If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. today. We will help you get the care and compensation you deserve.
The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. Handles Serious Car Accident Injuries
At The Odierno Law Firm, P.C., we will protect your rights at every step. We can help you
Despite advances in technology that are supposed to make us all safer on the road, car accidents remain a major problem in New York. On average, 1,098 New Yorkers die each year in car accidents. Another 12,903 people are hospitalized and 136,913 people are seen in the emergency department due to injuries suffered in auto accidents.
If you have been hurt in a car accident in Nassau County, Suffolk County, or elsewhere on Long Island, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Through a personal injury claim, you can recover financial compensation for all of your losses, including medical bills, future medical treatment, property damage, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
Based in Melville, New York, the Odierno Law Firm is committed to helping accident victims get the best possible outcome for their insurance claim. We are aggressive advocates for our clients, working hard to achieve a fair settlement. To learn more, give our law office a call to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
Call (631) 752-8580 Today to Schedule Your Free Case Review
Suffering from late-appearing car accident injuries? Contact us for a free consultation and seek compensation!
Can You File a Lawsuit for Your Car Accident?
After a car accident, you may be confused about what to do next. Even if you think that the other driver was at fault, you may not know your rights.
In New York, if someone else caused your accident, they may be held liable for any injuries that result. Most frequently, these cases are based on a theory of negligence. This legal term is defined as the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation.
Negligence can happen in many different ways, particularly when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. Our law firm handles many types of negligence cases, including:
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving (texting while driving)
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end accidents
- Single and multi-vehicle wrecks
- Hit and run accidents
- T-bone accidents
No matter how a motor vehicle accident occurred, if the other driver was negligent in some way, then you can hold them financially liable with the help of a Long Island personal injury lawyer.
Although the most common type of car accident involves negligence, there are situations where another driver acts intentionally and/or recklessly, such as drunk driving accidents. In this situation, you may be able to recover additional compensation as a way to penalize the person who caused the accident.
Negligence in car accident cases isn’t always clear. For example, if you were partially to blame for the crash, then the case will be determined under the theory of comparative negligence. In New York, you can still recover compensation if you were partially to blame for a collision – your total recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
In other cases, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against an entity – such as a city or state responsible for maintaining a roadway – based on their negligence. If you have any questions about whether you may be able to file an insurance claim against a negligent driver for your car crash, reach out to a seasoned personal injury attorney to schedule a free consultation about your case.
When You Should Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?
When you have been in a motor vehicle accident, getting a lawyer may not seem like a priority. After all, you are probably spending plenty of time dealing with doctor’s appointments, going to therapy, and figuring out how to get your car fixed.
While it may not be the top priority, scheduling an initial consultation with an attorney should be high on your to-do list after an accident. Insurance companies don’t wait to start investigating and processing your claim. Having an attorney can help to protect your legal rights.
An insurance adjuster may approach you shortly after your accident, asking you to give a statement or sign some paperwork. They may even offer you a settlement. When you’re dealing with so much after a crash, it can be tempting to just cooperate and give the adjuster whatever they ask for to process your claim.
Unfortunately, the adjuster doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Their goal is to resolve your case for as little money as possible – not to make sure that you get fair compensation. Anything that you say to them will be used against you. Any settlement that they offer you will probably be a fraction of what you could recover with the help of an experienced Long Island car accident attorney.
By contrast, lawyers are duty-bound to represent your best interests. They want to resolve your case for as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. When you hire a personal injury attorney, you will not only protect your rights – you will also increase the likelihood that you will get top dollar for your case.
What You Should Do After a Long Island Car Accident
If you have been involved in a wreck, there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself – and your accident claim. The first and most important thing that you should do is to seek emergency medical treatment. Even if you think that your injuries aren’t that serious, getting medical care can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment. It also establishes a link between your injuries and the accident.
Second, if the police arrive at the accident scene, give them a brief statement that sticks to the facts of the case. Later, your attorney can use this police report to support your case.
Third, if you are able to do so, start to gather information. Write down the license plate number, contact information, and insurance info for the other driver. You may also want to get the names and numbers of any witnesses to the crash.
At the same time, use your smartphone to take photos and videos of the scene, the damage to your vehicle, and even your own injuries. This type of evidence can be invaluable down the road as your lawyer begins to prepare your case.
Fourth, avoid saying anything about the accident other than what is strictly necessary (such as a statement to the police officer). Do not apologize, or offer your opinion on what happened. If a claims adjuster approaches you, do not talk to them until you have had a chance to talk to a lawyer.
Fifth, schedule a free initial consultation with a Long Island car accident lawyer. During this appointment, you will be able to explain what happened in your own words and get legal advice based on the facts of your claim. Most personal injury attorneys handle car accident cases on a contingency basis, which means that you won’t have to pay anything upfront to hire a lawyer – and that you’ll only pay a fee if they recover money for you.
Long Island Car Accident Settlements and Lawsuits
After a free consultation, your attorney will get to work right away to investigate your case. They will interview witnesses, review medical records, request an accident report, and view photos and videos of the accident scene. From there, they will start to build a case for damages (compensation).
In a car accident case, you may be entitled to three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Generally, punitive damages are only available for motor vehicle accidents where the at-fault driver acted intentionally or recklessly – such as crashes involving a drunk driver or reckless driving. In most cases, you will probably recover money for your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate you for direct financial losses. Examples include:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Future medical treatment
Non-economic damages compensate you for intangible losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If a loved one died as a result of the accident, then you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. Damages in wrongful death cases are meant to compensate you for what you have lost as a result of your family member’s death – such as funeral expenses and loss of consortium.
Once your attorney has finished researching your case, they will put together a demand letter to be sent to the insurance company. This letter will lay out the facts and law of the case, and then make a demand for compensation based on your damages. Most frequently, the insurance company will respond with a counteroffer.
If your attorney cannot negotiate a fair settlement, then it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. Negotiations will continue throughout the pretrial process. Every step of the way, your lawyer will fight to get you maximum compensation for your injuries.
I Was in a Minor Car Accident on Long Island. Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
It depends. If you did not suffer any injuries and the only loss that you had was property damage, then it may make sense to simply negotiate a settlement with the insurance company on your own. However, if you were hurt at all in the crash, then your best bet is to hire a top-notch Long Island car accident lawyer.
Insurance companies don’t play fair when it comes to settling claims. The adjuster may tell you that they accept responsibility, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get the money that you deserve. Contact the Odierno Law Firm to learn more about how we can help you get maximum compensation for your claim.
How Much Is My Car Accident Case Worth?
The value of a car accident case depends on factors such as how serious your injuries were, whether you will be permanently disabled, and how much insurance coverage the at-fault driver has. For example, a person who suffers spinal cord injuries in a rear-end collision will typically recover more than someone who had some bruising and broken bones and who will recover completely.
During a free consultation, a Long Island car accident attorney will give you an estimate of the value of your case. As the claim progresses, this number may increase or decrease. Contact the Odierno Law Firm to set up an appointment with a member of our team.
Will My Case Go To Trial?
Probably not. The majority – 97% – of personal injury lawsuits are resolved without going to trial. Insurance companies know that it is often far less expensive to offer a fair settlement than to risk taking the case to a jury.
One of the best ways to get a top-dollar settlement is to hire a personal injury law firm with significant experience in all aspects of civil litigation, from negotiating settlements to going to court. When you hire a lawyer with this kind of experience, the insurance company knows that you can and will go to court to enforce your rights. Call the Odierno Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.
What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, there are a lot of decisions that you must face. Before speaking with insurance companies or a Long Island car accident attorney, it is important to address any serious injuries or bodily harm sustained as a result of a Long Island car accident.
The first thing you must do is get proper medical care for any injuries you sustained in the accident. Do this without fail. This is first and foremost important for your health. It is also useful documentation when you are filing an insurance claim.
You may experience anxiety, depression, or physical limitations after being involved in a car accident. Do not push yourself to perform at 100% after you have been injured. It will benefit you and your loved ones in the long run if you take your time to recover and heal.
If you can, you should also try to take pictures, write down details, and obtain the contact information of all witnesses, documenting the crash. When you have reached a place of being healthy and out of medical danger, you need to call a car accident attorney on Long Island who will protect your rights and help you seek compensation for your pain and suffering.
4 Common Causes of Car Accidents and Showing Negligence
After a car accident, it’s vital to show how someone else may be responsible for your damages. Showing negligence can help you obtain compensation for the damages you endure. Below, we’ll detail four of the more common causes of car accidents and certain signs to look for that can help you show someone is negligent.
Texting and Driving
Any distraction can be dangerous, but texting and driving encompass all three forms of distracted driving. A driver has to look at the phone (visual), hold it with one hand to read or respond (manual), and focus on what the text says (cognitive). Typically, texting and driving can lead to swerving, erratic braking, and more.
Alcohol can significantly damage someone’s depth perception, focus, decision-making, and more. Unfortunately, drunk driving is one of the leading causes of crashes, and it often leads to some of the most severe and catastrophic injuries. A drunk driver would exhibit some of the same signs as a distracted driver.
Speeding can make it difficult to stop at red lights, traffic signs, and more. Speeding can easily cause a driver to lose control. It’s easy to recognize if someone’s speeding, but if they cause an accident, you may need to show signs of negligence to pursue compensation, such as tire marks from the driver trying to brake too quickly.
When a driver is too tired, they may swerve between lanes, speed up and slow down, brake without another car in front of them, and other problems. Unfortunately, fatigue is much more dangerous than most initially thought, and it occurs in roughly eight to nine percent of accidents.
Documents You Need to Maximize a Car Accident Claim?
When filing a claim, you want to be able to build as strong a case as possible. The more documents you have for your claim, the more likely it is to pursue the compensation you deserve. However, far too often, people are unaware of the documents that can help them get through the process smoothly and effectively. Here are some documents you should have.
Other Driver’s Information
Ensure to gather the other driver’s information, including their driver’s license and license plate number, insurance policy information, and contact information. Collect this information at the accident scene. Take pictures of the documents to preserve the evidence.
If you suffer an injury, you may require significant and ongoing medical care. Your medical bills can factor into your compensation. Showing how much you’ve lost because of someone else’s negligence can help you recover the full amount you need and deserve.
Photos from the Accident
The pictures you take after a crash can help you build your claim and maximize how much you recover. Pictures can show damages, proving how an accident occurred with the help of an accident reconstructionist. With the right team on your side, your photos can serve as strong evidence.
Estimates from Professionals
You can use estimates from professionals to help combat evaluations from insurance companies. Some of the parties you and your legal team can use to help include mechanics, accounting consultants, and economic professionals. These parties can evaluate your current losses, as well as future potential lost income and more.
How Soon After the Accident Should I Hire an Attorney?
Accidents can wreak havoc on the lives of victims. Other than receiving immediate medical attention for your injuries, there is nothing more important that retaining legal counsel. If you have been injured in an accident or had a loved one die as a result of another person’s negligent actions, we recommend you waste no time in hiring a personal injury attorney in Long Island to represent your case.
Injuries Common In Car Accidents
Car accidents occur frequently in Long Island and all throughout New York. As a result, many individuals suffer serious injuries. Even more difficult is when these injury-causing accidents are the result of someone else’s negligent actions.
These types of situations often require those involved to pursue medical treatment, as well as potential legal options. However, when you have a lawyer on your side, you can have someone focus on your legal matters while you focus on your own physical and mental recovery.
Knowing which injuries are commonly caused in car accidents is important so you can really understand the treatment options and what to do next. Here are some of the injuries that are commonly caused in a car accident:
- Neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Post-traumatic stress
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
In some accidents, especially rear-end collisions, neck injuries are far more common. One injury that many people have probably heard of is whiplash, which is a common problem that occurs when muscles and soft tissues are strained from the trauma of an accident.
Whiplash typically occurs when the head jolts backward and forward following the collision and there are injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It can be a painful injury and may take time before it properly heals.
The impact of a catastrophic car accident can be daunting for all individuals involved. Unfortunately, this includes traumatic brain injuries that occur when the brain makes contact with the skull as individuals’ heads jolt back and forth.
Brain injuries can also occur from trauma should the head make contact with the frame of the vehicle, the dashboard, or any other part of the vehicle. As a result, they could experience brain bleeds or worse trauma.
Lacerations and Bruises
The impact of a car accident may involve flying debris such as glass or pieces of metal. As a result, the individuals in the vehicle can suffer lacerations on their face, neck, arms, or other parts of their body exposed to the elements of the crash.
Bruises are also very common in crashes, sometimes being more significant than your typical bruise. The seat belt can cause bruising across the chest or the impact of the accident can cause bruised ribs, making it difficult for the individual involved to breathe.
In accidents, it’s not just the visible injuries that are impactful to those involved in the crash. It’s also the internal damage a person can sustain such as organ damage that may lead to internal bleeding. When organs inside the body are damaged, it can lead to life-threatening damages.
Post-traumatic stress is not just for those involved in war. An accident can result in serious emotional damages and cause the individual to experience fear and anxiety in the future when they relive the memory. Flashbacks and triggers are common following serious accidents.
Other injuries can include knee damage, herniated discs, and other psychological pain that a person can sustain.
For individuals on the road, it’s important to take steps to stay safe. This includes wearing your seatbelt, being completely aware of your surroundings, not following too closely to other drivers, obeying traffic laws, and properly maintaining your vehicle.
Types of Car Accident Lawsuits We Handle
At The Odierno Law Firm, P.C., we will protect your rights at every step. We can help you substantiate the severity of your injuries, helping you fill out a pain and suffering claim if necessary.
Our firm handles a wide range of car accident injury claims including:
- Aggressive Driving Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
- Hit & Run Accidents
- Rear-End Accidents
- Single and Multi-Vehicle Accidents
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists
With an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer preparing your injury claim, you can make sure that your covered benefits are fully paid.
Recovering Damages After a Car Accident in New York
In many car accident cases, insurance providers won’t give the injured parties enough to properly cover their medical expenses or repair costs. Instead, they are given minimal amounts that only include “actual damages”, or the initial harm that can be measured with dollars and cents. In no way does this mean you have to accept the amount given and stop there.
Rather, you have the right to pursue further monies rewarded for any of the following reasons:
- Compensatory damages: If you would like compensation for any financial losses you may suffer in the future due to your injury, or any you have already lost, you will want to pursue compensatory damages. In many cases, a jury will determine the amount to award you.
- Punitive damages: In order to punish those responsible for your trauma, you can sue them for punitive – or exemplary – damages in an amount you and your lawyer set. Oftentimes, you can expect to be rewarded less than you request, so you may want to consider an amount higher than your original expectations.
- Nominal damages: Car accidents can cause serious emotional damage to the victims, even if no bodily harm occurs. Those accountable for the collision can be sued for nominal damages that will grant you monies in compensation for your mental suffering.
- Comparative fault recoveries: Even if you were partially at fault for the car accident that caused your injuries, New York State law allows you to pursue damages that will be reduced based on your “percentage of responsibility” for the collision. For example, if you are deemed half at fault for the accident, any damages you are rewarded will likely be reduced by 50%.
The employees at an insurance company are trained to find ways to deny or reduce claims. Without the assistance of an attorney, you could be left with a settlement amount that does not meet your expenses. No one should have to face financial uncertainty after suffering injuries from an accident.
Accident Law Firm Serving Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens
Call The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. at (631) 752-8580 for a FREE consultation—discover your legal options!
Is New York a No-Fault State?
If you live in New York, you may be wondering how no-fault insurance works after a Long Island car accident. New York is a no-fault state, which means that insurance companies are responsible for reimbursing their insureds regardless of who was at-fault for causing the accident. It was enacted to ensure that injured persons who have insurance could receive help even if the at-fault party was not identified.
Under New York accident law, there are two parts to “no-fault” insurance:
- The first part involves benefits such as hospital bills, doctor bills, and lost wages. This means that those bills are covered without having to prove who was at fault.
- The second part of no-fault insurance details the limits on benefits that can be recovered for pain and suffering. You can only pursue compensation for pain and suffering if the injuries are deemed “serious”.
Work with a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident or any other accident can be extremely daunting due to physical and emotional injury, and complicated insurance claims. When you have been injured in a car accident, your attention needs to be on the healing process.
While you focus on your health, our team can handle the legal aspects of your recovery, which can involve:
- Gathering evidence
- Proving that the other driver was negligent
- Analyzing the insurance coverages involved and determining the full coverage possible
- Establishing the extent of your car accident injuries
- Pursuing just compensation
We are ready to tenaciously negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you recover the compensation that you need and deserve for all medical costs, lost wages, and more. Don’t hesitate to get more than 150 years of combined experience on your side. Act now to protect your rights!
Backed By 150+ Years of Experience
The Odierno Law Firm has a long history of serving the Long Island community. We have a wealth of experience and a proven track record. We are deeply committed to helping you, not just with your case, but with your everyday needs.