Car accidents

Car accidents

New York Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, head-on crash, or any other type of car accident, you may need help to recover appropriate damages. Our New York City car accident lawyers have more than 50 years of combined litigation experience and are ready to take on your injury claims.  While we understand that some collisions are unavoidable, a majority are directly related to the negligence of another driver. At Greenberg & Stein, P.C., we are committed to fighting for the rights of accident victims and their families.  If your accident was caused by another driver’s carelessness, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Contact our office at 212-681-2535 for caring legal counsel after your automobile collision.

When Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident it is important to seek a car accident lawyer that can help you get the compensation you deserve. A lot of people make the mistake of not working with a car accident lawyer and end up settling for way less money than they should have. While it is not mandatory to hire a car accident attorney, there are many benefits of doing so.

The Importance of Hiring an Experienced New York Car Accident Attorney

A car accident lawyer will help you build a solid case by gathering all the evidence necessary. Accurately estimating the worth of your case is not easy. Car accident lawyers can estimate the worth of your case so you do not end up receiving less money than you should.

Furthermore, car accident attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies. Remember that insurance companies will try to pay you as little as possible. Experienced attorneys are firm negotiators and they will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Lastly, if you are not able to reach an agreement with the insurance company, you have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, the legal system can be hard to navigate. A well-seasoned attorney can guide you through every step of the process and represent you in court.

Types of Car Accidents in NY

There are several types of car accidents. Some accidents are more common than others and some of them tend to cause serious injuries to the drivers and passengers.

Here is a list of some of the most common types of car accidents in New York:

  • Head-on collisions: Head-on collisions are a type of traffic accident where two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide with each other, with their front ends or “heads” impacting each other. Head-on collisions are considered one of the most dangerous types of accidents, as they often result in serious injuries or fatalities.
  • T-bone accidents: Also known as side-impact collisions, occur when one vehicle strikes another vehicle on its side at a perpendicular angle, forming a “T” shape. These types of accidents typically occur at intersections, where one driver fails to yield the right of way to another driver who is crossing the intersection.
  • Sideswipe accidents: These accidents happen when two vehicles traveling in the same direction make contact with each other along their sides. This type of accident can occur when one driver drifts out of their lane, or when two drivers attempt to change lanes at the same time.
  • Hit and run accidents: In this type of collision, one driver flees the scene of the accident without stopping to exchange information or render aid. 
  • Rollover accidents: A rollover accident is a type of traffic collision in which a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. These types of accidents can occur in any type of vehicle but are more common in SUVs, trucks, and other tall or narrow vehicles with a high center of gravity.
  • Multi-vehicle accidents: This occurs when three or more vehicles are involved in a car accident.
  • Single-car accidents: This can include situations where a driver loses control of their vehicle and crashes into a stationary object, such as a tree or a guardrail, or when a driver collides with an animal or other obstacle in the roadway.

The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in NY

Just like there are different types of car accidents, there are also different factors that cause them.

These are some common causes of car accidents in New York:

  • Texting or talking on the phone while driving: Needless to say, texting while driving is very dangerous and unfortunately, very common. Getting distracted behind the wheel can be fatal. Taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds is extremely dangerous.
  • Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol impairs a driver’s judgment and reaction time. Similarly, alcohol can affect a driver’s vision and coordination, making it difficult to operate a vehicle safely. Drunk driving can lead to severe injuries and even death.
  • Weather conditions: Rain, snow, fog, and other unfavorable weather conditions make driving more difficult. Some weather conditions can make it hard for the driver to see or brake and that may cause a car accident.
  • Failure to stop or yield: Failing to stop when the traffic signs indicate to do so can lead to a collision.
  • Heavy traffic: During heavy traffic, drivers are more prone to make imprudent turns or invade another lane and that may cause a car accident.
  • Tailgating: When you are driving too close to the vehicle in front of you, you have less time to react to any sudden changes in traffic or road conditions. This can increase the risk of crashing.
  • Aggressive or emotional driving: Drivers who are angry, frustrated, or emotional are more likely to engage in risky driving behavior, such as speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and running red lights or stop signs. These behaviors increase the risk of accidents and can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.

What if I am at Fault?

New York is a no-fault state. This means that regardless of who is at fault, each driver has to submit a claim with their own insurance company. Therefore, each driver will collect compensation for their injuries with their own insurer.

If the other party files a personal lawsuit against you, they must prove that you were at fault. Nonetheless, it is recommended to consult with a car accident attorney if you believe that you were at fault. 

What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?

  1. Stay at the scene: It is important to stay at the scene of the accident until the police have arrived, if necessary, and you have exchanged information with the other driver.
  2. Check for injuries: Check yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for damages, and also check on the other driver and passengers involved in the accident.
  3. Call the police: If there are injuries or significant damage to the vehicles, you should call the police and report the accident. They will come to the scene and create a report of the incident.
  4. Exchange information: You should exchange information with the other driver, including names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers.
  5. Take photos: Take photos of the damage to the vehicles and the scene of the accident. Make sure to also photograph your own injuries. 
  6. Notify your insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, and provide them with all the information you have collected.
  7. Cooperate with authorities: If the police investigate the accident, cooperate fully with them and provide them with any information they request.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in NY?

The statute of limitations of New York indicates that individuals have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, in wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations is reduced to two years.

There are a few exceptions in which the statute of limitations can be increased. For example, if the victim of the accident is a minor, the statute of limitations can be extended to three years after the victim turns 18 years of age.

If the party responsible for the accident is a government entity, the victim of the accident has to file a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident. After the notice of claim has been submitted, they can file a lawsuit within one year. 

How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?

The amount of money that is recoverable for a car accident can greatly vary. The severity of the injuries sustained is an important factor when it comes to the settlement amount. Naturally, more serious injuries translate to greater compensation amounts.

If your case goes to court, the jury may award compensation for pain and suffering and in rare occasions, punitive damages. These damages can represent a big portion of the compensation.

Is New York a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?

New York is considered a “no-fault” state when it comes to automobile accidents. What it means is that victims of a car accident get first-party benefits through their own carrier regardless of who caused the accident.

For example, if you were involved in a car accident that is someone else’s fault, your insurance provider would still handle your medical bills, etc., not the insurance provider of the other driver. It generally doesn’t matter who is liable because no-fault states make it clear that insurance companies should reimburse/compensate their policyholders directly for first-party benefits.

No-fault insurance may cover medical costs and other losses related to the car accident. The state of New York requires registered motor vehicles to carry liability insurance with minimum coverage amounts:

  • $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000/$100,000 for death
  • $10,000 for property damage per accident

Your insurance provider will cover no-fault benefits in New York for the car you were driving or if you were struck as a pedestrian. The insurer may cover medical bills, lost wages, transportation to and from medical providers, and prescription drugs associated with the accident.

However, to make a claim or file a lawsuit against a vehicle that was at fault, you will need to reach a no-fault threshold in New York. The no-fault threshold is based on whether you have what is considered a “serious injury”. 

The state assigns different categories to serious injuries. For example, a fracture or significant scarring is considered a serious injury. 

How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

There are several factors that determine who is at fault in an automobile collision. In some cases, both parties are at fault, but one may still driver hold more financial and legal responsibility than the other. 

It can be very difficult to assess which driver is liable for physical or property damages after an accident. For this reason, you may want to retain a New York City car accident attorney. Our firm is prepared to help you review the other individual’s driving background, ticket history, and insurance policy.  We can also gather the necessary evidence to prove the other driver’s negligence, such as witness testimonials, photographs, and other documents.  If another driver has caused you injuries or has damaged your car due to one of these factors, you may be able to receive compensation. Greenberg & Stein, P.C., is ready to aggressively represent you in your car accident case.

What are the Laws Related to Car Insurance and Accident Claims in New York?

State law requires all drivers to have a liability insurance policy with a minimum of $25,000 in coverage for bodily injuries. Drivers must also have a policy that includes $50,000 per incident, as well as $10,000 for property damage. 

Additionally, drivers must carry no-fault insurance of $50,000. 

If you have any more questions on automobile collision claims, please review our car accident FAQ page or contact us any time.

How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in New York?

How soon the insurance company covers your damages does depend on a few factors, including:

  • Knowing your policy and what is covered through damages.
  • Documenting the accident carefully along with details and progress of the claim.
  • Submitting a complete “proof of loss” form with as many details you can to the insurer.
  • Contacting a personal injury lawyer who can help expedite the process by following up on the insurance provider to reach a final decision and payout.

However, there are cases where the insurance company denies the claim or will not pay out the settlement. If that is the case, you may not have any options but to file a lawsuit. Speaking with a qualified personal injury attorney will help outline the process for pursuing damages in a court of law.

How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in New York?

In New York, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injury cases is three years. Consequently, you have three years from the date of the car accident/injury to go to court and file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.

While three years may sound like a ton of time, in the legal world of personal injury claims it is surprisingly not long enough. Insurance providers may drag their feet on settling claims, thereby narrowing the money they’ll have to pay. Additionally, you may lose interest or desire to pursue bigger damages in court the longer the time passes.

Unfortunately, in many cases, victims also make the mistake of downplaying their injuries immediately after an accident. For example, you may not feel much pain in the days or weeks following an accident, but life-altering problems like head injuries can take months to start developing severe symptoms.

As a result, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible following a serious car accident. Even if the insurance provider appears to want to settle the case in your favor, you can get help from a qualified attorney to put pressure on the insurance provider to reach a settlement in a reasonable amount of time.

Speaking with an attorney as soon as possible allows both of you to go over the details of the car accident while they’re fresh in your mind. The longer you wait to approach a personal injury lawyer and a lawsuit, the fewer details and evidence you may have about the case.

How to Choose the Right Car Accident Lawyer

Choosing the right car accident lawyer is crucial. Having an experienced and professional lawyer can make a huge difference.

Experience in Car Accident Cases

If you are looking for a car accident attorney, make sure to ask about their history of cases. It is recommendable to look for a lawyer who handles cases similar to yours. So, if you suffered an accident involving a truck, make sure to look for someone who has experience in truck accident cases.

 Track Record of Success

You not only want someone who has handled cases similar to yours. You also want someone who has won those cases. Try to find out what is the success rate of the attorney you are thinking about hiring. You should also try to find out how much compensation they could get for their past clients.

Fee structure (contingency vs. hourly)

Not all attorneys will charge you the same for their services. You must ask the lawyer that you are considering hiring about their fee structure. You need to clearly understand how much they will be paid and under what circumstances. Some attorneys will charge you on an hourly basis, while others may work on a contingency basis. Do not hire a lawyer who is not clear about their fee structure or if you do not feel comfortable with what they charge. 

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

Most car accident attorneys will work on a contingency basis. This means that they will not get paid unless you receive compensation. The attorney will charge you a percentage of the total compensation amount as payment for their services.

The percentage that attorneys usually charge is 33%.

Need a Car Accident Lawyer in New York City?

After a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed by medical bills and lost wages. Work with our team of New York City car accident attorneys for optimal legal support. We may be able to help you understand your rights, legal options, and liability involved in your car accident case. 

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our legal team. We have already recovered millions of dollars for other accident victims, now let us help you.

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