Filing a car accident case can be complex, and there are often many twists and turns that make you wish you had help with your case. Fortunately, our attorneys are available to help with every step of your car accident case, from filing insurance claims to going to trial, if necessary.
Our lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies and at-fault parties to try to maximize damages and get you the compensation you need for your injuries. We have worked with many injury victims and understand what it takes to help our clients get justice for their injuries.
Contact the car accident attorneys at The Martello Law Firm today by calling (914) 685-6950 for a free case assessment.
Steps and Stages of a Car Accident Injury Case in Clarkstown, NY
Car accident injury claims in New York tend to follow a particular order of events from the time you are injured to the time you get the damages you need. If a case settles, then it often ends earlier. Otherwise, these are the full stages our car accident lawyers can help with, along with any other complications that arise:
Our car accident lawyers can help you collect evidence from the aftermath of the crash. While we often cannot be there before the crash is cleaned up, we can help you get copies of police reports, we can talk to nearby property owners to look for security camera footage, and we can get statements from witnesses. We can also help you manage and track your medical records.
Getting Medical Care
Our lawyers can help you make sure you go to the right doctors to help protect your injury claim. We can also get copies of medical records, bills, and other evidence.
In New York, everyone is supposed to be covered by no-fault insurance. If you were driving a car, then you should file with your insurance. Otherwise, you file your claim with the insurance of the driver of the vehicle you were riding in. If you were hit while walking or biking, then the driver who hit you should cover you with their no-fault insurance.
This insurance helps cover some medical bills and lost wages, but it does not pay for pain and suffering or cover vehicle damage.
If your injuries meet certain standards discussed below, then you might also be entitled to a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. Drivers should have liability insurance to cover vehicle damage and personal injuries. If they do not, or their insurance is lower than you need, your insurance might have “uninsured motorist” or “underinsured motorist” insurance to help cover your needs.
Filing a Lawsuit
If your injuries qualify as “serious” under New York law, then you could be entitled to file a lawsuit to recover the other damages you need, including pain and suffering damages. The initial filing must be submitted to the court within 3 years of the injury. There are often motions at this stage to try to have your case thrown out, which our lawyers can fight back against through briefs and arguments before the court.
Negotiating a Settlement
Negotiations could potentially start before you file your case in court, but they will realistically occur throughout the process until your case ends. If our attorneys can convince the defendants and their insurance companies to settle for a fair value, we might be able to end your case quickly. If not, negotiations can continue in the background all the way through trial.
In the discovery stage, our lawyers can request evidence in the defense’s control to see what proof they have and how strong our case is by comparison. We can also subpoena witnesses and take depositions so that we have a record of what information they know and what they would be able to say at trial.
In many cases, settlement happens after discovery because the defense now knows how weak their case is and how much they stand to lose if the case goes before a judge and jury.
Sometimes mediation is required to try to end the case. Here, a neutral third party will listen to both sides and try to help them come to a settlement. Nothing that comes out of mediation is binding on the parties unless they sign a settlement agreement.
If the case moves on to trial, then the parties will present their evidence and witnesses in turns before a judge and jury. Jury selection is an important part of the trial stage, and selecting a good jury can help push the odds of winning in your favor. Once the jury hears both sides and gets instructions from the judge, they go off for deliberation and hand down a verdict.
In a car accident case, you do not need to prove your claim beyond a reasonable doubt like in a criminal case. Instead, the standard is a “preponderance of the evidence” standard, which basically means that the jury needs to be just over 50% sure that your side is correct to declare you the winner.
The jury also decides damages after determining fault. This means that no matter what you asked for and what evidence of damages you presented to the court, the jury decides how much you are being awarded. In limited cases, judges can adjust these amounts.
How Much is My Car Accident Worth in Clarkstown, NY?
Every injury case involves three potential categories of damages. First, economic damages cover the expenses and monetary losses you face, such as medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost wages. Second, your injury will involve non-economic damages that have no bills or financial statements, such as emotional distress and pain and suffering. Third, the court might order punitive damages to punish the defendant for bad actions, but these are rare outside of exceptional circumstances.
Contact Our Clarkstown, NY Car Accident Attorneys Today
Call (914) 685-6950 to discuss your injury case with The Martello Law Firm’s car accident lawyers today.