If You Suffered a Serious Injury in an Auto Accident, Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve
Suffering a serious injury in a car wreck can change your life forever. For over 30 years, Lincoln Trial Lawyers has fought to help car accident victims to recover just compensation. Our attorneys have secured recoveries for drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians injured by cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. We also represent family members who have tragically lost loved ones in wrongful death actions.
Our goal is simple: to get you the justice that you deserve. We will represent you with compassion and respect, fight to hold responsible parties and insurance companies accountable, and work diligently to recover full compensation for your losses as quickly as possible.
What Are the Most Frequent Causes of Car Accidents?
When seeking financial compensation for a car accident beyond the limits of your No-Fault insurance policy (more on this below), one of the first things you need to do is to determine the cause of the collision. Once you know why the accident happened, then you can determine who is legally responsible. This will also allow you to begin to answer questions such as: What type of insurance coverage is available? How much insurance coverage is available? What types of evidence will you need to collect and preserve in order to prove your claim for damages?
In many cases, multiple factors will combine to cause a car accident. This includes factors such as:
- Texting, talking on the phone, or using social media behind the wheel
- Eating, drinking, smoking, and other driving distractions
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, sleep medications, or other drugs
- Driving carelessly, recklessly, or aggressively
- Driving too fast or failing to maintain a safe following distance given the current road or traffic conditions
- Negligent design or maintenance of the roadway or traffic control devices
- Poor vehicle maintenance of worn out brakes, bald tires, steering, etc.
- Automobile product liability defects in airbags, tire blowouts, seat collapses, etc.
Once you engage our firm to represent you, our Albany car accident lawyers will act quickly to notify insurance companies, investigate the crash scene, interview witnesses, and identify all of the factors involved. While we are conducting our investigation, we will also see that proper insurance paperwork is completed, communicate with your doctors, and work closely with you to ensure that you have everything you need for your recovery.
What Are the Most Common Types of Car Accidents?
The causes listed above (among others) can lead to various types of serious vehicle collisions. Oftentimes, the nature of a collision and the location and extent of the damage to each of the vehicles involved will point to one driver as being solely or primarily responsible. However, as we discuss below, there are several factors aside from driver negligence that can cause and contribute to car accidents as well; and, once again, the key to recovering your losses is to conclusively identify all of the parties that are responsible for your losses.
We handle car accident cases in Albany and the surrounding areas involving:
- Drunk driver crashes
- Head-on accidents
- Hit-and-run drivers
- Intersection collisions (involving drivers who run red lights, run stop signs, and fail to yield)
- Loss of control in bad weather conditions (snow, ice, rain)
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Sideswipes (passing and merging accidents)
- “T-bone” accidents (broadside collisions)
- Truck, bus, and tractor trailer collisions
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help You Recover Financial Compensation?
As a driver, passenger, or pedestrian who has been seriously injured in a car accident, when are you entitled to financial compensation for your losses? While it would be nice if there was a single, straightforward answer, this unfortunately is not the case. In order to assess your legal rights, our car accident attorneys will need to, among other things, meet with you personally, review your injuries, investigate the accident scene, evaluate the liability of responsible parties, and consider available insurance coverage.
Third-Party Liability Claims
Regardless of whether driver negligence was a factor in your car accident, it is important to thoroughly examine whether any other factors played a role in the accident. If so, then you may have multiple claims against multiple parties – and this could be critical if your losses are substantial.
While there are many types of potential third-party liability claims, the five most-common types of claims are for:
- Negligent or Defective Road Design – Including issues such as missing guard rails, improper traffic signals and devices, lack of pedestrian sidewalks and safety controls, dangerous on- and off-ramps, and improperly-mixed road material.
- Negligent Road Maintenance – Including issues such as malfunctioning traffic control devices, failure to remove construction debris, failure to fix potholes and crumbling asphalt, and failure to clear overgrown vegetation and visual obstructions.
- Negligent Vehicle Maintenance – Including issues such as failing to conduct necessary maintenance, failing to replace worn brake pads or tires, and failing to replace burnt-out lights.
- Vehicle Defects – Including defective engines, transmissions, electrical systems, brakes, tires, and airbags.
- Employer Liability – Including direct liability claims and claims for vicarious liability based on employees’ negligence behind the wheel.
Issues Your Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Overcome
Regardless of the facts involved in your case, you can expect to run into some legal challenges along the way before holding accountable the parties and insurance companies responsible for compensating your losses. Depending on the current status of your case and the evidence proffered to date, these challenges could be genuine, or they could be the product of an ill-advised attempt to wrongfully deny you just compensation.
Either way, you need to be prepared to overcome adversity, and it is important not to let challenges interfere with the assertion of your legal rights. At Lincoln Trial Lawyers, our car accident attorneys are experienced in helping car accident victims overcome issues such as:
- Allegations of Comparative Fault – If you were partially at fault in the accident, then the amount you are entitled to recover in a fault-based claim may be limited. However, this is a very big “if,” and you cannot take any defenses asserted by insurance companies for granted. Unless your attorney advises you otherwise, you should never assume that you are fully or partially to blame for your own accident-related injuries.
- Allegations of a Pre–Existing Medical Condition – Automobile liability insurance provides coverage for bodily injury resulting from vehicle collisions. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you cannot recover the costs of treating this condition. However, if the accident triggered or aggravated a pre-existing injury, then your personal injury claims should be fully covered.
- Allegations of Failing to Mitigate Your Injuries – One of the most-common insurance defense tactics involves accusing accident victims of exacerbating their own injuries. Typically, this takes the form of accusing the victim of failing to seek prompt medical attention or of failing to follow his or her doctor’s medical advice. Here, too, if the insurance company says you aren’t covered, you should not assume anything until you discuss the issue with your attorney.
- “Low Ball” Settlement Offers – If you are in pain and struggling to pay your bills, an insurance company’s initial offer of a nominal cash amount can seem awfully tempting. However, if you understand that this reflects just a small fraction of your total losses, then you are far less likely to settle your claim. In many cases, an insurance company will quickly make “low ball” settlement offers before all of the facts are in, and they will do so precisely because they want you to waive your rights before you have the opportunity to make an informed decision.
- Bad Faith Insurance Practices – In addition to “low ball” settlement offers, various other bad-faith insurance practices are common with car accident claims as well. From failing to conduct a timely investigation to misrepresenting the terms of coverage, car accident victims must be extremely careful to avoid falling victim to insurance bad faith.
What Do I Need to Do in Order to Get Started?
With all of this in mind, what are your next steps? Put simply, in order to protect your health, your financial security, and your legal rights, you need to seek professional help promptly. If you haven’t yet visited a doctor, you should do so right away. If you have been treated by a doctor, make sure that you understand your treatment recommendations, and either follow them to the letter or seek a second opinion if you think one is necessary.
Once you have seen a doctor, your next step should be to speak with an attorney. This, too, is something that you should try to do right away. Unnecessary delays can make it more difficult to protect your legal rights, and talking to an experienced car accident lawyer will give you the confidence and peace of mind you need to move forward.