If you have been hurt in a car accident due to another person’s negligence, an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer can protect your legal rights. The other driver and his insurance company will not have your best interests in mind after a car accident. Instead, they will be looking to settle the case as quickly and for as little money as possible. That is why it is essential to have someone on your side who understands the New York State laws and can help you secure the compensation you are entitled to.
Since 1987, the law firm of Winkler Kurtz, LLP has proudly represented clients who have been wrongfully injured in car accidents. Based in Port Jefferson, we have advocated for clients all throughout Long Island. We have represented victims harmed by drunk drivers, uninsured or underinsured drivers, drivers who flee the scene (hit and run accidents), and more.
The Reality of Car Accidents in New York
Many Americans drive or ride in a car daily, often without thinking twice about our safety. Yet driving can be incredibly dangerous, including here in New York. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority (93%) of the registered vehicles on the roads in the United States are passenger vehicles, which are defined as cars and light trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or less. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 78% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2016 were passenger vehicles. These statistics demonstrate that despite our perception of driving as a relatively safe activity, it can be risky.
In an average month in New York, traffic crashes lead to:
- 91 fatalitites;
- 1,009 hospitalizations;
- and 11,409 emergency room visits.
Given the prevalence of car accidents in our state, it is vital that every New Yorker knows how to protect themselves in the case of an accident, including what to do after a collision occurs.
What To Do After A Long Island Car Accident
A car accident can be very scary, and may even result in serious injuries. While you may be disoriented after a car accident, taking a few basic steps can help protect your legal rights and ensure that you are able to recover from your injuries. Doing any or all of these may not be possible if you have been injured. In that case, do as much as you can while focusing on your recovery.
First, collect any evidence of the accident, such as paperwork, a police accident report, insurance and contact information for the other driver, photographs from the accident scene, and hospital or ambulance records. Any documentation that supports your story of how the accident happened and your claim for damages will be helpful to your Long Island car accident lawyer.
Second, when you are able to do so, write down as much as you can remember about the accident, including what happened and when certain events occurred, such as the police or ambulance arriving. Make these notes as soon as possible after the accident, when your memory is fresh.
Third, put together a list of potential witnesses and their contact information. This list should include anyone riding in the car with you, anyone who saw what happened, and any first responders who came to the scene. Your Long Island car accident lawyer can utilize this information to put together a strong legal claim.
Fourth, do not speak to the other driver, their insurance representative, or their attorney about the accident. Instead, allow your lawyer to handle these conversations, and tell them that they can talk to your attorney. This will help make sure that your legal rights are protected if you do decide to file a lawsuit.
Fifth, the single most important thing that you can do to protect yourself after a car accident is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Unlike the insurance company, your lawyer is obligated to advocate for your best interests. In many cases, your Long Island car accident lawyer will not charge a fee unless they recover money for you.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident
Filing a lawsuit or even an insurance claim for a car accident can be a complicated process. It requires complying with strict New York State filing deadlines, establishing proof of fault, and submitting evidence of damages. When added to the stress of recovering from a crash, many people are too overwhelmed to do much more than accept the first lowball offer from the insurance company.
With a Long Island car accident lawyer, you can focus on your health while your attorney takes care of the legal process. Through aggressive negotiation and litigation when necessary, your lawyer can help you get the money that you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Work with an Experienced Long Island Car Accident Lawyer
At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, our team of attorneys has more than 75 years of combined experience representing victims of car accidents. We are dedicated to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their cases. Contact our office today by phone at 631-928-8000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We’ll explain your rights and your options, and help you make a decision about how to proceed with your car accident case.