New York Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are a leading cause of serious injuries and death each year. According to the New York City Police Department's (NYPD) annual traffic collision data reports, in 2019 there were a total of 158,341 motor vehicle collisions in New York City. 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. Car accidents can have devastating consequences, including serious injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional distress. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in New York, it's important to seek legal representation from an experienced New York car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the complex legal system and protect your rights. Stephen Bilkis & Associates has the experience and resources to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, as well as represent you in court if necessary.What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in New York?
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. In 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:
- Debris or fallen objects
- Poor road conditions (e.g. ice, snow, or rain)
- Construction zones
- 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 auto accident attorneyWhat Are the Most Dangerous Intersections in New York?
New York City is known for its bustling streets and busy intersections, and there are several locations that have been identified as some of the most dangerous intersections in the city. Here are a few examples:
- Times Square: Located in the heart of Manhattan, Times Square is one of the busiest and most congested intersections in the city. With thousands of pedestrians and vehicles passing through every hour, accidents can easily occur.
- Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue: This intersection in Queens has been identified as one of the most dangerous in the city due to the high number of pedestrian accidents that occur here.
- Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues: This intersection in Brooklyn is located near the Barclays Center and has been identified as one of the most dangerous in the city due to the high volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
- Third Avenue and 57th Street: This intersection in Manhattan has been identified as one of the most dangerous due to the high number of pedestrian accidents that occur here.
- Broadway and West 96th Street: This intersection on the Upper West Side has been identified as one of the most dangerous due to the high number of pedestrian accidents that occur here, particularly during rush hour.
It's important to note that any intersection in New York City can be dangerous, and drivers and pedestrians alike should exercise caution and follow traffic laws to help prevent accidents.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 City 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.How Much of a Car Accident Settlement Amount Can I Expect?
The amount of a car accident settlement in New York will vary depending on a variety of factors, which may include:
- Severity of injuries: The severity of the injuries suffered in the accident will be a significant factor in determining the settlement amount. More serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, may result in higher settlements.
- Cost of medical treatment: The cost of medical treatment for the injuries suffered will also be a factor in determining the settlement amount. This may include hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and ongoing care.
- Extent of property damage: The amount of property damage resulting from the accident will also be considered in determining the settlement amount.
- Lost wages and earning capacity: If the accident resulted in the victim missing work or losing the ability to work, this may impact the settlement amount.
- Pain and suffering: The physical and emotional pain and suffering resulting from the accident may also be factored into the settlement amount.
- Liability: If the other driver is clearly at fault for the accident, this may impact the settlement amount.
- Insurance coverage: The amount of insurance coverage available, both for the victim and the other driver, will also be considered in determining the settlement amount.
- Legal representation: Having skilled legal representation can impact the settlement amount by helping the victim negotiate a fair settlement and ensuring that their rights are protected.
It's important to note that each case is unique, and the settlement amount will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. A skilled New York car accident lawyer can help evaluate the strength of your case and work to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.What Happens if the At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Sufficient Insurance Coverage to Compensate the Victim?
If the at-fault driver in a New York car accident does not have sufficient insurance coverage to compensate the victim, there are several options available to the victim to seek compensation for their damages and losses. These options include:
- Filing a claim with their own insurance company: If the victim has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of their own insurance policy, they may be able to file a claim with their own insurance company to seek compensation for their damages and losses.
- Suing the at-fault driver: If the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage, the victim may be able to sue the driver directly to recover compensation for their damages and losses.
- Pursuing other sources of compensation: The victim may also be able to pursue compensation from other sources, such as the manufacturer of a defective vehicle or the entity responsible for maintaining the road where the accident occurred, if those factors contributed to the accident.
It's important to note that New York is a "no-fault" insurance state, which means that in some cases, regardless of fault, victims may be able to seek compensation for certain expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, from their own insurance company through their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. However, it's always recommended to consult with a knowledgeable car accident attorney in New York who can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.What Is the Statute of Limitations in New York to file a Car Accident Lawsuit?
In New York, the statute of limitations to file a car accident lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident. This means that the victim of a car accident has three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or other parties responsible for the accident.
It's important to note that the statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and if a lawsuit is not filed within the three-year time frame, the victim may lose their right to seek compensation for their damages and losses. There are some exceptions to the three-year statute of limitations in certain circumstances, such as if the victim was a minor at the time of the accident, or if the victim was not immediately aware of their injuries.Notable Cases About Car Accidents
1. Pommells v. Perez, 4 N.Y.3d 566 (2005). The plaintiff was injured in a car accident and sued the defendant for damages. The court found the defendant negligent for failing to yield the right of way and causing the accident, and awarded the plaintiff over $1 million in damages.
2. Landon v. Kroll, 22 N.Y.3d 1 (2013). The plaintiff was injured in a car accident and sued the defendant for damages. The defendant argued that the plaintiff's injuries were not caused by the accident, but rather by a pre-existing condition. However, the court found that the accident was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff's injuries and awarded the plaintiff over $1 million in damages.
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.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.