Richmond County, New York: population 479,458 (according to 2017 U.S. Census estimates). Staten Island is the smallest borough of New York City in terms of population, but in terms of land mass, it is one of the largest. Despite having fewer inhabitants than the other boroughs, there are still plenty of roadways – and plenty of drivers and motorists on those roadways. Commuters traveling through or to Richmond County as well as residents of the borough may be used to the sight of wrecked cars, but when it is you or your family member that is seriously hurt, there is nothing “ordinary” about these collisions.
Parker Waichman LLP is here to help those hurt on Richmond County roads deal with the legal and financial impacts of a serious Richmond County car collision. This includes helping injured motorists file an injury lawsuit through which they may be fairly compensated by the at-fault party for the financial harm they endured in the crash. Read to learn more about Richmond County car accidents and how Parker Waichman LLP helps injury victims, or speak to the firm today.
Who is Responsible for Causing Richmond County Car Accidents?
Car accidents in Richmond County do not just “fall from the sky” – they are the result of decisions made by drivers as they face various circumstances behind the wheel. Some of the decisions made are good and, in these cases, a collision may be avoided. In other cases, a driver may make a poor decision or misread a situation and do something that causes a car collision to occur. In Richmond County, many of the car accidents that do happen can be traced back to one or more “careless” or “negligent” decisions such as:
- Ingesting drugs or consuming alcohol before driving: Perhaps one of the most careless – even reckless – things a driver can do in Richmond County is to consume an intoxicating, inebriating, and/or impairing substance and then get behind the wheel. Standing alone, alcohol and drugs (whether illegal, prescription-only, or “over-the-counter” drugs) can increase a person’s reaction times, impair good judgment and decision-making capabilities, and can induce sleepiness. When alcohol is combined with drugs, or when different drugs are taken together, these impairing effects can be magnified.
- Driving in violation of traffic laws: Traffic laws governing speed limits and rights-of-way (for example) are enacted to promote the safety of all motorists. If all drivers obeyed all traffic laws all of the time, then the likelihood of anyone being hurt in a Richmond County car accident would be quite low. However, whether through inadvertence or as the result of a deliberate choice, motorists can and do ignore and disobey these laws. When traffic laws are broken, car collisions can happen more easily.
- Ignoring signs that a car needs servicing: Car repairs are expensive, but that is no excuse for not making sure that a car receives regular maintenance. In addition, cars that shake or shudder while driving, cars with brakes that squeal and do not seem to respond when the brake pedal is depressed, or other obvious defects and dangerous conditions should also be taken in for service as soon as possible. Continuing to drive a car in such a condition is a careless decision that can jeopardize others’ safety as well as the safety of the driver him- or herself.
All of these are just some of the many ways in which drivers can behave in careless or negligent ways and thereby cause car accidents in Richmond County.
Not all car crashes will enable an injured motorist to file a lawsuit in court, however. Because of New York’s “no fault” insurance law, car crashes that result only in property damage or injuries that are minor do not give the injured party any right to file a car accident lawsuit. Instead, the injured person is limited to filing a claim with his or her own insurer and accepting the payment made by his or her insurer on the claim, according to the terms of the person’s own policy.
However, where there are permanent injuries like disability, loss of limb, or significant scarring (for example), the injured motorist or passenger may be able to bring a lawsuit against the person or people who caused the crash. This can be extremely helpful to the injury victim, as a victim’s expenses and financial costs associated with a serious or catastrophic car crash often easily exceed the policy limits of the person’s insurance plan. Without the ability to file a lawsuit, the injured party could be left with medical bills and other expenses exceeding the insurance policy’s limits by hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Injured motorists and passengers should therefore explore whether they are able to file a lawsuit with the help of a Richmond County car accident lawyer in order to ensure they receive as much compensation as possible following a car collision in Richmond County.
What Can a Richmond County Car Accident Injury Lawyer Do for Victims?
Lawyers are not doctors and cannot help an injury victim heal any faster. What an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can do, however, is help guide the injured person through the civil lawsuit process (which can be quite complicated, especially for those who have never filed a lawsuit before or had any other exposure to the court system). This means the attorney or law firm can help:
- Investigate the cause or causes of the car accident in order to look for potential negligent parties who may be held responsible fi a lawsuit is filed;
- Evaluate the severity of the victim’s injuries to determine if a lawsuit is permitted under New York’s laws;
- Prepare the initial petition for filing with the court. The filing of this document is what officially commences the lawsuit process, and the document is usually filed in the state supreme court in the county where the accident occurred. For Richmond County, this would likely be either at 26 Central Avenue, 1st Floor, in Staten Island or 25 Hyatt Street (again, in Staten Island);
- Comply with court orders regarding discovery of evidence and other materials and ensure the other party in the lawsuit complies with court orders;
- Engage in settlement negotiations (with the consent of the injury victim/client) to see if a mutually-agreeable resolution that provides the victim with sufficient compensation in a timely manner can be reached;
- Appear with the victim at all court hearings and speak on behalf of the victim before the judge and/or jury hearing the case;
- Advise the victim on developments in the case and seek the client’s informed consent and approval before any major decisions are made in the case; and
- Help the client take additional measures (as necessary) to collect any compensation that is awarded to him or her by the court.
Parker Waichman LLP does this and more on behalf of car accident injury victims in Richmond County, and the firm does so on what is known as a contingency-fee basis. When a firm like Parker Waichman LLP is retained on a contingency-fee basis, the injured client does not pay any upfront retainer fee or attorney’s fees, and the client is not responsible for any attorney’s fees while the case is ongoing. If the car collision injury case is successful and the injury victim receives compensation, then the firm receives a percentage of the total amount recovered as payment for the fees at costs it incurred during the case. If the injury victim does not receive any compensation, because the case is not successful, then the victim is not required to pay any attorney’s fees to the firm (regardless of what it cost the firm to represent the injury victim during the case). This enables cash-strapped car collision injury victims to still obtain quality legal representation without risking their and their family’s financial future.
How Does the Recovery Process Begin After a Richmond County Car Accident?
Before any car accident injury case is filed, it is imperative that an attorney review the facts of the case to see if a lawsuit is warranted and answer questions the victim may have about his or her rights and the lawsuit recovery process. Parker Waichman LLP accomplishes this by offering all new, prospective clients the opportunity to visit with a knowledgeable member of the firm’s staff in a free, no-obligation consultation. This enables the firm to have a better understanding of the prospective client’s situation and concerns as well as provide the firm with an opportunity to explain the benefits of legal representation. Prospective clients who take advantage of this opportunity are not under any obligation to pay for the consultation, nor are they required to retain Parker Waichman LLP to represent them.
How Long Does a Richmond County Car Accident Injury Lawsuit Last?
The length of time it takes for an injury victim to receive compensation can vary widely from case to case. Factors such as the strength of the evidence and willingness of the parties to reach a settlement are just two of the factors that can play a role in determining the length of the case. Generally speaking, cases that are resolved through a settlement agreement are over quicker than those that go to trial and are heard by a judge or jury. In a settlement agreement, the parties agree as to how much compensation the injury victim receives and according to what timetable the compensation is to be paid. If one or both parties do not wish to reach an agreement (or cannot reach an agreement), then the case will need to be resolved through a trial.
Time is Limited to Bring a Richmond County Car Accident Lawsuit
New York law is strict in that car accident injury victims anywhere in the State must file any lawsuit they may wish to bring after a car accident within three years of the date of the accident. Car collision injury victims are bound by this deadline – even filing a lawsuit one or two days late can yield disastrous legal consequences. One of the most serious consequences is a dismissal of the injury victim’s lawsuit. If the court hearing the case finds that there was no good reason why the injury victim did not file his or her case within the three-year time period, the victim’s lawsuit can be tossed out of court then and there. Courts will often be very tough about what constitutes a “good reason”.
How to Contact Parker Waichman LLP
Get started on the road to recovery after your Richmond County car accident by contacting Parker Waichman LLP and asking for your free, no-obligation consultation. Our firm prides itself on our many recognitions and awards that we have earned for our professionalism, advocacy skills, and service to our clients. Reach Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or contact us through our website.
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation
Have you or a loved one been harmed in a car accident?Click To Get A Free Case Review
More on NYC accidents: