White Plains Car Accident Lawyers
In White Plains, New York, crashes regularly occur due to careless and negligent drivers. Navigating New York’s filing laws after a crash can be difficult, but the car accident lawyers at Fiedler Deutsch, LLP are here to help you. They will protect your rights as an injured victim, deal with auto insurance companies and demand maximum compensation for your damages. Contact us online or by calling (914) 993-0393 to request a free consultation.
Why Hire Our White Plains Car Accident Lawyers?
- At Fiedler Deutsch, LLP, our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing client interests during catastrophic personal injury cases, including car, truck, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents.
- Our settlements and verdicts have resulted in millions of dollars for our clients.
- We put our relationships with our clients first, and work closely with you to address your specific needs and goals for a claim.
White Plains Car Accident Resources & FAQs
- Common Causes of White Plains Car Accidents
- How Do Car Accident Injury Claims Work in New York?
- New York’s Serious Injury Threshold
- Common Car Accident Injuries that Warrant Third-Party Lawsuits
- Who is Liable in a White Plains Car Accident?
- Proving Fault After a Car Accident in White Plains
- What Kinds of Damages Am I Entitled To After a Serious Injury in New York?
- What To Do After a Car Accident in White Plains?
- When to Contact a White Plains Car Accident Attorney
How a White Plains Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Hiring a lawyer is not always necessary for a car accident claim in White Plains, but if you are seriously injured, not doing so can dramatically impact your case’s outcome. Extensive studies have shown that injury victims who hire a lawyer statistically have better odds of success and tend to receive higher settlements or awards even after legal fees than those who represent themselves. Although an attorney cannot guarantee a favorable outcome, the benefits of hiring one are indisputable. They will be able to offer you guidance throughout the claims process based on experience, they have a thorough understanding of state laws. They will know how to prove your injury is serious to step outside of the no-fault system, and the resources to gather critical evidence and hire experts if necessary.
With a lawyer’s help, you can put together the strongest case possible to recover the maximum amount of compensation available under the law. In addition, they will provide protection against the at-fault party’s insurance company. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that will likely try to avoid liability by placing blame for the accident onto you. If they are successful, your compensation can be reduced. Hiring an attorney will ensure the at-fault party is held accountable.
Common Causes of White Plains Car Accidents
If you have grounds for a third-party lawsuit after a car crash, you or your White Plains personal injury lawyer will need to determine the cause of the crash and who is responsible, such as a negligent driver, before you can file a damage claim against the correct party’s insurance company.
Common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driver
- Cell phone use while driving
- Operating a vehicle under the influence
- Drowsy driver
- Reckless driver
- Road rage
- Illegal turn
- Reckless truck driver collision
- Red-light running
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Roadway defects
- Vehicle defects
Whether you know the cause of your accident or need an attorney to investigate and find out, our car accident lawyers at Fiedler Deutsch, LLP can help. We understand the most common causes of car accidents in White Plains, as well as how to recover maximum compensation for injured victims.
How Do Car Accident Injury Claims Work in New York?
New York is a no-fault state, which means your own insurance will cover costs of the damages even if another driver caused the accident. Specifically, your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits will pay for medical treatment and other out-of-pocket losses caused by the accident up to coverage limits, but not pain and suffering.
The only exception for stepping outside of the no-fault system is if the crash gave you a serious injury, such as brain damage or scarring and disfigurement. In this situation, you would have the legal right to hold the at-fault driver accountable in a third-party lawsuit.
New York’s Serious Injury Threshold
Under New York’s injury threshold, a serious injury is one that inflicts long-term or permanent symptoms. The exact definition, under Article 51 of the New York State Insurance law, is as follows:
- Wrongful death
- A significant disfigurement
- A fracture
- The loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- A “medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.”
Most of these categories are straightforward, such as a fracture or loss of life. Other examples of serious injuries include a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, burns, lacerations, and internal organ damage.
Common Car Accident Injuries that Warrant Third-Party Lawsuits
Car accidents can cause a wide variety of severe injuries to innocent motorists, including:
Brain and Head Injuries
Often caused by the head being thrown into another object, such as the steering wheel or window. Brain injuries can range from a mild concussion to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), resulting in permanent cognitive impairment.
Neck and Back Injuries
A collision at any speed can cause a sudden jolt of the neck, resulting in whiplash. Whiplash is the most common form of neck injury caused by car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. Serious cases can result in a cervical spine fracture, whereas milder cases consist of pain or neck stiffness that may disappear in a few days or weeks. Other common neck or back injuries are soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, including herniated or bulging discs, and paralysis.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries
Seatbelts and steering wheels commonly cause chest or abdominal injuries. A broken sternum or ribs, internal organ damage, or severe contusions can all result from the impact of a crash.
Leg and Knee Injuries
If the legs and knees hit the dashboard or are crushed, they may suffer bruises, scrapes, sprains, or severe bone fractures.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions after a severe crash are common.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Severe facial lacerations that leave significant scarring can occur, often due to broken glass or when the head hits an object or the pavement. Scarring and disfigurement can potentially cause lifetime or long-lasting damage, with both physical and psychological repercussions.
No matter how minor an injury may seem, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical documentation linking injuries or potential injuries is vital when pursuing an injury claim. Keep in mind that some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, and existing injuries can worsen with time.
Who is Liable in a White Plains Car Accident?
In most cases, the driver of a vehicle who causes a car accident is liable for damages if you suffer a severe injury. The at-fault party’s insurer must then compensate injured parties up to policy limits. White Plains drivers must carry no-fault (PIP) insurance but also liability and uninsured motorist coverage. An at-fault party’s liability insurance is the policy under which you can file a claim for your losses related to a severe injury that PIP insurance doesn’t cover. The minimum amount of liability coverage required by law is:
- $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
- $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident
In addition, drivers must also purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) in the following amounts:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
In the event that the at-fault driver’s insurance policy is not enough to cover your losses, your UM/UIM insurance can act as supplemental coverage.
Proving Fault After a Car Accident
To hold an at-fault party accountable for your losses after a car accident in White Plains, you must be able to demonstrate that their negligence caused the collision. That will require proof of the following four elements:
- Duty of Care: The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care (e.g., to follow traffic laws)
- Breach of Duty: The at-fault driver breached their duty of care (e.g., running a red light)
- Causation: The at-fault driver is directly responsible for your injuries (e.g., the injuries you suffered are linked to the car accident caused by the at-fault driver)
- Damages: You suffered financial and other losses as a result of the accident.
Examples of potential evidence to prove another driver was negligent are photos and videos of the scene, the accident, the location of damage to the vehicles, witness statements, and possibly cell phone records.
What Kinds of Damages Am I Entitled To After a Serious Injury in New York?
Car accident victims who have suffered a serious injury under New York law have the right to demand compensation in a personal injury lawsuit for the following:
This includes past, current, and future medical bills, and any other expenses related to treatment
The past, current, and future wages you would have earned at your job had you not been injured in a crash.
This can include repairs or compensation for replacing your vehicle, as well as for any other personal items damaged in the accident.
Pain And Suffering
For the physical pain and emotional distress that you have endured.
If your case involved egregious or malicious conduct, the court may award punitive damages as a punishment to the defendant.
As a pure comparative fault state, New York has specific rules that can affect the outcome of your car accident claim. Pure comparative negligence means that each person involved in the car accident will be investigated to determine their percentage of fault in causing it. In other words, you can be assigned a percentage of fault, too, even if the other driver was primarily responsible for what caused the accident. The higher your percentage of fault, the less compensation you receive. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 25% at fault, you will only recover 75% of your award, or $75,000. Because your compensation is at risk, it is critical to have an attorney on your side to ensure the appropriate party is held accountable.
What To Do After a Car Accident in White Plains?
Following a car accident, there are important actions to take to protect yourself and your right to compensation.
- Call the police. An official report will be made, establishing your account of the event and the extent of the damage.
- Don’t move any evidence; take photos of each vehicle where they are, of the surrounding area, and your injuries.
- Write down the other driver’s license and registration information, their insurance company’s contact information, and contact information for any eyewitnesses.
- Seek medication attention as soon as possible if you are not treated at the scene. Any delay in treatment can be used against you in the future if you pursue a lawsuit.
- Speak to an experienced car accident attorney who can help you determine if you have a case against the at-fault driver.
How Much is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
Each case is unique, so there is no exact formula to calculate a case’s worth. However, an attorney can give you an accurate estimate after considering the following factors:
- The severity of your injuries.
- The length of your recovery.
- Whether you will need ongoing medical care, adaptive equipment, or suffer permanent disabilities.
- How your pain and suffering affects all aspects of your life.
- How much income you have lost from being unable to work.
- How much money you will lose in the future due to your injury.
- Strength of evidence against the at-fault driver.
- Any aggravating factors. (e.g., at-fault party was intoxicated)
- The at-fault party’s policy limits.
If your damages exceed the at-fault party’s policy’s limits, the insurance company is not required to pay the difference. That is when your underinsured motorist insurance will kick in. However, if your losses still exceed that policy, your attorney can help you explore other options for recovering further compensation to make up the difference.
When to Contact a White Plains Car Accident Attorney
If your White Plains car accident does not involve serious injuries, you can call your insurance company to file a first-party claim. However, if the crash seriously injured you or took the life of a loved one, use an attorney to help you collect fair compensation. A car accident lawyer can determine the defendant, file confusing claims paperwork and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Call Our White Plains Car Accident Lawyers
Do not underestimate the importance of hiring an experienced lawyer after a serious car accident in White Plains, New York. Call Fiedler Deutsch, LLP at (914) 993-0393 or contact us online to request a free consultation at our local law office. Our Westchester County personal injury lawyers are here for you.
Our White Plains office is located at 81 Main St # 304, White Plains, NY 10601. Click here for driving directions.