Kings County Car Accident Lawyers
The Kings County region is one of the busiest areas in the country, and car accidents occur often. Anyone who drives in Kings County should be aware of how they can avoid accidents, what to do if they are involved in a crash, and how to recover damages when necessary. The Kings County car accident lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano are here to help clients when they do not know how to proceed if they have been injured in a crash. Our lawyers are committed to client care and will assist victims suffering from the aftermath of an accident.
Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents tend to be common for several reasons. Drivers often make unsafe choices and could cause a crash due to careless actions. A driver can prevent an accident by adhering to the following guidelines:
- Avoid texting and driving. Drivers should use a hands-free system, set their phone to Do Not Disturb, or hand their phone to a passenger.
- Avoid distractions by children. Parents who need to turn around to discipline their children could easily veer out of their lane, speed up, or crash into another vehicle. When children have toys or games to entertain them, they will not distract their parents.
- Signal when changing lanes. Other drivers need to see a signal that lets them know when someone is changing lanes.
- Make sure all lights are working. The lights on a vehicle must work properly; accidents could occur when drivers do not have proper lights. This is especially true for brake lights.
- Avoid driving impaired. Drivers should not use substances before getting behind the wheel. If the driver knows they will be intoxicated, they must have a designated driver.
- Slow down. Speeding is a major factor in car crashes and kills about 25 people each day.
How are Claims Filed After Car Accidents?
When a car accident occurs, car insurance policies pay for damages. However, insurance companies may deny coverage or refuse to pay the full amount owed. The insurance company may claim that the accident did not cause any injuries, or the injuries may be classified as pre-existing conditions.
If the insurance company is not willing to abide by the terms of its policy, we will review the policy when working with our clients. The insurance company may be acting in bad faith or the policy may have been written improperly. We will collect information that helps us understand the nature of the claim. We are prepared to ask for damages that include the following:
- Current and future medical expenses: We will ensure that the family receives money that can be used to pay for medical care. Someone who was injured in an accident may have to go on disability and need a lifetime of care.
- Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, could include loss of companionship or loss of quality of life. We will show that the accident caused physical and emotional pain.
- Lost wages: We can calculate how much money was lost when the accident occurred. The injured victim might have missed work, lost their job, or lost their ability to work in the future.
- Punitive Damages: We also work with drivers who believe that the other driver was acting with malice. When this is the case, we can petition for punitive damages in the state of New York. We will work diligently to prove that punitive damages are warranted. The state of New York does not cap compensatory or punitive damages and we will craft a case that explains why punitive damages are required.
We work closely with our clients to give them the best client care, including informing them about progress on a case. We also advise our clients when they may want to accept a settlement, why we asked for a certain amount of money, and how the legal process works.
What Makes Driving Difficult in Kings County?
Kings County is the most populous county in New York, and it is the second-most densely populated county in the United States. The borough of Brooklyn is the largest borough in New York City, and takes up the entirety of Kings County. Because the borough borders Queens and Manhattan, people are driving through it every day. New York City is one of the busiest cities in the world. Large trucks must come through the area so that they can serve the rest of the city, confused tourists could easily cause accidents, and busy drivers may be hurrying to get to work.
Trucks and cargo carriers make the road a much more dangerous for everyone. Car drivers must be aware of large trucks on the road because these massive vehicles are difficult to drive, steer, and stop. Large truck accidents often occur because of the following factors:
- Distracted drivers. Drivers who are distracted often cut off other vehicles. Truck drivers can lose focus when getting directions, talking to dispatch officers, or managing the immense weight of their vehicles.
- Following trucks too closely. Slamming into a large truck can be devastating. At the same time, a large truck driver who does not allow the proper stopping distance could easily rear-end a vehicle that made an emergency stop.
- Speeding. Large truck drivers are under pressure to complete each route as quickly as possible. A large truck traveling at high speeds will always be more dangerous than a car.
- Failing to yield. It is difficult for drivers to avoid large trucks that do not yield, and car drivers that do not allow large trucks to change lanes could be involved in a sideswipe crash.
- Aggressive driving. Aggressive drivers often cause accidents as they whip through traffic, pump their brakes, or cut off other drivers.
Motorcycles also pose a challenge on the road. When a motorcycle rider enters the road, they often cut through traffic because they are on a small vehicle. Motorcycles are difficult to see and may appear out of nowhere. Car drivers need to be aware of motorcyclists on the road. On the other hand, motorcyclists should avoid the following behaviors:
- Cutting off cars and large trucks. Motorcyclists must remember to allow enough space between themselves and other vehicles.
- Crawling through traffic or between vehicles. A vehicle that is changing lanes may not see a motorcyclist occupying the lines on the road instead of a lane.
- Speeding. When motorcyclists speed, they put themselves in more danger than traditional car or truck drivers.
It is best to let an aggressive driver pass, and it is wise to contact local authorities if a driver is close to causing a crash. Motorcycles and large trucks are just one part of the problem. Traditional car drivers might also cut through traffic, speed, or use aggressive tactics.
Can Construction Make the Road More Dangerous?
Car drivers should be aware of other issues on the road, such as construction zones. The New York area is vast and is constantly undergoing upgrades. It may be difficult to drive through construction areas. When drivers are on residential roads, they may come close to construction crews or equipment. Drivers should always look out for workers, trucks, or obstacles that may be in the road when entering a construction zone.
Certain roads in the Kings County area are in bad condition, and drivers must be alert for potholes or road damage that could cause a crash. Sometimes, a car could run off the road if there is no shoulder available or the vehicle could get stuck in a ditch. Some accidents are unavoidable, and drivers are urged to contact a car accident lawyer for help if an accident does occur. We can look at the circumstances of the accident and if a government or municipal entity caused the crash, since different parties can be held accountable for an accident.
What Happens Immediately After an Accident?
Any accident scene is chaotic and can be dangerous for drivers or passengers. Although drivers may not have caused the accident, they need to know how to handle an accident scene. The following tips can help those at the scene get through this difficult situation as smoothly as possible:
- Call 911. A police officer should be dispatched to the scene to investigate what happened and to write an accident report. That report will be filed with the local police department and be used by the insurance company to determine liability. Drivers or passengers should also ask for the name of the officer so that they can follow up, if necessary.
- Go to the hospital. Those who do not have serious injuries might believe it is not necessary to go to the hospital, but injuries could appear later.
- Call the insurance company. Insurance companies require drivers to report their accidents, but drivers should not say anything on a recorded line that could be used to deny coverage in the future.
- Take pictures of the area. It is a good idea to take pictures or videos of the accident scene to learn more about how the accident occurred. The police do not need to photograph the accident scene, and their report might include a crude drawing. Pictures and videos will shed more light on the nature of the accident.
Following these steps makes it much easier to recover from an accident and gather evidence. Many drivers who get into an accident do not take pictures, apologize to the other driver, or forget to call their insurance company. It is difficult to obtain compensation when drivers do not provide enough information.
Why Should Drivers Avoid Early Settlements?
Drivers should try to avoid early settlements since insurance companies might try to force a quick settlement. Because victims do not know the true value of their damages, they should not speak to anyone about the case. These settlements are designed to sound enticing because victims do not realize how much money they are owed. When the client takes a settlement early on, they are signing away their rights to litigate the case again. Therefore, it is best to speak to an attorney who is not involved in the case. We work to help our clients receive compensation they rightfully deserve.
A car accident lawyer will provide victims with necessary representation. We are prepared to begin settlement negotiations at any time, but we will go to court, if necessary. The other drivers, their lawyers, and insurance carriers may want to keep the case out of court. Because our clients do not pay until we have won a judgment or negotiated a settlement, we will ensure that the case is fully litigated.
Should I Go to the Doctor If No Injuries Occurred?
Some people believe they do not need to see a doctor after a car accident. If someone does not seek medical treatment after an accident, they should see their general practitioner. Seeing a doctor allows the victim to begin a paper trail of treatment. One of the most common injuries after a car accident is whiplash. Victims can suffer from whiplash without realizing it as symptoms may appear days after the accident. Common whiplash facts that every victim should know include the following:
- There are about three million new cases of whiplash each year.
- About half of these cases include chronic pain.
- Whiplash occurs five times more often in women than it does in men.
- The average time that people take off work for whiplash could be up to eight weeks.
- Whiplash is most common in people aged 30 to 50 years.
- In 75 percent of patients, whiplash can last over six months.
- One in 50 people have injuries that require further testing and doctor follow-ups.
- Whiplash can occur at speeds as slow as five miles per hour.
Although whiplash can be severe, there are victims who believe that they are experiencing soreness solely because they were involved in an accident. They think that their discomfort is minor and will go away, however statistics say otherwise. Victims need to be treated as soon as possible.
Common Car Accident Injuries
In addition to whiplash, other injuries can occur if drivers and passengers do not take basic safety precautions. Common car accident injuries include the following:
- Broken bones: These injuries should be treated right away. Broken bones often result in long recovery periods and missed work.
- Cuts and scrapes: Victims may sustain cuts when objects fly around the car in the event of an accident. A victim could also be cut by glass if the windows shatter upon impact.
- Head injuries: Victims often suffer concussions or a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. These injuries can have a severe impact on a victim’s quality of life.
- Internal bleeding: This injury is not visible to the naked eye and a victim must be evaluated by a medical professional. Waiting to see a medical professional could lead to illnesses or even death.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Victims may suffer from flashbacks and other mental issues that result from the injuries they suffered. It is best to see a therapist, if necessary.
All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts any time they are in a vehicle. A seat belt can prevent catastrophic injuries and even death. People who are not wearing their seat belt could be ejected through the windshield or become injured when they hit the dashboard. Drivers should also be aware of any issues with their vehicles that could cause potential accidents. Passengers who are in an unsafe car could suffer from fatal injuries.
Back seat passengers could be injured when they hit the seat in front of them. Drivers should allow a safe stopping distance so that they can prevent rear-end collisions, and it is recommended that drivers look more than once when changing lanes or passing through intersections to avoid T-bone or sideswipe accidents.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim After a Crash?
Victims can suffer fatal injuries in a crash. We are prepared to file a wrongful death claim after an accident if anyone has passed away. However, rules must be followed when filing a wrongful death claim. Some people believe that anyone related to the victim can file a wrongful death claim, but that is not the case. Claims must be filed according to the following circumstances:
- The claim must be on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
- It must benefit immediate family members, such as parents, children, or grandparents.
- The claim must be filed within two years of the date of death.
- A guardian must be appointed for a beneficiary who is under 18 years old.
Clients are encouraged to work with a car accident lawyer to determine who should be named in the wrongful death suit.
Why is a Lawyer Needed After a Car Accident?
Lawyers are uniquely qualified to help clients when they have been injured. A lawyer will investigate the case and ensure that victims receive necessary compensation. At the same time, a lawyer can manage every part of the process.
Settlements are common, but not guaranteed. A driver who has been hurt in a crash should allow their lawyer to negotiate a settlement whenever possible. Evidence collected after the crash can be used to show that a settlement would be a fair way for the two sides to come to an agreement. If the defendant or responsible parties want to go to court, we will prepare for a trial that could return an even greater judgement.
It is also important to remember that lawyers can speak on behalf of their clients. A lawyer will review any letters or phone calls that a client receives. Our lawyers are not paid until our clients are compensated; this is an important part of the process for most victims. We understand that victims need immediate assistance and we will begin working on the case right away.
Kings County Car Accident Lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano Assist Car Accident Victims
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, speak to a Kings County car accident lawyer at Eaton & Torrenzano for assistance. Call us today at 718-332-7766 or contact us online for a free consultation. We will review your case and obtain the compensation you deserve. Located in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Hillsborough, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Manhattan, Kings County, and Richmond County.