Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > What Happens If You Unknowingly Hit A Parked Car?

What Happens If You Unknowingly Hit A Parked Car?

Hitting a parked car is something that can happen at any time and it can be a stressful situation for some people. Some collisions can be so small that the driver may not even notice that they hit a parked car and they may leave the scene.

This scenario can be very problematic for at-fault drivers. This situation can be considered a “hit and run”. Most states consider this crime as a misdemeanor, which is less severe than a felony, but it is still serious.

Depending on the laws of the state where the accident occurred, a hit-and-run crime can be penalized with fines and/or prison time.

Usually, the severity of the penalties varies depending on the circumstances of the event and the extent of the damage caused to the other vehicle. If you accidentally hit a parked vehicle without noticing and left the scene, it is very possible that you may be notified shortly after the accident that someone is pressing charges against you.

With modern surveillance cameras, it is not very hard to identify a license plate. If this is your case, the best thing you can do is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. 

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What to do immediately after hitting a parked car

If you just hit a parked car, follow these steps:

Keep calm and get medical assistance

Right after the collision make sure that no one got hurt in any of the cars involved in the accident. If someone is injured, call 911 immediately. If no one gets hurt, just keep calm.

Remain at the scene

While running away may be a tempting option, do not do it. If you do that, things can get worse if the police discover that you were responsible for the accident. In New York, the at-fault driver must report the accident to the police and stay at the scene to exchange information with the other car’s owner. 

Leave a note on the windshield

If you are not able to locate the other car’s owner, leave a note on their windshield with your contact information. Do not write too many details or anything that could be used against you. Simply include your name, phone number, address, and a brief explanation of how the accident happened. 

Gather evidence

Take photos and videos of the accident scene. Make sure to record and take photos of the damage caused to every car involved. This might be useful if the other party files a claim with your insurance company or if you file a claim with your own insurer to repair your car.

Report the accident to your insurance company

It is critical that you notify your insurance carrier about the accident. It is preferable that they learn about the accident from you rather than through someone else who is making a claim. Additionally, some insurance companies may even refuse to pay for the damages if the accident was not reported. 

Get an attorney

Seeking legal advice in moments like this is extremely important. An attorney will be able to help you and guide you through every step of the process. Be honest with your lawyer and tell them everything about the accident. They will try to get the best possible outcome for you. 

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What to do if you panicked and left the accident scene?

Panicking and fleeing from the accident scene is something that can happen to anyone. It is definitely not the best thing to do but there are ways to minimize the consequences. 

Did you leave the crime scene intentionally?

If you left the crime scene intentionally and then realized it was a bad idea, try to return to the place where it happened. Maybe the car is still there and you can leave a note with your information. You should also call the police and explain to them what happened. Be honest and let them know that you got nervous and you left the scene. The police will have to do what the law mandates, but they can be more understanding if you tell them the truth. Notify your insurance company about the collision. Finally, contact an attorney.

Did you leave the scene because you weren’t aware of the incident?

If you were not aware of the accident and you hear that you are being accused of hitting someone’s car and leaving the scene, the best thing to do is to contact an attorney. An experienced attorney will tell you what to do to minimize the consequences.

Was the accident your fault?

Hitting a parked vehicle usually means that the driver is at fault. However, there are some cases in which the driver may not be liable. For example, if the parked vehicle was parked illegally, liability may be distributed between the car owners or the other car’s owner may be entirely at fault. 

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Will your insurance go up for hitting a parked car?

It is possible that your insurance rates will rise as a result of a collision with a parked vehicle. It makes no difference if you left a letter or reported the collision to the authorities. They will consider you a more dangerous driver if they pay for the damages, so your insurance costs will be higher.

You may wonder:

Am I financially responsible for hitting a parked car?

If you are liable for the accident, then you will be most likely financially responsible for the damages caused to the other cars. Fortunately, if you have auto insurance, your policy should cover the expenses up to your policy limits. 

I accidentally hit a parked car but there’s no visible damage. Can I leave?

If there is no visible damage, you may think that everything is ok and that you can leave. Unfortunately, not every collision will cause visible damage. Some collisions can affect the functionality of the vehicle without necessarily damaging the exterior of the car.

If the other driver is able to prove that the collision damaged their car (even if there is no visible damage), you could face criminal charges for leaving the scene. 

When do I need a car accident lawyer?

If you were involved in a car accident it is very important to contact a car accident lawyer. It is especially important to do that if you hit a parked vehicle and leave the accident scene because you may face criminal charges that can be penalized with prison time and/or fines.

At Greenberg & Stein P.C., we have experienced attorneys that help you get the best possible outcome in difficult situations. Our lawyers have represented countless clients in court and they will always do their best to help you.

Call us at 888-716-4088 to schedule a free case analysis with one of our lawyers. 

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Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit occurs when an individual is killed due to the negligence or intentional act or misconduct of another. Wrongful death claims can be brought by the deceased’s survivors. These claims usually seek compensation for their medical expenses, funeral costs, lost inheritance, and other damages.

Every state has different wrongful death laws. For example, wrongful death statutes can be different from one state to another. For instance, in New York, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed two years from the date of death, whereas in Tennessee, the statute of limitations is one year after the date of death.

Wrongful death cases are different from criminal cases. That means that if someone kills another person, the murderer will have to face criminal charges but the decedent’s survivor can also file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits can result from a wide range of incidents, including car accidents and product liability.

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What are the different types of wrongful death?

As previously stated, there are several events that can lead to someone’s death and therefore to a wrongful death lawsuit. Here are some of the most common cases:

Car accidents

Automobile collisions are one of the most common causes of wrongful death claims. A driver can be considered to be negligent if they are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, if they are driving recklessly or if they are not obeying the traffic laws. 

Medical malpractice

Medical malpractice cases are usually more complicated than the rest of wrongful death cases. Demonstrating that a doctor or medical institution was negligent is not easy. A wrongful death lawsuit can be initiated if the deceased person died as a result of misdiagnosis, incorrect medical treatment, or any other form of carelessness. 

Intentional killing

If the defendant intentionally killed someone, the decedent’s survivors can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the killer.

Product liability

A product manufacturer can be held responsible for someone’s death if that person died as a result of the malfunctioning of a product they manufactured.  

Wrongful death lawsuits can be brought in a variety of situations, but these are the most typical. At the end of the day, they are all based on the same idea.

What happens during a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit has to be filed by a representative, who is acting on behalf of the “real parties in interest”.  The “real parties in interest” are usually the decedent’s survivors. For example, their immediate family members. Each state has different rules and regulations regarding who can be the real parties in interest. Most of the time, the representative is also the executor of the deceased person’s state.

During the lawsuit, the representative must ensure that these criteria are present:

  • The death of an individual that was caused by another person due to negligence or intentional act. 
  • All of the expenses incurred by the survivor must be documented.
  • The appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
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Who can sue for wrongful death in New York?

In New York, the law allows the following people to bring a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • The decedent’s spouse.
  • The decedent’s children.
  • The decedent’s parents.
  • The personal representative for the decedent’s estate.

In New York, siblings or cousins cannot bring a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions in which it is permitted. If the decent’s siblings or cousins were appointed as their legal guardian or personal representative, they can file a wrongful death lawsuit, as long as there are no surviving children, spouses, or parents.

How hard is it to prove wrongful death?

Proving wrongful death lawsuits, depending on the nature of the event, can be very hard. In some cases, a lot of evidence will be required in order to prove that the defendant was negligent and caused someone’s death. Wrongful death attorneys may also employ the services of other experts, such as accident reconstructionists, to gain a better understanding of the circumstances.

How are wrongful death settlement amounts determined?

Wrongful death settlements are calculated by adding all the economic and non-economic damages. For example, medical expenses, funeral expenditures, lost inheritance, and interest payments are considered economical damages that can be recovered. Other non-economic damages include pain and suffering and the loss of care, service, and/or guidance that the deceased person could have provided to their spouse, children, etc. Typically, punitive damages can not be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit.

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How are wrongful death settlements paid out?

When the court rules in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant’s insurer will have to mail a check to the plaintiff’s attorney. Then, the attorney will have to deposit the check into a trust account until the funds are cleared. Once the funds have been cleared, the attorney will deduct all legal fees, costs, and service fees. Finally, a check will be mailed to the defendant’s survivor and the settlement amount has to be distributed as follows: 

  • If there are no children, the deceased person’s spouse receives the entire settlement amount.
  • If the victim was married and had children. The spouse is immediately compensated with $50,000. The remaining funds are split between the spouse and the children. The quantity given to each child must be the same.
  • If the victim has only children, the payment is split equally among them.
  • If the victim did not have children or a spouse, but their parents were still alive, they would be awarded the entire sum. If the parents are divorced, the settlement will be split 50/50 between them.

How do you start a wrongful death claim?

Losing a loved one can be a very traumatic experience. Nevertheless, if your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you can seek compensation. One of the most important things to do is to seek the assistance of a wrongful death attorney. Professional legal advice is necessary to be able to get the best possible outcome if you plan on filing a lawsuit. At Greenberg and Stein P.C., you will find some of the best and most experienced attorneys in New York. After the death of a loved one, our legal team has assisted many of our clients in recovering fair compensation. Call us at 888-716-4137 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our lawyers to review your case. 

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Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > Plaintiff Vs. Defendant: The Difference In A Personal Injury Case

Plaintiff Vs. Defendant: The Difference In A Personal Injury Case

Legal jargon can be highly perplexing for most individuals, especially if you have never been involved in a legal situation. People in the United States believe that legal English phrases and legal jargon are unnecessarily difficult. As a result, legal English is attempting to become more intelligible to the general public.

There are two terms, however, that have never changed or been attempted to be replaced: plaintiff and defendant. These legal phrases are extremely important in civil proceedings, where they are mostly utilized. The plaintiff is the one who files the case, whereas the defendant is the person accused of wrongdoing. Additionally, there are some crucial differences that must be understood if you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit

An experienced attorney will probably use these terms, but do not worry, they know that not everyone is an expert, so they will gladly explain every word to you. 

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Who is the plaintiff in a personal injury claim?

The plaintiff is always the person or entity who files the lawsuit. This person or party is required to file “the complaint.” “The complaint” is a document that contains all of the details of the litigation. This same document must later be served on the defendant.

The etymological origin of the word dates back to the 13th century when it was derived from the Anglo-French word “pleintif,” which signified “complaining“: a general description of what the plaintiff must do in court.

Around the 15th century, it was introduced into the legal vocabulary. Imagine that two drivers get involved in a car collision. Susan, the driver of car A is hit by Mark, the driver of car B because Mark was texting and he was not paying attention to the road. Susan ended up with a broken arm as a result of the crash. Susan is now filing a personal injury lawsuit against Mark to recover compensation for her damages. In this case, Susan is the plaintiff. 

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Who is the defendant in a personal injury claim?

On the other hand, the defendant is the person who is being accused of wrongdoing. To easily remember the meaning of this term, just remember that the defendant must defend themselves from the plaintiff’s accusations.

If you consider the preceding scenario, Mark is the defendant. Mark is accused of being careless while driving and causing the accident. Susan’s charges require Mark and his attorney to defend themselves.

Are petitioner and plaintiff the same thing?

Another term you may be familiar with is “petitioner.” Nonetheless, this phrase is distinct from “plaintiff.”

There are significant distinctions between these two terms. First and foremost, the plaintiff is the one who files the lawsuit. A petitioner is someone who files a petition in a higher court, regardless of whether they were the plaintiff or defendant in a lower court. Nonetheless, the petitioner is the one who was defeated in a lower court. Typically, the petitioner requests that a decision made in a lower court be reviewed by a higher court.

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Are the defendant and the respondent the same?

The terms “defendant” and “respondent” are distinct and are occasionally used improperly as if they had the same meaning. The defendant is the person against whom a lawsuit is being filed. The respondent is the person against whom a petition in a higher court is being filed. That means that if the petitioner is the person who lost in a lower court, the respondent is the person who won in the lower court. 

How do you identify a plaintiff and a defendant in a personal injury case?

If you are having problems identifying who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant in a personal injury case, there is a very simple way to find out. The plaintiff’s last name is usually first in the case name. Remember the imaginary case with Susan and Mark? Well, let’s imagine that Susan’s last name is Gibbs and Mark’s last name is Watson. The case name would be Gibbs v. Watson. And just like that, you can identify who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant. 

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What is the burden of proof?

When bringing a personal case, the plaintiff must understand that they bear the “burden of proof.” The plaintiff bears the burden of proving that their allegations are true. The plaintiff must show sufficient proof (not amount, but quality) to establish that the defendant was accountable for the wrongdoing they are accused of.

Let us return to the case of Gibbs v. Watson. Mark Watson is not required to prove that he was not at fault; rather, Susan Gibbs is required to prove that Mark was at fault for the crash. Susan Gibbs and her attorney will have to provide the evidence that can convince the jury that the chances of Mark being responsible are greater than 50%.

Learn how to use these legal terms correctly in a personal injury case

The legal world is filled with words and terms that may be not so easy to understand if you have never attended law school. Fortunately, you do not need to know all these complicated words and terms by heart. If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit, make sure to contact an experienced attorney to get the best legal assistance possible. Your lawyer should be able to explain to you every word that you do not understand or you are not completely sure of what it implies. At Greenberg & Stein P.C., our legal team has worked with countless clients and we have helped them succeed in court. Whether you were in a car accident or were attacked by a dog, our lawyers are prepared to help you in every step of recovering compensation for your damages. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at 212-681-2535.

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Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > How To Sue Someone: Personal Injury Claims

How To Sue Someone: Personal Injury Claims

Being involved in an accident and suffering injuries can be a stressful and traumatizing experience. Additionally, it can be very expensive. Medical treatment, lost wages, and property damage can turn a small accident into a very costly event.

Personal injury claims occur when the injured person seeks compensation for their financial losses. To sue someone, the injured person must be able to prove that the other party acted negligently and that due to their actions someone was harmed. The injured person can file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company.

Usually, insurance companies offer less money than what is fair, but it is possible to reach a settlement through negotiation. If the responsible party is not insured or it is not possible to reach an agreement, the plaintiff can file a personal injury lawsuit and go to court. Regardless if the injured person decides to file a claim with an insurance company or decides to file a personal injury lawsuit, hiring a personal injury attorney is crucial. Experienced lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies to get a reasonable settlement. If the injured person decides to file a personal injury lawsuit, having an attorney on their side highly increases their chances of succeeding in court. 

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What is a personal injury lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is a form of civil litigation. Personal injury lawsuits begin when a person who has been injured as a result of the negligence of another person, business entity, or government institution seeks recompense for their losses.

In many cases, civil disputes can be resolved outside of court through an informal settlement. However, there are cases in which a formal lawsuit is needed. In a formal lawsuit, the plaintiff must demonstrate evidence to the jury that the other person is legally responsible for their damages. For instance, a police report can serve as proof that in a car accident the at-fault driver acted carelessly and caused the automobile collision. The plaintiff must also provide evidence that supports their claim. For example, if the plaintiff is seeking compensation for medical expenses, they will have to show medical bills and/or medical records. 

Where are the laws that govern personal injury cases?

Personal injury lawsuits are different from other areas of law and the laws that govern personal injury cases are not in statutes. For example, the laws that rule over criminal cases can be found in penal codes. Most laws that rule over personal injury lawsuits come from court decisions. Some states have tried to create statutes for personal injury lawsuits. However, in the majority of states, court rulings continue to be the primary source of law.

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What qualifies as personal injury in New York state?

Contrary to popular belief, personal injury in New York does not solely refer to bodily injury. According to the New York State laws, any harm that is done to the body, mind, or emotions, whether done purposefully or due to the neglect of another party is considered a personal injury. It is crucial to note that in the case of car accidents, certain standards must be completed in order to launch a personal injury claim against another party.

New York is a no-fault state. That means that an injured person is not able to file a lawsuit unless their injuries can be deemed as serious. Here is a list of injuries considered a serious: 

  • A fracture
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of a body organ, function, or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • A significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
  • Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature that prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Death

When to sue for an injury?

It is impossible to tell when is the right time to sue for an injury, as long as you are meeting the deadlines applicable to your case. In most cases, the best thing you can do is to file a claim as soon as possible.

In New York, the statute of limitations indicates that personal injury lawsuits can be filed within three years from the date of the event. There are some exceptions that may cause this statute of limitations to increase. However, if you are filing a lawsuit against a government entity, you normally have to submit a “notice claim” within 90 days from the day of the accident. If you do not meet the deadlines, your case may be dismissed.

Working with a personal injury lawyer is important because they will help you meet every deadline that applies to your specific situation. 

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What damages can you recover?

In a personal injury lawsuit, you are able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Here is a list of recoverable damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost earning potential
  • Punitive damages (rarely awarded) 

Is it worth it to sue someone after an accident?

Yes, it is worth it to sue someone after an accident. You do not have to carry all the economic burden that comes after an accident if another person is fully or partially responsible for your financial loss. Another compelling motive to sue the accountable party is to prevent future injuries from occurring.

Property owners and managers, for example, have a duty of care to maintain their properties secure. If a person slips and falls and the owners are sued, they will almost certainly be more cautious in the future.

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What steps to take after suffering an injury?

After suffering an injury the first thing you should do is to seek medical assistance. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries. Once you have done that, the next thing you should do is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Explaining the situation to them and taking action quickly is crucial to gathering evidence that can help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. At Greenberg & Stein P.C., you will find attorneys with vast experience in accident claims. If you want to get the greatest legal advice in New York, do not hesitate to contact us. Call us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers to review your case. 

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Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > 6 Reasons Why You Should See a Car Accident Chiropractor

6 Reasons Why You Should See a Car Accident Chiropractor

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Every 60 seconds, a car accident occurs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On an annual basis, this corresponds to around 5.25 million accidents across the country. In some cases, people can walk out of the accident scene completely unharmed. Unfortunately, this is not the case for a lot of car accident victims. Even minor crashes can cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers. Some car collisions can lead to a wide variety of lesions that can become very painful.

Some severe injuries are not always visible and can cause chronic pain, neck pain, headaches, muscle spasms, and other symptoms. The most logical thing to do after suffering a car accident injury is to visit a doctor. However, a lot of people overlook the importance of visiting a chiropractic doctor. Chiropractic care can bring a lot of benefits to your recovery process. Here are 6 reasons why you should see a car accident chiropractor. 

Narcotics are not necessary

One of the characteristics of chiropractic treatments is that it does not require the use of narcotics or opioids. Normally, common medical treatment for car accident injuries will require the use of painkillers. The big downside to painkillers and other similar medications is that the patient can develop dependency. It can also damage some internal organs if they are used for a long period of time. Chiropractic treatment focuses on realigning joints or the spinal column and improving blood flow with medical massages. 

Reduces your stress

A car accident can become a very stressful experience. Dealing with medical bills, lost wages, car repairs and many other things can make you feel overwhelmed. Chiropractic treatment has a huge positive impact on the nervous system. This will help you feel more relaxed and less anxious. 

It does not only reduce pain but also heals injuries

Chiropractic care does not only focus on relieving some symptoms that can cause a lot of pain or discomfort. An experienced chiropractic doctor will aim to heal your injuries by putting all your joints in the right place instead of giving you medication to relieve the pain. 

It heals soft tissue injuries

Some soft tissue injuries can be very painful and can lead to chronic pain that will prevent you from doing things you enjoy that require physical activity. Neck pain, muscle spasms, headaches, reduced range of motion, and other symptoms can be healed with chiropractic care and in many cases, the healing process can take less time. 

Prevents tissue scarring

A car collision can cause inflammation of your spinal column. Spinal injuries can be very painful and can lead to scar tissue that usually causes muscular tension and stiffness. Chiropractic treatments such as chiropractic manipulation can break up this scarred tissue so it can heal faster and reduce pain

Most chiropractic doctors will work with your attorney

Chiropractic doctors know that many of their clients are people who have recently suffered an injury after a car accident. They also know that it is very important to provide your personal injury attorney with all the documentation and evidence they need to build a solid case to be able to collect fair compensation for your injuries. Fortunately, chiropractic doctors tend to be very collaborative in situations like these.  

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Will a chiropractor be able to help with a car accident injury?

Undoubtedly, visiting a chiropractic doctor can be very beneficial for you if you suffered a car accident injury. Chiropractors deal with all kinds of injuries every day, many of them caused by automobile collisions. They know how to detect injuries that are usually hard to spot. They are specialists in relieving pain and have treatment plans to heal chronic pain. 

How Can A Chiropractor Help After An Injury?

Not only can chiropractic treatment help you heal faster and reduce pain in a more natural way, but it can also help you detect other injuries that are not always easy to spot. A chiropractic doctor will check all your body, joints, and muscles to find any hidden injuries. Sometimes these injuries are omitted by common medical practice but if they are not treated in a timely manner they can become very annoying and costly in the future.

Furthermore, if you have already received a settlement after a car accident and you discover new injuries, you will not be able to pursue further compensation. 

How Soon After A Car Accident Should I See A Chiropractor?

Visiting a chiropractor quickly after an accident is crucial. Starting treatment as soon as possible will not only help you recover faster, but it will also help you provide more evidence and medical documentation to your attorney. If you do not seek medical attention right after an accident, your injuries can become worse or the healing process will take longer. 

What Are the Most Common Auto Accident Injuries?

Car accidents can cause different types of injuries. Not all of them can be treated or healed by a chiropractor. Some injuries require surgery or other treatments. Fortunately, some common injuries caused by car accidents can be healed or treated by chiropractic doctors. Here are some common car accident injuries:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Bruises
  • Concussions
  • Sprains and strains

Should I See a Chiropractor Even After a Minor Accident?

Most people believe that because they were in a small accident, they do not need to see a chiropractor. The truth is that even fender benders can cause injuries, not necessarily severe but that can cause great discomfort over time. Therefore, visiting a chiropractor after a fender bender is not a bad idea. 

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What to do after a car accident?

After a car accident, the first thing that you need to do is to seek medical assistance. Calling an ambulance is crucial if the driver or the passenger is evidently injured. If the injuries are not evident, visiting a doctor as soon as possible is equally important. Once you have made sure that you are well or not in danger, you need to remain calm. After an accident, many people get nervous and forget some important things. Taking photos of the accident scene and gathering information is one of the most important things to do right after the accident. Contacting a personal injury lawyer should be your next priority. 

At Greenberg & Stein P.C., you find some of the most experienced attorneys in New York. Our legal team has worked with people that have been involved in all kinds of car accidents and have suffered all kinds of injuries. Our attorneys know how important it is for you to get fair compensation for your injuries. That is why our lawyers work relentlessly to help you. If you recently suffered a car accident, contact us at 212-716-4137 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to review your case. 

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Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In NY?

Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot In NY?

After a long day at work in uncomfortable dress shoes or high heels, it may be very tempting to remove your shoes and drive home barefoot. However, it is very likely that we have all heard someone mention at some point in our lives that driving barefoot is unsafe and illegal. But, is that true?

The safety of barefoot driving is a highly debatable topic, some people think it is more dangerous while others say it safer under certain conditions. What is not debatable is the legality of driving barefoot. New York traffic law does not have any rule or regulation that prohibits barefoot driving. This means that if you are pulled over, no police officer will be able to give you a ticket for barefoot driving. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that just because it is not illegal, that does not mean it cannot have any consequences in the event of a motor vehicle accident. 

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What the law in New York says

In New York, driving barefoot is not against the law. Actually, none of the country’s 50 states do. Jason Heimbaugh explored the legality of driving barefoot in the 1990s. He wrote a letter to each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, inquiring if it was lawful in their state. It took some time, but all of the departments to which he addressed a letter responded and assured him that driving barefoot was legal.

Many years have passed, but the laws have remained unchanged. However, as previously mentioned, even if it is not illegal, it may have implications in the event of an automobile accident. While a law enforcement officer will not give you a traffic ticket for barefoot driving, the law requires all drivers to drive as safely as possible.

If you are involved in a car accident while driving barefoot, the opposing party’s insurance agent may claim that your barefoot driving caused or contributed to the accident. If the jury agrees with the insurance company, your compensation may be decreased or you may even be held accountable for the accident. Insurance companies will go to whatever length to pay as little as possible, thus they will try to prove that driving barefoot constitutes negligent driving.

What about flip-flops?

Similar to barefoot driving, there are no laws that prohibit the use of flip-flops while driving. However, most experts agree that driving while wearing flip-flops is even more dangerous than driving barefoot.

Flip flops do not have straps or anything that secure them to your feet. For that reason they can slip off your shoe and get stuck under the brake pedal or the gas pedal, thus preventing you from being able to fully maneuver or control the vehicle. If you have a car accident while driving while wearing flip-flops, the other party may accuse you of careless driving. 

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Can you drive in high heels?

High heels are another type of footwear that might be hazardous while driving but it is not illegal to drive while wearing them. The biggest issue with high heels is that your heel is not in contact with the vehicle’s floor. The proper foot position while driving is with your heels firmly planted on the automobile floor. If your heels are not positioned correctly, your feet may not be at the correct angle to step on the pedals. That can cause you to miss the brake pedal in a situation where you need to brake suddenly or you can even make contact with both the gas and the brake pedal at the same time. Additionally, high heels usually have slippery soles or soles that do not have a sufficient amount of grip. 

Is driving in socks illegal?

Driving in socks is also not unlawful. However, just like driving barefoot, there may be consequences in the event of a car accident. Driving in socks may be riskier than driving entirely barefoot in terms of safety. Surprisingly, if our feet are moist, they won’t have a good degree of grip. Socks typically lack any form of grip that can provide additional stability while pressing the pedals. As a result, driving while wearing only socks can be more dangerous due to the risk of your feet slipping off the pedal.

So… Is it really dangerous to drive barefoot?

The safety of driving barefoot has been a topic of debate for a long time. There are people who think that driving barefoot is more dangerous than using appropriate footwear. But what exactly is “appropriate footwear”?

Most experts think that the best driving footwear is comfortable sneakers or shoes that fit securely to your foot and have a flat sole. When you’re barefoot, you have no way of uniformly distributing your foot’s force, and you may not have enough pressure to adequately engage the brakes. Furthermore, when the anti-lock braking system (ABS) kicks in your foot may lose stability.

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Is Driving With Shoes Off Illegal? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Additionally, sweat and moisture might make your feet slipperier. It is vital to remember that the surface of the pedals also plays an important function. Some pedals have a rubberized surface, while others are made of plain metal and can be very slippery. Finally, driving barefoot may pose a greater risk of injury to your feet.

Shoes provide additional protection to your feet in the event of a car accident. However, other people believe that driving barefoot has some advantages, such as direct contact with the car, which may make some people feel safer or more in control of the vehicle. Lastly, while driving barefoot is not usually advised, it is better than driving in flip flops, high heels, or socks.

What to do if you get in an accident while driving barefoot

Like in every other car accident situation, remaining calm is crucial. Make sure that you and the other passengers are unharmed. If someone is injured, make sure to get medical care as soon as possible. You will also need to take the other driver’s contact information and their license plate number, car model, and year. Make sure to provide them with the same information.

Next, report the accident to your auto insurance company and the police. Take photos and videos of the accident and gather as much evidence as possible. Finally, it is highly advisable to contact a personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and increase your chances of getting fair compensation for your damages.

Getting involved in a car accident is something very common these days, therefore having an experienced attorney represent you is very important. At Greenberg & Stein P.C., our attorneys have years of experience dealing with all kinds of car accidents. Feel free to contact us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free case consultation with a member of our legal team to review your case. 

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Blog > Accident Lawyer > Categories > Blunt Force Trauma to The Head – What Is It?

Blunt Force Trauma to The Head – What Is It?

You have probably heard the term “blunt force head trauma to the head” while watching the news about a car accident that happened the day before. But, what is blunt force trauma to the head? A blunt force trauma is a type of bodily injury that occurs when we collide with a blunt item or surface but the surface of the afflicted organ does not break or become punctured.

If we specifically talk about a blunt force trauma to the head, we are referring to the impact that someone’s head suffers against a blunt object or vice versa, but that does not penetrate the skull. Blunt force head trauma to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

This injury can be very dangerous depending on the severity of the collision. Its effects may take a few days to wear off, but in other circumstances, victims may suffer long-term problems. Different events can cause blunt force traumas but they are usually associated with car accidents

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What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain is damaged by a sudden, external, physical assault. It is one of the leading causes of adult disability and death.

TBI is a broad term that refers to a wide range of lesions to the brain. The injury might be localized (limited to one part of the brain) or diffuse (more than one brain area is affected). A brain injury can range in severity from a moderate concussion to serious types of injury that result in coma or even death.

What are the 4 types of non-penetrating traumatic brain injuries?

Blunt force trauma to the head injuries can be broken down into four major categories: Contusion: A contusion is a bruise on the brain. A concussion produces internal bleeding and edema in the brain near the point where the brain was impacted. Contusions can arise as a result of a skull fracture or blood clots.


A blow to the head is frequently the cause of a concussion. Concussions can also be caused by violent shaking of the head and upper body. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that impairs brain function.

Headaches and issues with focus, memory, balance, and coordination are common side effects. Concussions are not considered severe injuries because the effects normally disappear after a few days.


An intracranial hematoma happens when blood vessels rupture inside the brain as a result of a blunt force trauma to the head. As the blood starts collecting in the skull, the intracranial pressure increases pressing on the brain. This head injury can be extremely dangerous. Treatment options include surgery to decrease the blood pressure inside the skull.

Diffuse axonal injury

Also known as DAI, diffuse axonal injury is one of the most severe brain injuries. DAI is caused by tearing the brain’s axons as the brain shifts and rotates inside the skull. Torn tissue can die and the trauma may cause the brain to swell, damaging soft tissue even more. DAI typically results in unconsciousness and brain damage. 

what is blunt force trauma to the head
What Is Blunt Force Trauma To The Head? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

What is the most common cause of blunt trauma to the head?

Several different events can cause blunt force trauma to the head. Nonetheless, car accidents are the leading cause of blunt trauma to the head. Other causes of blunt trauma to the head include attacks or assaults, falls, and sports injuries.

What are the effects of blunt force trauma to the head?

Depending on the degree of the damage, a person may have a variety of symptoms following a blunt force trauma injury. Some injuries are considered primary, while others are considered secondary.

Primary injuries are those that occur immediately due to an accident. Secondary injuries are those that manifest themselves over time. This amount of time can be rather long in some circumstances, for example, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) can take more than 10 years to manifest.

Here are some of the most common symptoms experienced by people who suffered a blunt force trauma to the head:

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Mood swings
  • Double vision
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Changes in blood pressure 
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Blunt Force Trauma To The Back Of The Head | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

How do I know if I have blunt force trauma?

If your head was recently struck by an object and you are experiencing any of the symptoms indicated above, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Blunt force injuries can get worse over time, particularly if left untreated.

What should I do if I believe I have suffered a traumatic brain injury?

If you believe you have suffered a traumatic brain injury you should tell your doctor immediately. A physical examination following a motor vehicle accident may reveal an injury you were unaware of. X-rays and MRIs are common exams used by doctors to determine the type of traumatic brain damage you sustained.

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Blunt Force Trauma To The Head Car Accident | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Can I file a lawsuit over traumatic brain Injuries?

It is definitely possible to file a lawsuit over traumatic brain injuries. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can collect compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other out-of-pocket expenditures. A traumatic brain injury can be a terrifying experience that can become very costly and impact your life permanently. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, seeking legal counseling is crucial.

If you suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another person’s negligence, please contact Greenberg & Stein P.C. Our attorneys have represented individuals who have suffered a variety of injuries. We’ve helped a lot of car accident victims, slip and fall accident victims, and assault victims get compensated for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case, call us at 212-681-2535.

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