Motor Vehicle Accident FAQ
About Car, Truck and Motorcycle Accidents
Millions of motor vehicle accidents are reported to the police every year. In 2010 alone, there were approximately 5.4 million police-reported accidents that caused injury to 2,239,000 people and the deaths of 32,885 throughout the United States, according to statistics from the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Understanding more about these accidents and your right to compensation can help you and your family to rebuild and recover after such a traumatic event. Please look over the following questions and answers to get helpful insight about all types of car,
motorcycle accidents. You can also contact an injury lawyer at Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP to talk about your particular case and concerns.
What are some of the main causes of car accidents?
The leading causes of car accidents include speeding, drunk driving and driving while distracted. According to NHTSA statistics from 2010, 31% of fatalities caused by auto accidents involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher, above the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle. 32% of auto accident fatalities were in collisions that were "speeding-related", meaning a driver was charged with a speeding offense or a law enforcement officer noted that speeding had occurred. Distracted driving is another leading cause of car accidents across the U.S. and may be combined with speeding and drunk driving or violating other traffic laws.
If someone else was to blame for my accident, how can I hold them responsible?
If someone else caused your accident, you may be able to seek compensation from their insurance provider for your medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, lost earnings and possibly more. State law will dictate whether you can hold them accountable. In Florida, for example, your own insurance must cover car accident injuries and damages unless you sustained catastrophic injuries. In New York, the at-fault driver will be held liable regardless of the extent of your injury.
I was injured in a motorcycle accident, and the insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
The settlement offered by your or the other party's insurance company may seem fair, but we highly recommend having an attorney review it before you sign anything or accept it. You may be unaware of additional compensation you should receive, for future medical care or lost earnings, which may not be included in the original settlement offer. A skilled attorney can help ensure the final offer is fair.
Can't I just handle my auto insurance claim on my own? Why do I need an attorney?
For minor auto accidents, handling your claim on your own may certainly be doable. If you were seriously injured and are facing costly medical bills, handling your own claim may be difficult. An attorney can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine who should be held legally (and financially) responsible. An attorney can negotiate or fight for a fair settlement on your behalf, taking all financial, emotional and physical injuries into account before settling. In all, an attorney can make sure your rights and interests are looked after.
What is my claim worth?
Every claim is different. The worth of your claim may vary depending on the extent of injury you have sustained, the amount of damage to your vehicle, any lost earnings and the future impact that your injuries may have on all areas of your life.
What are the types of financial compensation I can receive for a motor vehicle accident?
Depending on the state, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical care, hospitalization, medication, medical supplies, lost earnings, future medical care, future loss of earnings, pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for funeral costs and loss of companionship.
Will my case go to trial?
The vast majority of personal injury cases related to car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents do not go to trial. Most are settled out of court, meaning the parties reach an agreement without the need for a judge and jury to intervene. At Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP we approach each client's case in whatever manner will help us secure the best possible result. Most of the time, we are able to negotiate to reach a fair settlement. However we are fully prepared to go to court if needed in order to ensure justice is served.
What will it cost to work with your firm?
Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP handles motor vehicle accident cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that our clients pay no legal fees unless we secure a settlement or award on their behalf.