Brooklyn Car Accident FAQs
Who to call for auto accident advice?
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, it is best to consult an attorney experienced in auto accident claims. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you maximize your recovery for injury and loss (or help you defend yourself if you were at fault).
Who should file an auto accident claim?
You’ve been in a car accident and the best-case scenario is you’ve managed to exchange information and get you and your car out of traffic. Now you need to report your claim to your insurance company, even if the accident was not your fault. You’ll find that rule in the fine print of your auto insurance policy where they detail your duties and responsibilities. If you feel the other driver was at fault and were able to get their insurance information you could contact their insurance company instead of waiting around to hear from them. It is possible they did not file a claim. An auto accident attorney or your insurance company can advise you on how to proceed with a claim.
What to expect from an auto accident settlement?
No two auto accidents are alike so auto accident settlements can vary greatly. There are several factors that contribute to the value of your auto accident claim such as:
- Severity of injuries
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Total cost of medical bills
- Loss of companionship
When attempting to get a fair settlement for your claim, your auto accident attorney will focus on three factors:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost wages or loss of earning capacity (past and future)
- Pain, suffering, disfigurement and disability (past and future)
What is my auto accident claim worth?
While there is not a true mathematical formula that will give you an estimate of what your auto accident is worth, you can expect better results with an experienced attorney who will effectively build your case based on these factors.
Auto Accident Settlement Examples
$70,000 auto accident settlement – A passenger in an automobile that collided with another vehicle suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. Before trial, the parties stipulated to a settlement of $70,000.00.
$105,000 auto accident settlement – A woman in a car was t-boned by a vehicle that went through a stop sign at 50 mph and suffered three broken ribs and multiple contusions. She received $105,000 for her claims.
$20,000 auto accident verdict – A man is rear-ended by a vehicle that failed to keep a proper lookout and failed to maintain a safe distance between vehicles. The man claimed that he sustained a torn rotator cuff which required surgery, medical bills of $12,000, and lost income of $2,000. The other driver admitted liability but disputed the extent of the man’s injuries. After deliberating for about 1 ½ hours, a jury returned a verdict of $20,000 for the plaintiff.
What Happens After An Auto Accident?
If you have been involved in an auto accident, there are certain things you need to do that will be vital to your health and to any claim you will file.
- Move to safety, if medically possible, out of the way traffic, wreckage and debris.
- Contact the police or local authorities and give a factual statement of the accident so they can file an accident report if there are any injuries or damage.
- Get immediate medical attention so your injuries can be attended to and documented.
- Get the contact information of every driver involved in the accident as well as insurance and driver’s license information.
- Document the accident scene by taking pictures to include: damage to all vehicles, guardrails and other fixed objects, skid marks, the state of the tire tread, and the condition of the other vehicles involved.
- Contact an accident attorney who specializes in auto accidents and will make sure you receive a settlement offer that reflects the true cost of your injuries and loss.
- After you’ve given your official statement, do not talk to the other drivers or their insurance companies to dispute claims and settlements. Let your lawyer do the talking.
When to call the police in an auto accident?
The laws vary by state on when you are required to call the police following an auto accident. In New York, the driver of a car that causes injury to someone must report an accident involving personal injury to the police, but they only have to report an accident involving only property damage if the owner of the damaged property is not present at the accident scene. Failure to report an auto accident involving injury, death, or damage above $1,000 in New York is punishable by jail time, fines, or both.
When to hire an auto accident lawyer?
If you have been in an auto accident that resulted in injury or monetary loss an experienced auto accident attorney can help you with claims against the driver at fault and insurance companies. Your auto accident attorney knows the laws and procedures to handle your legal issues and acts as your advocate throughout the case. If you have suffered injuries, faced expensive medical bills, or have experienced loss of wages due to an accident, it is time to hire an experienced auto accident attorney.
How do auto accident settlements work?
If you are the injured victim in an auto accident, you file a claim against the at-fault driver and his insurance company. Before starting negotiations, your auto accident attorney will figure out what your claim is worth taking into consideration your medical bills, verdict amounts in similar cases and the amount of time spent in treatment for your injuries. You’ll make a demand of the insurance company based on the documentation of your case which begins the negotiation process. The insurance company’s claim adjuster will look for weakness in your case that will allow the insurance company to offer the smallest settlement possible. The insurance company responds with a counteroffer, and the negotiation continues until you receive an offer you accept or failing to reach an agreement look for resolution through other means such as a trial.
Are auto accident reports public record?
The police report of an auto accident is public record and can be obtained for a fee from the police department who wrote the accident report, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and numerous third-party sources who specialize in background checks.
Are auto accident settlements taxable?
“If you receive a settlement for personal physical injuries or physical sickness and did not take an itemized deduction for medical expenses related to the injury or sickness in prior years, the full amount is non-taxable. Do not include the settlement proceeds in your income.” Source: Publication 4345 (Rev. 4-2015) – IRS.gov
What do accident attorneys do?
An accident attorney provides legal representation to you if you claim to have been injured as a result of negligence or wrongdoing by another person, business, government agency or another entity.
Why hire an accident attorney? When to hire an accident attorney?
If you have been in an accident that resulted in injury or monetary loss an accident attorney can help you go up against the negligent party, their insurance companies, and their lawyers. Your accident attorney knows the laws and procedures to handle your legal issues and acts as your advocate throughout the case. If you have suffered severe injuries, faced expensive medical bills, or have experienced loss of wages due to an accident, it is time to hire an accident attorney.
How to hire an accident attorney?
When choosing an accident attorney look for a lawyer who focuses on personal injury accidents. Ensure they have experience representing clients who have suffered personal injuries specific to your type of case whether it is a car accident or a slip and fall injury. Search online for an attorney’s name and firm to see what others are saying and if there have been complaints. Once you hire an accident attorney, evaluate your comfort level in communicating with the attorney and take into consideration how they treat your case. If you feel your lawyer is not available to you or doesn’t return your calls in a timely manner, and you feel uneasy about their ability to add your case to their caseload it may be time to hire a new attorney.
How to find an accident attorney?
When in need of an accident attorney look for someone who has experience handling your type of accident claim. Look to friends and acquaintances who have been represented by a lawyer in their own accident cases for referral. Also, you can ask for referrals of lawyers you know who have other areas of expertise. If you don’t have a source for referrals, you can use referral services and online directories to search for a list of accident lawyers near you who specialize in accident cases.
How do accident attorneys get paid?
Most accident attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. That means if you win your case, your attorney takes a percentage of the settlement amount that has been paid. Accident attorneys work hard to make sure their clients get fair and reasonable settlements, and their contingency fee is reflective of the amount of work that the lawyer needs to put into your case. You only pay the contingency fee if your lawyer wins the case, but you are still liable for additional fees that are clearly outlined before or immediately after your case is accepted. Some accident attorneys also work on retainer which is a financial agreement where you pay upfront.