White Plains Car Accident Lawyers
Helping Car Accident Victims Throughout Westchester County
There are many different causes of car accidents in the White Plains area. A driver may be distracted because they are using their phone or they’re fiddling around with their radio. Maybe the weather conditions are bad, or there is some kind of mechanical failure in the other driver’s vehicle. No matter what the reason was that caused the other driver to smash into your vehicle and injure you, you have the right under New York law to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against that driver for any damages you suffer as a result of the crash if a serious injury can be proven.
Helping clients with their cases since 1959, our reputable legal team at Greenspan & Greenspan P.C. understands the value of quality legal representation that results in positive outcomes. With our smart approach and thoughtful strategies, we will work to pursue the parties involved. Our White Plains car accident lawyers are committed to fighting for you so that you can recover financial compensation. We give each case the attention it deserves so that clients can secure the highest compensation amount.
New York’s No-Fault Car Accident System Explained
New York uses a no-fault system for auto accident claims that is designed to streamline the process of obtaining compensation after a collision regardless of who is at fault. Here’s how it works:
- Immediate Medical Coverage: Regardless of fault, your own insurance policy (Personal Injury Protection or PIP) will cover your medical expenses and lost wages up to a certain limit, typically $50,000. This coverage applies immediately after the accident.
- Limited Right to Sue: Under the No-Fault system, your ability to sue for personal injury is limited. You can only sue for non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) if your injuries meet the “serious injury” threshold as defined by New York law.
- Quick Claims Process: No-Fault insurance ensures a faster claims process. You can receive medical treatment promptly without waiting for the determination of fault, helping in immediate medical care after the accident.
- Exceptions to No-Fault: Certain situations, like accidents involving pedestrians or motorcycles, are exceptions to the No-Fault rule. In these cases, the injured party can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver directly.
Common Car Accident Injuries
The sudden, powerful force of a car accident can cause severe bodily injury. Even low-speed collisions can cause potentially catastrophic injuries depending on the vehicles involved and the point of impact.
Common injuries sustained in White Plains car accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
Proving Driver Negligence in a New York Car Accident Case
To prove liability, a victim must prove four elements in their personal injury case:
- The other driver had a duty of care to the injured driver and other motorists
- The other driver breached that duty of care
- That breach resulted in the crash that caused the victim to sustain a serious injury
- The victim has sustained an economic loss greater than basic economic loss as those terms are defined by New York law
Every driver has a duty of care to obey all traffic laws and drive safely. When a driver fails to obey the laws – such as texting on their cell phone instead of paying attention – that is a breach of that duty.
Breach of duty is any negligent or illegal act that a party engages in. Not only does this breach refer to other drivers, but a breach of duty can also occur when a vehicle manufacturer designs and/or produces a vehicle that has a defect or other dangerous flaw which eventually causes an accident.
A victim must show a direct link between the breach and the crash. They must also prove they have suffered damages due to their injuries. Damages can be economic, such as medical bills and loss of income, or non-economic, such as pain, suffering, and scarring if they rise above the state’s serious injury threshold.
Important Pieces Of Evidence For A Car Accident Case
Before you can recover damages, evidence must be presented to prove your car accident case. There are a variety of different types of evidence a car accident attorney will use to prove the other driver’s liability, including:
- Photos of the accident scene. If possible, you should take multiple photos of the accident scene to paint a picture for the court. Take shots of all the vehicles involved in the accident, skid marks on the road, and traffic signs.
- Photos of your injuries. If you sustained visible injuries from the collision, like bruises or cuts, you’ll want to take photos of them right away. These photos will show the court the severity of your injuries.
- Car repair records. If your vehicle was damaged during the accident, it’s important the vehicle is taken to a reputable repair facility so that a damage estimate can be prepared and a determination made that there was no mechanical defect responsible for the crash. Don’t forget to obtain car repair records from the mechanic after the fact. These records will establish that the accident wasn’t caused by a failure of your vehicle.
- Police report. It’s critical to call the police following a car accident. They will come to the scene and make a report that will include important information about the accident, such as when and where it occurred and the names of everyone involved. Obtain a copy of this report for your attorney.
- Medical records. It’s important to see a doctor promptly about your car accident injuries. He or she will diagnose your injuries and recommend the proper treatment plan. Don’t forget to get copies of your medical records.
- Cell phone records. In certain cases, it’s helpful to have the other driver’s cell phone records. If he or she was talking on the phone or responding to a text when the accident occurred, it could establish negligence.
- Witness testimony. Were there other people present when the auto accident occurred? If so, you should not hesitate to get their names and contact information. They may be able to verify your account of what happened and strengthen your claim. Your attorney may also consult expert witnesses like medical professionals or accident reconstruction experts to further bolster your claim.
- Video footage. Although it can be difficult to obtain, video footage is one of the best pieces of evidence you can have for your car accident claim. It can establish exactly how the accident occurred. An attorney may be able to help you obtain video footage of the accident.
How a White Plains Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help You
There are many advantages to having a skilled White Plains car accident lawyer by your side as you go through the claims process. Some people may be reluctant to hire a personal injury lawyer because they think it’s unnecessary or believe that the claims process is straightforward enough to deal with on their own. However, filing a claim involves a lot of paperwork and a thorough understanding of the law. Don’t risk making crucial errors that can result in your claim getting dismissed.
Here are several things a lawyer can do for you:
- Give personalized legal advice. Personal injury lawyers will listen to you and provide suggestions for the next steps you can take.
- Gather and examine information. They will collect evidence and information to build the best possible case for you.
- Communicate with parties involved. Lawyers have the negotiation skills to effectively deal with insurance companies.
- Handle your paperwork. They can help you fill out required forms and review them for errors.
- Evaluate settlement offers. A lawyer will review settlement offers extended to you to determine if they are fair.
- Represent you in court. If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, a personal injury lawyer can represent you in court and take your case to trial, if necessary.
When To Call A White Plains Car Accident Lawyer
A motor vehicle accident can happen at any time, so it is important to be prepared. Following a car accident, you may be wondering what to do next. You may have to deal with car damage or have medical bills to pay. You also need to focus on the police report. A car accident lawyer in White Plains, NY, such as a member of Greenspan & Greenspan, PC, can help you juggle these stresses and ensure the best possible income. Here are several signs that you need to call a lawyer.
1. You Have Suffered Injuries
If you have suffered injuries in an accident, you need to see a doctor as quickly as possible. That way, you can start the treatment process as soon as possible. Then, you should reach out to a skilled attorney who can review your case. If the accident is not your fault, then you should not have to pay for your present or future medical expenses on your own. An attorney experienced in handling motor vehicle accidents can take a look at your injuries and see if you are entitled to compensation.
2. You Believe The Accident Is Not Your Fault
If you have been blamed for an accident that you do not believe is your fault, then you need a car accident lawyer to investigate the circumstances of the collision on your behalf. It is entirely possible that the fault for the accident has been misplaced. There are a lot of factors involved in the process of determining liability for an auto accident. A personal injury attorney can help navigate this for you.
3. You Need To Call The Insurance Company
If you need to call the insurance company, you should not do so without having a lawyer by your side. There is a lot of jargon involved in car accident law. You do not want to say something to an insurance adjuster that could compromise your rights. An experienced car accident attorney can take a look at the offer from the insurance company and make sure that your interests are being protected.
FAQs About Car Accidents in White Plains, NY
When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important that you say and do the right things, but in that moment of crisis, you may find it difficult to focus. Use answers to FAQs from our experienced White Plains car accident lawyers so that you’re better prepared.
What Should I Do First After The Accident?
Your first step is to call the police, particularly if there is a lot of damage to either vehicle or if there are any serious injuries. The second step is determining whether anyone was injured. As soon as you get off the phone with the police, and if it is safe to exit your vehicle, check on the occupants of all involved vehicles and bystanders. If there are any injuries, call an ambulance.
Should I Share Any Information?
Once the officers arrive, you’ll complete an official report. When speaking to the police, provide facts, but do not admit fault. In fact, be careful what you say to the other drivers, passengers, and any witnesses because what you say could be construed as an admission of fault.
However, you and the other driver are legally required to exchange some details:
- Contact information
- Driver’s license numbers
- Car insurance information
It may also be helpful to gather contact information from witnesses. Other than this, it’s best to keep the rest of your conversations to a minimum.
What Evidence Do I Need For My Insurance Company?
Get the names, phone numbers, and license plate numbers of the other drivers. Make a note of the vehicles’ make, model, year, and color. You may also need the VIN from the other vehicles. Take pictures of your vehicle and the other involved automobiles. Get pictures of any physical injuries and any evidence of weather and road conditions. You should also ask for a copy of the police report.
Will The Insurance Company Compensate Me Fairly?
Be aware that auto claims cases are often long and drawn out. In most cases, the insurance company’s goal is to pay out as little as possible. Be careful not to make any statements that make you appear negligent or at fault. Don’t downplay your injuries, and don’t sign a release for your medical information.
Instead, contact a car accident legal firm, such as Greenspan & Greenspan, PC, before submitting a claim. Save copies of the police report, your medical bills, and other relevant paperwork, such as auto repair receipts.
What Happens If Multiple Drivers Are At Fault?
It is not uncommon for liability to be shared by multiple drivers. In these situations, the concept of comparative negligence comes into play. Under comparative negligence rules, any settlement or verdict that is awarded will be adjusted according to the involved drivers’ unique level of fault. For example, if you were found to be 30% at fault for a collision and you are awarded $100,000, your final award will be $70,000 (or $100,000 reduced by 30%).
Call A White Plains Car Accident Lawyer Today
No injured person should be forced to face a mountain of medical expenses on their own. If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, contact our experienced car accident attorneys in White Plains, NY today to discuss your legal options in depth. Our attorneys will discuss what damages can be claimed, how much a claim may be worth, and other questions you may have.