Category Archives: Car Accident Attorney Brooklyn

car accident with airbags

What to Do After a Car Accident Total Loss When You’re Not at Fault


Posted on July 2, 2020 by

A vehicle is considered to be a total loss when the amount to cover repairs would be greater than the current value of the vehicle. These are often serious accidents that may or may not involve injuries. They can also create complex legal questions that require the expertise of a car accident total loss attorney to avoid being taken advantage of and lose a sizable sum of money.

To learn what to do after a car accident total loss when you’re not at fault, read on to educate yourself about the potential issues and where to turn for help.

Collect All the Important Information

After any car accident regardless of its severity of type, it is always important to collect the relevant information, such as the contact numbers for all involved parties and photos of the accident scene. In a car accident total loss situation, it is especially crucial to gather witness information, file a police report, and get help from a local lawyer.

Find Out Who Will Pay for Damages

If the insurance company advises you that your car is a total loss, find out whether your insurer or at the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be paying you.

Do Some Calculations Based on Your Car Loan

One potential issue to consider is whether you have a car loan and how much money you still owe on that loan. This is because an insurer will typically only pay the fair market value of your car at the time the accident occurred, and it is possible that you owe more on your car loan than that value. Cars depreciate as they age, and some models depreciate faster than others.

The best-case scenario is that the total loss payment is more than what you still owe on the loan. But if your loan amount is higher than your check amount, it is still your legal obligation to pay your monthly payments to the lender until the total amount is paid off.

Inquire About Gap Protection

If there is a difference between the amount you owe for the car loan and the amount the insurance company will pay for your totaled vehicle, gap insurance may be able to help. Gap insurance goes beyond a standard auto insurance policy and is more of a debt cancellation agreement that makes up this difference. This kind of insurance is only worth it if you could potentially owe more than your car is worth. Check this by researching the expected depreciation rate of your car via Kelley Blue Book and then visiting www.bankrate.com to access an online auto loan calculator and determine the rate of building equity in the car.

Consult a Local Car Accident Attorney

If is a common misconception that you don’t need to do anything to be compensated if your car is totaled and you weren’t at fault. However, insurance companies do everything in their power to avoid paying out as much as possible. To get the full and fair amount you deserve, you need the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum on your side.

Get Help Negotiating or Filing a Lawsuit

With the help of a skilled Brooklyn attorney, you may be able to negotiate a settlement based on a higher estimate of your vehicle’s value. For this, you’ll need good evidence about the condition that your car was in before the accident, any value-added enhancements that you made to it, and anything else that can prove it was worth more than other comparable vehicles. It may be beneficial to have a qualified appraiser determine the car’s value so that you have expert testimony to prove your case. You also have the option of filing a lawsuit if you disagree with the insurance company’s value of vehicle damages.

If you have been involved in an accident that has totaled your car, our legal team can help. Please contact us at 718-237-5586 or send us a message to tell us about your case.

uber driver in car with passenger in back seat

What Happens If You’re in an Uber Accident and How to Pursue a Rideshare Lawsuit


Posted on April 21, 2020 by

Ridesharing is a popular way to get around New York City and often a safe, convenient, and accessible alternative to driving yourself or owning a car. However, Uber and Lyft rides are not immune to car accidents, which poses serious legal questions for rideshare passengers who are injured while using these services.

This article addresses the topic of Lyft and Uber accidents and how a local Lyft or Uber accident lawyer can help if this unfortunate situation happens to you.

How Rideshare Drivers Are Insured

Rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft, typically treat their drivers like independent contractors rather than employees, which enables the companies to avoid some of the responsibility for accidents their drivers are involved in. With regard to insurance coverage, insurance companies view ride sharing in different phases, such as when the driver has the rideshare app open but hasn’t yet been hired for a gig, when the driver is on the way to pick up a passenger, and then the passenger is actually riding in the vehicle.

Rideshare companies require their drivers to have their own car insurance but also provide low-level supplemental coverage when the app is on. Drivers are advised to buy their own rideshare insurance because traditional auto insurance is not likely to cover accidents that occur while working a ridesharing gig, and the insurance company may even cancel the driver’s policy if he/she hasn’t disclosed that the car is being used for a rideshare business.

Who Should You File a Lawsuit Against?

Depending on the details of your accident as a rideshare passenger, you may be able to pursue a claim against Uber or Lyft as well as the driver of the vehicle. The most straightforward claims are ones against the rideshare drivers. However, Uber and Lyft’s company insurance may kick in after the driver submits the claim to his/her own insurance company and if the rideshare driver denies the claim. Since these cases can be complex, it is advisable to contact a New York auto accident attorney to discuss the best legal course of action.

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Rideshare Accident

If you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver behind the wheel, it is very important to get the driver’s contact information and insurance information right away. You always should seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. But if you are able, try to take some photos of the accident scene and get contact information for witnesses as well. The police should also be called by either you or the driver so that a police report can be filed and serve as evidence to help you prove your legal case.

How an Uber Accident Lawyer or Lyft Accident Attorney Can Help

The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum provides Uber accident lawyer and Lyft accident lawyer services to help the injured get the justice they deserve. Please contact us online or by phone at 718-237-5586 to learn more about your legal rights as a rideshare passenger and for a free consultation about filing a claim.

airbag and cracked wind shield after car accident

Who Is at Fault in a T-bone Car Accident and How to Prove Your Case


Posted on March 31, 2020 by

A side collision involving two automobiles is commonly referred to as a T-bone car accident, which is one of the most common types of auto accidents that we see here in Brooklyn. These accidents occur when the front end of one vehicle collides with the side of a second vehicle, and they usually happen at intersections.

In this article, we will explore who is at fault in a car accident T-bone and how to get the T-bone car accident settlement you deserve after a crash.

What Makes the T-Bone Car Accident So Dangerous?

While essentially any automobile accident can be devastating and cause severe injuries, T-bone crashes are somewhat unique. Broadside impacts have a way of sending a vehicle off-course and veering into traffic. This can create a “domino effect” and result in a second collision that follows the first.

Due to the angle and force, a T-bone car accident often causes a vehicle to spin and pushes it into oncoming traffic or into stationary objects, such as telephone poles and guardrails. Because of the potential of multiple impacts and the fact that only a door and window separate the colliding vehicle and its victims, the likelihood of severe injuries is very great in a T-bone car accident.

Who Is Usually at Fault for T-Bone Accidents?

The driver that plows into the side of a vehicle is often at fault for the accident if that driver did not give right of way to car lawfully passing through the intersection. However, it is not always the driver that drove head-on into the side of another vehicle who is at fault for the accident.

For example, a driver who fails to stop at a stop sign or red light could be T-boned and that driver found to be at fault for the collision. T-bone car accidents often happen because of left turns, such as when a driver takes an illegal left turn in front of oncoming traffic and is struck on the side.

Just because a driver had a green light does not exempt him/her from being at fault for the accident because every motor vehicle operator has an obligation to exercise due care, be aware of potential dangers, and avoid accidents. The timing of traffic lights and a defect with a vehicle could be circumstances out of both drivers’ control and the cause of the accident as well.

How to Prove Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident

To prove who is at fault in a car accident T-bone, an auto accident lawyer must prove that one or more drivers were negligent, that the accident occurred because of that negligence, and that the victim suffered injuries because of the accident. Various types of evidence can help you prove your T-bone accident case, such as medical bills, doctors’ notes, the police report, and documentation of lost wages.

Get Help with Your T-Bone Car Accident Settlement

Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum is a passionate Brooklyn personal injury lawyer who fully understands the nuances of T-bone car accidents. If you were a victim of one of these terrible types of auto collisions, our office will fight to get you the T-bone car accident settlement you deserve.

Don’t delay getting the help you need or running the risk of your case’s statute of limitations running out. Contact us today at 718-237-5586 for a free T-bone accident legal consultation.

to men on their phone after car accident

What to Do After a Car Accident Checklist: Your Guide to Being Prepared on the Road


Posted on February 20, 2020 by

Getting into a car accident is one of the most stressful experiences a person can have, which is why it’s easy to become overwhelmed and panic after you’ve been hit. Chances are that you might not remember all of the helpful information you’ve read in advance about how to handle the situation in a moment of crisis, which is why it is beneficial to have a car accident checklist handy in your vehicle.

Here is an overview of what to do after a car accident checklist items to have written down and stowed away in your vehicle in case you are involved in an accident in the future.

1. Don’t Leave the Scene or Panic

Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime and could result in a hit and run claim being filed against you. Depending on the severity of the accident, the crime could be a misdemeanor or a felony. Stay at the scene until the police arrive and stay as calm as possible so that you can handle the matter reasonably and efficiently.

2. Assess Accident Injuries

After an accident, take some deep breaths and inspect your body for signs of injuries, such as blood, pain, and parts you are unable to move. Then, check on the wellbeing of any passengers traveling with you in your own car. After this, exit your vehicle to see if any drivers or passengers of any other involved vehicles are injured so that you can call for help right away.

3. Move Your Vehicle Aside After a Minor Accident

If the accident is minor, move your vehicle to the side of the road so that it does not pose a hazard to other drivers traveling on the road. If the accident and injuries severe, leave your vehicle where it is.

4. Call the Police

Even for minor accidents, it is important to call the police to respond to the scene and file a police report. This is a crucial step in pursuing an insurance claim and filing a legal case against an at-fault driver.

5. Gather Information from the Other Driver

Get out of your car and ask the other driver involved for his or her contact information and insurance information. Also, jot down your own notes with the driver’s license plate number, personal description, and vehicle description.

6. Take Photos of the Scene and Damage

To preserve timely evidence for your potential accident claim, use your mobile phone to take photos of the vehicle damage and the surrounding area. Photos that document weather conditions, skid marks, and bodily injuries are also helpful.

7. Get Information from Witnesses

If there were any witnesses present at the scene of the accident, ask them for their names and contact information. Don’t worry about recording statements from them initially because the police can handle this when they arrive if needed.

8. Never Admit Fault

Whatever you do, don’t take the blame for the accident or make any statements to say that the accident was your fault. It is often impossible to determine fault at this early stage of an accident investigation, and more than one driver could be at fault, which will affect your claim and potential recovery.

9. Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as practicable, contact your car insurance company to let them know about the accident. However, do not sign anything from any insurance company or admit fault to an insurance company until you speak to an attorney.

10. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

To protect your legal rights, contact a local auto accident attorney after your accident before agreeing to any type of insurance settlement. The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum will review the police report, photos, witness statements, and other evidence to get you the best and fairest compensation after your wreck.

To be prepared, write our phone number (718-237-5586) on your car accident checklist or program it into your cell phone contacts for easy access after an accident.

How Does Car Insurance Work in an Accident and the Role of the Car Accident Lawyer


Posted on January 7, 2020 by

No one likes to think about being involved in a car accident, but accidents can happen to even the safest and most attentive drivers. According to the New York City Police Department, the number of motor vehicle collisions citywide was at least 16,832 last year, and these collisions involved at least 33,343 motorists. For both minor and major accidents, it is very important to have car insurance to help pay for automobile damage and injuries.

Here’s how car insurance works in a car accident case and what accident victims need to know to protect themselves.

What Happens in a Car Accident with Insurance?

If you are involved in a car accident, one of the first things to do is exit your vehicle and ask the other driver to exchange car insurance information. If the other driver refuses to share this information, police who respond to the scene will demand it or investigate the driver’s insurance coverage based upon the driver’s license plate and driver’s license number.

New York is a no-fault insurance state, which means that insured drivers are usually compensated by their own insurance company for damages sustained no matter who was at fault for the accident. Depending on the accident, car insurance can pay for medical bills, lost wages, and transportation to and from medical appointments, but there is a short statute of limitations on these cases.

Types of Car Accident Insurance Coverage

The most basic type of car accident insurance coverage is liability insurance, which protects the driver against accident claims that result from negligence. New York law requires drivers to have at least $10,000 in liability coverage for property damage for a single accident, $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for the death of someone involved in an accident, and $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for the death of two or more individuals involved in the car accident.

When Your Claim Exceeds the Coverage

In most situations, you cannot make a claim that is more than the available coverage or that exceeds the policy limits. Many insurance adjusters simply will not respond to such claims. This could leave you looking to collect the remainder of funds directly from the at-fault driver, which can be very difficult unless there are multiple defendants at fault to pursue.

Uninsured and Underinsured Driver Coverage

Most auto insurance policies in New York have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage to protect you from accidents when the other driver does not have any insurance or not enough of it to resolve a claim. This is insurance coverage that helps when your claim is more than the at-fault driver’s policy limits. However, these driver coverages cannot exceed your primary coverage, so you cannot have a higher amount of uninsured or underinsured coverage than your standard liability coverage.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help

If you were recently involved in an automobile, accident, you need a dedicated and aggressive car accident attorney on your side. Attorneys working for car insurance companies will often try to take advantage of victims and make victims prematurely sign settlement agreements that are not in your favor.

Attorney Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum will help you obtain more than just the no-fault minimums required for all motor vehicles in New York. We are only paid if your car accident case is successful, so contact us at 718-237-5586 before signing any paperwork from an insurance company to protect your legal rights.

statute of limitation law book on a table

Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in New York


Posted on December 17, 2019 by

Unlike serious criminal offenses, such as murder, statutes of limitations apply to most types of civil cases in the United States. For example, this is true for car accident cases, although the length of time a victim has to pursue legal action varies among states and jurisdictions.

In this article, we are looking at statute of limitations car accident cases in New York to help you fight for the justice you deserve before it’s too late.

The Purpose of a Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations set a time limit on a person’s right to file a lawsuit in the court system. These laws are established to protect defendants, to encourage potential plaintiffs to pursue cases in a reasonable time frame, and to protect timely evidence needed to prove a claim.

Car Accident Statute of Limitations New York Law

As a general rule in New York and in most cases, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is three years. This means that you have up to three years from the date the accident happened to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages suffered. There are significantly shorter limitations periods in auto cases involving municipalities and public agencies. That is why it is important to contact a lawyer immediately after an accident.

Discovery Rule for Statute of Limitations After a Car Accident

Although three years is the standard statute of limitations in New York for car accident cases, there are some ways to adjust this time frame in certain circumstances. For example, under the discovery rule, a New York attorney may argue that the statute of limitations shouldn’t begin until the injury was discovered. This argument is more common in cases involving issues like asbestos exposure that later results in lung cancer, rather than for car accidents, but it is still a good rule to be aware of for all personal injury situations.

Other Special Considerations and Exceptions  

Another exception is if a car accident involves a minor victim under the age of 18. Statutes of limitations delayed for injured minor victims until three years after his/her 18th birthday. To potential recover damages and receive compensation, car accident victims who were minors at the time of an accident must file a lawsuit by their 21st birthdays.

If a person involved in a car accident died because of the accident, then it is typically most appropriate to pursue a wrongful death claim. In this situation, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the person’s death.

How to Protect your Car Accident Case

Whether your car accident case involves injuries, wrongful death, minors, or any other special circumstances, the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum can help. We are very experienced in Brooklyn auto accident law and know what it takes to pursue the at-fault party to get the justice you deserve.

Please contact us at 718-237-5586 to schedule your free consultation, and don’t delay because every day that passes is one day closer to your case’s statute of limitations.

doctors hand pointing at brain x-ray

Your Legal Options After a Traumatic Brain Injury Car Accident


Posted on November 13, 2019 by

Car accidents happen in Brooklyn every single day, but fortunately, only a small percentage of these accidents result in injuries severe enough to be life-changing. No one expects to be involved in a traumatic brain car accident, but it’s important to understand the legal actions available to victims and their family members in the event that such a tragedy ever occurs.

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person using phone after car accident

What to Do After a Car Accident When the Other Driver Has No Insurance


Posted on October 30, 2019 by

As a responsible driver yourself, you may naturally assume that everyone else on the road has insurance coverage to handle accidents just like you do. However, the Insurance Research Council reports that about one in eight drivers actually does not have any auto insurance at all.

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car after accident with airbag exposed

How Pain and Suffering is Assessed After a Car Accident


Posted on October 1, 2019 by

After a car accident, there are numerous damages to calculate, such as the costs of your medical bills, the costs to repair your car, and the costs of any property damage that occurred. However, other types of damages can be more challenging to calculate, such as pain and suffering.

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yellow caution tape with a Brooklyn street background

How to Handle Pedestrian Car Accidents in Brooklyn


Posted on August 21, 2019 by

Brooklyn is one of the most walkable places in America, which is great for running errands and commuting to work without the hassle of having a car in the city. However, pedestrians face significant dangers while walking around our borough due to the negligence of drivers who are distracted, reckless, or simply make a mistake.

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