Car Accidents

Car Accident Attorney in New York City

Car drivers in New York City are often at risk of fatal accidents, with an average of 316 deaths each year because of car accident injuries. Each day, there are 624 or more car accidents in the city. In January of 2020 alone, there were more than 14,000 car accidents reported to the New York Police Department, with 19 fatalities and over 3000 reported injuries. Car accidents can leave you with damages that can bring financial ruin. Suppose you have suffered injuries after your auto accident case and believe you weren’t at fault. In that case, you can work with New York City car accident lawyers to help you obtain compensation from the other party’s insurance company. To learn how to receive maximum compensation on your personal injury case, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP for a free consultation. 

car accident

When Do I Need an Attorney for A Car Accident In New York?

A personal injury attorney has a vast number of skills that they use to help prove your case and negotiate a settlement with the party responsible for your serious injury. Personal injury law firms can provide legal advice, such as guiding you never to give any statement about your car accident to the at-fault party’s insurance company representative. They can provide other valuable guidance to help you avoid common errors that NYC car accident injury victims sometimes make. 

If you were not hurt and the only damage to the car is involved, you may not need an attorney since you may be able to resolve this problem on your own. Otherwise, if you are injured in a car accident as a result of other people’s negligence, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer in New York as soon as possible.

Car Accident Statistics New York City

Car-Accidents-NYC-DEC2020

According to the NYC Open Data website, New York City has 228,047 reported automobile accidents in 2018, averaging 624 accidents per day. That means the NYPD receives 26 automobile accident reports every hour, on an average day.

7 Important Steps You Should Take After A Car Accident In New York

Experienced New York City car accident attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have prepared the following steps you should take after being involved in a car crash in New York, NY. If you follow these steps, you can be protected and help your NYC car accident lawyer create a convincing car crash case to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. 

1. Call 911

New York law requires that you remain at the scene if you are involved in a car crash. You should call the authorities, inform them that you were in an accident, and let them know about any injuries or fatalities. While waiting for help to arrive, you should move your vehicle to a safe location when it is possible. If your vehicle is not operational, move to a safe area until the ambulance gets there. 

2. Exchange information

You are also required by the law to provide personal information to an investigating officer. You should give your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Driver’s license information
  • Vehicle registration
  • License plate number
  • Insurance information

It would be wise to obtain information from all drivers involved in the accident, such as:

  • Names
  • Phone numbers 
  • Auto insurance details

Your NYC car accident lawyer will need this information if you choose to file a personal injury claim later on. This also serves as an additional source of compensation should other parties contribute to the accident that caused your injury. You can also consider collecting information from eyewitnesses who can provide testimonies of how your accident occurred. 

3. File a car accident report

All drivers involved in the crash are required by the law to file an accident report within ten days if there was injury, fatalities, and property damage over $1,000. You must fill out the form and make sure all the information you provide is accurate. Submit the form to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You need to send the form to:

Crash Records Center

6 Empire State Plaza

PO Box 2925

Albany, NY 12220-0925

You could be charged with a misdemeanor if you fail to file this report. Worse, your driver’s license or registration could be suspended. Also, you should obtain copies of the other driver’s and the investigating officer’s accident reports. Submit your petition online or by mail with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

4. Take photos (and videos) but make sure to preserve accident scene evidence

Before vital evidence is lost, cleaned up, or destroyed, you must secure all of them as much as you can while you’re still at the scene. If you have been severely injured, have a family member or friend document everything that has happened. Vital evidence that might help your case are photos and videos of the scene, pictures of your injuries, damage to vehicles, and the conditions of the accident scene. 

Car accident attorneys may gather additional information, such as surveillance video footage from nearby commercial buildings and statements from witnesses using their contact information.

5. Seek medical attention as soon as possible

You should not refuse medical treatment from emergency services dispatched to the scene. If the emergency services team did not transport you to the hospital for treatment, you should still visit your doctor as soon as possible to get a thorough evaluation of your injuries.

If you feel fine after the accident has occurred, that doesn’t mean you’re not hurt. Some symptoms of injuries usually appear in the following hours or days after the accident. Serious injuries that can result in hidden or soft tissue injuries include:

  1. Whiplash and other neck injuries 
  2. Internal organ damage 
  3. Mild traumatic brain injury

If you did not seek medical treatment after the accident, it might negatively affect your personal injury claim if you need to file one later. If your doctor prescribes medical treatment or a regime, you should stick to it. A gap in treatment may be used by the at-fault party’s insurance provider as significant evidence to deny your claim. They might argue that your injuries are not caused by the accident or your injuries are not severe enough to qualify for any medical intervention.

6. Report the accident to your insurance provider

You must immediately report your accident to your insurance company. A “Cooperation and Notice of Occurrence Clause” is included in most insurance policies. It simply requires you to inform them (should you be involved in an accident) and to cooperate with their investigation, regardless of who was at fault. Stick to the basic facts when discussing the accident with your insurer. And try to avoid going into too much detail, or else it could hurt your chance to recover the highest settlement amount possible. 

Or better yet, you should let your personal injury attorney speak to them on your behalf. 

7. Be sure to keep all documents related to the accident, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Prescription medications
  • Vehicle repair estimates & bills
  • Hours missed from work & wage statements and 
  • Out of pocket expenses for travel, etc,

8. Speak with an experienced and knowledgeable trial lawyer about your rights

When involved in car accident cases in New York, NY, lawyers can speak with the insurance company of the injured party and the other drivers’ insurers. In many car accident cases, an insurance adjuster will try to reduce the amount of compensation by looking for any information they can use to shift some or all of the blame onto you. This is why you need to hire a skilled and experienced auto accident lawyer in New York to represent you. Our personal injury law firm will look out for your well-being and be there to protect you from those who will try to reduce or deny your valid personal injury claim. Contact us to discuss how we will get you what you’re owed. 

Common Injuries Associated with Motor Vehicle Collisions

The degree of injury usually depends on the type of accident plus the associated factors like weather conditions and the speed of the vehicle. For example, a truck accident won’t be on the same level as a passenger vehicle auto accident because trucks are thousands of pounds heavier. The injuries innocent victims suffer from car accidents can range from minor to severe. Injured parties may recover after a few weeks of medical treatment. In severe cases, victims may end up with permanent impairment or disability. 

The most common injuries caused by automobile accidents in New York City are: 

  • Concussion
  • Lacerations and disfigurement
  • Whiplash
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Ejection injuries
  • Loss of limb
  • Internal bleeding
  • Paralysis

You shouldn’t have to pay for the expenses from the injuries you sustained from an accident. The negligent party that caused your accident and injury should be obligated to pay maximum compensation for all your losses. You can find out more information from a legal team regarding your accident claim. 

Injured after a car accident

What Is The No-Fault Rule?

New York State follows the No-Fault rule when it comes to car insurance. Under this rule, you must file a claim with your insurer to recover compensation that will cover your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and associated costs. New York State law requires every motorist to secure liability coverage with a minimum of $10,000 for property damage and $25,000 for bodily injury. 

Another type of coverage that all drivers and vehicle owners should have is Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Filing a PIP claim allows you to cover many types of expenses such as:

  • Ambulance costs
  • Dental costs
  • Lost wages
  • Necessary prescriptions
  • Necessary x-rays, nursing care, and surgeries 
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Mental health treatment
  • Prosthetics
  • Transportation costs to medical appointments

PIP claims are not intended for vehicle and property damages, and they are primarily used to cover economic costs associated with injuries caused by an accident. Likewise, you cannot pursue compensation for non-economic damages like emotional distress, pain, loss of enjoyment of activities, etc.

There is a time limit to filing and submitting a No-Fault claim, which is within 30 days of the accident. This statute of limitations is strictly enforced. In some cases, an extension is granted provided that the claimant has a valid reason for failing to file within the deadline. You may be eligible for this type of claim if your injury is severe.

In a New York motor vehicle accident, insurance is the main source of compensation for those who are injured. Even so, your insurance provider will only pay up to the limits of your insurance policy. If compensation is inadequate to cover the cost of your injuries or your insurer denies your claim, you can seek compensation from all of the parties who caused the accident in the first place.  You can find out more information from a dedicated law firm in New York City to help guide you on how this is possible. 

What Happens During A Car Accident Investigation?

An experienced car accident lawyer will initiate an investigation after your motor vehicle accident. Generally, police officers will be the first to arrive at the scene and investigate the crash so that they can produce an accident report. They will speak to the witnesses, take pictures, and piece together the events that led to the accident. This report is then filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which an experienced car accident attorney can later retrieve. This is because the police officer will include who is the at-fault party and any citations they may have issued. In addition to this information, NYC car accident attorneys will dig deeper to help prove how car crashes were caused by applying a variety of methods. 

To identify all negligent parties that caused your injuries, they will collect relevant documentation, such as the following:

  • Accident reports
  • Accident scene photos
  • Video surveillance footage
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Your medical records and bills
  • Drivers’ cell phone records
  • Auto insurance policies for all drivers involved
  • Repair estimates for all vehicles involved

Insurance companies will also do their own investigation into auto accident cases. They will review the evidence they find and the information provided by your attorney to determine who was at fault. Moreover, they might request additional statements and documentation from all parties to disprove or support your attorney’s theories. It is extremely critical in a case like this to prove who was entirely responsible for the car accident. It will be a challenge for anyone to dispute if there is sufficient evidence.

Nevertheless, New York State follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which could reduce the amount of compensation you’ll receive. If proven that you have contributed to causing the accident, your total available compensation will be reduced by your percentage of the blame. For instance, if you sustained $100,000 in losses but contributed 20% to the accident, you will only recover a maximum of $80,000. 

Does Driver Error or Driver Negligence Play a Part in New York City?

If the other driver was not following traffic rules and was the cause of your accident, then this can prove that you are owed a settlement due to driver negligence or error. Driver error or negligence is the most common cause of car accidents. The common driver negligence seen in auto accident cases include the following:

Distracted Driving

The number of automobile accidents due to distracted driving has increased in modern times. Common ways that can distract a driver are:

  • Cell phone use
  • Attempting to read something
  • Putting on makeup
  • Changing radio stations 
  • Talking to passengers
  • Other distractions both inside and outside the vehicle

Drunk Driving

The other party may have been intoxicated when operating their vehicle. Substance abuse is strictly prohibited when driving. If they are caught with a blood alcohol level over 0.08%, your attorney can prove that they are liable for your damages. 

Breaking Traffic Laws

Fatal crashes are often caused by speeding, improper lane changes, failure to yield, and not stopping at red traffic lights. Typically, if the other driver broke the law, they would receive a citation from the police. If they don’t admit to this, it is possible to obtain evidence with traffic cameras and the help of eyewitnesses. 

Failure to Properly Service and Maintain a Vehicle

When the other party fails to properly maintain their vehicle, this can also lead to auto accidents. These settlement claims can involve the breakdown of certain parts of the vehicle due to the owner’s failure to conduct service and maintenance tasks. This form of negligence often leads to catastrophic damages. 

Negligent Design of the Roadway or Road Defects 

External factors that can affect the other driver include a special class of automobile accidents, which are commonly known as “roadway defect cases”. This may involve the roadway design itself, such as:

  • Poorly designed roadway
  • Negligent design & maintenance of the roadway
  • Construction debris 
  • Means of controlling traffic 

Auto Manufacturing Defect or Product Liability 

Product liability is a unique class of litigation in car accident cases. This lawsuit revolves around the defects of the vehicle that caused the accident and the resulting harm. These defects often include:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Brake failure 
  • Tire blowout 

In most cases, it is not the manufacturing defect or design that caused the actual accident, but these defects can contribute to catastrophic injuries or result in fatal crashes. Here are some of the well-known design defects:

  • SUVs which are more prone to rolling over after a crash
  • A gas tank that has higher chances of igniting in a collision
  • Seatbelt failures that are the result of a manufacturing defect
  • Airbag failed to deploy properly

How Will I Be Compensated in a New York Car Accident Case?

The damages that you can claim in your New York car accident settlement can include economic and non-economic damages. Some of the economic damages can include the following: 

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Medical expenses and future medical bills 
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages are calculated by your New York car accident lawyer to help you receive compensation for personal losses such as:  

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

In wrongful death claims, you can also receive the following damages in your claim:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost benefits
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of valuable services
  • Loss of guardianship

Your attorney can also consider additional items, such as the victim’s state of health, their dependents and their circumstances, the victim’s education, and their age at the time of death. All of these factors can have an impact on your settlement. 

Experienced trial lawyers at our firm will represent you to recover the full and fair compensation you rightfully deserve. If insurance companies do not offer you sufficient settlement to cover all your losses, we will immediately bring your case to trial. Our highly skilled personal injury attorneys have helped secure almost $1 billion worth of damages won through jury verdicts and settlements. A significant percentage of the total secured compensation is from personal injury claims stemming from motor vehicle accidents.

Do New York Car Accidents Always Result in A Lawsuit?

Despite significant improvements in safety and technological advancements in vehicles and road designs, motor vehicle accidents are quite common. The most typical type of tort or wrongful conduct cases that attorneys file are car accident settlements. It is unlikely that you will need to file a  personal injury lawsuit in New York, NY because the other party will likely settle to compensate you for any serious injuries. Lawyers use negotiation tactics in car accident claims so that the other party agrees to compensate you fairly. Even if you file for a lawsuit, you will have to attend a pre-trial meeting so that the other party is given the opportunity to come to an agreement. If that doesn’t work, then you will go to trial with the other party and their insurance company. 

Not every motor vehicle accident in New York will result in a lawsuit. Also, if you did not sustain any injury or have no serious injuries, New York’s No-Fault laws will control any bodily injury claims and restrict recovery of compensation.

Car crash

Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in NYC

Filing a lawsuit takes time and requires you to follow strict deadlines and procedures. The New York car accident attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP are well-equipped to handle even the most complex of cases. Nevertheless, we will walk you through every step of filing a car accident lawsuit in New York.

First, we will start by preparing legal documents. Our personal injury law firm will need to set up a complaint and summons first. A complaint will provide information associated with the case. A summons will inform the defendant about the lawsuit as well as the requirement to appear in court on a particular date. 

The defendant has 20 to 30 days to respond, starting from the date we file the complaint and summons. They will respond by filing an answer with the court, which includes their response to the allegations included in our complaint. Moreover, they will have to declare if they have intentions of filing a counterclaim against you.

The discovery procedure begins soon after the defendant gives their response. It is a lengthy process where the plaintiff and the defendant obtain and exchange documents connected with the case. These documents may include evidence such as:

  • Medical records 
  • Witness statements 
  • Emails

Discovery could also include scheduling depositions, where the plaintiff and the defendant must state their case under oath.

At a certain time, we might schedule a mediation and try to settle your case before it goes to litigation. This is an opportunity to discuss monetary damages with the defendant and their lawyer and agree to the compensation. If we can settle your case, we won’t have to proceed in court. Otherwise, we will have to go forward with the litigation.

What Happens If the Negligent Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance Coverage to Compensate The Victims?

Many of today’s drivers don’t have enough insurance coverage to compensate the victims of their negligent behavior. Under these circumstances, the victims can seek compensation under their car insurance policy. Known as the UM/SUM coverage, it takes effect under these circumstances:

1. The negligent operator of the vehicle has minimal insurance.

2. The negligent operator of the vehicle has no insurance.

There are ways for the injured party to recover damages under situations where the negligent driver either has minimal insurance coverage or no insurance at all. Often, victims of motor vehicle accidents will find it difficult to obtain compensation if the negligent driver is uninsured. 

If an injured person has uninsured motorist coverage through his car insurance policy, he may still recover compensation even if the negligent driver who caused the accident fails to carry insurance. This is also the case if they experience a hit-and-run accident where the driver cannot be identified.  

Under the laws of certain states, car accident victims can still protect themselves if they are involved in an accident caused by a negligent motorist who carries insufficient insurance coverage. Under these circumstances, an injured party is allowed to purchase additional coverage through their insurance provider. 

What Is The Statute of Limitation For A Car Accident Injury In New York City? 

Injuries that someone sustains in a car accident in New York City fall under a three-year statute of limitations, meaning that you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, there are certain situations that can warrant an extension of this statute, such as a late-onset injury that took a while for you to notice. 

However, in the event of a wrongful death resulting from a car accident, the statute of limitations is only two years, as this falls under the wrongful death statutes and not the car accident statutes. 

Do I Need A New York Auto Accident Lawyer To Get The Compensation I Deserve? 

You may need representation to get compensation for your injuries when it is difficult to prove who is at fault, and car accident lawyers can be your best chance at receiving a fair settlement. They are experienced in recovering damages for victims that experienced car accidents and will work hard to prove that you are not at fault for your injuries. If you are partially at fault, it is still possible to receive compensation in your New York City car accident case. Attorneys reach out to the other parties and their insurance companies and provide valuable advice on how you should proceed during the negotiation of your settlement. 

While you are recovering from your injuries, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to take on a significant amount of stress without the help of a reliable law firm since it will adversely affect your recovery. Give us a call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today for a free consultation at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online.