Long Island Car Accident Lawyers

Car accidents change lives. If you or a family member was injured from a Metro New York or Long Island car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact our Suffolk County auto accident lawyers today at Futterman, Lanza & Pasculli, LLP. Our Long Island law firm has made strategy, responsiveness, and compassion an important part of our practice, and we utilize the knowledge gained through decades of experience to mitigate the effects a car accident has on your life.

Barrie E. Bazarsky has over 30 years of experience assisting clients through personal injury cases. She is a trusted personal injury attorney and our team will be at your side, fighting to help you and your family recover the money you deserve. She has the right combination of compassion and skill to fiercely represent our clients.

Car Accident FAQs:

What are common types of car accident injuries?

People commonly suffer concussions, injuries to the neck and back but also, knees, chest, fractures, lacerations and more. The extent of the injuries depend upon the nature and severity of impact, the deployment of airbags, whether glass is broken, how the car absorbs the impact and various other factors.

Also, the position of the hands on the steering wheel and countless other pieces of information including where the impact is on the car, etc.

What to do after a car accident?

If you are able, contact the police and wait for them to arrive, get the police report number; The police officer’s evaluation of fault is very important so make sure you speak with the officer and explain what happened in the accident.

Get the plate number of the other car; get the owner (name-address-phone number)/driver (name-address-phone number)/insurance information on the other car; take photos of the other person’s license and insurance information. Take photos of both cars and their position in the roadway and then also a photo that shows where you are located if that is possible; get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses and see if they will wait to speak with the police; notice if either car has dash-cameras; notice if there are cameras on buildings in the area and take down that information; go to the hospital emergency room to get checked out – you never know what injuries you may have sustained – you may be in shock. Take notes about what happened before you forget any details. Include the date and time of the accident and the date/time you wrote down your notes.

Can you sue for car accident injuries?

The short answer is, yes, you can sue for injuries sustained in a car accident.

The longer answer is that in order to sustain a claim for “pain and suffering” you need to have a serious injury AS THE LAW DEFINES IT (Insurance Law Section 5102(d) to be exact) – death, dismemberment, permanent scarring with disfigurement, a fracture, a miscarriage or any other injury that permanently disables you for 90 out of 180 days following the accident. There are 2 other categories – significant limitation of use of a body, organ, member or system or permanent consequential limitation of use of any body, organ, member, or system.

The last 2 categories are used often when an injured party doesn’t fall squarely in the other categories.

The likelihood of success for compensation depends upon the injury, the treatment necessary, the prognosis and the effect the injury has upon that party.

This law is called the THRESHOLD because you need to “cross the threshold” to be compensated by the other party’s insurance, for their negligence.

The statute of limitations, barring a toll for infancy or incapacity is 3 years from the date of accident.

The vast majority of cases settle without litigation and for those that are sued, most settle before trial.

The insurance coverage of the at fault party and your own additional coverage are essential in bounding the monies available.

Sometimes the value of the case is determined by the available coverage, not necessarily the injury, especially if the coverage is too low. That is why it is important to understand the insurance coverage you have and how it may impact your own compensation in the event of an accident. You cannot rely on someone else to protect your interests.

New York is a purely comparative negligence state, which means even if you have some fault in the accident, you can recover for the negligence of the defendant with an offset for your own negligence.

An experience personal injury attorney is more apt to get recovery for their client, especially where the injury is less severe.

What does a “car accident lawyer” do?

A “car accident lawyer” or personal injury lawyer is someone familiar with individuals injured as a result of an encounter with a motor vehicle.

This would include a driver, passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or any other incarnation.

Usually, the experience also included personal injuries sustained in other situations like slip/trip and falls, injuries due to labor law accidents, injuries in locations where objects may fall and any other situation resulting in personal injury (injury to the body).

This can also involve older family members whose injuries, accidents and recovery may be different due to their health and age.

Many lawyers say they can do these types of cases, but beware. What they don’t know may hurt their client, like accepting less money, not knowing about liens or how to preserve other benefits.

How much does a “car accident lawyer” cost? What are their fees?

A “car accident lawyer” works on a contingency basis. That means that we only make money if we are successful in getting compensation for our client.

The fee is 1/3 of the gross recovery if the firm lays out expenses. It is 1/3 of the net recovery if the client lays out expenses. Most clients opt for the first choice.

Disbursements (or expenses) laid out by the firm are re-couped from the client’s share of the settlement. If there is no recovery, our firm does not request a repayment of any monies laid out on behalf of the client.

The client’s share of recovery for personal injury is tax free as it is compensation for a loss, not a gain.

Any medical liens (like for Medicare or worker’s compensation) are also deducted from the client’s settlements share.

When should I consider hiring a lawyer after a car accident?

You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible in order to know what you don’t know.

A car accident lawyer will only take the case if there are “bodily injuries” or injuries to the person.

Certain documents like a no-fault application must be filed timely.

In addition, time is of the essence if there are witnesses and, before you give a statement to anyone, you should have representation.

Be especially aware when speaking with any insurance companies or anyone relating to this situation.

As with most things, sooner is better than later.

What kind of compensation can I seek after a car accident?

If you are in a car accident, there are various methods of compensation.

First, your car insurance (under no fault) pays your medical bills.

The minimum coverage in NY is $50,000 (medical and wages)

It also pays lost wages if you are disabled from work as a result of the accident, pursuant to a doctor’s instruction.

The minimum lost wage reimbursement is $2,000/month based upon 80% of the gross lost earnings.

You can purchase additional medical and additional lost wage coverage (which may give rise to what is called an additional PIP lien – a much later concern). I always offer to review my client’s coverages, so they know what they are paying for.

The pain and suffering component – or what most people think of as the “lawsuit” is based upon injuries sustained.

Insurance coverages may have the effect of limiting compensation (which it why it is important to have coverage to protect yourself – and not rely upon someone else).

The value of an injury is a result of many factors – the injury itself; the effect on your life – lost wages, limitations; prognosis; the amount of treatment and/or surgery required; etc.

An experienced personal injury attorney would be best able to determine the value of the claim.

Can I still file a claim if I didn’t immediately notice injuries after the accident?

While you can still file a claim if you do not notice injuries immediately after an accident, as with most things, the sooner the better.

The further away you get from the accident, the more likely the defense will claim that your problem is not from the accident, but from something else.

Your doctor will not be able to go back in time so it may be difficult to prove “causation” – the very important link between the accident and the injury.

That is why I recommend that you go to an emergency room after the accident. 1 – you may not know how injured you really are – many people are in shock or have a rush of adrenaline; 2 – the areas of the body that are feeling hurt are documented properly.

No fault forms are to be submitted within 30 days of the accident so that your treatment bills get paid. While many insurance companies will not strictly adhere to that timeline, they may, so you want to control your fate if you can.

How long do I have to file a claim after a car accident?

The short answer is that the Statute of Limitations for negligence in New York is 3 years from the date of incident.

There are shorter statutes for actions against New York State and actions against Municipal Entities.

There are longer statutes for infants (and those under 18) and people who are incompetent.

It is best that you speak to a personal injury attorney to discuss your specific time frame.

Remember, sooner is better than later.

What if I am injured in a car accident and I can’t work?

If you are injured in a car accident and cannot work pursuant to a medical doctor’s instruction, you are compensated through your no-fault insurance company.

The wage calculation is 80% of the gross lost wages – limited by the coverage you buy. The mandatory minimum in NY is $2,000/month (inclusive in the mandatory minimum aggregate coverage of $50,000).

Once wages are confirmed by your employer (or you if you are self-employed), no fault will pay every 30 days.

You must also provide an updated “disability note” from your doctor every 30 days.

If you earn more than that amount, you are free to purchase additional lost wage coverage (via OBEL and A-PIP). In reality, A-PIP may become a lien against third party recovery, but your personal injury attorney will negotiate that on your behalf (another reason to hire an experienced personal injury attorney).

You may also attempt to recover excess lost wages from the other car, but again, recovery will be limited by available policy coverage. You never want to rely upon a stranger for your needs.

No fault is a life-saver for many of my clients.

What is the average settlement for a car accident in New York?

This question has no answer.

The value of an injury is comprised of the injury itself, the liability of the parties, the affect the injury has on your life, the available insurance coverage the venue and other factors.

Each case and each person are different.

Any attorney who tells you what a case is worth without knowing the above is not being honest.

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