Staten Island Car Accident Lawyers
With distracted driving car accidents on the rise across Staten Island, an increasing number of accident victims face severe consequences that can limit them for the rest of their lives. Following a serious car accident, whether with a distracted driver or not, many victims file personal injury claims that can help them get the compensation they need for their injuries. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help. Contact our Staten Island car accident attorneys today at (877)-505-2368 to to discuss filing your personal injury claim.
What are Common Injuries Faced After Auto Accidents?
Auto accidents can cause a range of injuries, from broken bones to spinal cord injuries or amputations. Following those serious injuries, many victims face ongoing complications that linger, causing issues throughout the rest of their lives.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Car crashes involve a substantial amount of force. When the victim’s head slams into the dashboard, the seat, or flying objects inside the vehicle, it can cause serious injury. Often, a victim with a traumatic brain injury will lose consciousness at the scene. Upon regaining consciousness, victims of traumatic brain injury may face a wide range of symptoms:
- Memory problems
- Issues with focus and concentration
- Struggle to regulate emotions
- Depression or anxiety
- Headaches, vertigo, and dizziness
Spinal Cord Injury
Victims of incomplete spinal cord injury may experience decreased mobility below the site of the injury, including tremors and lack of sensation. Complete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, typically results in paralysis below the site of the injury. Victims may require a wheelchair to move around as well as long-term occupational therapy as they learn to handle tasks independently with substantially decreased mobility.
Due to the force present in most car accidents, victims may face amputation due both to limbs actively cut or ripped off at the scene of the accident and limbs crushed so severely that they require amputation after the accident. Amputees may face substantial costs and difficulties long after the accident, including learning how to cope without the missing limb and the cost of prosthetic devices, which may need replacement every two to four years.
In some accidents, the vehicles burst into flames, especially when punctured fuel tanks face exposure to electricity or open flame. In accidents with big trucks hauling hazardous chemicals, victims may suffer chemical burns instead of flame-related burns. Burns often leave victims with substantial scarring and disfigurement, which can decrease victim self-esteem and lead to many emotional struggles following the accident. When burns occur near joints, they can cause a substantial decrease in overall mobility following the accident.
The driver of a vehicle in an accident, in particular, faces a higher likelihood of chest contusion due to the presence of the steering wheel, though others in the vehicle may receive chest contusions from the vehicle’s seat belts. Chest contusions often present as minor soreness at the time of the accident, which may increase as swelling continues. At their worst, chest contusions can impact the heart and lungs, leading to decreased ability to breathe and restricting the actions of the injured individual for a long time after the accident.
After many accidents, victims have one or more broken bones. Losing the use of a limb following an accident can cause substantial difficulties for the victim, who may need to use a wheelchair or crutches to get around. With more than one broken limb, victims may have even more decreased mobility and find their activities strongly curtailed due to those limitations.
Soft Tissue Damage
Torn ligaments and tendons can often cause more trauma to the injured individual than a broken bone. Torn ligaments and tendons may require surgical intervention and a long recovery. In many cases, those sprains and strains can result in long-term limitations in mobility, preventing victims from participating in many of their favorite activities for some time after a car accident.
Car Accident Injury Statistics in Staten Island, NY
Should I File a Personal Injury Claim After a Staten Island Car Accident?
Car accidents often leave their victims with serious physical and mental limitations. While you do not have to have an attorney to file a personal injury claim, consulting with an attorney can:
- Give you a better idea of how much compensation you deserve
- Reduce stress, since you can leave negotiations in the hands of your attorney instead of having to handle every communication with the insurance company yourself
- Increase the likelihood that insurance companies will issue a fair offer
- Provide you with clear guidelines about the claims process: how long it might take as well as what steps come next when the other driver’s insurance company fails to provide you with a fair offer
- Issue clear advice about how to handle things that could reduce your compensation, including interactions with the insurance company
Compensation After a Car Accident: How Much Do You Deserve?
If you experience a car accident with no injuries, you send your car off for an evaluation: how much damage did the vehicle suffer? What will it cost to repair it? The company will then decide whether to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle or to write a check to cover the value of your vehicle. Filing for compensation in a personal injury claim, on the other hand, often looks a little different.
In a personal injury claim after a car accident, the terms of the responsible driver’s insurance policy may pose substantial limitations on the compensation you receive. Many drivers throughout New York carry only minimum liability insurance, which offers $25,000 in bodily injury coverage following an auto accident.
If more than one individual in the accident suffers severe injuries, you may see that compensation drop even more: for two or more individuals injured in an auto accident, New York drivers need to carry only $50,000 minimum coverage. While many drivers, especially truck drivers, do carry more insurance, you cannot guarantee the coverage of the responsible driver. This also doesn’t include the large number of drivers who illegally drive uninsured.
The severity of the injuries you face may also limit the compensation you receive after an auto accident. For example, if you have only broken bones or minor burns, you might receive significantly less compensation than someone who receives disfiguring burns or severe traumatic brain injury in an accident.
You may also face limitations due to your personal injury protection insurance coverage. Personal injury protection insurance covers the first portion of your medical bills and lost wages following a serious injury in an auto accident. You cannot file a personal injury claim until your expenses exceed the amount of that coverage.
Most people, when putting together their personal injury claims, do include several common elements:
Your medical expenses after a car accident may add up fast from even minor injuries. As you put together your claim, make sure you consider every element of your medical expenses:
- Emergency transport
- Treatment in the emergency room
- Scans and x-rays
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- A stay in a rehabilitation facility
- Durable medical equipment
- Modifications to your home, like wider doorways and wheelchair ramps
Many injuries interfere substantially with your ability to return to work after a car accident. Sometimes, your employer might make modifications that allow you to come in on a limited basis as your injuries permit, work from home, or decrease your job responsibilities while you recover. In other cases, your injuries might prevent you from coming into work for weeks or months during your recovery.
For example, if you work as a janitor, a broken leg that prevents you from bearing any weight for the first six to eight weeks of recovery might prevent you from completing any of your normal job responsibilities. Taking pain medications to manage pain from burns, broken bones, or soft tissue damage can prevent you from completing many responsibilities even in a desk job, since they often muddle the mind. When you file your personal injury claim after an auto accident, you can include lost wages over the coverage of your personal injury protection insurance.
Lost Earning Potential
Some victims, after a serious car accident, lose the ability to return to their former professions altogether due to the extent of their injuries. If, instead of breaking his leg, a janitor suffers a spinal cord injury, he might not have the ability to return to his former occupation after the accident. Likewise, a newspaper reporter who suffers a traumatic brain injury may no longer think fast enough to track down sources or have the emotional regulation skills needed to handle much of the frustration associated with the job.
As a result, those individuals may need to pursue new types of employment. Claiming lost earning potential can help victims of severe auto accident injuries seek employment in a new field or provide vitally-needed funds throughout the early stages of the recovery process.
Pain and Suffering
Many auto accident injuries cause substantial pain and suffering during the recovery process—not just physical pain, but in terms of the emotional and mental anguish faced by the victim. Many injuries cause substantial depression and anxiety, especially if the victim cannot return to work or engage in his normal activities. Some injuries may cause ongoing difficulty or embarrassment. Talking with an attorney can make it easier to quantify your pain and suffering after an auto accident.
Who is the Responsible Party in a Staten Island Auto Accident?
Often, you can easily identify the person who caused your auto accident: the other driver. In some cases, however, you may need to pursue compensation from more than just the other driver in an auto accident. You may also need to consider some of these scenarios, which could shift the balance of liability following an accident.
- The other driver consumed excessive quantities of alcohol at a local restaurant immediately before the accident. Both bar and restaurant staff must pay careful attention to patrons who plan to drive after leaving their facilities. When those individuals drink to excess and the staff continues to serve them in spite of knowing their plans to drive, the staff may share liability for injuries that occur in the accident.
- The other driver’s car had a mechanical failure that caused the accident. In some cases, mechanical failure occurs due to poor maintenance on the part of the other driver: failing to conduct oil changes or replace worn tires on a vehicle, for example. In other cases, mechanical failure may occur due to the installation of a faulty part or a manufacturer’s defect. When the manufacturer puts out a defective vehicle or vehicle part that causes an accident, the manufacturer may share liability for the accident. On the other hand, if a mechanic recently repaired the vehicle incorrectly or failed to notice an obvious problem that could cause an accident, the mechanic may share liability.
In many cases, the insurance company that covers the responsible driver will look for any way to shift liability to another party, making it difficult for you to gain the full compensation you deserve for the accident. In others, the insurance company may issue a low settlement offer that does not adequately reflect the extent of your injuries or the damages covered by the policy. Talking with an attorney, however, can help you better identify all responsible parties in your accident and seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Do You Need an Attorney After a Staten Island Car Accident?
If you suffered injuries in a Staten Island car accident, you may need an attorney to help file your personal injury claim and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today at (877)-565-2993 to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about how we can assist you in filing your personal injury claim. Whether you can negotiate with the insurance company to settle out of court or need to go to trial for your car accident claim, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can work with you every step of the way.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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