Can A New York Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Car accidents are sudden, shocking and traumatic.
But if you’ve been seriously injured, the effects don’t just wear off after one disturbing night. A motor vehicle collision can change your life; you and your family may never be the same again.
If you were injured in an auto accident, you’re not alone. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the State’s highways, roads and city streets saw almost 304,100 car crashes in 2013. More than 41% resulted in serious personal injury, and 1,109 were fatal. You can find more car accident statistics here.
But numbers can tell us nothing of the true cost that car accidents force so many New Yorkers to face. The personal injury lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. don’t want you to become another statistic.
We understand how disruptive a crash can be; your future may be out-of-focus, and your mind filled with troubling questions. As one of New York’s most prestigious personal injury teams, we help injured individuals like you every day.
Our attorneys can’t turn back the hands of time, and make it as if your accident never happened. But going forward, we can provide a firm legal foundation for your full recovery.
Will My Auto Insurance Be Enough?
New York is well aware of the tragic effects that car accidents can cause. That’s why every motorist is legally required to carry a minimum liability insurance policy of $25,000 for one person’s bodily injury, and $50,000 for multiple injured people.
In addition, every driver needs $50,000 of mandatory “no-fault” insurance coverage. If you get hurt, your initial expenses will be paid out of your own personal no-fault policy, not the insurance that the other driver has purchased.
How Does No Fault Insurance Work?
No fault auto insurance is offered to injured drivers regardless of their responsibility for the accident, and it can cover portions of your necessary medical expenses and lost wages.
But crucially, no-fault insurance claims ignore critical types of damages that you may be facing. They simply avoid things like “pain and suffering,” as if physical pain and psychological trauma weren’t common, debilitating effects of an auto crash.
As many people have learned, insurance companies are often unwilling to pay out full claims. When they do, the amounts can be woefully inadequate.
For many serious injuries, insurance is simply not enough.
How Can I Secure The Compensation I Need?
If you suffer from a severe injury, the car accident lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. may be able to help you secure additional compensation, beyond what your insurance company offers.
Once your no-fault coverage is depleted, you’ll need to consider pursuing compensation through the other driver’s insurance policy.
Fighting An Insurance Company
But even filing a traditional auto insurance claim can become difficult very quickly. Remember, an insurance company’s focus is solely on their own bottom line.
Insurance adjusters routinely attempt to “minimize” the appearance of injuries. They’ll hire additional medical experts, and try to claim that your suffering is “temporary,” even when the effects will clearly last months, years, or even your entire life.
In order to collect the compensation you deserve, you’ll need to prove that the other driver’s negligence contributed to your accident.
This is hard, if not impossible, without strong legal representation.
Strengthening Your Claim
Insurance companies possess a wealth of resources that private individuals don’t. Immediately after you’ve filed a claim, the insurance company will go to work.
Along with a team of medical professionals and accident investigators, adjusters will thoroughly examine the facts of your crash. They’re looking for loopholes that allow them to pay out as little as possible.
An experienced auto accident attorney is an essential tool in defending your rights. Your claim will hinge on your lawyer’s ability to collect and martial evidence in support of your side of events. Any weakness, any failing, any misunderstanding of New York State’s legal code could jeopardize your opportunity to recover compensation.
Good thing our personal injury attorneys are extensively qualified to match an insurance company’s arguments point for point, with the resources, knowledge and over 100 years of experience you need to win.
Can I File A Lawsuit?
If we can’t come to terms with the insurer, and find a settlement offer that you are comfortable with, our attorneys are prepared to bring your case to trial.
Did Negligence Cause My Crash?
We expect other drivers to operate their vehicles safely, and minimize the potential for accidents as much as they possibly can.
In legal terms, we call this expectation a “reasonable standard of care.” If we couldn’t “reasonably” assume that other drivers were going to follow the “standard,” most of us wouldn’t get on the road in the first place.
But as we all know, many drivers don’t live up to the “standard.” When they fail to do their best, and other people get hurt, they have acted “negligently” and can be held accountable in a court of law.
3 Reasons To File A Lawsuit
This argument of negligence is the foundation for most car accident lawsuits. But it’s not the only one.
1. Driver Negligence
Driver inattention is at fault in an estimated 41% of all car accidents. In most vehicles, distractions are numerous, from mobile phones and GPS devices to simply changing the radio. Surprisingly, many motorists simply don’t look where they’re going when it matters most.
More than 30% of crashes are the result of “decision errors,” when drivers fail to account for weather conditions, drive too quickly on a difficult roadway, or employ illegal driving maneuvers. And 3% of all drivers who cause accidents were asleep at the wheel during a collision.
These are all examples of driver negligence, and strong grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
2. Defective Vehicles
In many cases, auto manufacturers and parts suppliers are actually at the root of an accident. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that almost 45,000 accidents are caused by vehicle malfunction every year.
Tires, wheels and brakes fail at a surprising rate during operation. Sometime these problems are the inevitable result of daily wear-and-tear. But more often than you might expect, these crashes are the result of defectively designed or manufactured equipment.
If a vehicle fault contributed to your accident, you may be able to hold its manufacturer responsible in a personal injury lawsuit.
3. Improper Road Design
In rare but devastating instances, poorly designed roads contribute to an accident. Low visibility, inadequate median barriers – these factors are “baked in” to the driving experience.
But they don’t need to be, and if negligent engineering or construction played a role in your crash, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the City or State of New York.
New York City’s government has become increasingly aware of the role roadway design can play in both contributing to, or preventing, accidents. Mayor de Blasio’s new “Vision Zero” program, intended to reduce all pedestrian deaths in a matter of years, was designed to make the City’s streets more “forgiving” for motorists.
In the examples above, we’ve only begun to touch on the numerous causes that can contribute to a car accident. To learn more about negligence, and how it may have caused your traffic collision, click here.
How Much Is My Lawsuit Worth?
Think your crash was caused by someone else’s negligence? Unfortunately, no attorney can value a potential case before a thorough investigation.
The amount of compensation to which you are entitled will vary depending on the facts of your accident and, importantly, the severity of your injuries. To find more information on New York State’s definition of “serious injury,” click here.
Types Of Damages In A Car Accident Case
There are actually several types of damages you can demand from a negligent party.
Most common are “economic,” or “compensatory” damages, purely financial losses like necessary medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future earning potential.
For example, if you suffered a “whiplash”-type injury, with severe back and neck pain, the court may award you compensatory damages to reimburse the expenses of any procedures, prescriptions, and on-going rehabilitation.
Another class of damages, “non-economic” ones, are harder to quantify, but just as important. Along with demonstrable medical bills, being seriously injured comes with a host of other adverse effects, not least of which is simply feeling pain.
The hardship of experiencing pain, along with any psychological distress you may experience, is generally referred to as “pain and suffering.” If your attorney can effectively prove that you suffer from mental or physical anguish, the court may award you damages in compensation.
Again, we aren’t in a position to tell you how much your potential lawsuit is worth. With that being said, our personal injury lawyers have a long history of exceeding our clients’ expectations.
You can learn more about our proven track record of success here.
Contact Our New York Auto Accident Attorneys
Were you injured in a car crash in New York State?
Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. today. With our extensive resources and over 100 years of combined experience, your case will be in good hands. Our attorneys are aggressive, experienced and knowledgeable. All you need to do is call.
Want to learn more about your legal options? We offer a free, no obligation consultation to all injury victims. Simply call 212-285-3300 or fill out our contact form and begin reviewing the best choice for your future with a qualified auto accident attorney.