What a Queens Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You

What a Queens Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You

In the first three months of 2022, there were already 8,660 car collisions in New York City, injuring 1,782 drivers, 1,289 passengers, 294 cyclists and 732 pedestrians. These accidents also resulted in the death of three drivers, four passengers and eight pedestrians.

Most people involved in an auto accident must deal with the hassles of filing claims with their insurance companies to get their vehicles repaired. However, when crashes cause injury or death, the process and outcomes are often more complex and challenging.

If you sustain an injury, it can significantly impact your life, sometimes for the rest of your life. While you attempt to focus on recovery, the insurance company may be working hard to find a way out of paying you the settlement you deserve.

A Queens car accident lawyers can help you understand and navigate the insurance and legal landscape, improving your chance for just compensation for your medical bills.

Personal Injury Attorney Helps You Understand New York Law

Personal Injury Attorney Helps You Understand New York Law

Most people don’t give too much thought to the legalities surrounding car accidents other than the road rules a driver violated to cause a car crash. These laws are certainly relevant, as they help determine how much liability each driver holds in vehicle collisions. However, several legal guidelines come into play, especially if you sustain car accident injuries.

Insurance companies know these laws well and count on the fact that most people don’t. Queens car accident attorneys from Elliot Ifraimhoff and Associates can help you understand the relevant laws in your case. Our lawyers also have the deep understanding required to construct a solid car accident case and go to bat for you against the insurance companies or a defendant’s legal counsel.

New York’s Insurance Requirements

Every state establishes minimum requirements for how much car insurance a driver must have and what insurance companies must offer. New York is a no-fault auto insurance state, adding a layer to policy requirements that most other states don’t have. State law obligates vehicle owners to carry personal injury protection (PIP) in addition to standard liability and uninsured motorist protection.

If you get into a traffic collision that injures you or your passengers, you file a claim with your auto insurance provider, no matter who is at fault in the accident. Your insurance company pays related medical costs and rehabilitation expenses, 80% of lost wages up to $2,000 per month and up to $25 per day for up to a year for other expenses related to the accident, such as transportation to and from appointments. It only pays for damages up to the limits of your policy. Anything over that limit requires you to take legal measures.

New York’s Personal Injury Legal Requirements

New York Personal Injury Legal Requirements

Coverage never pays for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. To recover those damages, you must file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you can only do so if you meet the state’s legal definition of a serious injury, meaning your injury needs to meet one of the following:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment or significant disfiguring
  • Fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of function in a body part, organ or system
  • Permanent or significant limitation in the use of a body part or organ
  • Disability for at least 90 days

A Queens car accident lawyer from Elliot Ifraimhoff and Associates can assess your case to determine if you meet these guidelines. An experienced car accident attorney can also make sure the insurance company adheres to the regulations that govern insurance company operations.

New York’s Pure Comparative Fault Law

Your ability to collect compensation for your injuries depends on proving that another driver’s negligence, like distracted driving, caused the accident that led to your injuries. Establishing fault in car accident cases isn’t often as easy as you might think. The insurance companies frequently attempt to deny their clients’ responsibility or delegitimize the injured party’s claim.

They may even work together to alleviate the burden of expenses they each must pay. Establishing negligence requires you to prove the following:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care.
  • The driver breached the duty of care.
  • You sustained injuries that fit the legal requirement for a serious injury.
  • The accident was directly responsible for your injuries.

Often, more than one driver is at fault, though the insurance companies usually assign partial responsibility to both parties even when one party is clearly to blame. An auto accident lawyer assesses the evidence to determine whether another driver was responsible for the collision that caused your injuries.

If you bear any responsibility for the crash, it impacts how much compensation you can potentially receive. It doesn’t prevent you from recovering damages. New York follows a pure comparative negligence law. While this law doesn’t impact the insurance companies directly unless they go to court, it does provide guidance in settling claims.

According to pure comparative fault laws, the damages you receive in a personal injury claim are proportional to how much liability you hold for the collision. The court reduces your award by the percentage of responsibility it assigns you for the accident.

NY’s Statute of Limitations Law

You don’t want to wait too long to file a claim through the courts. You may feel like you need to wait until you complete your recovery, or the insurance company may be dragging its feet on responding to your claim, but you have a hard deadline for filing a lawsuit.

New York’s statute of limitations for auto accident personal injury legal claims is three years from the date of the accident. While this may seem like a lengthy window of time, it can pass quickly and close before you realize it. Let one of our experienced car accident attorneys in Queens help you navigate the process to ensure you do not miss this deadline. Once you do, you have no other recourse for getting the compensation you deserve.

A Car Accident Attorney Helps You Build a Solid Case

A Car Accident Attorney Helps You Build a Solid Case

Whether you are negotiating with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit, you need to formulate a solid justification for your claim and have the evidence to back it up. When you are recovering from your injuries, the last thing you likely feel like doing is rounding up documentation and support for your claim. There is a lot of legwork involved, and it is easy to overlook critical information along the way.

Gathering Evidence

Proving fault in car crashes requires evidence demonstrating that another driver was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. Often, it means doing more than getting a copy of the police report. As critical as that piece of evidence is, you will have a stronger case if you can obtain other types of evidence from the accident scene.

The team at Elliot Ifraimhoff and Associates gathers the evidence needed to establish liability in car accident claims. We may obtain photos and videos of the crash scene, potentially including street or building camera recordings that might have caught the accident on film. We may also send an accident investigator out to the crash site to analyze environmental conditions.

Collecting Relevant Records

You may not realize how difficult it is to get your hands on medical documentation. Even if you diligently file your receipts for any treatment you receive, you will likely need physician’s reports and documentation from rehabilitation therapy or any other relevant recovery services you require.

A Queens car accident lawyer knows which records are relevant and how to obtain them. Frequently patients have a more challenging time getting a response from health care professionals.

They’re busy with other patients and may not get around to fulfilling your request. When you have a team of people working for you, they have the resources to persist until they get what you need.

Speaking With Witnesses

Speaking With Witnesses

Witnesses can provide helpful information to back up your claim. If witnesses to the accident stuck around and provided contact information, an attorney could talk to the witness about what they saw. A lawyer understands what questions and details are important to obtain from witnesses.

Talking to Relevant Professionals

While doctor’s and therapist’s reports provide essential information about your injuries, recovery expectations and long-term health implications, it may be helpful to talk to other professionals.

A New York car accident attorney can interview professionals who can provide more in-depth information about potential outcomes from your injuries, including any possible pain and suffering you may experience. A personal injury lawyer may also talk to people who have knowledge and experience in your line of work to determine how your injuries may impact your job or career outcomes.

Calculating Damages

You need to understand the damages you accrued due to the car wreck. Knowing what you lost helps you determine what fair compensation would be.

Your damages could include economic losses like medical expenses for current and future health care and rehabilitation costs, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and any costs associated with assistive care after a serious car accident.

You may also have non-economic damages, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Emotional distress

Calculating these damages isn’t easy. Even the economic damages can be challenging when there are costs you have yet to accrue. The lawyers at Elliot Ifraimhoff and Associates can take care of assessing the totality of damages to help you get the compensation you deserve.

A Queens Car Accident Lawyer Represents You

Accident Lawyer Jackson Heights

Once you have a solid case, an experienced attorney can go to bat for you, representing you and looking out for the best interests in your car accident claim.

Dealing With the Insurance Companies

When you file a claim with your insurance company, its representatives try to find ways to reduce how much they have to pay out. When the claims adjusters ask you to tell them about the accident, they listen for anything you say that they can use to deny your claim or reduce your settlement. Often, people inadvertently provide responses that the company can take as evidence of fault.

The insurance company may also offer you a low-ball, lump-sum settlement to close your claim quickly and before you have the opportunity to understand the extent of your losses. You do not have to accept the payment or discuss the particulars of the accident with the claims adjuster.

A car accident attorney at Elliot Ifraimoff and Associates can deal with the insurance company for you. We understand how to handle insurance company representatives and the tactics they often use to avoid payment, and we have no qualms about going toe-to-toe with them.

Handling Negotiations

Handling Negotiations - Car Accident Lawsuits

If the insurance company does not reach a fair settlement offer, or your insurance is not sufficient to pay for your losses, filing a lawsuit becomes necessary if you want the opportunity to receive just compensation. When it comes to handling negotiations, it’s easy to understand why many car accident victims dread the process. The defendant’s legal counsel can be an even more intimidating opponent than the insurance company representatives.

When you file a lawsuit, the first step in the process is usually negotiating for a settlement offer both sides can agree to. It can be an emotional and exhausting experience for the injured party. Having an attorney on your side to negotiate for you may alleviate some of the stress.

Representing You in Court

Though only an estimated 5% of personal injury cases actually make it to trial, a Queens car accident lawyer can represent you if your case makes it to the courtroom. The vast majority of cases settle during pre-trial negotiations. However, if your case doesn’t reach a satisfactory settlement, our team has experience handling auto accident personal injury cases that go to court and won’t hesitate to go the distance when needed. We won’t settle for less just to avoid a legal fight in front of a judge and jury.

An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney in Queens, NY

Experienced Auto Accident Attorney in Queens NY

Elliot Ifraimhoff and Associates understand how to go head-to-head with insurance companies and defense attorneys to get you the compensation you deserve after car accidents in Queens, NY. We pursue car accident personal injury claims aggressively, giving all our clients the personalized attention they deserve. We have the experience, attitude and knowledge you need in your corner. If you sustained injuries in a collision, an auto accident attorney from Elliot Ifraimhoff and Associates is here to help. 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney at the law firm of Elliot Ifraimhoff and Associates.