After you have been severely injured in a New York car accident, you may be anxious to get justice and hold the liable party accountable. In doing so, you may be able to recover the compensation you need to get through these difficult times and begin to rebuild your life.
But before you make the decision to pursue your case, you may be wondering what the car accident settlement process in New York looks like and how long it might take for you to resolve your case. Your New York personal injury lawyer at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates can help you understand what to expect from your case.
New York Car Accident Claims Process
After everything you have been through, the thought of bringing your case to court can be daunting. You may feel intimidated and overwhelmed when you think about taking legal action against the liable party.
But once you have a better understanding of how the car accident claims process works in New York, you may have the confidence you need to move forward with your case.
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Investigating the Cause of the Accident
Once you have hired a New York car accident lawyer from Dansker & Aspromonte Associates to take on your case, one of the most important responsibilities we will have is investigating the cause of your accident.
Many different pieces of evidence could be used to support your case. Some of the more common types of evidence we use to build compelling car accident claims include:
- Accident reconstructionist reports
- Expert testimony
- Photos of your injuries and the scene of the accident
- Video surveillance of the car accident
- Chemical blood alcohol test results
- Other forensic evidence
- Witness statements
- Medical records
Establishing Fault for Your Car Accident
To recover compensation for your car accident injuries, your lawyer must first figure out who is at fault for the accident. The evidence obtained during our investigation will go a long way in helping to establish fault.
Many different individuals and entities could share blame for your car accident and the injuries you sustained. Some of the parties we may investigate for fault include:
- Dram shops: These are establishments that serve or sell alcohol. Under General Obligations Law § 11-101 (1), dram shops can be held accountable when they serve or sell alcohol to someone who is already visibly intoxicated and that person then causes an accident that leads to injury or death.
- Auto parts manufacturers: When auto parts are defective or malfunction, the auto parts designers, manufacturers, producers, or other parties could share blame for your injuries.
- Negligent drivers: Negligent driving is a primary cause of car accidents. Drunk, distracted, drowsy, drugged, and aggressive driving are all potential causes of car accidents in New York.
- Government agencies: Government agencies responsible for the safety and maintenance of the roads in New York can be held accountable when dangerous roadways cause critical car accident injuries.
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Calculating the Value of Your New York Car Accident Claim
While your lawyer is building your case against the liable party, they will also be responsible for figuring out what your car accident claim in New York is worth. When someone else’s negligence causes your injuries, you have the right to be made whole.
You should be compensated for every way your life has been affected by your injuries. To calculate the value of your claim, your lawyer will need to review all of your losses in detail. Some of the various economic and non-economic damages that you could seek to recover in your car accident claim include:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of potential future earnings
- Diminished quality of life
- Medical expenses and equipment
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Damage to your reputation
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Filing a Claim With The Insurance Company
Once your car accident attorney has a clear understanding of what your case is worth, they can file a claim with the insurance company. Under NY Ins L § 5221, New York is a no-fault state for car insurance and accident purposes.
This means you will file a claim with your own auto insurance company if you were in your own vehicle during the accident for medical costs, lost earnings and other expenses, no matter who is at fault. If you were a pedestrian or not insured at the time of the incident, you would make a claim for these benefits with the insurance carrier for the vehicle which caused the accident.
Be prepared to have your attorney step in and handle the negotiations process for you. Some insurance companies may try to lowball claimants or reduce their injury settlements due to unfounded claims. Your lawyer will protect you and never pressure you to accept an insurance settlement that is less than you deserve.
Bringing Your Case to Trial
Unfortunately, settling with the insurance company is not always possible. Whether the insurance company refuses to settle your claim or the amount of your damages exceeds their financial obligation to you, you may not receive the settlement you expect or deserve from the insurer.
If this happens to you, do not worry. You may still have the opportunity to bring your case to court to get the most out of your claim. In fact, bringing your case to trial may be one of the only ways to recover your economic and non-economic damages in their entirety.
Get Help From a Car Accident Lawyer in New York
The car accident settlement process and timeline can be confusing because it is different for every person’s case.
If you want to find out exactly what your next steps should be, a New York car accident lawyer at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates can assist you. When you are ready to receive your free, no-obligation consultation, contact our office. If you have been seriously injured in an accident, the sooner you bring your claim, the sooner you can begin the process of fighting for the fair and reasonable compensation you deserve.