Long Island Car Accident Lawyer
The cost of a car accident can leave victims with expensive medical bills, extensive vehicle repairs, and trouble returning to work. If you cannot work to support yourself and your family, you may be unable to cover these expenses and could face an economic hole you do not deserve to be in.
After an accident, you can file insurance claims in the hopes of getting your damages paid for. Insurance can be a complicated endeavor, and it might not work in your favor. If insurance does not meet your needs, you can file a lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident. An attorney can help you through the insurance and lawsuit processes.
If someone else caused your crash, there is no reason you should be saddled with the expenses. Call The Carrion Law Firm today to speak with our Long Island car accident lawyers about the compensation you can claim. Call (631) 910-7493 today for a free initial case evaluation.
Filing a Claim for Car Accident Injuries in Long Island
If your car accident involved another driver, you may file a claim with their insurance or your own depending on what damages you want covered. New York requires all drivers to meet certain minimum insurance requirements. This includes personal injury protection (PIP), liability insurance, and uninsured motorist insurance.
New York’s insurance laws create a no-fault system where each driver’s PIP insurance covers their own medical damages. While medical damages are covered to a certain extent, vehicle damage is not, and you must file a third-party claim with the other driver’s liability insurance.
Uninsured motorist insurance is meant to protect you in case of a hit and run accident or if the other driver has no insurance.
Our Long Island car accident lawyers can analyze your case and determine what kind of insurance claim you have. At that point, we can file a claim with your insurance or against the other driver’s insurance and negotiate the case to help you get the damages you need.
Should I Settle a Car Accident Case or Go to Trial in Long Island?
Suppose your negotiations with the insurance company do not get you the damages you need. In that case, you should speak with a lawyer to discuss options for more aggressive negotiations and the possibility of taking your case to court to get compensation. Often, filing a lawsuit can put pressure on the insurance company to pay you the damages you need rather than facing the extra costs of going to trial.
When you try to settle your case through the insurance companies, the damages you are offered might not cover your full damages. Usually, insurance companies will try to keep settlements low, and they may offer to cover only a certain percentage of damages for medical bills and lost wages.
When you go to court, you may be able to claim the full value of these economic damages. In addition, you could be entitled to claim compensation for pain and suffering and other “non-economic” damages. This could increase the overall payout in your case simply by going through the courts instead of an insurance claim.
Ultimately, the damages may be reduced if you settle your case by accepting an insurance payout or by negotiating an out-of-court settlement with the other driver and their insurance company. This reduction could account for the money you save by skipping the expenses and extra legal fees necessary to go to trial, and the trade-off may be worth it.
Our attorneys can help you reach a fair settlement. If not, we can help you take your case before a judge and jury at trial.
Determining Fault in Long Island Car Crash Cases
If you are going to file a car accident lawsuit against the other driver, it will be up to you and your lawyer to prove that they were at fault before a court. The law looks at a few elements to determine who is at fault, and it is important for you to prove each of these elements in your case.
First, the court will need to see evidence of some legal duty that a driver owed you before they can hold them accountable. On the road, drivers typically have a duty to drive as safely as any other reasonable driver would under the same conditions. The traffic code helps fill in these duties.
Second, you must show the other driver breached or violated their duty of care. Traffic violations such as speeding, drunk driving, or texting while driving could be considered breaches. Once the breach of duty is shown, you have to prove that the driver’s mistake was what actually caused your crash.
Lastly, you need to prove what damages you faced – injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, therapy bills, mental anguish, etc. – and how much they cost. Our Long Island car accident lawyers can help you calculate damages.
Defendants in car accident cases usually try to reverse the blame and say that you were the one at fault, not them. When that happens, the court can analyze fault by assigning a percentage of blame to each driver in the accident. If the court finds that you were indeed partly at fault, that does not stop you from getting compensation.
New York Follows a rule of pure contributory negligence under CVP Law § 1411. This rule reduces your damages so that the defendant only pays for their share. For example, the court could find the defendant 80% liable for $100,000 in damages, and they would pay you $80,000 in damages (you would essentially pay for the other $20,000 yourself or through your insurance company).
How to Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Suffolk and Nassau County
After a car accident, you should contact the police to report the crash. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, you are legally required to report any crash involving more than $1,000 in damage to people or property. Once reported, the police may investigate and issue an official accident report.
Our Long Island car accident attorneys can review your police report with you and help you decide what steps to take next.
Car accidents in Suffolk County are handled by the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD). The SCPD makes accident reports available online through BuyCrash.com. To download a report, you have to pay a convenience fee in addition to the cost of the report. You can avoid this fee by coming into the SCPD headquarters at the following address:
30 Yaphank Avenue
Yaphank, NY 11980
Car accident reports are usually not immediately available. You might have to wait until the police finish their investigation and write the report. How long you end up waiting will depend on how long the investigation lasts. Our Long Island car accident lawyers can help you get in touch with the SCPD and ask if your report is ready.
If your car accident happened in Nassau County, the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) will likely handle your case. As such, the NCPD will be responsible for issuing an accident report, which you can obtain for your insurance or other purposes.
Accident reports from the NCPD may be available online. The NCPD’s website will direct you to the digital portal where you can download your report. You can also order an accident report directly from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Keep in mind that there is a $7 search fee and a $15 report fee to download your report from the DMV.
The Nassau County Police Department is located at the following address:
1490 Franklin Avenue
Mineola NY 11501
In addition to this address, there are several police precincts located throughout the county. If you do not want to obtain your report online or perhaps you do not have internet access at home, our Long Island car accident attorneys can help you. There are other ways of obtaining a crash report, and our team can help you obtain yours.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Car Accident in Suffolk and Nassau Counties
When filing a lawsuit after a car accident, it is of the utmost importance to file your case with the right court. If a person mistakenly files their case in the wrong court, the court will reject the claim, and they must refile with the right court. Talk to our Long Island car accident lawyers about your case and we can help you figure out the appropriate court in which to file.
If the court accepts the case by mistake, this could create serious complications, potentially including challenges on appeal. If the 3-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits has run out, you might not be able to refile in the right court.
Where you file your lawsuit depends on how much money is at stake in your case. Generally, county courts may hear civil cases worth up to $25,000. If your damages exceed this limit, you may have to file with your local Supreme Court.
The Suffolk County Court is located at the following address:
Cromarty Court Complex
Criminal Courts Building 210 Center Drive
Riverhead, NY 11901
To contact the court by phone, you can call the civil office at (631) 852-2127.
The Suffolk County Supreme Court has several locations, with 2 in Riverhead and 1 in Centra Islip. The addresses for each court are as follows:
Hon. Alan D. Oshrin Supreme Court Building
1 Court Street
Riverhead, NY 11901
Arthur M. Cromarty Court Complex
210 Center Drive
Riverhead, NY 11901
John P. Cohalan Jr. Court Complex
Hon. Marquette L. Floyd Supreme Court Building
400 Carleton Avenue
Central Islip, NY 11722
Any questions for the Supreme Court can be directed to (631) 852-2334.
Courts are very busy places with many different administrative offices. Talk to our Long Island car accident attorneys about filing a lawsuit, and we can file your case in the right court at the right office.
Like Suffolk County, Nassau County has its own County Court and Supreme Court buildings. If your case is valued at less than $25,000, you may file at the Nassau County Court:
County Court, Nassau County
262 Old Country Road
Mineola, NY 11501
You can also call the court at (516) 493-3710.
Unlike Suffolk County, Nassau County has only 1 Supreme Court location, making it easier to figure out where you should file your lawsuit.
Supreme Court, Nassau County
100 Supreme Court Drive
Mineola, NY 11501
Where Do Most Car Accidents Occur in Suffolk and Nassau Counties?
A study found that Suffolk County had more deadly car accidents in 2020 than anywhere else in New York. Nassau County was not far behind and ranked third behind Suffolk County and Queens.
The Long Island Expressway (LIE) spans almost the entire length of Long Island and is a common location for car accidents. Other roads and highways where accidents are frequent occurrences include Jericho Turnpike, Hempstead Turnpike, and Sunrise Highway.
The location of your accident is important to remember because it might determine what court in which you can file your lawsuit. If your accident happened in Suffolk County, our Long Island car accident attorneys can help you file a case in a Suffolk County court. The same goes for Nassau County.
Call Our Long Island Car Accident Lawyers to Set Up a Free Case Consultation
The New York City car accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm may be able to take your case and represent you in claims against insurance companies and at-fault drivers. For help filing a lawsuit or an insurance claim, call us today at (631) 910-7493 for your free case review.