The Law Offices of Robert E. Brown, P.C.

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The Law Offices of Robert E. Brown, P.C.

Car accidents of any type are often traumatic. A severe accident can have a life-altering impact on the victims. This could include severe financial losses, serious injuries, or other damages. If you suffered a minor or major accident in Staten Island, you must take timely action to protect your rights.

You can get in touch with us at The Law Offices of Robert E. Brown, PC. for expert legal guidance and representation in car accident cars in Staten Island. With our experience in car accident claims and lawsuits, we can guide you on the best legal strategy for your case and represent you through the process.

Light Vehicle And Bicycle AccidentTop Causes of Car Accidents in Staten Island, NY

The congested roadways and inclement weather in Staten Island contribute to car accidents there. However, the top causes are linked to driver negligence and reckless behavior.

One of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents in Staten Island is distracted driving. The use of cell phones behind the wheel is making distracted driving even more common. Other common distractions include fiddling with the GPS or stereo settings, eating and drinking, or conversing with passengers in the vehicle.

Speeding is another top cause of car accidents. Not only does speeding result in a greater chance of suffering in an accident, but it also increases the severity of the injuries. The most serious injuries in car accidents include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputation injuries.

Another common cause of injuries is alcohol impairment. A driver who is under the influence of alcohol has impaired driving ability. Alcohol can reduce the reaction time and judgment of the driver, increasing the chances of a car accident. Other common causes include poor road conditions. Staten Island has frequent road construction and maintenance, and driving through these areas requires extra caution.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Car crashes can cause significant injuries to drivers and passengers. The severity of the injuries can be worse if the occupants of the vehicle are not wearing their seat belts. Here are some of the most common car accident injuries:

Along with physical injuries, personal injury victims can also suffer from psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, stress, depression, fear of driving, and other mental health conditions.

Who Is At Fault For A Car Accident?

The liable parties for car accidents can include the other driver, the vehicle manufacturer, the government entity responsible for maintaining safe road conditions, the vehicle parts manufacturer, repair shops, mechanics, or other third parties that could have contributed to or caused the car accident.

Staten Island follows a no-fault law for accidents. This means that the insurance company will pay for the injury damages no matter who was at fault for the accident.

There could be more than one party liable in a car accident. If the total damages are beyond the no-fault benefits, then Staten Island follows a comparative negligence law, under which the compensatory damages are adjusted according to the share of fault for the accident. For example, if you are 30 percent at fault for a car accident,  you only get a maximum of 70 percent of the recoverable damages.

If the share of fault is more than 50 percent, no damages can be recovered. While this law offers the benefit of being able to recover damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident, it can make the case more complex.

To make matters more challenging, to prove fault in a car accident in Staten Island, you will have to rely on solid evidence. This could include surveillance footage of how the accident happened, photos or videos from the crash site, eyewitness testimony or statements, police reports, and medical records. With the evidence you can prove that the defendant owed a duty of care toward you and that they breached this duty causing you to suffer in the form of injuries and/or property damage.

The complexity of car accident cases and the challenge of gathering solid evidence means you should hire an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney who has handled such cases before and can guide you on the legal process for recovering damages.

Car With A Broken WIndowWhat Should Car Accident Victims Do: Immediate Aftermath of the Accident

It is a multi-step process to recover full and fair compensation for car accidents in Staten Island. Before you initiate the legal process, you need to ensure you get the medical attention you need. Even minor injuries can get worse if timely medical attention is not received.

If you need emergency medical treatment, then that should be your top priority. However, if you are in stable condition at the crash site, try to gather evidence such as photos of the vehicle damage and skid marks. Check if there were any eyewitnesses to the accident and if they are willing to share their contact information. Also, find out if there is any surveillance footage of the accident.

You also need to call the police after the accident. They will arrive at the accident scene to make a report of the incident. This report can play a key role in the outcome of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Fleeing the accident site without waiting for the police or without exchanging information with other parties involved in the accident can be considered a hit and run, which is a serious offense in Staten Island.

The information you share with the involved parties should include contact information, insurance policy details, driver’s license numbers, vehicle license plate numbers, and any other relevant information that you may need.

Your auto insurance company also needs to be notified about the accident. Keep records of all your expenses, such as medical bills and towing fees, as you will likely need these records if you seek compensatory damages for your losses.

Consider contacting an attorney as soon as possible after the car accident. Using their legal understanding and experience in such personal injury cases, the attorney can help you avoid some common pitfalls in the aftermath of a car accident. For example, the attorney can guide you in evidence preservation and negotiations with the insurance company.

The Legal Process for Recovering Damages in Staten Island

Generally, the legal proceedings for recovering damages start with filing an insurance claim. Your attorney can handle all the legal aspects of the case, including filing the claim. Your attorney may want to investigate the case and do a preliminary case evaluation to determine the best legal strategy before initiating legal action.

After filing a claim with the insurance company, you can expect to receive no-fault benefits regardless of who is at fault for the collision. The no-fault benefits cover a wide range of expenses, including medical bills but there is a limit. For damages beyond the benefit limits, your attorney will have to submit a demand letter with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The demand letter would include the details of your injuries and damages and request compensation accordingly.

The insurance company can accept or deny your claim. They may engage in negotiations, where they will try their best to minimize their payout. Your attorney can use their skills and experience to negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get the maximum possible compensation.

If you do not get fair compensation, you have the right to take the case to court. However, consider mediation or arbitration before you take that step. If you can get fair compensation through alternative dispute resolution methods, you can avoid going to court.

If the dispute remains unresolved, you should not hesitate to take the case to court. Your attorney can start the legal procedure by filing a lawsuit against the opposing party. In the trial, both sides will present their argument and evidence in front of a judge or jury, who will deliberate on the matter and render a judgment. If needed you can appeal at a higher court.

What Compensation Can You Expect After A Car Accident?

If you have suffered a car collision that resulted from someone else’s recklessness or negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your suffering. However, the process of recovering damages can be complicated.

The good news is that since New York is a no-fault state, you can first file a claim for damages with your insurance company. In a first-party claim, you can recover no-fault benefits without needing to prove who was at fault for the accident. Generally, a first-party insurance claim needs to be initiated within 30 days from the date of the car accident.

In New York, the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage offers no-fault benefits. This includes a minimum coverage of $50,000 per person per accident so your insurance company has to pay a minimum of this amount. Drivers who purchase a higher limit for PIP will have access to higher coverage.

If you have exhausted the no-fault benefits, you will need to seek other legal routes to recover additional compensation for your damages. In most cases, you will need to file a claim against the at-fault driver. The amount of compensation you can recover in such a claim depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of lost wages or loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, and other factors.

Car Front Totally SmashedHow Can an Attorney Help?

While you don’t technically need a lawyer, hiring one can be hugely beneficial if you suffered a serious injury or property damage in a car accident case. In your initial consultation with the attorney, they can assess your case and give you the best legal options for protecting your rights and recovering the maximum possible compensation. If you choose to hire them, the attorney can handle all the legal aspects of the case, while you can focus on recovering and getting your life back on track after the trauma of suffering a car accident.

One of the key aspects of car accident cases in Staten Island is communication with the insurance company, which may try to minimize their payout using various tactics. Experienced personal injury lawyers know exactly how to negotiate with an insurance company. Your attorney can guide you to a fair settlement offer and if needed, can take the case to court.

If you want to consult a personal injury lawyer in Staten Island, NY, contact us at The Law Offices of Robert E. Brown, PC. Our personal injury law firm specializes in car accident cases in Staten Island, and we can use our expertise and experience to help you get maximum compensation for your damages.

Robert Brown

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(212) 766-9779