Auto accidents can be quite traumatic and difficult experiences for victims. Although they are rarely pre-planned, it is the responsibility of all drivers to be careful while behind the wheel to prevent unwarranted accidents. Negligent parties must be held accountable for their actions and pay for damages caused. It is important to contact a NYC auto accident lawyer immediately after getting involved in an accident. This is irrespective of whether it was a catastrophic collision or a simple fender-bender.
Types of Auto Accidents
Head on Collisions: According to statistics from U.S Census Bureau, head-on collisions are almost always dangerous. Furthermore, injuries resulting from these accidents are often serious and potentially result in lasting disabilities or even death.
Road Rage: This refers to a reckless driver who deliberately disregards safety, and knows fully well that their actions may cause a serious accident. Road rage refers to an assault using a motor vehicle against another vehicle’s driver or passenger(s). In such situations, criminal charges will be leveled against the perpetrator.
Speeding: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines speeding as going beyond the speed limit required on a certain road, excessive and improper lane changing, improper passing as well as failure to signal intent.
High speed collisions: During a high speed collision, a motor vehicle undergoes extreme force such that its structure cannot adequately protect its driver or passengers from injury.
Texting while driving: Texting is one of the most common, and dangerous, distractions for many drivers.
Side Impact Collisions: These accidents cause about 8,500 deaths annually. They occur when the front part of one vehicle strikes the side of a second vehicle. This usually happens at intersections due to the failure to stop at a red light or stop signs.
Falling asleep behind the wheel: It is highly irresponsible and negligent to drive while fatigued. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented rules that limit the number of hours that professional drivers (truck or bus) are required to drive.
Rollover accidents: These accidents may be caused by poor road conditions or defective vehicles. Experienced attorneys can prove manufacturing defects and claim adequate compensation for their client.
Drunk driving accidents: This is a leading cause of auto accidents in America. In some cases, whoever supplied the alcohol may be held responsible too.
Reasons to Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer
Innocent survivors of motor vehicle accidents find the emotional and physical recovery process to be quite painful and unbelievably expensive. In such situations, it is always advisable to seek legal representation from an experienced NYC auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. This enables the attorney to begin investigations into the accident early enough to be able to gather important evidence to build their client’s case.
Many law offices in New York City usually offer free initial consultation services to clients. This is advantageous to the client because it allows them to visit several law offices before settling on one that they are comfortable with. In addition, it also allows them to know whether or not they have a strong case before they decide on their next legal move.
Often, the at-fault party in an accident will have their employer or insurance company (and their lawyers) behind them. This ensures that the negligent party is well protected and highly attuned to any risk management concerns. This leaves the injured party alone and suffering. Therefore, in order to level the playing field, it is recommended to hire an attorney.
Often after an accident, the negligent party’s insurer contacts affected victims to quickly settle their claims. Although it might seem like they are genuinely trying to help the injured party, this is not the case. In fact, many insurers will try to minimize the amount of claims they are required to pay because they are largely profit-oriented. It is not advisable to accept a payoff before fully understanding the extent and cost-implications of one’s damages. This is the reason why it is recommended to seek legal consult before talking to insurers.
Lawyers know the legal jargon and tricks used by insurance companies to avoid paying a claim. Therefore, they handle all negotiations and communication with insurance companies on behalf of their clients. This prevents their clients from making damaging statements that may lower the value of their claim.
The Significance of Contacting an Auto Accident Attorney
An attorney handles all the negotiations between their client and the at-fault party’s employer or insurance company. This allows their client to recover peacefully without undue stress. Experienced lawyers know which stones to turn and buttons to push to get things done. They stand up to insurance companies because they are not easily intimidated by their tactics.
Lawyers understand how the legal process of filing claims works. They avoid filing mistakes because these could lead to a mistrial. In addition, a New York lawyer knows that the state’s statute of limitation is 3 years. This period may be longer for children under the age of 18 years, or shorter if the case involves a municipal official.
Immediately after being hired, a lawyer starts building their client’s case. This involves collecting evidence, acquiring police reports, and carrying out investigations into the accident. They work with private investigators and hire expert witnesses to build a solid case. This evidence can be leveraged during settlement negotiations with insurers, or presented before a judge and jurors during a court hearing.
A NYC auto accident lawyer may agree to take up a client’s case on a contingency fee agreement. These are legal fees that depend on the outcome of a client’s claim. This is because many accident victims cannot afford to pay hourly attorney fees out-of-pocket.
After carefully assessing their client’s case and taking into consideration every detail of the accident, lawyers can calculate the amount of damages that their clients are owed. Furthermore, they will find all the negligent parties to be held accountable, other than the driver. This can significantly increase their client’s claim.
Immediately after an accident, and getting medical checkups or treatment, it is important to contact a competent lawyer for a legal consult. This should be done before dealing with any other parties like insurers, or the police officers investigating the accident. Injury victims should be paid by negligent parties for all damages suffered as a result of the accident. This allows the former to get back on their feet and continue with their lives.