Help for victims of car accidents

Knowing what damages victims may be able to claim following a car accident is useful to help them through the recovery process. In addition to damages for medical expenses, damages for lost wages, lost earning capacity and pain and suffering damages may be available to injured victims through a personal injury claim for damages.

Personal injury damages can help victims navigate the recovery process. Victims of car accidents may suffer a wide range of damages from cuts, bruises and broken bones to more catastrophic injuries including brain injuries, paralysis and other potentially disabling injuries. Victims who are unable to work as a result of the injuries suffered in a car accident, or while they are recovering from their injuries, may be able to recover damages for lost wages and lost earning capacity.

Victims may also be able to recover compensation for medical expenses including ambulance fees; consultation with healthcare professionals; medical accessories such as crutches or other accessories; disability or disfigurement; physical or cognitive therapy; and in-home care services. It is important to take into account medical expenses the victim has incurred as well as future medical care costs they may incur.

Personal injury legal resources are available to help protect victims when they have been injured by the negligence of another party. Car accident victims may be able to recover compensation for their physical, financial and emotional damages and should be familiar with the damages that may be available to them through a personal injury claim when they have suffered harm in a car accident.


Filing a car insurance claim: The dos and don'ts

Being part of a motor vehicle accident, regardless of the severity, has the potential to alter your life in many ways. Even if you're part of a minor fender bender, you'll still need to contact your insurance company and work with them to have the damage repaired.

In the event of a more serious car accident, such as one in which you suffer an injury, you'll have even more challenges to contend with.

When filing a car insurance claim, here are some of the many things you need to do (courtesy of FindLaw):

  • Call your agent as soon as possible, such as after receiving medical treatment for your injuries
  • Review the details of your policy with an eye toward the coverage
  • Take notes of all conversations with your agent and other insurance company representatives
  • Collect as much evidence as possible, such as notes regarding the accident and photos of the scene and your injuries
  • Keep receipts for all expenses associated with the accident, including those for lodging, food and medical bills

Now, let's examine some of the things you shouldn't do when filing a car insurance claim:

  • Don't provide a written or recorded statement until you understand your policy and know what you want to say
  • Don't accept the first estimate, as your insurance company may throw you a "low ball" offer to start
  • Don't sign anything until you know exactly what it is and how it will impact your claim
  • Don't accept a check for final payment, as this will make it more difficult to seek additional compensation in the future
  • Don't assume you have forever to make a claim

Along with the above, there's one more thing to remember: You have a contract with your car insurance company.

Even though you may face some resistance, your insurer must live up to their obligations as outlined in the policy.

There will always be challenges when filing a car insurance claim, as you can't expect everything to go as planned.

Once you know the process to follow and how to protect your legal rights, you'll find it easier to communicate with your car insurance company with the idea of putting your accident in the past as soon as possible.


Who is to blame for pedestrian accidents?

Walking is one of the most common modes of transportation for Brooklyn residents, whether they walk to work or just down the street to the subway. With so many pedestrians on the road, their safety should be a top priority. However, nearly 50 pedestrians are killed in accidents every year; many more are seriously injured.

To prevent these accidents, it can be helpful to know why they happen in the first place. Below, we examine some of the more common causes of pedestrian accidents and what you can do if you are among those injured in one.

Motorists

Often, drivers are involved in a pedestrian accident. A driver might make an illegal or unsafe turn, fail to stop at a traffic signal, or be unable to stop at a crosswalk because he or she is speeding or distracted. Impairment by fatigue, alcohol or drugs could also contribute to an accident between a driver and a pedestrian.

Pedestrians

Some accidents are caused by other pedestrians. People walking around Brooklyn may be looking at down at their phones or otherwise unaware of their surroundings. Intoxicated walkers can pose a threat to others as well, especially if they are aggressive, clumsy or if they don't follow traffic laws.

Property owners

Keeping premises free from hazards is an important responsibility for property owners in New York. This means they must clear their walkways of snow, ice and other potential hazards. It also means they (or the Department of Transportation, depending on who owns the property) must repair defective sidewalks. Failure to do this could lead to hazardous conditions that put pedestrians in danger of slipping, tripping and falling.

What to do after a pedestrian accident

If you or your loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident recently, you may have grounds to file a legal claim seeking damages from a motorist, pedestrian or property owner engaging in the behaviors we discussed in this post.

Money from a lawsuit cannot undo the accident, but it can help injured parties get the help they need to recover from a serious accident. This money can be crucial, as pedestrian accidents often result in catastrophic injuries.


Medical malpractice basics and help for victims

Medical malpractice is a broad category of harms referring to circumstances when a medical error or negligent medical care provider has caused harm to the victim. Patients should be able to trust in the medical care and treatment they receive but one study reports that medical malpractice is the third leading causing of the death in the United States.

Medical malpractice refers to when a doctor, medical care professional or medical care facility, such as a hospital, provides care that falls below the standard of care. Victims can be harmed when a foreign object is left in them following surgery, when they are given an incorrect medication or incorrect dosage or when a baby is harmed during the birthing process because the medical care professional delayed a c-section for too long.

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor performs a wrong-site surgery; when an illness or disease is incorrectly diagnosed or a delayed diagnosis results in a worsened condition; or when medical tests are not ordered or read properly. Medical malpractice, unfortunately, can occur in a whole host of situations and can even result in death. As a consequence, it is important for victims and their families to be familiar with what a medical malpractice claim for damages is and how it can help.

Victims of medical malpractice and their families may be able to obtain compensation for their physical, financial and emotional damages through a claim for damages. Medical malpractice claims are oftentimes complex but because of their importance, it is essential for victims and their families to be familiar with medical malpractice protections, resources, remedies and rights when they have suffered harm.


Four-year-old girl killed by hit-and-run driver in parking lot

Commercial parking lots are not generally considered to be the likely scene of a serious motor vehicle, but in the crowded commercial areas of Bushwick in Brooklyn, vehicles and pedestrians move in close proximity to one another. Occasionally, they come into contact with each other, and death or serious injuries are the result.

A recent pedestrian-vehicle accident in a laundromat parking lot resulted in the death of a young girl and serious injuries to her mother. According to police and eye-witnesses, the woman and her child were walking on a public sidewalk that was used by vehicles for access to the parking lot. A second women walked out of the laundromat, climbed into an SUV and struck the child and mother as she left the parking lot. The driver of the SUV did not stop but was arrested later. The four-year-old was taken by ambulance to Wyckoff Hospital, where she died from her injuries. Her mother was also hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

Several witnesses who are frequent users of the laundromat say such an accident was inevitable. The layout of the parking lot requires vehicles to traverse the public sidewalk when entering or leaving the parking lot. The sidewalk is used by pedestrians at all times of the day.

Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident may wish to consider seeking damages from the person or parties at fault. In this case, the driver of the SUV is an obvious defendant, but the owner of the land and the operator of the laundromat may also be liable if they had knowledge of the hazardous layout and failed to take proper remedial measures. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist in identifying potential defendants, analyzing the law and evidence that will govern the case and providing an estimate of potential damages.


How to document your car accident

Knowing how to properly document your car accident from the moment it occurs is important to ensure you are protected. A car accident victim should always be familiar with their legal rights and remedies and how to protect those rights.

The victim of a car accident should begin documenting their accident as soon as is practical following a car accident. Of course, the period of time following a car accident can be chaotic and traumatic and it is always important to seek medical treatment first but as soon as possible following the accident, the car accident victim should write down what happened when they will remember the most. In addition, they should begin to carefully document and record all medical care and treatment they have received.

As well as documenting what happened and what medical care and treatment they are receiving, victims of car accident should also record losses related to lost wages if they have to spend time away from work because of the car accident and the injuries and harm they have suffered. Victims of car accidents can receive compensation for damages including economic losses associated with medical expenses and lost wages and may also be able to recover pain and suffering damages.

Thoroughly documenting a car accident can help victims hold the negligent driver responsible for their accident accountable and seek compensation they need for the damages they have suffered. Victims of car accidents are protected by the personal injury legal process which is why it is something they should be familiar with and understand how it works.


Time limits on personal injury claims are important to understand

There are important time limits that apply to personal injury claims for damages that victims of car accidents and other types of accidents should be familiar with. Statutes of limitation are in important part of the law to understand because they establish the timelines and deadlines that apply to personal injury claims.

Statutes of limitation vary by state and can also vary by the type of civil claim that is being filed so it is important to be familiar with what the applicable statute of limitation is. In general, statutes of limitation range from 1 to 6 years in New York depending on the nature of the claim that is being filed. That clock for the statute of limitations begins when the wrong occurs or is discovered. When a victim has been wrongfully harmed by a negligent driver, they may be able to bring a claim for damages but must be aware of the statute of limitation.

It is also important to abide by statutes of limitations because if an injured victim fails to bring a claim in time, before the statute of limitations expires, the other party may request that the lawsuit be dismissed because it was filed after the statute of limitations expired. In New York state, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 3 years. A personal injury claim for damages must be filed within 3 year of the car accident.

A personal injury claim for damages is a valuable legal protection for injured victims to consider that can help them recover compensation for the physical, financial and emotional harm they have suffered. As a result, it is important to pay attention to the statute of limitations to preserve a claim for damages.


Don't make these mistakes after a car crash

The second you are part of a car accident is when you begin to worry about the future. Who was at fault? Do I have any injuries? What type of damage did my vehicle sustain? What impact will the accident have on my finances now and down the road?

These are the types of questions that will run through your mind (and need answered at some point).

While there's a lot to think about, don't lose sight of the fact that you can only move through the process one step at a time.

Before we discuss the mistakes you don't want to make after a car accident, make sure that your health and well-being is your top priority.

Forget about everything else as you check yourself for injuries and decide what to do next.

Here are a handful of mistakes to avoid after a crash:

  • Don't feel compelled to move your vehicle, unless it's required by law or necessary to enhance your safety
  • Don't stand in or in close proximity to traffic, as you risk being part of another accident
  • Never leave the scene of an accident until you exchange information and/or police tell you that it's okay to do so
  • Don't throw away anything you could use as evidence in the future
  • Don't engage in conversation with the other people involved in the accident, as you don't want to say something that could work against you in the future
  • Don't share too much information with your insurance company until you first learn more about your policy and coverage levels

When there's no pressure, it's easy to assume you'll never make one of these mistakes. However, if you are part of an accident and there's a lot happening, you may fall prey to one or more of these mistakes.

After you check yourself for injuries and receive medical attention, you can turn your focus to the cause of the accident and the next steps to take. By knowing and exercising your legal rights, you can protect yourself and the right to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.


What do I do if I was hurt in a car accident?

Car accidents can be devastating for victims which is why it is important for them to be familiar with their legal protections if they have been injured in an unexpected car accident or other personal injury accident. There are important steps victims of car accidents should take following a car accident to preserve the personal injury protections available to them but they may wonder what they are.

A personal injury claim for damages will allow car accident victims to recover compensation for the harm they have suffered including compensation for their physical, financial and emotional injuries. Car accident victims should ensure that any evidence available related to the accident is collected which can include photographs and other relevant information. In addition, car accident victims should make sure to obtain information from witnesses who may have witnessed the car accident. If possible, they should obtain statements and identifying information for witnesses.

Additionally, victims should carefully record, in writing, the circumstances surrounding the car accident and the car accident itself. Police should also be summoned to the scene so that a police report will be available for use should it be needed later. It is also important to seek needed medical care and treatment and carefully document the medical care and treatment the victim receives. All of this information will be helpful should the victim decide at some point to pursue a claim for damages against a negligent driver responsible for the harm they suffered.

Personal injury protections are an important resource for victims of car accidents to be familiar with. Because they can help victims in many ways, it is important for car accident victims to be familiar with the personal injury legal protections available to them.


Help for victims of truck accident

Truck accidents can be harrowing for victims and can result in catastrophic injuries and harm to victims. Examples of catastrophic injuries that truck accident victims may suffer as a result of a truck or other commercial vehicle accident can include serious fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burns, paralysis and disability.

Truck accident victims may require ongoing medical care, treatment and in-home care. Sometimes the impact of a truck accident can last a lifetime. A personal injury claim for damages can help victims recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages. A personal injury claim can help victims with damages ranging from hospital costs to future medical care costs.

Because passenger vehicles are dramatically outweighed by big rig trucks, the consequences of a truck accident to victims can be life changing and the injuries can be severe. When truck accident victims have been injured by a negligent truck driver, such as a truck driver driving under the influence, distracted while driving or fatigued, or a negligent trucking company, such as a trucking company that fails to maintain its trucks or pushes its drivers to drive while fatigued, they may be liable to victims for the harmed suffered.

Victims of truck accidents can suffer the impacts of an unexpected truck accident for a lifetime which is why the legal process provides important resources and remedies for them to be aware of. Victims can recover compensation to help them with the recovery process which is something they should be familiar with it.