In the United States, and particularly in large cities such as New York, automobile collisions are one of the leading causes of injury, disability and even death. A high number of claims are filed in New York City courts every day for injury compensation and other monetary awards for damage sustained in accidents of this type. Those who must file such lawsuits are wise to create an auto accident checklist to ease the search for the best car accident lawyer NYC legal firms can provide to ensure the best possible outcome.
Contributing Factors to Accidents
The number of automobiles on the streets and highways increases on a yearly basis and unfortunately, aggressive driving is also on the increase in many cities. The term aggressive driving refers to those who drive offensively, rather than defensively as professional driving courses recommend. The use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle is also a continuing problem in the United States and even laws against such activity appear to be an ineffective deterrent. In areas such as New York, there is also a high number of tourists visiting the city on a regular basis, who are unfamiliar with the layout of the streets and highways in and around the city. When these factors are considered, it is not surprising that numerous automobile accidents occur on a daily basis.
Why it is Wise to Obtain Legal Advice Following a NYC Car Accident
If you have sustained injuries due to a motor vehicle collision in New York City or a member of your family has perished in such an accident, you are entitled to file a wrongful death or personal injury claim, depending on the specific damages incurred. Such injuries include, but are not limited to the following:
•spinal cord injury or resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia
•traumatic brain injury
• soft tissue injury
• internal organ damage
Such injuries may leave you in the state of acute discomfort or unrelenting pain. You may lose time from work and subsequently suffer financial hardship, and you may also be required to participate in physical therapy before you can go back to work and once again participate in previously enjoyable activities. Unfortunately, permanent or temporary disability or disfigurement may also result from an accident. For this reason, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of a qualified attorney immediately following an incident during which you sustained injuries or an accident that caused the death of a loved one.
Personal Injury Car Accident Claims
State and federal laws entitle the victims of car accidents to sue for fair compensation and recover damages for the injuries they have sustained. Below are the conditions that must be fulfilled if you were the victim of a car accident and want to make sure you have a valid claim before seeking the advice of the best car accident lawyer NYC can provide:
• You did not contribute to the accident in any way
• Your injuries were a direct result of the accident
• The wrongful action or negligence of the other driver was the primary cause of the incident
A NYC Accident Lawyer Can Help
The first step in winning monetary compensation for injuries in an automobile accident is establishing the validity of your personal injury claim. This can be difficult, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. It is for this reason that the process is best placed in the hands of a competent legal professional.
Anyone who is searching for an experienced lawyer must also take fees into consideration. A monetary retainer is required in some cases before an attorney will accept a new client. However, in the majority of instances–particularly when the injured driver did not contribute to the accident–the lawyer will work on something called a contingency basis. This simply means that the fee to the attorney is deducted from any settlement you receive. Therefore, if for some reason the case is lost, you owe nothing to the attorney, but if a settlement is reached, it is from this amount that the lawyer’s fee will be deducted. Such an arrangement is highly advantageous if you have a strong case, but do not have the money to pay a retainer to a legal firm.
In addition to working on contingency, many legal professionals offer free initial consultations as well. This is an ideal way for an individual to discover whether or not a good relationship can be established with a particular attorney. If the initial consultation does not go well, the prospective plaintiff is wise to move on to another attorney with whom he or she has a better rapport.
Structured Settlements Also an Option
Your lawyer may also recommend a type of legal arrangement in which payments, rather than a lump sum, are made to you after you have won your lawsuit. Some agreements of this kind include an initial lump sum payment for a portion of the settlement, which is then followed by payments on the remaining balance. These payments are structured into monthly or yearly amounts. The larger payment provided up front is generally intended to help the person pay legal fees or cover medical expenses resulting from the incident or injury for which he or she initially sought compensation.
Such arrangements are most often used for high settlements, typically monetary awards of $50,000 or more. After you have found the best car accident lawyer NYC has to offer, he or she will know whether this is a good option for you, depending on your personal circumstances and the amount of money the lawyer anticipates that you will win at the hearing or during out of court negotiations. Ultimately, if you were hurt in an accident or lost a loved one due to another driver’s carelessness, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by availing yourself of the expertise of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.