Syracuse Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are a leading cause of bodily injury every year, not just in Syracuse but across the country. Therefore, it is important for everyone to know what the law provides as a means of remedying the harm that a person can sustain in a car accident.
Car accidents that result in injuries that are not severe require victims to submit a claim with their own insurance provider and recover through them. However, if you can demonstrate that your injuries are “serious” under the state’s definition, you can file a lawsuit against the party to blame, which is a much better path to recover from all of the consequences that your injuries can cause.
For a free case evaluation with our car accident attorneys, contact The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.
No-Fault Car Insurance Rules in Syracuse
Unlike some other states, New York uses what are known as “no-fault” auto insurance rules. Under this type of insurance system, the injured victim of a car accident must generally seek compensation from their own car insurance provider, regardless of who was responsible for the crash.
This saves injury victims the time and difficulty of having to prove who was responsible for causing the accident. However, the system can be frustrating for many car accident victims, especially after experiencing extensive losses. In many instances, the assistance provided by insurance companies might not fully compensate you for your losses.
Typically, car insurance companies are limited to providing compensation for harms like medical bills that you incur, property damage caused by the accident, and lost wages from missed time at work. Insurance does not compensate you for your pain and suffering despite these consequences being just as real and impactful as the physical consequences.
Fortunately, there is an opportunity to step outside the no-fault system in certain cases. You might bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault party in a car accident if you can demonstrate that you suffered serious injuries. “Serious” injuries are defined by New York state law. To meet this threshold, you must prove you sustained an injury that caused a full or partial disability for more than 90 days.
This 90-day period must occur within the 180 days that immediately follow the accident. You can also show that your injury caused significant disfigurement, permanent limited use of a body part, or a permanent disability, among other significant losses. You should discuss your case with a dedicated Syracuse car accident attorney to get a better sense of your situation and what the severity of your injuries might mean for your ultimate compensation.
Benefits of a Lawsuit Compared to an Insurance Claim for a Syracuse Car Accident
When you file a claim with your car insurance provider, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, repair or replacement value of damaged property, and lost income while recuperating from your injuries. However, your insurer will only cover up to the limit allowed by your policy. Different policies have varying limits, but you might find that your recovery will be cut short if you only choose to file an insurance claim.
A lawsuit, on the other hand, provides compensation for all of these categories without being hamstrung by policy limits. If your serious condition warrants a serious amount of monetary recovery, you deserve to get it, especially if another driver is responsible.
Additionally, lawsuits provide damages for what insurance claims cannot – the personal and emotional pain and suffering that accompanies severe car accident injuries. Victims might experience chronic pain or the onset of psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. These conditions can impact a victim’s enjoyment of life, personal relationships, and their ability to engage in their favorite activities or pastimes.
Insurance does not provide for these harms because they are not financial in nature, but that does not mean they are any less real to the victim. The best way to get an idea of how much more you stand to gain through a lawsuit as opposed to an insurance claim is to bring your case to the attention of one of our seasoned Syracuse car accident lawyers.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits in Syracuse
New York state law imposes legal limits, known as statutes of limitations, on the amount of time that a potential plaintiff can wait before filing any type of civil claim. For Syracuse car accidents, this limit gives plaintiffs three years to file.
In most car accident cases in Syracuse, the victims have up to three years from the date that the actual accident occurred to file their lawsuits with the court. If you fail to meet this legal timeline and do not submit your lawsuit, the other side will file a motion to dismiss, which the court will likely grant. This would spell the end of your recovery effort.
Just because you might have plenty of time to file a lawsuit does not mean that you should wait that long to take legal action or delay other important tasks after your car accident. The more time you wait to file your claim after your car accident, the more challenging it might get to win your case. Keep in mind that it is easier to obtain all of the evidence required in your case soon after your accident. If you wait too long to reach out to a Syracuse car accident attorney, you might lose valuable access to forms of evidence that can help you recover through an insurance claim or court case.
What to Do After Getting Injured in a Syracuse Car Accident
Experiencing a car accident can be a disturbing event, and it can be difficult to consider potential legal actions in the immediate aftermath. Nonetheless, if you find yourself in a car accident in Syracuse, it is essential to take some specific measures that might safeguard your right to compensation later. By following the steps below, you can increase your chances of success in your case:
Make Sure You and Others Are Safety
After a car accident, the safety of everyone involved should be the top priority. If it is safe and feasible, move the vehicle away from oncoming traffic and turn on the hazard lights.
After that, check yourself, your passengers, and any other people involved in the accident for any injuries. It is critical to call 911 right away if anyone is hurt or if the accident has caused an obstruction on the road. Remember, quick action can help prevent further injuries and ensure that everyone receives the necessary medical attention.
Report the Accident to the Police
It is always advisable to call law enforcement regardless of how minor or severe the accident might seem. The reason for this is that the police will create a detailed report of the incident, which is critical evidence when filing insurance claims or possible lawsuits.
Thus, it is essential to share your account of the event accurately and honestly with the officers, as any false statements made to the police are considered a crime. Be truthful and forthcoming when discussing the accident with the police, but be careful not to admit fault or make a statement that can be used against you later.
Get Medical Care
It is crucial to prioritize seeking medical attention after an accident, even if you do not feel any pain or discomfort. Some injuries might not exhibit symptoms immediately, but if left undetected, they could lead to severe long-term health consequences.
By undergoing a thorough medical examination, you can catch these injuries early and receive appropriate treatment. Additionally, the medical report generated can serve as critical evidence to substantiate your injury claims and prove the extent of damages sustained.
Document the Scene of the Accident
If you are able to move around the accident scene safely, it is recommended that you collect evidence while still on the scene. This evidence could include taking photographs or videos of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle or to any other vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and other pertinent details such as the condition of the road or any traffic signs in the area. By documenting these details, you can provide valuable context and information that might help to clarify the circumstances of the accident.
Get Information from the Driver and Witnesses at the Scene
It is also important to gather as much information as possible. This includes obtaining the other driver’s license, insurance information, and license plate number.
In addition, try to obtain contact information of any witnesses present at the scene. Witnesses can provide valuable insight into the sequence of events leading up to the accident, and their accounts can help establish the facts of the incident. Remember to remain calm and collected while gathering this information.
Do Not Discuss the Accident
Also, exercise caution when interacting with others at the scene. To protect your interests, it is best to avoid discussing the incident with anyone apart from law enforcement. Any statements that you make, even casually, could be used against you later, so it is critical to be careful about what you say.
Try to limit your interaction with the other party to exchange necessary information, such as contact and insurance details. By doing so, you can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation and support that you deserve.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After the accident, it is important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. This will allow them to start processing your claim and provide the necessary support. When doing so, make sure to provide accurate information about the incident, including the date, time, and location, as well as the contact details of any other parties involved.
Because of the no-fault system, you will typically cooperate with your insurance company’s investigation into the accident. This might include providing additional information, photos, or documentation as needed. Remember that being forthcoming and transparent can help expedite the process and lead to a more favorable outcome.
However, it is generally advisable to refrain from making any definitive statements about who was at fault or the extent of your injuries until you have consulted with a lawyer. This is because the legal and insurance implications of an accident can be complex, and it is best to have the guidance of our team to help you navigate them.
Keep Records of Any Expenses Related to the Accident and Your Injuries
It is highly recommended to maintain a detailed record of all the expenses that are associated with the accident. These expenses might include medical bills, costs of repairing the damaged vehicle, expenses incurred for renting a car, and any other costs that are related to the accident.
In addition to this, if you are unable to work because of injuries, make sure to keep a record of your lost wages as well. These records will prove to be extremely valuable in estimating the worth of your claim.
Consult with Our Team
If you find yourself in a difficult situation where legal action seems necessary, it is crucial to seek the advice of a qualified lawyer who can help you navigate the complex legal system. Our team can provide you with a thorough evaluation of your case, analyzing the relevant laws, regulations, and precedents to determine the most appropriate course of action.
We understand that every case is unique, and we tailor our approach to your specific circumstances, taking into account your goals, priorities, and concerns. We can advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as the potential risks and benefits of pursuing legal action.
Get Legal Help from Our Syracuse Car Accident Attorneys for Free Today
Call The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083 to receive your free case review with our car accident lawyers.