After a car accident, you might have a lot on your mind – like whether you will ever fully recover or how your boss will react to you taking time off of work. You may also be stressed out about all of the bills that just keep coming, particularly when you are dealing with lost wages.
If another driver caused your auto accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover money for your property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. The value of your claim is based on a number of factors, such as the severity of your injuries and whether you will be permanently disabled.
At The Odierno Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping injury victims get top dollar for their losses. We are fierce advocates for our clients, working hard to ensure that they get the money that they need to move forward after an accident. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation, reach out to our legal team today.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Car Accident?
In a personal injury claim, you may recover three types of compensation (damages). This may include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages are considered compensatory damages because they are meant to compensate an injury victim for their losses.
Economic damages cover specific financial losses, such as:
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Future medical treatment
Non-economic damages pay for intangible losses, including:
- Mental anguish/emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Finally, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the at-fault driver acted intentionally or recklessly, such as in a drunk driving accident. This type of compensation is meant to punish a wrongdoer, which is why punitive damages are not available in cases where the at-fault party was negligent or careless.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to economic, non-economic, and/or punitive damages. A skilled personal injury lawyer can advise you of your rights and help you get the money that you deserve for your injuries.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident on Long Island?
There is no such thing as an average car accident settlement. The value of any car accident claim depends on a number of factors, such as:
- Who caused the auto accident;
- Whether liability is clear;
- If the injury victim is partially at fault (comparative negligence);
- Whether there were any permanent injuries;
- The cost of medical care;
- If further medical treatment is necessary;
- How long they were out of work;
- The extent of any property damage; and
- The limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
For example, consider a car accident where a person suffered a broken bone. They were off work for a week and had a cast on their arm for 6 weeks. They were partially at fault for the accident, so their total recovery will be reduced by the percentage that they were to blame.
Then consider an auto accident where the driver suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). They are in the hospital for 8 weeks, and cannot work for 10 months. They will always have some deficits from their brain injury. The negligent driver was 100% at fault for the crash.
When evaluating these two accidents, the second driver will likely recover far more compensation than the first. This is due to the severity of the injuries, the amount of their lost wages, their medical expenses, and the fact that they are permanently disabled. For these reasons, their settlement will likely be much higher than the first driver, who had relatively minor injuries, missed just a week of work, and was fully recovered within a few months.
The best way to determine the value of your case is to schedule a free consultation with a team of personal injury lawyers. During this appointment, they will listen to your story and provide you with a ballpark estimate of how much your case is worth. As the case progresses, this number may increase or decrease.
How Can an Accident Attorney Help?
After a car accident, you may be approached by an insurance adjuster. They may ask you to make a statement or sign some paperwork. They may even tell you that they accept responsibility for the crash and offer you a settlement.
In this situation, you may be tempted to take the money so that you can move forward with your life. In most cases – particularly those involving any injuries – this would be a mistake.
Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they do that by paying out as little as possible on personal injury claims. If an insurer is offering you a settlement right off the bat, you can be sure that it is for pennies on the dollar. Remember: insurance companies don’t have your best interests at heart.
A Long Island car accident lawyer will fight for your right to full compensation. They will start by investigating the facts of the case. From there, they will research New York law to put together the strongest possible claim for compensation.
An attorney will send a demand letter to the insurance company, asking them for a fair settlement for your losses. This starts the negotiation process, where the parties go back and forth until a settlement is achieved.
The majority of personal injury claims are resolved outside of court. However, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and take the case to a jury to get the money that you deserve. Insurance companies know that going to trial is a gamble, and are often motivated to settle the case once they know that you are represented by counsel.
Studies show that people who have legal representation recover an average of 40% more than people who represent themselves. The reason why is simple: when you have a lawyer, the insurer knows that you mean business and that you won’t accept a low ball settlement offer.
Our law firm has a track record of success. Our results include:
- $1.2 million settlement for a wrongful death lawsuit after a drunk driving accident
- $850,000 settlement for a bus accident involving broken ribs and a fractured hip
- $625,000 mediation settlement for a plow blade accident
- $600,000 verdict at trial for a pedestrian accident
- $555,000 settlement for a bicycle accident
- $390,000 settlement for a motor vehicle accident
- $350,000 verdict at trial for a motorcycle crash
If you have been hurt in an accident involving a negligent driver, don’t accept a settlement offer from an adjuster until you have had a chance to seek legal advice. In Suffolk and Nassau Counties, reach out to our law office to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Hurt in a Car Accident? Give Us a Call Today.
Being hurt in a motor vehicle accident can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. While money won’t make you whole again, it can provide the financial stability that you need to move forward with your life. Our law firm will fight to ensure that you get the best possible settlement for your car accident claim.
The Odierno Law Firm represents injury victims throughout Long Island. 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 Long Island car accident lawyer, give our law office a call at
631-752-8580 or fill out our online contact form.
How Does No-Fault Insurance Affect My Settlement?
New York is a “no-fault” car insurance state, which may also be referred to as “personal injury protection” (PIP). Under this law, a driver’s own insurance company pays certain costs to their own insured up to $50,000. Being in a no-fault insurance state does not mean that you cannot file a claim for your losses as an injured person. If you meet the legal criteria, you can still pursue legal action against the at-fault driver.
The Odierno Law Firm can help you with the process. Give our law office a call to schedule a free consultation with a Long Island car accident attorney.
How Long Do I Have to File My Car Accident Case?
New York has a 3-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This means that – with a few exceptions – you have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. If you don’t start legal action within that time period, then you will lose your right to do so.
While 3 years may seem like a lot of time, it can go quickly when you are dealing with doctor’s visits, physical therapy, and more. Reach out to the Odierno Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer for My Long Island Car Accident?
In almost every case, yes. A car accident attorney will help ensure that you get top dollar for your injuries. Without legal representation, you may find yourself without enough money to cover all of your bills after a crash.
If your accident was relatively minor and only involved property damage, it may make sense to represent yourself. Contact the Odierno Law Firm today to learn more about your rights as an injury victim.