New York Auto Accident Attorney
Auto accidents are often traumatic incidents that may lead to physical, emotional and financial challenges not only for the injured victims, but also their families. When you’ve been injured in an auto accident, a number of questions immediately arise in your mind. Who will pay for your medical expenses? How will you be compensated for wages lost as you recover from your accident-related injuries? If you have suffered a major or catastrophic injury, how will you pay for continuing treatment, care and loss of livelihood? How will you recover out-of-pocket costs?
These are important concerns and can quickly become a source of significant stress for accident victims and their families. The New York auto accident attorney at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm fight hard for the rights of those who have suffered injuries and disabilities due to the actions of reckless and negligent drivers and other responsible parties. We go the extra mile to help our injured clients receive the maximum possible compensation for their damages and losses.
Types of Auto Accidents
In New York, we see victims who are seriously hurt in a variety of auto accidents that happen almost every day. Here are some of the types of auto accident cases that we, as personal injury lawyers, handle on a routine basis:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents, etc.
Regardless of the type of auto accident, the injuries sustained often tend to be serious and life changing. An auto accident definitely has the potential to turn a person’s life as well as his or her family’s upside down. He or she may lose employment, wages or may even be left disabled for life – unable to earn a future livelihood. These are serious consequences, and when they occur due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the at-fault parties must be held accountable.
What to Do after an Auto Accident
Whether you have been injured in a car, truck, bus or pedestrian accident, it is critical to remember that the evidence you secure from the scene can be crucial to the outcome of your case. So, in the immediate aftermath of an auto accident, it is important to gather as much evidence as you can from the scene.
When you have been injured in an auto accident, the first step to take is to ensure your safety and your passengers’ safety, if applicable. Call 911 if you or someone else has been injured. File a police report and obtain a copy for your records. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for any injuries you may have sustained. Take photographs of the accident scene including the position of the vehicles and your injuries. If you are unable to remain at the scene and collect crucial evidence, request a friend or family member to do so. Get contact information for all those involved in the accident as well as for anyone who may have witnessed the incident. Please contact an experienced auto accident attorney who will help ensure that your legal rights are protected every step of the way.
Documenting Your Losses
When it comes to auto accident claims, documentation is a crucial element. If you have been injured in an auto accident, you need to file a personal injury claim to recoup your losses. Here are some of the important pieces of documentation you will most likely need to bolster your auto accident case:
- Medical records: This includes all types of medical documentation right from your ambulance transportation, emergency room admission and treatment, hospital admission and treatment to the care you may have received from specialists, surgeons, physical therapists and other healthcare providers. You should also include the list of medication you’ve been prescribed and any type of medical equipment you have been using to aid your healing and recovery.
- Police/incident report: It is important that you obtain a copy of your accident or incident report from the police department that responded to the accident scene, or your attorney can do so. This report is extremely useful and informative because it will often clearly state if there were any violations of the law. It provides the date and location of the accident and the name and badge number of the officer who arrived at the scene and prepared the incident report. It also often states who was at fault, the circumstances surrounding the accident, the parties that were involved and potential witnesses. An arrest report will say whether anyone was arrested in connection with the accident and what the charges are.
- Financial losses: Plaintiffs are required to show provable financial losses if they are claimed. Financial losses include medical bills, loss of income, loss of employment opportunities, damage to vehicle or property, current and future insurance costs and other expenses relating to the auto accident.
- Diary or journal: This is another form of documenting evidence that may prove quite useful. Write down all relevant information relating to your accident and your injuries with details on the ways in which the auto accident is having an impact on your day-to-day routines such as doing housework, chores, helping and/or playing with your children, taking your children to school, gardening and participating in other activities, etc. Maintaining this type of chronological record is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t forget some of the important details, which may get lost or forgotten as the weeks and months pass.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents continue to occur even with improved safety technology in vehicles. There are several different factors that may lead to a car accident. Being aware of these reasons can help us avoid hazards and become safer drivers.
- Distracted driving: A distraction while driving may include anything from eating, drinking or turning around to talk to a passenger. However, the most common form of distracted driving today is the use of cell phone and other electronic devices. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 25 percent of all auto accidents are related to cell phone use, whether it involves talking on a cell phone or texting while driving.
- Impaired driving: While it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle across the nation when under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, it continues to be one of the most common causes of auto accidents. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about 40 percent of all fatal auto accidents involve an impaired driver. A drunk or drugged driver lacks the skills and judgment to be able to operate a motor vehicle safely.
- Drowsy driving: Operating a vehicle while fatigued or drowsy has similar effects on drivers as impaired driving. There are 6,400 fatalities and 109,000 injuries each year on U.S. roadways that are directly attributable to drowsy driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. A fatigued driver, much like an impaired driver, is much more likely to miss a stop sign or red light or move away from his or her lane compared to an alert driver.
- Speeding: This is another common cause of accidents particularly among younger drivers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that teen drivers are more likely to speed than adult drivers. In addition, these are also the least experienced drivers who may not be equipped to make quick, life-saving decisions on the road.
- Breaking rules: When a driver operates recklessly by violating the rules of road, serious auto accidents occur. Some examples of rule violations that cause major injury auto accidents include running red lights and stop signs, failure to yield the right of way, driving at an unsafe speed, making unsafe lane changes, etc.
- Dangerous roadways: Factors such as poor design and/or inadequate lighting might make a roadway more dangerous. This is particularly true for intersections where visibility is lower. Roadways that are littered with debris also pose significant hazards for vehicles particularly smaller vehicles such as motorcycles. In addition, weather may make roadways slippery and affect driving conditions.
- Vehicle malfunction: The mechanical performance of your vehicle, be it a car, truck or big-rig, can also play a part in auto accidents. When there is an inherent vehicle defect or a malfunction in the vehicle, the consequences can be devastating.
What is Your Auto Accident Claim Worth?
The worth of your auto accident claim usually depends on the nature and extent of the injuries you have sustained and upon the percentage of fault of the other driver or drivers. It also depends on the type of insurance policy you and the other parties have. If you have not suffered any injuries and the loss involves just property damage, you may receive a settlement from the insurance company. If you have sustained injuries that required emergency transportation and/or hospitalization and continued treatment and care, you may be eligible to receive much more compensation. In addition, if you have sustained catastrophic injuries and disabilities such as brain damage, paralysis or limb amputation, the value or worth of your claim may be much much more. It takes an experienced New York auto accident lawyer to evaluate your case and help determine its accurate value.
Choosing the Right Auto Accident Attorney
Selecting an auto accident lawyer to represent you requires careful consideration. First and foremost, you need a lawyer who has many years of experience as well as success in handling cases similar to yours. For example, if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident or subway accident in which you have been found “at fault” by law enforcement, you need a lawyer who has succeeded in helping plaintiffs (the injured party) receive compensation for their losses even in those situations.
You also need to choose an attorney who has the reputation as someone who will go the extra mile for his or her clients, and someone who handles their cases with competence, aggressiveness, and compassion. Your personal injury lawyer should also work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you should not have to pay any of the costs upfront until your attorney has secured a settlement verdict or an award for you. Lastly, even though a majority of auto accident cases settle out of court, some do go to trial. When making your selection, you may wish to ask about your law firm’s courtroom experience.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses
Injured auto accident victims may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. When you lose a loved one in an auto accident due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another individual or party, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, medical costs, loss of guidance, funeral expenses and pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a reckless driver or due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced New York auto accident attorney at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com