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Motor Vehicle Accidents & No-Fault Insurance Claims

A New York car accident can change your life instantly. Federal data shows that more than 1,100 New York motorists lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in 2009, and the state Department of Motor Vehicles reports than an average of 12,000 more are hospitalized for injuries each year. If you have been injured, you need Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, fighting for your rights.

Located in Binghamton, our New York car accident lawyer is dedicated to helping victims of serious motor vehicle accidents recover compensation that can help them cope with their existing injuries and provide financial support to cover unknown future expenses. The attorneys at Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates. LLP have access to experts in accident reconstruction and economic forecasting who can help prepare a strong, solid lawsuit. We will also help you decide whether it is more prudent to fight in court or to negotiate a settlement based on the facts of your case.

Contact our Elmira car accident attorneys online today or call 800-TALK-LAW (800-825-5529) for a free consultation. Our responsibility is to help you in your time of need. We return all calls every day, usually within the hour – even on weekends. We will fight for you!

Motor Vehicle Accident Information

The latest statistics from National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that there were 5.5 million motor vehicle accidents in 2009. Of that number, more than 1.5 million people were injured and 30,797 others were killed on the nation’s roadways. While this number represents a decrease from prior years, even one injury or fatality is unacceptable – especially when someone’s negligence caused a wreck that could have been prevented.

No one is immune from serious harm in any car crash, truck accident or motorcycle wreck.  Accident victims can include:

  • Drivers;
  • Passengers;
  • Pedestrians; and,
  • Bicyclists.

Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents

When it comes to personal injury claims, car accident cases are the most common. Automobile crashes occur every minute, according to NHTSA. While the majority of crashes result in property damage to another vehicle, many result in serious personal injuries to the vehicle’s occupants. On average, 1 out of every 15 wrecks results in a fatality.

Though less numerous, large truck accidents are far more dangerous. An April 2011 report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that there were 53,987 large truck crashes that resulted in injuries or deaths in 2009. Many times, the sheer size of a large truck – also known as a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, semi, or commercial motor vehicle – provides some protection to the truck driver in a crash. Unfortunately, that means that occupants of other motor vehicles involved in the wreck sustain the worst of the injuries.

NHTSA sponsored a study which concluded that approximately twice as many car drivers die in collisions with light trucks than in similar collisions between vehicles of the same weight. For the same reasons, occupants of passenger cars and light trucks have much higher fatality rates than occupants of large trucks and buses.

Many truck accidents result from the same factors that apply to other motor vehicles: speeding, unsafe lane changes, turning left, failure to negotiate curves properly and unsafe passing. However, truck accidents tend to fall into two main categories of negligence:  driver error and vehicle maintenance failure.

Driver error can also include:

  • Fatigue: Long shifts can contribute to drowsy driving, which causes clouded judgment, falling asleep at the wheel and impaired reaction times.
  • Inexperience:  The FMCSA outlines specific regulations on driver training, but some truck companies do not comply with the rules.
  • Impaired driving: This includes the use of alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Truck accident lawsuits tend to be far more complex than actions regarding other vehicle accidents, for several reasons. First, trucking companies and insurance adjusters realize the potential for major lawsuits when a truck accident is involved. When a truck accident happens, they quickly begin gathering evidence, often before victims have had a chance to even talk with an attorney.

Even identifying the proper defendant or defendants in a negligence case can be challenging. Fault could be assigned to several parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, manufacturer of defective parts, distributor of defective tires or the entities responsible for properly servicing the vehicle, among others.

What Do I Do after My Car Accident?

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident in New York, Binghamton automobile accident attorney Scott C. Gottlieb suggests taking the following steps:

  • Notify police and, if necessary, an ambulance;
  • Do not make statements to anyone except for a police officer, and especially not an insurance adjuster — from your company or anyone else’s;
  • Do not admit that you are at fault;
  • Obtain all insurance and contact information for all those involved in the accident;
  • Take photos of the accident scene, cars and people involved.

Within 24 hours of the wreck, make sure to:

  • Seek medical attention, even if you feel OK;
  • Notify your insurance company of the motor vehicle crash and make any claims;
  • Pay attention to deadlines. If you miss them, you may not receive the full insurance benefits that you are entitled to;
  • Contact an experienced car accident, truck crash and motorcycle wreck attorney who can guide you through the process of handling your accident claim.

What Is No-Fault Insurance?

If you have been injured through the use or operation of a motor vehicle, you are entitled to no-fault insurance benefits. It doesn’t matter where the accident occurred or if you were the driver, passenger, pedestrian or any other victim – you have a right to no-fault benefits.

There is one exception. Motorcyclists and their passengers cannot receive no-fault benefits, but they are not barred from filing a personal injury claim for compensation for their injuries.

In general, no-fault benefits are payable for accident-related expenses, including the following:

  • Medical bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Cost of medications;
  • Mileage reimbursement for doctor’s appointments;
  • Household help;
  • Death benefits if the motor vehicle crash was fatal.

Injured? Contact Our New York Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers Today

If you’ve been hurt in a New York car accident, truck wreck or motorcycle crash, don’t suffer in silence. You can trust our New York automobile accident lawyer to handle your case with sensitivity, care and respect while simultaneously providing tough legal representation to get you the maximum award possible.

Call the attorneys at Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates, LLP, for help. Call 800-TALK-LAW (800-825-5529) or use our online form for a no-cost case evaluation.

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