropriate;
- Unsafe driving, such as improper lane changes, or following too closely behind another vehicle;
- Drowsiness, i.e., driving while tired, or falling asleep at the wheel;
- Distracted driving, e.g., texting while driving or using a phone of GPS;
- Drunk driving or drugged driving;
- Inexperience, e.g., young drivers who don’t know what to do in an emergency situation;
- Dangerous roadways and dangerous road conditions;
- Dangerous weather conditions, such as rain, sleet, ice, snow and strong winds; and
- Mechanical or design failures in automobiles; for instance, an improperly repaired part could cause an accident, or a poorly designed factory part could break and cause an accident.
Common Types of Automobile Accident Injuries
Automobile accidents can produce a wide range of injuries to victims involved in the accident. There is no telling from an accident just how serious the victim’s injuries will be. There are many instances where people walk away from horrific car accidents with little more than a scratch, while a small fender-bender could produce a serious case of whiplash. Some common car accident injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises, contusions and lacerations.
- Broken or fractured bones.
- Injuries to muscles, such as a pulled muscle or a strain.
- Burn injuries.
- Sprains, and twisted joints.
- Back injuries.
- Neck injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Head injuries, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries.
- Temporary or permanent disabilities.
- Disfigurement and scarring.
The medical expenses associated with an automobile accident can mount quickly, even if you have good health insurance. Not only might you require emergency care after your accident, but depending on how bad your injuries are, you might need multiple surgeries, rehabilitation therapy, or years of medical treatments in the future.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
If you have been injured in a car accident, an insurance company generally will be responsible to pay damages. You might be able to see recovery through the insurance of the person who hit you, or through your own automobile insurance provider. But working with insurance companies can be difficult and is often a headache. You are most likely in a vulnerable state after an automobile accident and insurance companies are notoriously aggressive and reluctant to pay out your claim. Insurance companies have a habit of fighting tooth and nail against paying, which makes sense from their point of view. It is in their best interests to pay out as little as possible on your automobile accident claim, so it is in your best interest to have a lawyer by your side fighting to negotiate for you and ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of you.
No-Fault Insurance Laws
Under New York’s no-fault insurance law, an insurance company is required to compensate an accident victim for up to $50,000 in economic losses, including medical bills and lost wages, no matter whose fault the accident was. In order to pursue a lawsuit, you must show that you suffered a serious injury.
A lawyer can help you ensure that you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve from the insurance company and can help you determine whether you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver who was responsible for causing your accident. You can seek damages for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage. Please contact us today for a free initial consultation.
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