Accidents are unavoidable. On an average day, thousands of New Yorkers find their lives turned upside down by car accidents. Though many people walk away from traffic collisions with only a fender bender or a few bumps and bruises, others suffer severe injuries and extreme emotional distress.
At The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP, we understand that injuries suffered in motor vehicle collisions can place major emotional and financial burdens on both the victims and their loved ones. Medical bills pile up quickly, forcing family members to carry the burden of caring for accident victims, arranging medical care, nursing care, physical therapy appointments, and managing medical expenses all at once.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact a car accident lawyer immediately to learn about your rights and the steps to take to protect yourself and your family.
Discussing Your Rights with a Personal Injury Lawyer
The auto accident lawyers at The Rothenberg Law Firm represent clients from all over NYC, and they will help you understand your legal rights. Let the experienced attorneys at our firm evaluate your personal injury case and help you get maximum compensation.
***Your initial case evaluation is always free.
***We do not take a fee, unless and until we are successful in recovering money for you.
Frequent Questions That May Arise Following A Car Accident in NYC:
New York is a “No-Fault” state, which has both benefits and disadvantages for those seeking financial recovery after being injured in an auto collision.
Under No-Fault insurance laws, your own auto insurance provider is obligated to provide you with personal injury protection (“No-fault”) benefits after a car accident, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. No-fault benefits are a part of your auto insurance policy and pay for medical treatment and out-of-pocket costs, up to policy limits (a minimum of $50,000). These benefits are a primary source of compensation in almost every injury claim.
No-Fault benefits do not cover all losses or situations. Property damages are not covered, and benefits are not available to owners of uninsured vehicles nor riders and passengers in motorcycle accidents.
The No-Fault Insurance rules offer New Yorkers two significant advantages. If you are injured in an accident, you will automatically receive coverage for your injuries, regardless of whether you were at fault in the accident. This is particularly important when you are injured due to negligent driving by an uninsured driver or underinsured motorist. Importantly, you will receive this compensation relatively quickly.
At the same time, the No-Fault system can hinder your auto accident claim, as it does not allow compensation for additional damages like "pain and suffering" and other non-economic damages suffered in the accident. To file a civil claim against the at-fault driver or another liable party for "pain and suffering," your injuries must qualify as a "serious injury" according to New York law.
To meet the serious injury threshold in New York, accident victims must experience either bone fracture, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member, a significant limitation of use of a body function or system, or a full disability for 90 days.
If you have suffered injuries that meet these criteria, you are not limited to receiving No-Fault benefits from your own insurance provider. In these instances, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party, and may seek financial compensation for all types of injuries, both economic and non-economic.
Call an automobile accident attorney today to learn about your legal options.
It is impossible to make generalizations about the value of any car accident case without knowing the details of the injuries and the circumstances in which the accident took place. The law allows recovery for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages, many of which may not be readily apparent to the injured party. By contacting a car accident lawyer you may find that you are eligible for multiple forms of compensation, such as:
- pain and suffering from physical injuries
- Emotional damages
- lost past and future wages
- future financial costs and economic losses
- loss of health care benefits
- medical bills, financial losses and future costs
- loss of value of household services
- non-economic damages such as loss of consortium (where your spouse has been negatively impacted by your injury), loss of quality of life, loss of enjoyment of life and other non-economic losses
- punitive damages
- wrongful death (following fatal collisions)
An experienced New York car accident attorney will always consider a range of issues when making determinations about what damages to seek. Insurance adjusters are notorious for drastically underestimating the value of victims' injuries. Only an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer with a duty to fight for your interests can provide a fair assessment of the value of your case and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injury claim.
Insurance companies and insurance adjusters are not your friends. Insurance companies aim to pay as little as possible for every claim, in order to maximize their company's profits. No matter how nice the insurance adjuster seems, the adjuster's only goal is to pay you as little as possible. The adjuster is usually rewarded for resolving your claims quickly and for as little as possible.
For these reasons, an insurance adjuster will often contact you immediately after your car accident and may even offer to visit you soon after an accident. In fact, the adjuster's goal is to convince you to accept a settlement worth far less than you deserve, and is often ready to buy you off with immediate payment. This is an underhanded tactic used to quickly end the claims process when an injured party is at their most vulnerable. It is extremely important not to fall prey to common practices of insurance companies. There is no reason to rush into accepting a settlement without first seeking legal help. You should always think through all decisions before signing away your legal rights without being fully informed of the consequences.
The moments following an accident can be the most terrifying time of one's life. Before anything else, call the police or 911 and make sure that anyone injured in the accident receives the medical attention they require.
After everyone has received the medical treatment that they require, your next step is to obtain information that may be crucial to your potential lawsuit. Unfortunately, the responsible party may not remain at the accident scene until a police officer arrives. If possible, collect insurance information, addresses, witness testimony, video evidence and other relevant information from the other drivers involved in the collision.
Make sure to remain at the scene until a police officer arrives and files an accident report, which will identify the other drivers and vehicles involved in the crash, the relevant insurance companies and may also include witness statements. An accurate police report is important to ensure relevant evidence is recorded.
Although it is important to honestly answer the police officer's questions, be careful to avoid saying anything that could be construed as an admission of fault.
If you require medical treatment of any kind, collect any medical documentation or medical records that may be relevant to your claim for compensation.
Finally, seek legal advice from a legal professional as soon as possible.
You can access our checklist for What To Do After A Car Accident.
It is impossible to make generalizations about the value of any car accident case without knowing the details of the injuries and the manner in which the accident took place. The law allows recovery for a wide range of situations, many of which may not be readily apparent to the injured party. By contacting a car accident lawyer you may find that you are eligible for multiple forms of compensation, such as:
- pain and suffering
- lost past wages
- future income loss
- loss of health care benefits
- medical bills
- loss of value of household services
- loss of consortium (where your spouse has been negatively impacted by your injury)
- wrongful death
An experienced NY car accident lawyer will always consider a range of issues when making determinations about what damages to seek. Be careful not to fall for the trap of believing the worth of your case based on the value that an insurance adjuster has placed on your claim or solely property damage. Always keep in mind the fact that an insurance adjuster is not advocating for your interests and he or she has the incentive to drastically underestimate the value of your losses. Only an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney with a duty to fight for your interests, can provide a fair assessment of the value of your case.
As a general rule, if you were injured as a result of the negligence of someone else, you may have a legal claim against the person who injured you. Because every situation is very fact-specific, you should always consult a personal injury attorney to review the facts and circumstances of your situation. In many cases, there may be negligent parties who are not immediately obvious, such as government agencies responsible for poor road conditions. Call us for a free consultation to learn how the law applies in your case.
According to New York's No-Fault rules, there is a 30-day time frame to file a claim for benefits following a car accident. Therefore, before proceeding on your own, it is crucial to understand the pitfalls of trying to handle your case without legal representation.
Following a car accident in NYC, especially in our fast-moving city, it is understandable for an individual to want to settle the matter quickly and move on as soon as possible without getting help from an experienced lawyer. But trying to handle the matter on your own will place you at a serious disadvantage.
The party responsible for your accident will almost certainly be represented by insurance lawyers whose sole goal is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Insurance companies often calculate the value of a claim based on how aggressively the injured party fights for full compensation for the harm caused. When you retain a lawyer to fight for you, you are ensuring that you are not taken advantage of by the other side.
It is critically important to retain a lawyer with vast experience in handling car accident cases, who can stand up to the insurance company. If the other side is not cooperating and your case requires judicial intervention, the lawyer must be prepared to take the case to court for a jury verdict to ensure full and fair recovery. Knowing that you are willing to take all steps necessary to ensure justice by obtaining experienced legal counsel will often convince the opposing side to make a better offer right from the start.
You need trial lawyers knowledgeable and experienced in New York law to fight for your rights and to show the insurance company that you are serious about your case. Our auto accident attorneys will take your injury case on a contingency fee basis, which means that they are only compensated following a successful recovery on your behalf.
New York's Statute of Limitations allows accident victims to file a negligence lawsuit for up to three years from the time of the automobile accident.
After a fatal car accident, the family or representative of the decedent has only 2 years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in New York.
Government claims, such as when a car accident is caused by the negligence of a government agency employee or government entity, must be filed more quickly than other legal claims.
Given the time limitations, it is important to call or contact our legal team right away to ensure that you can file a personal injury claim and do not waive your rights to financial compensation.
It cannot be reiterated enough that insurance companies are in the business of paying as little as possible for every claim, to help them maximize company profits. No matter how nice the insurance adjuster seems, the adjuster’s only goal is to pay you as little as possible. In fact, the adjuster is usually rewarded for resolving claims for as little as possible and as quickly as possible.
For these reasons, an insurance adjuster will contact you immediately after your car accident and may even offer to visit you soon after an accident. In fact, the adjuster often comes ready to make an immediate payment in order to convince you to accept a settlement worth much less than you actually deserve. This is an underhanded tactic used to end a matter right away when an injured party is at their most vulnerable. It is extremely important not to fall for the shady practices of the insurance company. There is no reason to rush into accepting a settlement or offer from an insurance company without first seeking legal help. You should always think through all legal decisions and not sign away your legal rights without being fully informed of the consequences.
Please remember: The insurance company’s sole interest is in ensuring that you receive as little as possible. Do not deal with the insurance company alone. Retain the services of a car accident attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected. For more information, click here.
What are the Most Common Types of Automobile Accidents?
- Rear-End Accidents - About 29% of all collisions are rear-end crashes, making them the most common type of car accident.
- T Bone Crashes - T Bone accidents, or side-impact crashes, occur when the front of one car strikes the side of another car and often take place at intersections when a driver disregards a red light or stop sign.
- Single Car Crashes - Single car collisions occur when a driver loses control of his vehicle and crashes.
- Rollover Accidents - Rollover crashes occur when a vehicle turns over on its roof or side, and are increasingly common in lightweight truck accidents.
- Head-On Collision - Although only 2% of accidents are head-on collisions, they are responsible for over 10% of fatal crashes.
What are the Common Causes of Car Accidents in New York?
According to accident statistics made available by the New York DMV, there were over 134,000 passenger vehicle and commercial truck accidents in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Brooklyn in 2019. A high percentage of those included personal injuries.
Most of these tragedies are entirely preventable and are due to one of these three causes:
- Defective Auto Parts
- Third-Party liability
Although there are many types of accidents, the most common causes of New York City car accidents are distracted drivers, driver error and careless driving, which are responsible for thousands of accidents and hundreds of fatal crashes every year. Accident statistics from the New York City Police Department for November 2020, categorized by type of crash, are telling:
- Distracted Driving / Negligent Drivers – 2,569 accidents
- Failure to Yield Right of Way – 603 accidents
- Improper Lane Changing & Passing – 584 accidents
- Speeding – 327 accidents
- Ignored Traffic Signs/Lights – 247 accidents
- Drugs & Drunk Driving Accidents - 174 accidents
- Rear-End Collisions - 683
- Drowsy Driving - 44 accidents
- Sideswipe Accidents - 321 accidents
- Improper Turns and Signal Failure - 184 accidents
II. Defective Vehicles:
Although the majority of accidents are caused by negligent driving, many accidents occur due to structural problems with the vehicle itself. Unfortunately, manufacturers of vehicles often cut corners, putting unsafe cars on the road that either increase the likelihood of an accident or fail to protect drivers from accidents due to improper safety standards.
Car accident lawsuits stemming from defective vehicles may involve issues like defective tires and steering columns, high rollover susceptibility, malfunctioning seat belts, defective door latches, dangerous airbags, deficient crashworthiness, and inadequate roof strength.
Until it happens to you, it's easy to think that these problems are fluke events. But many New Yorkers continue to suffer serious injury or even death due to defects causing vehicle failures. According to the New York DMV, there were almost 17,000 crashes in 2019 caused by vehicular failures.
III. Third-Party Liability:
In many cases, automobile accidents are caused by poor road conditions. Road defects like large potholes and road hazards like missing road signs, broken traffic signals, and construction material left at roadside construction sites can easily cause vehicle collisions. In these cases, the government agency responsible for maintaining safe roads may be liable for your injuries.
What Is Comparative Negligence In New York?
Determining who is responsible for a car accident is vital to any personal injury case. However, the answer might not always be straightforward. In some cases, both parties could share in the fault. For example, a collision between a speeding driver and a motorist that failed to yield the right-of-way could result in shared fault between the two parties. Comparative negligence laws are designed to address this issue.
If you are injured in an accident where you were partially to blame, you could still be entitled to damages from the other motorist. Further, any degree of fault can result in a monetary award, whether you were 99 percent to blame or not at fault at all. However, the amount of damages you are entitled to recover is limited by comparative negligence. According to the law, a jury must reduce your total recovery by your degree of fault.
Consider the following example. You are involved in an accident. After hearing your case, the jury determined that you were 60 percent at fault in the crash, but suffered $100,000 in damages. Despite your large share of liability, you could still be entitled to damages equal to 40 percent of your injuries, or $40,000.
The question of comparative negligence can be especially complicated when three or more parties share some of the blame for an accident. For example, it is possible that all three drivers involved in a three-way collision share some of the responsibility for the crash. In these cases, a legal doctrine known as joint and several liability will come into play.
With joint and several liability, each party that was negligent in a car accident will be liable for some of the damages of the other motorists. However, the percentage of liability they face will be capped based on their degree of fault regarding non-economic damages. For economic damages—including lost wages or medical bills—a plaintiff can seek the full value of their injury claim from a single defendant.
What are the Common Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?
In addition to the emotional trauma experienced by motor vehicle crash victims, many victims suffer significant physical pain and a range of injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - A TBI is a catastrophic injury that is often debilitating
- Spinal Cord Damage - A spinal cord injury can cause permanent disability, including changes in strength, sensation, mobility, and can lead to paralysis.
- Back & Neck Injury - Over 800,000 car accidents causing back and neck injuries are reported each year.
- Internal Injuries - Internal bleeding and ruptured internal organs are common but serious injuries caused by auto accidents.
- Broken Bones
- Torn Ligaments & Soft Tissue Injuries
- Loss of Body Function
NYC Auto Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one is involved in a traffic accident in New York, consider contacting the experienced car accident lawyers at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP to discuss a car accident claim. Our attorneys have decades of experience with complex car accidents and have helped thousands of New Yorkers maximize compensation for their injuries. We are available to assist residents throughout the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx and Brooklyn), Nassau County, and Suffolk County in all related legal matters.
Contact our experienced trial lawyers for a confidential consultation and free case evaluation by filling out a contact form online at InjuryLawyer.com or by calling our phone number, 1-800-624-8888.
When we take on a new client, we adopt them as part of our family, and we fight for them in every way possible. That has been our motivating force in capturing hundreds of millions of dollars in jury verdicts for clients we have represented during the past 50-plus years.
Your initial consultation with our attorneys will always be FREE of charge. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we agree to handle your case, there are no legal fees unless we are successful in getting you financial awards.