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NYC Car Accident Lawyer
Few experiences are as painful and traumatic as a car accident. Struggling in the aftermath of an accident? Contact an NYC car accident attorney to fight for the compensation you need.
New York City is a busy place, and that means plenty of vehicles traveling its streets. You’ve likely spent plenty of time waiting in rush-hour traffic or hunting for a parking spot in a crowded area. Sadly, there are plenty of reckless drivers on those streets, and they might cause a serious accident.
In the wake of a car accident, you’re facing an overwhelming situation. You’re hurt, you’re traumatized, and you’re trying to get the settlement you need. It’s complicated. And if you’re not careful with your claim, you could end up without a settlement at all.
That’s why you need an NYC car accident lawyer on your side. You need someone to help you with the obstacles between you and your compensation. A lawyer from Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP can fight for you.
Car Accident Injuries
After your accident, the chances that you’ve suffered an injury are high. That’s especially true if the accident happened at a high speed. It can take time to overcome your injuries, and they might make it harder to fight for your compensation.
For example, a brain injury can affect focus, memory, and sleep, all of which can affect your claim. The mental toll a brain injury takes can be devastating. But since you’re limited to three years to file your claim, you’ll need to act quickly, even while there’s so much more on your mind.
Identifying your injuries early can also help you find what compensation you’re owed. By keeping track of your injuries and the impact they’ve had on your health, your car accident lawyer in NYC can help you calculate your compensation quickly.
Not sure where to start? Below are some injuries frequently seen in serious car accidents:
Dealing with Insurance after a Car Accident in New York
After your accident, you’ll need to first seek a settlement from your insurance company. Many states put the financial responsibility of the crash on the person responsible for causing the accident. However, New York is a no-fault state. This means that your insurance company should cover the expenses of the accident, no matter who caused it.
To get your settlement, you’ll need to contact your insurance company to notify them of the accident. Once your claim has been filed, they’ll investigate your claim and determine how much your damages are worth. Your personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance should cover both your medical expenses and your lost wages, if you’re unable to return to work.
Once they calculate the worth of your settlement, they’ll then make a settlement offer for the costs of your claim. This usually covers the costs of your vehicle repairs, your hospital bills, and any other economic damages from the accident.
But keep in mind that you don’t have to take this offer if it seems low. Instead, speak to a lawyer about the full worth of your claim. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and they want to make a profit. Not sure you’re getting the full worth of your settlement? Your lawyer can help you prepare a demand letter.
The Serious Injury Threshold and NYC Car Accidents
If you’ve suffered serious injuries in an auto or rideshare accident (such as Uber or Lyft), the insurance company might not provide the full compensation you need. Instead, your damages might pass the “serious injury threshold.” If this is the case, your insurance company won’t give you the coverage you need. Instead, you’ll need to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
A serious injury generally covers any injuries that are permanent or especially consequential. A death or the loss of a fetus, for example, would warrant a lawsuit. Something more minor, like a sprain or laceration, might not.
Any injury that would cause significant limitations should also be considered. These damages make it difficult or impossible to recover. You’ll need to fight for this compensation in court. If you’ve suffered an injury that severely limited an important body function, a long-term injury, or dismemberment, you’ll need to file a claim in court.
Other injuries, like disfigurement or a fracture, could also count as a serious injury. If you’re not sure whether what you’ve suffered is considered a serious injury, we’ll also look at the cost of your damages. If you’ve lost more than $50,000, you may be eligible to take your claim to court. When you’re not sure what your claim is worth or where you’ll need to fight for it, you need a car accident lawyer in NYC on your side.
Compensation Offered for Your New York City Car Accident
Whether you’re just getting started with your insurance company or you’re looking to file a claim against the responsible party, you need to know what your claim is worth. If you start your case without knowing exactly what your case is worth, you might end up with less compensation than you deserve and need to recover.
Remember that you’ll need to seek both economic and non-economic damages for serious injuries. Your economic damages will be the simplest to determine. These cover the financial losses you’ve suffered because of the accident. We’ll need to calculate the total that you’ve spent and estimate the future costs you might suffer.
Non-economic damages can be more difficult because they’re not financial. Instead, they’ll cover the emotional and mental toll of the car accident. Fortunately, your NYC lawyer will have the tools to find the monetary worth of these, based on the impact on your life. Pain affects people differently, so your lawyer will need to determine how yours has changed your life.
If you’re not sure what damages you should include in your claim, speak to your lawyer. They can review your claim and determine what losses you’ve suffered because of your accident. Below are a few examples of the damages you might include in your motorcycle or car accident claim:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Speak to an New York City Car Accident Lawyer
No matter how confident you are with your own driving abilities, there’s always a chance that another driver or commercial trucker will be reckless and injure you. It’s unfortunate, and it can be overwhelming when you’re seriously injured. Your insurance company should cover your expenses, but if you believe they’re not offering a reasonable settlement, or if you’ve suffered a serious injury, you’ll need help.
Fortunately, a lawyer from Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP can help. Our lawyers understand how difficult it can be to fight for your full compensation when you’re badly injured. If you need help with your compensation, our attorneys can calculate what your claim is worth and fight for that full amount.
If you’re not certain you have a case, reach out to our lawyers for a free case review. We’ll discuss your claim and what it’s worth so you won’t have any unpleasant surprises later. We want you to be confident that we’re the right firm for you before you sign or pay anything.
When you’re ready to get started on your claim, reach out to your NYC car accident lawyer. Take advantage of our free consults. Just call us at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or complete the online form below.
NYC CAR ACCIDENT FAQ
Car crashes happen every day, but not to you. It’s understandable that you don’t know how to file a personal injury or car accident claim in New York, and that you’re going to have questions. Fortunately, getting your questions answered is as easy as dialing our phone number: 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462). A car accident lawyer with Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP will help you determine what your options are and how much you’re likely to recover in damages for your auto injury claim. Additionally, we won’t let you be taken advantage of by insurance companies looking to minimize the payout they must make to you. Don’t let insurers make you a victim a second time! To discuss your case, reach out to us today. We’ve answered some frequently asked questions of a more general nature below. Hopefully these questions and answers will help you formulate more specific questions to ask regarding your unique case.
What does “negligence” mean in personal injury cases?
Negligence laws are designed to protect individuals who have been harmed because of another person’s carelessness. In general, every person in New York has a duty of care to everyone else. That duty requires you to not cause others harm, whether purposefully or because of a failure to behave in a way that keeps others’ safety in mind. Not every accident can be prevented, but most can. If a person causes you harm, even unintentionally, you may be able to file a claim against that person. Let’s say, for example, that a driver knows it’s unsafe to text and drive but does so anyway. That driver can be held liable if that behavior caused your accident. Just because the driver didn’t intend for someone to get hurt, it doesn’t mean that he or she can’t be held liable. The driver should have reasonably been able to foresee that someone could be hurt and should not have engaged in a dangerous driving behavior. If that behavior is the proven cause of your accident, that driver will owe you damages.
What is no-fault auto insurance in New York?
No-fault insurance is the type of insurance that the state of New York uses for car wrecks. Only a handful of states use this system, with most states using the fault system to govern car insurance claims. “No-fault” basically means that your insurance is designed to cover your damages in the event of a crash, regardless of who is “at fault.” In theory, this is a good thing, because you won’t have to worry about proving that the other party was at-fault in order to get paid for damages. In practice, however, this system can be difficult for those who find themselves injured in car accidents. The first reason no-fault insurance can be difficult to deal with is because even your own insurance company doesn’t want to pay you what you’re rightfully owed for your accident. The second issue with no-fault insurance is that the at-fault party isn’t really held responsible for his or her actions. When you are seriously injured, you’re allowed to take your car crash claim into the tort system to file a claim for greater losses. No-fault insurance typically will not provide enough compensation to cover all the losses of a serious injury accident, and at that time you can pursue the party who was to blame for the wreck.
What are personal injury protection benefits in New York?
Personal injury protection (PIP) benefits are provided by your insurance company to cover your major losses after a car accident, but these benefits do have limits. PIP benefits will cover some of your lost wages while you’re recovering from auto wreck injuries. They will also cover the costs of medical expenses and household services. While personal injury protection can be enough to pay for minor car crashes, they usually won’t provide enough monetary compensation to pay for the more serious losses caused by a major collision. In addition, filing a PIP claim without the assistance of an NYC car accident lawyer may mean a lower payout than you actually deserve.
What is the serious injury threshold in New York?
As mentioned, it is possible to file an injury claim for a serious injury in NYC and the rest of New York, but how do you know if your injury is serious? New York law defines a serious injury as the following:
- A permanent injury
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement
- An injury that significantly alters an organ’s or body part’s functioning
- A non-permanent injury that significantly reduces a person’s abilities to function for at least ninety of the 180 days immediately following the accident
What is comparative negligence?
Comparative negligence (also known as contributory negligence or comparative fault) refers to the idea that all parties’ involvement in an accident shall be compared to determine which parties are financially liable. This can be a complicated process as multiple parties can hold liability in an accident, including the person filing a personal injury claim. In that way, if you file a claim for an NYC auto accident and you are found partially to blame for the collision, your compensatory damages will be reduced by the amount of fault assigned to you. It’s important to note that even if some blame does rest with you, that doesn’t bar you from recovering damages.
What is the time limit for filing an NYC auto accident claim?
As with all personal injury claims in New York, there is a time limit on how long you have to file your claim. This timeframe is called the statute of limitations, and in New York, you have three years to file your case, starting on the date of your injury. This is not a very long period of time, and many people let it slip by before they realize they are running out of time to file. Also, filing a car accident case as soon as possible after a serious wreck is important to a successful outcome. Keep in mind that in order to win your case, you need witness statements, medical documentation, and other evidence that will become more difficult to secure the longer you wait. Get help filing your claim as soon as you’re able by contacting an NYC car accident attorney from our law firm.
How is a car crash investigated?
Your auto wreck claim isn’t likely to be a simple matter of pointing a finger at someone and getting a settlement check. A lot goes into investigating what caused the crash and proving who was responsible. First, the cause must be discovered. For example, was it a faulty car part, or was the other driver texting while driving? The accident scene will need to be analyzed, photo and video evidence gathered, police and crash reports collected, and witnesses will need to be identified. Once the cause is determined, the person who was responsible will become clearer, but evidence must also be gathered indicating which party is to blame. You want as much evidence as possible because proof is what makes your claim stronger. In addition, it will be necessary to gather the medical evidence of your injury. In some cases, this can actually be the most time-consuming aspect of evidence collection. Some injuries are very complicated and will require multiple visits to the doctor’s office, and your injury may take a very long time to heal. You may not want to settle your case until you’re sure that you’re being paid for all your current medical expenses and your future costs as well. Your accident attorney will need to interview your doctor and might even need to hire medical experts to prove your injuries and the damages owed to you. Additionally, identifying all the ways that this accident has affected your overall quality of life will be important in calculating your non-economic losses.
Who could be at-fault for a vehicle crash?
To figure out who is to blame (and must therefore pay your damages), you must determine the cause or your NYC auto wreck. There could be many different causes, or one specific cause, of an accident. For instance, your crash could be a simple matter of distracted driving, or it could be a complicated situation in which a faulty auto part caused a driver to lose control of an automobile that ultimately crashed into you. Also, many different parties could be held liable for a vehicle crash. Let’s say that a commercial truck collided with you; then you may be able to pursue the trucker and the negligent trucking company. Here’s a short list of common parties that could be liable for your auto collision:
- Other drivers, including reckless, distracted, and drunk drivers
- Manufacturing companies
- Mechanics and body shops
- Government agencies responsible for road maintenance
- Truckers and other commercial vehicle drivers and their companies
- Rideshare companies
- Construction companies
Can more than one person be to blame for an auto wreck?
When you imagine the most basic auto accident possible, you will likely conjure images of a two-car collision in your mind in which one party is to blame. This does occur, but most accidents are not so simple. Many different parties could be liable in a car accident, even those involving only two vehicles. For instance, if the driver that crashed into you was driving for work, the company he or she works for may also be liable for your damages. Sometimes you can even pursue multiple parties in a single-car accident. For instance, if you experience a vehicle malfunction that was caused by a mechanic’s poor service work, you may be able to sue the mechanic and the auto shop that he or she works for.
What are economic damages in car crash cases?
Economic damages are essentially the financial losses that your auto accident and subsequent injuries have caused you. Any monetary loss counts, but the most common economic damages are as follows:
- Medical expenses, such as hospital visits, doctor visits, medications, surgeries, mobility aids, physical therapy costs, loss of work wages, cost of mental health services, and the expense of hiring someone to complete household chores while you’re unable to complete them because of your injuries.
What are non-economic damages in car wreck claims?
Non-economic damages are the losses you’ve faced of an intangible nature: effects that can’t really be given a price tag. Depending on your auto collision, you could be dealing with permanent injuries, lifelong mental issues, or the loss of certain abilities that brought you happiness. For instance, when you’ve lost a limb in a car accident, you may be dealing with more than medical bills and lost wages; you will be dealing with physical pain, emotional and psychological issues, the loss of activities you once enjoyed, and much more. There is no limit to the suffering an accident can cause you, and you can be compensated for all the non-monetary consequences of an auto wreck. The most common non-economic losses that are requested in injury claims are pain and suffering, mental trauma, and lost enjoyment of life.
What are punitive damages in New York City vehicle crash claims?
Punitive damages are not as common as economic and non-economic damages, but they can be awarded in certain circumstances. When your car crash case involves egregious negligence or intentional wrongdoing, the court may see fit to punish the party responsible for the accident. That’s what punitive damages are: a punishment for the liable party. The court sees it as a way to, hopefully, prevent the behavior from occurring again—and as a way to show the at-fault party that reckless negligence will not be tolerated. Punitive damages show up often in cases where a manufacturing company, or some other company in the automotive world, is to blame for the crash.
Are there caps on damages if the government is responsible for a vehicle collision?
No, there are no caps, or limits, in the state of New York on the amount of damages you can recover if the government is responsible for your accident. However, there are much stricter rules for filing civil claims against a government agency. For instance, you must file a “Notice of Claim” within ninety days of the claim arising or your claim may be dismissed. There is a specific way of filing suit against the government in New York, but your NYC car accident lawyer will help you follow all the mandatory rules.
Will the type of auto wreck I’m in affect my claim?
Not really. It doesn’t much matter whether you were rear-ended or were in a head-on collision. What matters is whether you were seriously hurt and whether you caused the crash. It’s really the seriousness of your injuries that will determine whether you can file a personal injury claim for an auto wreck. With that said, the type of car crash you’re involved in may make a difference with investigation and proving fault, and all of these details work together to make up your claim. For example, if you were injured in a head-on collision on a motorcycle, this type of crash will be investigated differently than if you were injured in a single-car crash. Each car crash is unique, and proving your claim will require your lawyer to gather evidence, prove your case, and negotiate the compensation you need to pay for your losses.
How long does it take after a settlement is reached for me to receive a check?
After the long and stressful back-and-forth of settlement negotiations, you just want it all to be over. You need your money now so that you can pay all the bills that have been piling up during this process. You likely have medical bills; you may be behind on other bills; plus, you need to set up your financial future. Essentially, you just need to know when you’re getting your check. You can expect a check within a few weeks to two months following a settlement agreement. It really shouldn’t take longer than two months to receive a payout.
Will my car accident case need to go to court?
Most likely your case will not need to go to court to reach a satisfactory conclusion. In most cases, your New York City auto wreck lawyer will be able to gather the necessary evidence to convince the involved insurance companies that you deserve the damages you’re requesting. However, insurance companies aren’t easy to negotiate with, and they will likely fight your claim. That’s why it’s vital to have an experienced attorney on your side battling for you. In the rare event that your car crash claim does need to be taken into the courtroom, your accident lawyer will be ready to present your case and get you the money you need to pay for all your car crash damages.
What is court like for a vehicle wreck case?
The idea of going to court for a personal injury claim is enough to turn people off from filing a personal injury claim at all. No matter how valid a claim is, many people have a fear of being in the courtroom. It’s scary and overwhelming, but you don’t have to be afraid. Your attorney will be there every step of the way. When you go to court for a personal injury claim, the process is very much like any other court proceeding that you could imagine. There are opening arguments, the presentation of evidence, arguments will be made, witnesses will testify, and a jury or judge will decide the outcome of the case and award you damages, if applicable.
Why do insurance companies make claims so difficult?
Insurance companies are often the reason that getting a settlement for your injuries is such a difficult process. This is because the insurers are trying to make a profit and your settlement payout is getting in the way of that goal. The more payouts they have to pay, the less money they make. While that is their job, they don’t like losing money. Yes, the very purpose of paying your insurance premiums each month is so that you will have a lump-sum payment to handle great losses when they arise. Still, your company, and any other insurers involved, will try to get out of making a payout, or at least reduce the amount of what they must pay you. They have a variety of tactics they will use to reduce your claim’s value:
- Place blame on you so that your claim’s value is decreased with the percentage of fault assigned to you.
- Attempt to record your phone conversations so that they can use your statements against you in some way down the road.
- Offer you a low settlement very quickly knowing that many people don’t want to go through an extended and stressful claims process.
- Threaten you with litigation if you don’t agree to the settlement they want to pay you.
Why do I need a lawyer to file a personal injury claim for a car crash in NYC?
Many people injured in a vehicle crash believe that they can file their claims on their own, and while it is possible, it isn’t recommended. Even if you are successful in getting a settlement from an insurance company, you won’t likely get the fair amount you should be getting. Additionally, you may not realize all the parties that may be liable for your injuries, and you will therefore be limiting yourself to receiving damages from only one party’s insurance company. Also, your lawyer will help you in so many ways, leaving you to focus on recovering from your injuries. Your lawyer will investigate your crash, help you file claim paperwork, gather evidence, document your injuries, put together a case, negotiate with insurance companies, and take your claim to court if that becomes necessary.