If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may be wondering about what to do – and whether you are able to get any money for your injuries. When a car crash is caused by another person, they may be financially responsible for the accident victims’ losses. A White Plains personal injury lawyer can help you get the money that you deserve for your accident claim.
In most cases, you can recover economic and non-economic damages for a car accident case. This includes money for medical bills, future medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
At the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, we work hard to help our clients get maximum compensation for their losses. We aren’t afraid to take on the big insurance companies and fight for our clients’ rights. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced auto wreck law firm.
What Compensation Am I Entitled to After a New York Car Accident?
Car accident cases are usually based on a theory of negligence, or carelessness. Negligence is defined as the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. For example, if a person speeds, runs a red light, texts while driving, or changes lanes without looking, they may be considered negligent in an auto accident.
In some situations, a driver is something more than negligent – they may have acted intentionally or recklessly. If a person drives under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and causes a collision, they may be said to have acted intentionally or recklessly.
Whether another driver’s negligent, intentional, or reckless conduct caused your crash is important when it comes to compensation (damages). In all auto accident cases, you will be able to recover compensatory damages to compensate you for your losses. However, if the at-fault party acted intentionally or negligently, then you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages pay for direct financial losses. They include things such as lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical bills, future medical treatment, and property damage. These damages can usually be proven through documentation such as invoices, bills, estimates, and pay stubs.
Non-economic damages pay for intangible losses. While it can be harder to put a number on these injuries, they are just as important as economic damages. These damages consist of things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Finally, punitive damages are only available in cases where the at-fault acted intentionally or recklessly (such as a drunk driving accident). These damages are meant to punish a wrongdoer. Your White Plains car accident lawyer can help you understand whether you are entitled to punitive damages in your case.
Insurance companies tend to focus on economic damages when it comes to settlement offers. They often use a multiplier formula to determine non-economic damages, where they make a determination as to the severity of your injuries and then choose a corresponding number. This number is then multiplied against economic damages to determine non-economic damages.
Importantly, you do not simply have to accept what the insurance company offers when it comes to damages in a car accident case. You can – and should – work with an experienced attorney to ensure that you get the money that you deserve for your losses. Your lawyer will put together a strong case to prove that you are entitled to maximum compensation for your insurance claim.
Settlements for Car Accident Lawsuits
After an accident, you may be approached by an insurance adjuster. They may tell you that they take full responsibility, and even offer you a settlement. They may also ask you to give a statement or sign some paperwork.
You should not talk to an adjuster or sign anything until you have had a chance to talk to a White Plains car accident attorney. Insurance companies’ goal for these types of claims is to resolve the case for as little money as possible. They engage in a number of tactics to try to achieve this goal, such as by claiming that you were partially at fault for the accident. Anything that you say to them could be used against you to try to defeat your personal injury claim.
The best way to fight back against these strategies is by having your own lawyer. Insurance companies have teams of adjusters on their side. To level the playing field – and get the money that you deserve for your injuries – you should have your own legal representation.
Studies show that people who are represented by counsel recover an average of 40% more in personal injury lawsuits compared to people who represent themselves. In other words, you can’t afford to not have a lawyer – especially if you want to get full compensation for your injuries.
The vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved outside of court, typically through settlements. In some cases, it is necessary to file a car accident lawsuit to protect your rights. Filing a lawsuit does not mean your case will go to court. Instead, it is an opportunity to continue negotiations and work towards getting you a fair settlement.
Once the lawsuit has been filed, the parties will file legal motions and exchange information in a process known as discovery. Negotiations may continue up until the eve of trial. If the insurer won’t give you a settlement that fully compensates you for your losses, then it may be necessary to take the case to a jury and ask them to return a verdict in your favor.
Insurance companies rarely want to risk having a jury decide a car accident lawsuit. When you hire a seasoned White Plains car accident lawyer, they will know that you are serious about your case – and won’t accept a lowball settlement offer. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, reach out to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Being in an accident can be incredibly scary. In the days and weeks that follow, you may be unsure of your rights and what you should be doing. Our law offices are here for you.
Based in White Plains, the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan represent injury victims throughout New York. We offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a New York personal injury attorney, give us a call at 914-220-1086 or fill out our online contact form.
What Is the Value of My Car Accident Claim?
The value of any personal injury claim depends on a few factors, such as the severity of your injuries, whether you were partially at fault and the size of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. For example, if you suffered cuts and bruises in a car wreck, you will probably recover less than a person who was paralyzed as a result of an accident.
During a free initial consultation, your White Plains car accident lawyer will listen to your story and offer you legal advice on your options. They will also give you a ballpark estimate of how much your case is worth. To learn more, call the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan to schedule an appointment.
How Can I Afford to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
Personal injury law firms typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay nothing upfront, and only pay a fee if we recover money for you. Your fee will be a percentage of your total recovery, whether you get a settlement or win a verdict at trial.
Contingency fee arrangements mean that anyone can afford to hire a lawyer, even if they don’t have the extra cash to pay a retainer or an hourly fee. They also align your interests with your lawyer’s, as you both want to resolve the case for as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. Reach out to the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Crash?
Even if you were somewhat at fault for an auto accident, you can still file a personal injury claim and recover financial compensation for your losses. New York has a pure comparative negligence rule, which means that you can be up to 99% at fault for an accident and still recover. Your total compensation will then be reduced by the percentage that you were to blame.
This rule is sometimes used by insurance companies to offer a low settlement amount. An experienced White Plains car crash attorney will fight for your right to full compensation, whether you were somewhat at fault or totally blameless for the collision. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan today to schedule an appointment.