Car accidents—they are the last thing we expect when we head out the door. Yet, every day, there are hundreds of accidents on New York roadways. Fortunately, many of these car accidents are minor but can still wreak havoc on your day. But some victims’ Bronx car accident injuries can have serious long-term implications.
Contact a Bronx car accident attorney today.
Common Injuries in Bronx Car Accidents
With more than 1.2 million residents, the Bronx sees more than its share of car accidents monthly. In fact, one recent month’s New York City Police Department (NYCPD) statistics show 583 roadway accidents occurred on highways, bridges, and tunnels. An additional 2,133 accidents occurred at various Bronx intersections. These accidents injured nearly 800 victims.
Several factors affect the extent of car accident injuries, like the size of the vehicles involved, the speed at which each vehicle traveled, and the age of the victims involved.
Every accident is different. Every victim is in different physical shape. This is why the extent of injuries is so broad following a Bronx car accident.
Some of the common injuries resulting from car accidents include:
- Soft tissue injuries – make no mistake about it; while these injuries may sound minor, they can be extremely painful and, in some cases, may require surgical procedures. Torn ligaments, strains, torn tendons, and more can occur. Victims who have physically demanding jobs may need to make a full recovery to return to work.
- Chest contusions – anytime your airbag deploys, you can suffer a chest contusion. These injuries may also occur when you are thrust forward during an accident and your seatbelt injures your chest. Unfortunately, these types of injuries are not always minor. Remember, the ribcage protects vital organs, including your lungs and heart. Victims may suffer heart or lung damage, which can take months to recover from.
- Broken bones – any car accident has the potential of causing a victim to suffer a broken bone. Sideswipe collisions can cause serious bone breaks including pelvic fractures, broken arms, or broken legs. Any one of these injuries can involve surgical procedures to repair, and victims may also have serious pain for weeks or months following a broken bone.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – when we think about rear-end collisions, we often consider them minor because they occur when traffic slows down. However, just because an accident is minor does not always mean the injuries a victim sustains are minor. TBIs can have a long-term impact on the health and well-being of a car accident victim. Victims may have to live with memory issues, cognitive issues, or complete personality changes.
- Back and spinal cord injuries – anyone who suffers a back or spinal cord injury in a Bronx car accident faces a long road to recovery. Historically, the maximum recovery period is six months. Unfortunately, depending on the severity of the injury, a victim may be partially paralyzed following this type of injury.
These are only some of the worst injuries a Bronx car accident victim can face in a serious accident.
What Makes Accidents in the Bronx More Common?
Across New York, there are hundreds of car accidents every month. In a heavily populated area like the Bronx, the amount of traffic makes car accidents more common.
The Bronx’s large residential population exceeds 1.4 million people. In addition, the Bronx is home to more than 18,000 businesses. Business operations mean that trucks frequently enter the area to deliver goods and ensure the three shopping centers can supply consumers.
Large trucks are often involved in roadway accidents in the Bronx. In one recent year, more than 400 Bronx truck accidents resulted in personal injuries. This number is concerning, especially when you understand victims of truck accidents often suffer more serious injuries than those in car accidents.
Understanding Insurance Claims Following a Bronx Car Accident
New York has no-fault insurance. This can complicate insurance claims in a Bronx car accident that was not your fault. Regardless of who is at fault, the first thing you must do following seeking medical care is report the accident to your insurance company within 30 days of a Bronx car accident, according to the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
Keep in mind, a set fee schedule determines how much reimbursement you will receive. The maximum amount you may collect from your no-fault policy is the amount of coverage you have. In many cases, drivers opt for the minimum bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000. For some with serious injuries, this may be insufficient to cover their financial losses.
Because of no-fault coverage in New York, there are limitations on when you can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Victims may file a personal injury claim if the accident causes:
- Disfiguring scars – victims who have serious scars or disfigurement because of a car accident in the Bronx may be able to file a personal injury claim.
- Broken bones – in many cases, a broken bone is sufficient grounds for filing a personal injury claim against the driver who is liable for a victim’s injuries.
- 90-day disability – if a victim is permanently disabled for 90 days or more because of the injury sustained in a Bronx auto accident, they may also file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
There may be other options for filing a claim against a negligent driver, you should speak with a Bronx car accident lawyer before you make any final decisions. The more serious your injuries, the more likely you are to be eligible to file a claim.
Make sure you use caution even when speaking with your own insurance company. You do not want to inadvertently say anything that could jeopardize your legal rights. Insurance company adjusters will not tell you what rights you have, they hope you don’t know your rights as a Bronx car accident victim.
Negotiating with insurance adjusters can be tricky, particularly if they start by offering you a settlement. Never accept any settlement without first speaking with an attorney.
Establishing Fault After a Bronx Car Accident
If your injuries rise to the level that allows a claim against another driver, you will need to prove liability, a complicated process. For example, if your accident involved a truck there may be more than one party liable. The same thing goes for Uber or Lyft operators.
Every driver involved in a car accident in New York must file an accident report within 10 days of the accident. Drivers should maintain a copy of the report they file. If your insurance company requests it, you will want to ensure it properly records it. Drivers may also request a copy of the police report from the precinct where the accident occurred, or they may request the police report online following a Bronx car accident.
Not every police accident report will clearly determine fault, but in most cases, an accident investigation will take place. The investigation may take some time to complete, but those in the accident and the attorney representing the victims can obtain the results.
Understanding Potential Damages Recovery
One of the issues which victims of accidents nearly always ask of a personal injury lawyer is how much their claim is worth. There is no easy answer because several factors will determine the maximum damages allowable under the law.
First, remember, the more serious the injury and the younger the victim, the higher the final settlement is likely to be. Younger victims may command higher settlements because the injuries can take away more future earning capacity.
In general, victims of car accidents may pursue the following compensation in a settlement demand:
- Current and future medical expenses – you may include any expenses related to an injury resulting from a Bronx car accident, including emergency and in-patient care after the accident. Victims may require follow-up care and tests with specialists. In some cases, a victim may also be able to claim the costs of getting back and forth to medical visits if they cannot drive themselves. Victims who will require long-term medical care can ask their attorney how to establish the estimated future costs of care for their injuries.
- Medical equipment – when you break a bone, you may require crutches. Other injuries may mean you have to have other equipment such as braces, wheelchairs, hospital beds, or other assistive devices while you recover. You may include the cost of this equipment in your claim.
- Current and future wages – if your injuries are serious enough to keep you from working today, or in the future, you can add current and estimated future lost wages to your claim. Speak with your personal injury attorney about whether you may include lost benefits such as sick days, personal days, bonuses, and matching funds for pension and 401(k) plans in their claim.
- Other expenses – it is always a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to claim any expenses you are allowed in a settlement demand.
Victims of car accidents across New York have three years to file a claim. However, while this may seem like a long time, for some victims, the long-term impacts of their injuries may not emerge until months after an accident. Add this to the potential of a six-month accident investigation and the entire first year following an accident can pass—so speak with an experienced Bronx accident attorney as soon after an accident as possible.
Why Hiring a Bronx Car Accident Attorney Makes Sense
Victims of car accidents often believe it makes more sense to attempt to negotiate a settlement on their own. This is a bad decision for most people because they do not have a full understanding of the law. The other thing is insurance companies will go to dramatic lengths to avoid paying the full amount a claim is worth.
If you are like most consumers, you believe your contract with the insurance company is clear. You pay your premiums to the insurance company. The insurance company pays your legitimate claim. Seems simple enough. But it is not always that clear.
Remember, insurers make money by collecting premiums. They make profits by avoiding paying large claims. That means the best way to protect a profit is by ensuring they pay as little as possible in settlements. Attorneys who have a proven track record of success can help protect victims. No lawyer can ever predict an outcome of any claim and every victim should know that past success does not always mean future success. However, what is a fact is most victims do better when they have an experienced attorney negotiating and serving as an advocate for them.
If you suffered an injury in a Bronx car accident, or worse yet, you lost a loved one in a collision in the Bronx, no amount of money can ever provide comfort. However, if you call a Bronx car accident attorney today, they can advise you of your options and help you make the best possible decisions regarding insurance claims. That way, you and your family do not have to worry about your financial future.