Wantagh Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents are all too common in New York. Wantagh is a smaller town, but being “The Gateway to Jones Beach” leads to many car accidents involving visitors and locals alike. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, call a Wantagh car accident lawyer from Goldstein & Bashner today. An experienced injury attorney in Wantagh can assist in preserving evidence and putting together the strongest claim possible on your behalf.
Steps to Take Following An Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, there are certain steps you need to take to give yourself the best chance at recovery.
If you did not receive medical attention at the scene, your first step should be to get medical attention. Even if you think you have not suffered any major injuries, you should still have a doctor check you out. In many cases, seemingly minor accident injuries worsen over time and cause significant long-term problems.
Once you have seen a doctor, you should follow his/her treatment plan to the letter. Maintain detailed records of all doctor’s appointments, medications prescribed, treatment plans, therapy received, and medical procedures. You should also keep personal records regarding the improvement and worsening of your condition.
It is also in your best interest to speak with a qualified Wantagh car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. We can evaluate your claim, determine your legal options, and help you build a case to hold irresponsible drivers liable for the damages they have caused.
It is important to be careful about what you say and what you post on social media during this time.
If an insurance adjuster asks you for a recorded statement, politely decline until you have spoken with a Wantagh auto accident lawyer from Goldstein & Bashner. In most cases, the adjuster will attempt to get you to admit that you were at fault or that your injuries are not really that bad. And in most cases, you will admit it without even realizing it; apologizing for the accident or saying that you are okay can be enough for the insurer to deny your claim or reduce your settlement.
Posting on social media could totally invalidate your claim. For example, if you were in an accident and you are complaining of severe back pain and anxiety that keeps you from driving but you later post pictures or statuses about a road trip, the insurer can claim that you are exaggerating or falsifying your injuries.
Recovering Damages After an Accident
Many accident victims are overwhelmed by their medical bills and other costs and wonder how they will be able to pay for everything. Fortunately, there are some options available. Before deciding what to do next, accident victims and their Wantagh car accident attorneys should consider the following.
New York is a “no-fault” insurance state. This means that if you have been injured in a car accident, you can recover up to $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault benefits, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. PIP benefits cover you and your passengers’ medical bills, as well as lost wages and household services.
Unfortunately, no-fault benefits are not always enough to cover all the damages that occur in a car accident. In addition, no-fault benefits do not cover property damage, pain and suffering, or any extra medical expenses you incur beyond the limit.
The Seriousness of Your Injury
Some injuries may be less severe and may heal in a matter of days. However, others cause long-term disability, requiring multiple medical procedures and ongoing care.
Many people who suffer from these injuries are unable to work during the recovery process, making it nearly impossible to pay the bills. Once the PIP (no-fault) benefits are gone, many accident victims find that they need additional financial support to cover their medical treatments. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver may be the best way to recover additional damages.
However, not all drivers will be able to do so. To be able to step outside the no-fault system and file a claim against the other driver, you will need to prove that your injuries are “serious,” according to the law. Under New York Insurance Law § 5102(d), a serious injury is defined as one which results in:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of organ, limb, or body function
Accident victims who meet the above criteria will be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver. If your claim is successful, you can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional damage, and pain and suffering.
To file against the other driver, you or your Wantagh car accident lawyer needs to establish negligence.
Negligence requires you to prove that the driver breached his/her duty to you as a fellow motorist by acting irresponsibly behind the wheel. Speeding, failure to follow traffic signs, distracted driving, and driving under the influence can all be negligent acts.
You will also need to show that the negligence of the other driver caused your injuries and that you were in fact injured in the accident. Police reports, expert testimony, and medical records can support your case.
Understanding the complexities of liability, no-fault insurance, and the seriousness of your injury can be challenging, especially when you are focused on your recovery.
The Wantagh car accident attorneys at Goldstein and Bashner have been handling personal injury cases for years and know how to carefully evaluate these issues. We will help you determine what is best for you and your family.