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How Lawyers for Auto Accidents Can Maximize Your Compensation
April 8, 2024

How Lawyers for Auto Accidents Can Maximize Your Compensation

In the aftermath of an auto accident, victims often face a daunting array of challenges, from physical recovery and emotional trauma to financial strain due to medical bills and lost wages. Navigating the complex legal landscape to secure fair compensation adds an additional layer of stress. This is where the experience of dedicated auto accident lawyers comes into play. At Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C., we have experience in helping auto accident victims navigate the legal process to maximize their compensation. Here’s how skilled lawyers for auto accidents can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Compensation Types for NYC Auto Accident Claims

How Lawyers for Auto Accidents Can Maximize Your Compensation

Following an auto accident in New York City, understanding the types of compensation you may be entitled to is crucial for ensuring you receive fair recompense for your injuries and losses. New York's no-fault insurance laws and the possibility of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit introduce various compensation types. We aim to inform and support our clients through every step of their legal journey. Below are the types of compensation you may be entitled to after an auto accident in NYC:

Economic Damages

These are quantifiable financial losses that result from the accident.

  • Medical Expenses: Covers current and future medical bills for treatments, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and any necessary medical equipment.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for the income lost while you could not work due to injuries.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity: If your injuries affect your ability to earn a living in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.
  • Repair or Replacement of Property: Includes damages for repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

These intangible losses do not have a specific monetary value but significantly impact your life.

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: For the diminished ability to enjoy the pleasures of life you had before the accident.
  • Emotional Distress: Includes compensation for the psychological impact of the accident, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Punitive Damages

Though rare, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the defendant's behavior is found to be especially reckless or egregious. These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

Wrongful Death Damages

If the auto accident resulted in a fatality, the victim's family might be entitled to wrongful death damages, which can include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Loss of financial support and benefits.
  • Compensation for the loss of companionship and emotional support, as well as nurture and guidance.

No-Fault Benefits

Under New York's no-fault insurance system, regardless of who was at fault for the accident, you can receive compensation for medical expenses, a portion of your lost earnings, and other reasonable and necessary expenses related to injuries sustained in the accident up to the policy's limits.

How Lawyers for Auto Accidents Can Maximize Your Compensation

In the wake of an auto accident, navigating the path to fair compensation can be daunting. Victims often face formidable insurance companies, complex legal statutes, and the challenging task of proving the full extent of their damages. Here’s how we can make a difference in your case:

Meeting Strict Deadlines

If the responsible party is the city, you will only have a 90-day window to file a notice of claim. Missing that deadline can jeopardize your case. An auto accident lawyer can try to make sure all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and on time.

Detailed Investigation and Evidence Gathering

  • Accident Reconstruction: We can collaborate with accident reconstruction experts to analyze the crash and establish fault conclusively.
  • Comprehensive Documentation: Our team meticulously documents your injuries, property damage, and any other losses, including gathering medical records, police reports, and witness statements.

Experience in New York Auto Accident Law

  • Navigating No-Fault Insurance: We understand the nuances of New York's no-fault insurance laws and can navigate these regulations to ensure you receive the benefits you're entitled to, regardless of who was at fault.
  • Identifying Additional Compensation Avenues: Beyond no-fault benefits, we explore potential personal injury claims against at-fault parties to cover damages not covered by insurance, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.

Calculating the Full Extent of Your Damages

  • Economic Damages: We accurately calculate both your current and future lost wages, medical expenses, and any other out-of-pocket costs resulting from the accident.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Our attorneys are skilled in quantifying harder-to-measure damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium, to ensure you're compensated for the full impact of your injuries.

Aggressive Negotiation with Insurance Companies

  • Maximizing Settlement Offers: With deep experience in negotiating with insurance companies, we seek to ensure that any settlement offer adequately covers all of your damages, fighting for the maximum compensation possible.
  • Preparation for Trial: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial, leveraging our litigation skills to advocate on your behalf.

Working on a Contingency Fee Basis

  • No Upfront Costs: We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no legal fees unless we win your case. Our payment is a percentage of the compensation we secure for you, aligning our interests with yours.

What To Do After Being in An Auto Accident

Being involved in an auto accident can be overwhelming, but taking the right steps immediately afterward can protect your health and legal rights. Here’s a guide on what to do after being in an auto accident:

Check for Injuries

Immediately check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 to get medical help. Do not attempt to move anyone injured unless it is necessary to avoid further danger.

Move to Safety

If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, move vehicles to the side of the road, if possible, to avoid blocking traffic and to keep safe. Turn on hazard lights to alert other drivers.

Call the Police

Even for minor accidents, it’s important to call the police. They will file a report, which can be crucial for insurance claims and legal purposes. Ensure you get the police report number before the officer leaves the scene.

Exchange Information

Exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers with the other driver. If there are witnesses, get their contact information as well.

Document the Accident

Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and relevant road conditions or traffic signs. This documentation can be valuable for insurance claims and legal actions.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you initially feel fine, seeing a doctor after an accident may be important. Some injuries, like whiplash, may not be immediately apparent. A medical professional can assess and document your injuries, which is important for insurance claims and potential legal action.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Be honest about the incident and give them the information they need to process your claim. However, be careful not to admit fault or make statements that could be used against you later.

Be Mindful of Your Statements

When discussing the accident, be careful not to admit fault or make statements that could be used against you later. This applies when talking to the other driver, the police, and insurance companies.

Consult with an Auto Accident Lawyer

Before engaging in any settlement discussions with any insurance companies, and certainly before accepting any settlement offers from insurance companies, consider consulting with an auto accident lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages and injuries.

Follow Up

Keep track of your medical treatments and any correspondence with insurance companies or involved parties. Stay organized and keep a file of all related documents that could be important for your claim or legal case.

Injured in a NYC Auto Accident? We're Here to Help

If you've been involved in an auto accident in New York City, you don't have to navigate the complex legal process alone. Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C. offers experienced legal representation to ensure you receive the full compensation you're entitled to.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let us take the burden off your shoulders. Your path to justice and recovery starts here.

NYC Lawyers for Auto Accidents FAQs

When navigating the aftermath of an auto accident in New York City, many victims have questions about their rights, the legal process, and how to secure fair compensation for their injuries. Here are some frequently asked questions about auto accidents and how lawyers can assist:

Do I need a lawyer after an auto accident?

If you've been injured or suffered significant property damage, consulting with an auto accident lawyer can be crucial. Lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims, ensure you receive fair compensation, and represent you in court if necessary.

What should I do immediately after an auto accident?

Ensure everyone's safety, call the police, exchange information with the other driver, document the scene and any injuries, seek medical attention, and notify your insurance company. Consider consulting with a lawyer to protect your rights.

How is fault determined in a New York auto accident?

New York operates under a "comparative fault" system, meaning each party's liability is determined by their contribution to the accident. Evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and accident reconstructions can be crucial in determining fault.

However, payment for medical expenses and a portion of your lost earnings, as well as other reasonable and necessary expenses may be covered by “no-fault” insurance where your fault is not a factor in the benefits you receive.

Can I still receive compensation if I was partially at fault?

Yes. Under New York's comparative fault rules, you can receive compensation even if you were partially at fault, though your percentage of fault may reduce your compensation. In addition, payment for medical expenses and a portion of your lost earnings, as well as other reasonable and necessary expenses may be covered by “no-fault” insurance where your fault is not a factor in the benefits you receive.

What types of compensation can I receive?

Victims may be entitled to economic damages (medical expenses, lost wages, property damage) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering, emotional distress). In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after an auto accident in New York?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in New York is typically three years from the accident date. However, this period can vary, so it is advisable to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. For example, cases involving municipal liability generally require that a formal lawsuit be commenced within one year 90 days from the accident date – and that a Notice of Claim be filed within only 90 days. This includes claims based on defective roadway conditions, improper traffic signals, and collisions with municipal buses and City-owned vehicles (such as police cars, fire trucks and garbage trucks).

Will my case go to court?

Most auto accident claims are settled out of court. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, it may be necessary to go to trial. An experienced lawyer can guide you through both scenarios.

What if the other driver doesn't have insurance?

If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may still be able to receive compensation through your own insurance policy's uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If neither you nor anyone in your household own a vehicle, you may be permitted to file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). A lawyer can help navigate this process.

How much does hiring an auto accident lawyer in NYC cost?

Many auto accident lawyers, including those at Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C., work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no upfront fees; the lawyer's fee is a percentage of your compensation.

How can Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C. help me?

Our experienced team can handle all aspects of your claim, from investigation to negotiation with insurance companies and litigation if necessary. We're committed to maximizing your compensation and guiding you through every step of the legal process.

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