Understanding the legal nature of accidents

FAQs (Frequently asked questions) about car accidents and other types of accidents typically come up when someone else is responsible for your injury. In fact, negligence is a legal term that courts use as the basis for taking legal action. Negligence means that someone else failed to act in the way a reasonable person would have acted. In addition, their failure resulted in injury.

Understanding the laws that apply and knowing what to do can help you with a personal injury case.

What actions take priority if you are seriously injured in a car accident?

The top priority is to get medical help. You also must report the accident to the police. It is wise to call an attorney early on so you can receive legal guidance. In a car accident, you must exchange information with the other driver and file an insurance claim. If at all possible, you should take pictures of the injuries and other damage. Writing down everything you can remember about the accident may help provide evidence. Furthermore, evidence helps to maximize your settlement.

How long do you have to file a lawsuit?

State laws differ. However, under New York law, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for damages. At your first opportunity, you should discuss your accident with a lawyer.

What proof is necessary for recovering damages in an accident case ?

In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff (the injured party) must prove that damages occurred and that the other person was responsible for causing them. Evidence that attorneys use may include:

  • Doctor’s medical testimony
  • Medical records
  • Eyewitness testimony of the accident
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Photographs
  • Video surveillance recordings
  • Written or recorded communications (emails, phone calls, texts, etc.)
  • Testimony from depositions

Will an attorney settle your case or go to trial?

When there is adequate evidence, most cases settle outside of court. Negotiations save on litigation fees for both sides in a case. However, in some instances, if your lawyer cannot reach a fair settlement, the case will have to go to trial.

How long do settlement negotiations take?

Each case is different. Some cases take longer to settle than others, especially if the insurance company proposes a settlement that is too low to cover damages. Injured parties typically do much better having an experienced lawyer negotiate a settlement on their behalf. Attorneys have legal knowledge about standard negotiations. They also have experience dealing with insurance companies and the strategies they employ. Your attorney would easily recognize when an offers was too low. Whereas, you may not.

Do you need a lawyer?

If your injuries are serious, it is safe to say you need a lawyer. The higher the stakes are for damages, the more the insurance company will fight to avoid payment. You are much more likely to get a large settlement when you hire an attorney to fight for you.

Get Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents and Other Types of Accidents

Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP is glad to answer your questions in a free consultation. We can determine whether grounds exist to sue. Call our toll free number at (888) 519-6400 or reach out to us through our contact form.