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Why Seek Legal Counsel Immediately After Being Involved in an Auto Accident

If you are a victim of a car accident you will have to deal with insurance companies so that they can repair your car and help in recovering from injuries which you suffer. To ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries sustained in the car accident you should always hire a personal injury attorney. Some accident victims, in an attempt to avoid paying legal fees, try to represent themselves which often leads to causing damage to their case. Typically it is after they provided recorded statements to the insurance company that they call an attorney. Such statements could be damaging to their case and sometimes even the most experienced attorney cannot undo the damage. If you wait too long to contact a personal injury lawyer, it gets harder to find evidence and witnesses. Furthermore, you risk losing your claim because the deadlines for filing for benefits or for filing a lawsuit have expired. Don’t get yourself stuck in this situation. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after sustaining injuries in a car accident.

If you are injured in an auto accident, it will serve in your best interest to talk to a lawyer BEFORE you talk to any insurance adjuster. While your own insurance policy will most likely require you to cooperate with your insurance company, you are not required to talk to the other driver’s insurance company claims adjuster. The other side’s insurance company may try to get you to provide a statement by advising to make an offer to settle your claim. However, their true objective is to dig up information from you that will either minimize your claim or dismiss it altogether. Thus, it is best to politely decline a claims adjuster’s request to provide a statement about the accident and your injuries sustained. Instead, the preferred course of action should be to consult with an experienced car accident attorney to guide you through your options against the at-fault driver and to cooperate with your own insurance company once the nature and extent of your injuries becomes clear. Nassau County car accident lawyer, Jeffrey Wasserman can help with the process and can determine when or if it’s a good idea to speak to the other driver’s insurance company.

What is No-Fault Coverage?

New York is one of 12 states that have No-Fault coverage when a person is the victim of a motor vehicle accident. The coverage was designed to ensure that regardless of fault, if injuries were sustained in the crash an insurance company will pay up to $50,000 for economic losses to an injured party who was the driver or passenger of a vehicle. You can purchase additional benefits for a small additional premium with your insurance company up until $175,000. No other state offers such comprehensive benefits as New York.

No-Fault only covers drivers and passengers in a car, truck, bus or taxi that is both insured and registered in New York State. It does not cover motorcyclists; therefore if you are the operator or passenger of a motorcycle involved in an accident, you are excluded from No-Fault benefits. No-Fault does however cover cyclists and pedestrians who are struck by or come into contact with a vehicle.

Among the expenses that are covered under No-Fault include hospital expenses, doctor bills, prescription drugs, x-rays, household help, transportation expenses to and from a doctor, MRIs and other diagnostic testing. Under the coverage, you may file a claim for lost earnings, but first you must show proof of your wages by having your employer fill out a No-Fault Wage Verification Report commonly referred to as a NF-6. It is important to save all receipts for transportation expenses and prescription costs as No-Fault will reimburse for out-of-pocket expenses. You are entitled to receive 80 percent of your lost earnings for time missed from work due to an accident-related injury, but you first must get a “letter of disability” from your doctor stating that your injuries are in fact from the car accident.

A No-Fault application must be filed within 30 days of the date of the incident. There are no extensions. No-Fault benefits are tightly monitored by the insurance companies; they are always on the lookout for cutting off benefits as quickly as possible. The insurance companies hire their own doctors who have the right under their terms and conditions of the insuring agreement to examine the injured party. The insurance company will pick the date and time of the examination. You have the right however under the No-Fault regulations to appear for the examination at a time and place which is conducted for you. You also have a right to have your examination rescheduled for your convenience. The doctors hired by the insurance companies are working for the insurance company and attempt to “cut off” your benefits. That is why it is important to hire a lawyer as early as possible so that your No-Fault benefits will not be terminated after 30 days.

Filing a No-Fault claim can be tricky and the slightest mistake such as an incorrect entry on the form can give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim. Keep in mind, insurance companies will do anything within their power to deny your benefits so they don’t have to pay out benefits. Thus, hiring an experienced attorney who is familiar with No-Fault regulations will help you steer your way through this endless maze of regulations and rules and will be able to navigate through their attempts to deny benefits. Nassau car accident lawyer Jeffrey Wasserman can help with the process and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries sustained.

What to do When Involved in an Auto Accident

If involved in an auto collision, be sure to call 911 immediately. Do not allow the other driver to talk you out of calling the police. When the police arrive, ask them to make a written accident report and find out where to get a copy of the report. It is important to make written notes of the names, addresses, phone numbers and license plate numbers of all parties involved, including any witnesses to the accident. However, when speaking to the parties involved in the accident, do not admit fault or make any statements regarding injuries. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Use your cell phone to take pictures of all vehicles from various angles. Photograph the accident scene including skid marks and any physical objects that the vehicles struck.

If you are injured or feel pain after the accident, see your doctor immediately. Don’t assume that just because you don’t feel instant or excruciating pain, you are not injured. Also, an insurance adjuster may argue that the failure to see a doctor immediately indicates that an injury must have occurred elsewhere and is not from the accident. Be sure to give each of your doctors a detailed explanation of exactly how your accident occurred. Be honest with the doctors about any previous accidents and injuries you have had. The doctor needs this information in order to distinguish your old injuries from your new injuries. It is important that you keep a detailed pain diary. When a person is in pain, it consumes them and it’s all they can think about.Documentation is the key to keeping an insurance company on their toes. If you have to travel to the doctor’s office, save transportation receipts and keep track of the mileage. It is important to document doctor visits and to mark down how long medical devices are needed, such as a wheelchair, walker, neck brace, etc.

Some injuries take time to develop. Many accident victims accept a fast settlement, only to find out later their injuries are far worse than they initially thought. Do not make the mistake of settling your claim before knowing the full extent of your injuries, and do not accept any checks from the insurance company that say “final payment” unless you are ready to settle your entire claim.

Some accident victims, in an attempt to avoid paying legal fees, try to represent themselves and call an attorney only after the damage has been done, such as providing statements to the insurance company. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is necessary to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Hiring a lawyer is easy, but hiring the right lawyer takes a little extra work. It is essential to hire a personal injury law firm that will handle your case from start to finish, will be available when you need them, and will return phone calls promptly.

Pedestrian Knockdowns

Phone Down, Head Up 

We all know that texting while driving is dangerous, but walking while texting can be just as unsafe. “Pedextrians,” a word used to describe someone who walks with their head buried in their smartphone, has become a big problem and has caused many injuries, especially in New York City.

According to Injury Facts, distracted walking incidents involving cell phones accounted for more than 11,100 injuries between 2000 and 2011. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths relative to all traffic fatalities occurs in New York City (51%), Los Angeles (42%) and Chicago (30%).

Just like distracted driving, distracted walking is quickly emerging as a source of serious personal injury. Distracted walking injuries are so common that the National Safety Council added them to its annual injury statistics report for the first time in 2015 (http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-pedestrian-safety.aspx).

Statistics show while cell phone distracted walking injuries were most common among women and those ages 40 and younger, studies found the issue is impacting all age groups. The problem is particularly common among teens. Nearly 40 percent of teens in the U.S. have been hit or nearly hit by a car, motorcycle or bike because they believe it’s okay to cross the street while texting or tweeting. Nearly 80 percent of the injuries were due to a fall. Injuries were also due to crossing roads unsafely, walking into motionless objects such as street signs, doors and walls. The most common injuries were found to be dislocations, fractures, sprains, strains and concussions.

If you simply cannot wait to check your email, one way to avoid a potential accident associated with using your cell phone while walking is to hold the phone up higher in your visual field so that you can see any potential risks as they come. Another solution for avoiding accidents is to take frequent breaks while you are using your cell phone while walking. Looking up every few seconds to assess your surroundings will help increase your safety. Using softwares that read out messages and have voice recognition so that you can give commands with your voice instead of having to constantly look at your screen can also help.

It is just as important to walk cell free as it is to drive cell free. Pedestrians and drivers using cell phones are both impaired and mentally distracted to fully focus on their surroundings. Researchers have said distracted walkers take longer to cross the street and are more likely to ignore traffic lights or neglect to look both ways.

Whether in the car or on foot, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, even if they are familiar. Stay safe while walking by putting the phone to the side. No email, text or tweet is worth getting run over because you didn’t look both ways when crossing the street.

Phone Down, Head Up

We all know that texting while driving is dangerous, but walking while texting can be just as unsafe. “Pedextrians,” a word used to describe someone who walks with their head buried in their smartphone, has become a big problem and has caused many injuries, especially in New York City.

According to Injury Facts, distracted walking incidents involving cell phones accounted for more than 11,100 injuries between 2000 and 2011. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths relative to all traffic fatalities occurs in New York City (51%), Los Angeles (42%) and Chicago (30%).

Just like distracted driving, now distracted walking is quickly emerging as a source of serious personal injury. Distracted walking injuries are so common that the National Safety Council added them to its annual injury statistics report for the first time in 2015 (http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-pedestrian-safety.aspx).

Statistics show while cell phone distracted walking injuries were most common among women and those ages 40 and younger, studies found the issue is impacting all age groups. The problem is particularly common among teens. Nearly 40 percent of teens in the U.S. have been hit or nearly hit by a car, motorcycle or bike because they believe it’s okay to cross the street while texting or tweeting. Nearly 80 percent of the injuries were due to a fall. Injuries were also due to crossing roads unsafely, walking into motionless objects such as street signs, doors and walls. The most common injuries were found to be dislocations, fractures, sprains, strains and concussions.

If you simply cannot wait to check your email, one way to avoid a potential accident associated with using your cell phone while walking is to hold the phone up higher in your visual field so that you can see any potential risks as they come. Another solution for avoiding accidents is to take frequent breaks while you are using your cell phone while walking. Looking up every few seconds to assess your surroundings will help increase your safety. Using softwares that read out messages and have voice recognition so that you can give commands with your voice instead of having to constantly look at your screen can also help.

It is just as important to walk cell free as it is to drive cell free. Pedestrians and drivers using cell phones are both impaired and mentally distracted to fully focus on their surroundings. Researchers have said distracted walkers take longer to cross the street and are more likely to ignore traffic lights or neglect to look both ways.

Whether in the car or on foot, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, even if they are familiar. Stay safe while walking by putting the phone to the side. No email, text or tweet is worth getting run over because you didn’t look both ways when crossing the street.

Ride Sharing

RIDE SHARING LAW

Ride sharing became effective in New York State on June 29th, 2017. After many years of uncertainty, ride sharing became a reality and legal in New York State. The State Legislature answered many questions of how to regulate individuals and companies that provide ride sharing. Companies like Uber and Lyft have been operating in the State without any guidance. For example, before the new law went into effective an Uber driver who operated their own private vehicle would not be covered for livery services they provided by their own insurance company. Their own insurance company specifically excluded coverages for private auto that is operated for hired.

The legislature seems to solve this problem by requiring the ride sharing company to maintain insurance liability limits of a minimum coverage of $75,000 per person and $150,000 for anyone injured as result of injuries caused by a ride sharing company, such as Uber when they were engaged or enroute to a job.

Moreover, the coverages increase to a total of $1,250,000 when the driver picks up a passenger and while enroute he causes injury to either his passengers or another party.

This relief comes as the summer travel season is upon us. Passengers in Upstate New York have been without options since there has been no taxi or livery in rural areas. The Legislature also made it a requirement that the driver of a ride sharing company has photo identification and that his/her vehicle indicate the name of the company, e.g. LYFT. The driver must also be over 19 years old and must pass a criminal background check. The driver must also indicate the make, model and plate number of their vehicle to potential passengers.

The Governor empowered the Department of Motor Vehicle to enforce the law.

 

 

Stay Focused & Don’t Get Distracted While Driving

One of the most dangerous activities that nearly all of us have participated in is distracted driving. This is a very broad term, and refers to any time a driver’s attention is drawn away from the task of driving in a safe and defensive manner. This includes everything from tuning the radio, using a navigation system, reaching for objects or even looking at a beautiful sunset. It also includes using a cell phone while driving. Smart phones are amazing; they improve our lives in so many ways, but they become deadly when being used while driving.

It is so important to always concentrate on the road and stay 100 percent focused while driving, especially sincethere is so much out of our control while operating a motor vehicle, such as bad weather conditions and dangerous potholes.

Texting while driving has become a major problem nationwide, especially in New York, and is one of the leading causes of car accidents. A study from the University of Utah found that college students showed an eight fold greater crash risk when texting while driving. Statistics show that texting while driving requires a person to take his/her attention away from the road for approximately five seconds, making a driver 23 times more likely to crash. So, if traveling at 55 miles per hour, it equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road. Pretty scary, right?

In 2009, New York enacted Section 1225-d of the Vehicle and Traffic laws of the State of New York which governs texting while driving. Under the law, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion. Seventeen states have passed laws banning texting while driving, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, and New Jersey. This prohibition will make our roads safer.

Government agencies realize that texting while driving has become a huge problem; therefore, Governor Cuomo has created special “Texting Zones” along New York highways. Texting Zones are simply designated parking areas where motorists can pull over to check and send text messages. These signs should make drivers think twice before reaching for their phone to text.

Keep yourself safe and don’t get distracted while driving. The text messages, phone calls, emails, games and apps will all be waiting for you when you get home

Auto Accident Attorney Long Island

No one ever expects to have an auto accident. Most people think that their auto insurance is all they will need in the event they have an auto accident and do not think to call an auto accident attorney. In addition, we dare not think about the possible long-term ramifications of an auto accident. Wasserman Law firm sees this train of thought all the time.  With that in mind, it sometimes becomes necessary to enlist the services of a good auto accident attorney here in Long Island. With the 1,000s of roads on Long Island and the even larger number of cars on those roads daily, the odds of any of us being involved in an auto accident are high.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, car accidents happen every minute of the day. Statistics show that each year, 43,000 or more of the United States’ population die due to vehicular accidents and around 2.9 + million people end up suffering light or severe injuries. Long Island is no different. These numbers grow daily and severe injuries can and do usually have a long-term negative impact. Wasserman Law wants you to know that we have a reputation for honesty, reliability, highly capable representation and therefore successful settlements in auto accident cases. All this makes a call to Wasserman Law of Long Island to hire an auto accident attorney, a very wise decision. We are here for you in this difficult time and for the long-term.

This is an attorney advertisement. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this website should not be construed to be legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Past results do not guarantee future outcome.

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