Most people get behind the wheel of a car on a regular basis, often without putting much thought into how dangerous it could be. But the reality is that even if you are an incredibly careful driver, you could still be at risk of an automobile accident. Other drivers may make a split-second decision that can lead to serious, life-changing injuries.
If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, and future medical treatment. Through this type of claim, you can hold the at-fault driver accountable for their negligence – and get the money that you need to move forward with your life. An experienced Huntington car accident attorney can help you with the process.
The Odierno Law Firm represents injury victims throughout Long Island. We offer free initial consultations and handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. Reach out to our law offices today to schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Car Accident in Huntington, NY
Car accidents happen far more frequently than many people realize. On average, there are 12,093 hospitalizations, 136,913 emergency department visits, and 1,098 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents each year in New York.
The most common cause of car accidents in the United States is driver error. This can take many forms, from speeding to failing to yield to drunk driving to distracted driving. If someone else did something wrong and caused an accident that hurt you, then you may be able to file a claim for your losses.
Generally, you will be required to prove that the other driver was negligent – or careless – in some way. Negligence is a legal theory that essentially means that a person failed to do what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation. In some cases – such as driving under the influence – the case is based on a theory of intentional or reckless conduct.
Negligence is often straightforward. For example, if someone crossed the center line and caused a head-on collision, then it will probably be easy to prove that they were at fault for the crash. However, there are many situations where negligence is more complicated, such as multi-vehicle accidents or cases where the accident victim was partially responsible for the crash. A seasoned Huntington car accident lawyer will analyze your case and help you determine whether you may be able to bring a claim against an at-fault party.
Personal injury claims typically start with a demand letter to the other driver’s insurance company. This letter sets out the facts of the case, the legal reasons why their insured is liable, and then makes a demand for compensation (damages). The insurance company often responds with a counteroffer and the two parties go back and forth in an attempt to negotiate a fair settlement.
Most personal injury cases are resolved without going to court. However, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to preserve your rights and to continue negotiations. As the parties exchange information and build their cases, they will keep trying to come to an agreement.
If the insurer won’t agree to a fair settlement, then your personal injury attorney may advise you that you should take your case to trial. In court, your lawyer will make arguments, question witnesses, and introduce evidence before asking a jury to find in your favor. The legal team at The Odierno Law Firm has substantial trial experience and isn’t afraid to take on the biggest insurance companies.
Compensation in a Huntington Car Crash Claim
In any personal injury claim, you may be entitled to three types of damages: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages are considered compensatory because they pay an accident victim for their losses. Punitive damages are meant to punish someone who acted intentionally or recklessly.
Economic damages may include a wide range of direct financial losses, such as:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Future medical treatment
These damages are often proven with documentation like invoices, estimates, pay stubs, and medical bills.
Next, non-economic damages pay for intangible losses. It can be harder to document these losses because you don’t get a bill for something like emotional trauma. However, non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, scarring, and disfigurement are incredibly important to accident victims.
Finally, punitive damages are available in more unusual cases where the at-fault driver (defendant) acted intentionally or recklessly, such as in a drunk driving accident. Most car crashes happen because someone was careless – not because they did something on purpose. That being said, punitive damages may be awarded if your personal injury lawyer can prove that the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly.
How The Odierno Law Firm Can Help
The Odierno Law Firm has more than 150 years of combined legal experience. Our team of personal injury lawyers is dedicated to getting our clients top dollar for their injuries. We understand how devastating a car accident can be, and our goal is to help you get the money that you need to fully recover from the crash.
We offer free initial consultations to all prospective clients, where we will listen to your story and explain your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim. If you decide to hire our law firm, you won’t pay anything upfront – and will only pay a fee if we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Huntington car accident attorney, give our law office a call at 631-994-1802 or fill out our online contact form.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Even if you played a part in causing a motor vehicle accident, you can probably still recover money for your losses. That’s because New York follows the contributory negligence rule, where an injury victim can recover for their losses as long as they were 50% or less at fault. Your total recovery will be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault.
Insurance companies often use legal theories like contributory negligence to offer lowball settlements to accident victims. The best way to protect yourself is by working with an experienced Huntington car accident lawyer. Reach out to The Odierno Law Firm to talk to a member of our team.
Is It Worth It to Hire a Huntington Car Accident Attorney?
You aren’t required to have an attorney to file a claim for a car accident. However, it is important to remember that insurance companies don’t have your best interests at heart. If you want to get maximum compensation for your injuries, then your best option is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Your lawyer will analyze your case, determine who may be held responsible, and investigate both the facts and the law to build the strongest possible claim. They will aggressively advocate for your right to full compensation. In Huntington, call The Odierno Law Firm to schedule a free initial consultation.