NY Car Accident Lawyers
A car accident lawyer is a type of injury lawyer who specializes in representing clients who have been injured in any kind of motor vehicle accident. They provide legal representation, service and advice to individuals who have been injured by negligent drivers, commercial truck drivers, motorcyclists, boaters, bus operators and more.
How Accident Attorneys Maximize Settlements
The primary role of a car accident lawyer is to help their clients navigate the legal process and pursue compensation for their injuries and damages. This can include:
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Representing clients in court
- Maximizing compensation to cover all related damages including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering
- Minimizing fault for an accident on behalf of the victim
- Collecting and organizing witness statements, police reports, medical documents, and all other paperwork requirements
- Filing claims on the victim’s behalf
- Keeping clients up-to-date on their lawsuit’s progress with constant communication
Because of this, hiring help from a car accident attorney is often the best way to maximize the chance of winning settlements with the highest possible values.
Common Examples of Driver Negligence That Result in Lawsuits
Some of the most common examples of driver negligence that result in injury lawsuits include:
- Distracted driving: This includes activities such as using a cell phone, eating, grooming, or reading while driving.
- Driving under the influence (DUI): Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and considered negligence.
- Reckless driving: This includes behaviors such as excessive speeding, tailgating, and sudden lane changes.
- Failure to signal: Negligence can be established if a driver fails to signal when changing lanes or making a turn.
- Failure to yield: Negligence can be established if a driver fails to yield the right of way to other vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles.
- Ignoring signals and road signs: If a driver disobeys traffic signals, stop signs, or other road signs and causes an accident, they may be held liable for all resulting damages.
Proving Another Driver’s Negligence
To prove another driver’s negligence in a car accident lawsuit, you will need to show that the driver had a duty of care to exercise reasonable caution while driving, that the driver breached that duty, and that the breach of duty caused your injuries and damages. This may require the use of evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, and medical records.
New York’s No-Fault Laws
New York is one of the 12 no-fault states in the U.S. which means that each driver’s insurance company pays for their own policyholder’s medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Qualifying with NYS’ “Serious Injury Threshold”
In New York, there is a “serious injury threshold” that must be met in order for an individual to be able to recover certain types of damages in a car accident case. This threshold is defined as an injury that is “permanent” and that has a “serious impact” on the individual’s life. Examples of injuries that may meet this threshold include:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries or severe concussions
- Internal bleeding
- Severed ligaments or tendons
- Chronic nerve damage
- Severe burns
- Permanent loss of a bodily function.
To prove that an injury meets the serious injury threshold, the individual must present medical evidence that shows the nature and extent of the injury, as well as the effect it has on their daily life. This evidence may include medical reports, testimony from medical experts, and the individual’s own testimony about how the injury has impacted their life.
It’s important to note that meeting the serious injury threshold does not automatically entitle an individual to recover damages, but it does allow them to pursue certain types of damages that would otherwise be unavailable if the threshold was not met.
NY Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injuries
In New York, the statute of limitations for car accident injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. This means that you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.
However, the statute of limitations can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, such as if the injury was not immediately discovered, or if the victim is a minor. It is important to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that your rights are protected and that your case is filed within the appropriate time frame.
If you or a family member was injured by a negligent driver, call 855-468-7626 or contact Sobo & Sobo online for a free consultation, tell your story, and discover the value of your case. The car accident lawyers have over 50 years of experience winning injury settlements for clients throughout NYC and the Hudson Valley
However, if the accident caused serious injury, such as death, disfigurement, significant limitation of use of body function or system or permanent consequential limitation of use of body function or system or significant limitation of use of body organ or member, you may be able to file a liability claim to seek compensation for additional damages such as pain and suffering.
Common Types of Car Accidents
There are many different types of car accidents, each with their own distinct characteristics and causes. Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions: These accidents occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle that is stopped or moving slowly. They are often caused by distracted or tailgating drivers.
- Head-on collisions: These accidents happen when two vehicles collide while traveling in opposite directions. They can be caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who are fatigued or reckless.
- T-bone collisions: Also known as side-impact collisions, these accidents occur when one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. They often happen at intersections and can be caused by drivers who run red lights or stop signs.
- Rollover accidents: These accidents happen when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. They are more common in SUVs and trucks, and can be caused by factors such as high speeds, sharp turns, or a defect in the vehicle’s design.
- Single-vehicle accidents: These accidents occur when a vehicle collides with an object or barrier, such as a tree or guardrail, without any other vehicles involved. They can be caused by factors such as driver error, poor road conditions, or mechanical failure.
Pedestrian Negligence in Car Accidents
Pedestrians are also subject to traffic laws, and can be considered negligent in a car accident if they fail to obey them. Examples of pedestrian negligence include:
- Jaywalking or crossing the street outside of designated crosswalks
- Ignoring traffic signals or road signs
- Walking or running while distracted (e.g. texting, listening to music, etc.)
- Walking or running under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to look both ways before crossing the street
- Walking or running on busy roads or highways
- Wearing dark clothing at night or in low visibility conditions
- Ignoring construction or detour signs
- Running into the street to chase after a ball or pet
- Walking or running on a closed road or highway
If a pedestrian is found to be at fault for a car accident, they may be held liable for any injuries or damages that resulted from the accident. However, in many cases, even if a pedestrian is found to be partially at fault, the driver of the vehicle may still be held liable for a portion of the damages.
Unique Factors in Car Accident Lawsuits
The legal process for accident claims can vary based on the vehicles involved in the crash. For example, injured parties may have a different legal experiences depending on whether an accident involved cars, motorcycles, commercial trucks, busses and boats in the following ways:
- Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim may vary depending on the type of vehicle involved in the accident.
For example, in New York, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim for a car accident is typically three years from the date of the accident. However, the statute of limitations for filing a bus accident claim can vary depending on whether the bus is operated by a government agency or private company.
- Insurance Requirements: The laws and regulations regarding insurance requirements for different types of vehicles may vary.
For example, in New York, cars are subject to the state’s no-fault insurance system, meaning that injured parties must first seek compensation from their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. However, commercial trucks may be subject to different insurance requirements as mandated by federal regulations.
- Liability: Liability is the legal responsibility for an accident. In a car accident lawsuit, the parties involved would likely be the drivers and passengers of the cars involved.
However, in a commercial truck accident lawsuit, the process would involve not only determining fault between the drivers, but also determining whether the company that owns the commercial vehicle or employs the driver is also liable.
Also, in a bus accident lawsuit, the process would involve determining fault between the drivers, as well as determining whether the school district or transit bus company is also liable for any injuries or damages.
- Legal Standards: Different types of vehicles may be subject to different legal standards.
For example, commercial trucks are subject to federal regulations and state laws, which may impact the legal process.
Boating accidents, on the other hand, fall under maritime law, which may differ from state personal injury laws.
- Evidence Collection: The process of evidence collection may vary depending on the type of vehicle involved in the accident.
For example, the evidence collection process in a commercial truck accident may involve a more complex investigation process, as the truck’s electronic logging device and maintenance records may be relevant to the case.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to take the following steps to protect your rights and gather evidence for a potential lawsuit:
- Seek medical attention for any injuries, even if they seem minor.
- Call the police and file a report of the accident.
- Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and the accident scene.
- Get the contact and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
- Contact a personal injury attorney who can advise you on your rights and guide you through the legal process.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New York
The car accident lawyers at Sobo & Sobo have won settlements for injured clients across NYC and the Hudson Valley for over 50 years. They understand how the physical and mental injuries caused by an accident can be exhausting, let alone the financial toll it can put on victims and their families.
Car and auto accident attorneys provide free consultations to all who are interested in discovering the value of their case, and never charge any fees unless the case settles, guaranteed. Call 855-GOT-SOBO or contact them online to schedule your consultation.
New York State Car Accident Statistics
- An average of 301,000 total car accidents occur in New York State each year, resulting in over 250,000 injuries and 1,100 deaths.
- New York City has the highest number of car accidents in the state, with an average of 85,000 reported accidents each year.
- Counties with the highest number of car accidents in New York State include Kings County, The Bronx, and Queens.
- The leading cause of car accidents in New York State is driver error, accounting for over 80% of all accidents.
- In 2019, there were over 1,700 accidents involving distracted driving in New York State, resulting in over 1,300 injuries and 16 deaths.
- Speeding causes over 2,600 accidents each year in New York State, resulting in over 2,100 injuries and 27 deaths.
- Over 2,800 car accidents are caused by driving while under the influence each year in New York.
- Drivers aged 25-34 cause the most auto accidents each year compared to any other demographic.