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New York Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are a leading cause of serious injuries and death each year. Because of the speed at which cars travel and because of their size and weight, even when drivers and passengers wear seatbelts, serious injuries such has head injuries, broken bones, and back injuries as a result of a car accident are not unusual. The primary reason that drivers get into car accidents is negligence. Such negligence usually takes the form of a driver breaking a traffic law by speeding, failing to stop at a red light, driving while drunk, or texting while driving. In other words, most accidents would have never happened but for someone’s negligence. If you were injured in a car accident and you believe it was caused by another person’s negligence, contact an experienced New York car accident lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Under New York law you have the right to file a personal injury claim and demand compensation from the person whose negligence resulted in your injuries and losses.

Causes of Auto Accidents

There are many causes for car accidents. While the causes may vary, the vast majority of accidents are preventable because they are caused by negligence.

  • Distracted driver: Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. It usually refers to texting while driving or using some sort of electronic device while driving. This problem has historically been a problem with young drivers, but is fast becoming a problem with drivers across age groups. n New York, it is illegal to use a mobile phone while operating a vehicle unless using hands-free mode. This includes texting, emailing, playing games, and browsing the internet. Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1225-d
  • Road hazards: In New York, road hazards can cause accidents if drivers are not aware of them or unable to avoid them. Some common road hazards include:
    • Potholes
    • Debris or fallen objects
    • Poor road conditions (e.g. ice, snow, or rain)
    • Construction zones
    • Wildlife
    • Stopped vehicles or other obstructions
    • Sudden changes in road conditions (e.g. lane closures)
    If an accident occurs due to a road hazard, the driver may be able to seek compensation from the responsible party which might be the government entity in charge of maintaining the road, construction company, or property owner.
  • Drowsy driving. Driving while sleepy accounts for a significant number of accidents in New York. While it may be obvious how someone who falls asleep at the wheel may cause an accident, it may be surprising to some that merely being sleepy or drowsy while driving is extremely dangerous. In fact, some experts have compared drowsy driving to being drunk while driving. Those who drive while drowsy have slower reaction times to changes in road conditions or to other drivers. Drivers most likely to drive while drowsy include drivers under the age of 30, those who work overnight shifts, commercial truck drivers, and jet-lagged travelers. In addition, drinking, drug use (prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal), and driving long distances can contribute to drowsy driving.
  • Driving under the influence: Driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs is a contributing factor for a considerable number of accidents each year, including about 33% of fatal car accidents.
  • Other types of reckless driving: Reckless driving is the top cause of car accidents. In addition to distracting driving, drowsy driving, and driving under the influence, reckless driving can also mean any of a number of other poor driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, stopping short making an illegal lane change, or failing to yield.

Whether the reason is driving under the influence, speeding, texting while driving, or a road hazard, if you were injured in a car accident caused because of the negligence of another person, contact an experienced New York car accident lawyer

Notable Cases About Car Accidents
  1. Turley v. City of New York, 45 A.D.3d 547 (2nd Dept. 2007). Plaintiff Turley claimed that the defendant, the City of New York, was liable for a car accident that was caused by a police officer who was distracted while operating a patrol vehicle. The plaintiff argued that the defendant was responsible for the actions of its employee and was therefore liable for the damages caused by the accident. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and found the defendant liable for the damages caused by the accident.
  2. Turley v. City of New York, 45 A.D.3d 547 (2nd Dept. 2007). This case involved a plaintiff who was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver and claimed that the defendant, the City of New York, was liable for the damages caused by the accident. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and found the defendant liable for the damages caused by the accident.
  3. Parker v. 33 Bar and Grill Corp., 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 30279(U) (2011). This case involved a plaintiff who was injured in a car accident caused by a pothole in a parking lot. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant, 33 Bar and Grill Corp., was liable for the damages caused by the accident. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and found the defendant liable for the damages caused by the accident.
Damages for Car Accident Injuries

If you are in a car accident, it is critical to determine the cause of the accident. It might be because another driver was driving recklessly. It might be that there was a hazard in the road. A pedestrian may have caused the accident, or the accident may have been caused because the vehicle was somehow defective such that the auto parts manufacturer or vehicle designer being at fault for the fatal accident. Under New York law if you are seriously injured in a car accident that was caused because another person was negligent, contact an experienced New York car accident lawyer. You have the legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit to demand compensation from the negligent person.

In the case of a serious injury such as broken bones, brain injuries, or spinal injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering.

  • Medical expenses: All past and future expenses related to treating the injuries that you suffered in the car accident such as the emergency room, hospital, CT scan, MRIs, surgery, prescription medication, medical equipment and physical therapy. When you file your claim, it is of the utmost importance that you demand compensation not only for past medical bills, but also for future medical bills. Particularly with serious injuries where the damage is permanent, medical bills are expected to continue for months, and even years after the initial treatment. Testimony from an expert will provide details as to the estimate cost of future medical treatment.
  • Lost wages. With a serious injury, you probably will not be able to return to work right away. As a result you will lose pay. Lost wages and compensation include lost weekly, biweekly, or monthly paychecks. It also includes vacation or sick days that you had to use while recovering, as well as bonuses or promotions that you were on track to receive but did not due to the accident, and other benefits and compensation you lost. If you are self-employed, you can still demand compensation for lost wages based on the income you lost as a result of not being able to see clients, create products, or ship orders. If your injury is long-term or permanent, you may be entitled to compensation for lost of future income, or loss of future earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering. This includes compensation for a recurring or degenerative injury, chronic pain, lack of mobility, disfigurement, scarring, as well as psychological suffering such as depression, sleeplessness mood swings, fear, and hopelessness.
  • Punitive damages. In New York, punitive damages are permitted under certain, limited circumstances. Generally, damage awards in personal injury cases are not designed to punish the negligent party, but to make the victim whole for losses he (or she suffered). Punitive damages are different. They are designed to punish the negligent party in cases in which his or her actions were particularly egregious or malicious. They are often awarded to victims in drunk driving accident cases because in such cases the defendant by his or her actions showed a blatant disregard for the safety of others.

Keep in mind that the insurance companies involved in the case may quickly offer you a monetary settlement. Before accepting what an insurance company offers and before signing any documents, it is a good idea to first discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney in New York as insurance companies often offer victims low-ball settlements that are not in the best interest of the victim.

If a family member died in a car accident because of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the decedent’s personal representative or heirs may file a lawsuit against the negligent party demanding compensation for the funeral expenses, loss of support, and conscious pain and suffering of the victim, and other losses.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Proving negligence in a car, SUV, minivan or truck accident case can present a number of complicated legal challenges. Even if you are unsure as to who was at fault in your car accident, it is important to not delay in taking steps to ensure your legal rights are protected. The car accident attorneys serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates are experienced in handling personal injury cases stemming from auto, truck, motorcycle, boat, and construction accidents and have won multi-million dollar settlements and jury verdicts for our clients. We handle all types of car accident cases including accidents involving drunk drivers, distracted drivers, uninsured motorists, drowsy drivers, texting while driving, rear-end collisions, as well as other types of car accidents. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Nassau County, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
When my mom, who is suffering from dementia, faced a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit, I contacted Stephen Bilkis of the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Not only did he provide a strategy for defending the claim, he also advised me on steps to take to avoid future personal liability. Whether you are the defendant or plaintiff in an injury case, I highly recommend Mr. Bilkis. S.M.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
I had my first encounter with Mr. Stephen Bilkis three years ago over the phone. He and his staff have been nothing but courtesy and professional. Their hard work ended with a large six-figure settlement for my case. I would highly recommend you contact his office. I want to give a special THANK YOU to Ms. Tricia Krapf. She always made me feel like a priority and was always kind and professional over the phone and email. I highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal representation. Celesta