CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN NEW YORK
A car accident can be traumatic, especially when it leads to severe injuries. The compassionate New York Car Accident Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP understand how dramatically a vehicle collision can change your life, and we want to help you overcome some of the difficulties that have been placed upon you and your family.
Causes of New York Auto Accidents
According to the New York State Department of Health, vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in New York. Thousands of New Yorkers are injured in vehicle collisions every year in the state. In our practice litigating New York driving accident cases, we have found that a majority of these collisions are avoidable.
Many crashes are caused by people exercising poor decision making while they are driving. They place themselves and others at risk to try to arrive somewhere a little faster or try to answer a few more messages on the road. Parker LLP has seen numerous accidents caused by these common factors:
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Text messaging, making phone calls, checking emails, or browsing the internet while driving
- Eating, reading, changing the radio, or other distracted driving
- Fatigued driving or driving while overly tired
- Malfunctions in a driver’s car, such as the brakes giving out
- Failure to observe traffic signs, traffic laws, and stoplights.
The Types of Car Accidents in New York
In our fast-paced world, we are constantly trying to do too many things at once. When one of the things we are trying to multitask is driving, we are likely to be involved in an accident. The crashes can occur in numerous ways, but we see the following types of accidents most often:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- T-Bone crashes
- Side-swipe crashes
- Run-off-the-road crashes
- Left-turn collisions
- Multi-car pileups
Unfortunately, many accidents lead to severe injuries. Depending on the force of impact and the resulting destruction, collision injuries can result in loss of life.
Auto Accident Injuries
All accidents are frightening, but the most traumatic we see are those with associated serious injuries. According to recent studies, more than 1,000 New Yorkers die every year in automobile accidents, and more than 12,000 people are hospitalized in the state every year because of automobile accident injuries. Some people will see physical recovery from their injuries, but many will not.
Car accident injuries frequently include:
- Fractures and broken bones – Fractures and breaks in the bones are some of the most common injuries related to vehicle accidents. Sometimes these do not require major medical treatment — such as broken digits — but often, broken bones can present a more serious danger. Broken ribs, for instance, can lead to internal bleeding if they puncture organs.
- Joint dislocation – Joint dislocation is another common injury caused by vehicle collisions. People generally recover from these injuries within a few weeks, but their medical bills can be expensive. In addition, people report being prone to repeat dislocations after the first occurrence.
- Head and/or neck injuries – During a car crash, a person’s head and neck are especially vulnerable to trauma. The force of impact can send a person’s body jolting around, creating risk of hitting the head against objects within the car or wrenching the neck because of the crash’s collision force. Any blunt trauma to the head or serious twist of the neck can become serious, and both will need the attention of a medical professional to be sure the injured person is not in more danger.
- Whiplash – Whiplash refers to an intense backward-then-forward lunging of the neck. Auto accidents are the most common cause of whiplash, and whiplash occurs most often in rear-end type collisions. The immediate effect of whiplash is usually severe neck pain, but lingering symptoms can include:
1. Loss in neck range of motion
3. Numbness and tingling in the arms, shoulders, or back
6. Ringing in the ears
7. Blurred vision
- Internal bleeding or organ damage – Vehicle collisions can cause internal bleeding and organ injuries because of force of impact, colliding with objects in the car, and glass breaking during the crash. These injuries are often difficult to detect, which is why they can quickly become more serious. If someone suspects internal bleeding, he will need to seek emergency medical care.
- Brain injuries – Car crashes can result in traumatic brain injuries, particularly when someone is ejected from the vehicle. These are among the most serious cases we see at Parker Waichman LLP because the effects of the injuries are incredibly pervasive and frequently permanent. Some of our clients with brain injuries can no longer lead normal lives.
- Burns – When a crash results in a vehicle fire, drivers and passengers are at risk of severe burn injuries. People who suffer burn injuries often have lasting disfigurement on top of excruciating and costly medical treatments.
- Spinal cord injuries – Depending on the speed and collision type in a car crash, drivers and occupants can suffer devastating spinal injuries. The severity of these injuries will usually depend on where and how forcefully a person’s spinal cord has been damaged. The most severe of these injuries results in permanent paralysis, particularly to the lower limbs.
- Death – The most serious car accident cases result in loss of life, either at the scene of the crash or shortly after.
At Parker Waichman LLP, we understand the turmoil presented by collision injuries, as well as the legal complexities of these cases. One aspect of car accident law that tends to complicate legal proceedings and financial recovery is the fact that New York is a No-Fault state.
New York’s No-Fault Law
New York is one of about 12 states in the country that has No-Fault laws for collision cases. When you are injured in a car accident in New York, in order to seek reimbursement for economic losses, like medical bills and lost wages, you must turn to your own vehicle insurance carrier. This is true regardless of who was at fault in the accident and applies to both drivers and passengers in the crash.
New York enacted the No-Fault Law in an effort to expedite car accident claims. Rather than argue about who was to blame in the accident, economic losses can be paid through a streamlined insurance system. It is important to stress that this process only provides reimbursement for economic losses in the event of an injury-causing auto accident. It does not apply to noneconomic losses, like pain and suffering.
New York’s “Serious Injury Threshold” Law
In order to recover for physical and mental pain and suffering related to automobile injuries, you must meet the “serious injury threshold” established by New York law. A serious injury is one of the following:
- Bone fracture
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or body system
- Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or body part
- Full or substantial disability for at least 90 days following the accident
If you have suffered one of these serious injuries, then you could be eligible to file a lawsuit outside of the No-Fault Law against the driver who injured you and his or her insurance company. As you can see, this system can be confusing and difficult to navigate. It is not always easy to determine what injuries are “serious” under the law. This is just one reason why it is so important to make sure you have adequate legal representation if you have been injured in a car accident in New York. The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP can help you decipher what claims you might have and to whom you should turn for recovery.
Statutes of Limitations on NYC Vehicle Accident Cases
To file any case in New York, you have to make sure you are within the time window mandated by the state’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitations acts as a time restriction on filing all claims in the state, and it can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. If you fail to file your case within the correct period of time, you will be forever barred from filing it.
Generally, New York has a three-year statute of limitations on car accident claims. This means you have three years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit related to your accident injuries. Every state in the United States has a set of statutes of limitations because setting time limits on filing encourages people to not waste time. When people file suit sooner, they tend to have stronger, more reliable evidence to present at trial. States also do not want potential defendants to have to worry indefinitely that they will be taken to court.
Again, the three-year time limit on your New York claim can change depending on the facts of your individual case. In order to determine the correct statute of limitations, you need to hire an experienced lawyer to investigate your claim. The attorneys at Parker LLP are diligent at calculating statutes of limitations when cases come into our office. When you hire us, you can be sure we are protecting your rights to seek compensation for your injuries.
How Can a Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A skilled attorney specializing in car accidents can help you recover for all the ways your life has been affected by your auto accident injuries. At Parker LLP, our legal professionals understand the turmoil you and your family have been living with since the accident, and we want to make sure you are adequately compensated.
When you work with one of our dedicated accident lawyers, you will be able to seek damages for all of the following:
- Lost wages, if you had to take time off work or cannot currently work because of your vehicle accident injuries;
- Lost future wages, if you are not able to return to work in the near future;
- Past medical bills related to any treatment to have received for your injuries to date;
- Future medical bills, should you need further treatment for your injuries;
- Compensation for the physical and mental pain and suffering you have experienced because of your injuries;
- Loss of consortium damages if any of your injuries has affected your relationship with your spouse.
Our car accident law firm in New York will make sure to capture the full extent of your injuries to achieve the highest level of compensation possible. We want to help you move forward, and we will do everything we can to make that happen. Though we recognize a monetary award will never completely restore everything you have lost, we will aggressively seek damages for your economic and noneconomic losses. We want to help ease the burden that has been placed on you and your family.
Car Accident Claims Process in New York
We know the legal process can seem intimidating, so we want to always be sure to thoroughly explain the steps we’re taking on our clients’ cases. It is very important to us to keep our clients updated and comfortable about the direction their cases are going, and we want to answer all their questions along the way.
Throughout the course of investigating and reviewing your car accident case, your Parker Waichman attorney will ensure your case is prepared properly which may include all of the following:
- Obtain a detailed report of the accident from you and any passengers;
- Request any police or accident reports;
- Order medical records for any treatment you received following the accident;
- Collect photographs from the scene, including any damage to vehicles or property;
- Collect photographs of any injuries;
- Interview witnesses to the accident;
- Contact insurance providers;
- Consult with medical experts or car accident specialists;
- Identify the statute of limitations for your claim;
- Make a determination about the proper venue for filing your case;
- Draft a Petition for Damages and file it on your behalf.
Our New York lawyers are experience auto accident litigators. We know how to navigate the laws in these cases and how to build a case that has the absolute best chance of resolving in favor of our client. Contact our New York office today to find out more information about how we can help you and your family.
Standard of Liability in Auto Accident Cases
In a car accident case, we will usually file a claim for damages against the driver who caused the accident under a theory of negligence. State negligence laws generally require us to prove four things in court:
- A duty existed by the wrongdoer;
- The wrongdoer breached that duty;
- Our client suffered harm; and
- The harm was caused by the wrongdoer’s negligence.
When we set out to prove a duty existed, we use what is called a “reasonable care” standard. The court will examine what a reasonable person would do in the same or similar circumstances. For instance, in car accident cases, all drivers have a general duty to drive safely enough so as not to cause harm to other motorists.
A duty is breached when someone fails to use the degree of reasonable care required under the same or circumstances. The court will analyze what the defendant did and compare that to what a reasonable person would have done. If the driver who injured you did not look before he changed lanes, the court will probably find that a reasonable person would have in that situation and will conclude that the defendant driver breached his duty to use reasonable care.
Next, we have to prove that you suffered some kind of injury. Proving an injury might seem really straightforward, but sometimes, auto accident injuries can be latent. Especially where someone has suffered head trauma, we will need medical examinations and an expert to establish the full extent of a potential brain injury. Injuries also include economic damages, like medical bills and lost wages. We will need to do a full workup to make sure we have captured the total picture of your losses.
Lastly, we have to prove that your injuries were, indeed, caused by the defendant. If we are unable to tie everything back to the car accident and back to the negligent conduct of the defendant driver, we will not be able to succeed on your claims. These cases take time and hard work to prepare, and you need the best legal counsel on your side. Parker Waichman can build a solid case for you to make sure you receive the compensation you and your family need.
At Parker Waichman, we are extremely proud of the level of compensation we have secured for our clients — we are one of only a few law firms to achieve more than $2 billion in settlement awards and court verdicts — and we are equally proud of the reputation we have earned inside and outside the New York legal community. Throughout our extensive law practice, the name Parker Waichman has become associated with integrity, professionalism, and a passion for client advocacy. When you hire our lawyers, you are working with people you can trust, who care about you and understand the importance of your case.
Why Retain Our Personal Injury Accident Attorneys For Your Claim?
Parker Waichman LLP has significant experience litigating car accident claims and obtaining tremendous results for our clients throughout the state of New York and Nationwide. We believe in the power of the civil justice system for injured people, and we work day and night to make sure our clients achieve the compensation they deserve.
Our dedication shows in the response we have received from the legal community, as well as current and former clients.
We are proud to have received honors and accolades including:
- 8 (out of a perfect 10) Rating by AVVO (a service that rates every attorney in the United States)
- “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell® – a company that, for more than 100 years, has rated attorneys across the United States and the world based on feedback from judges and their peers)
- Highest Ranking of “5 Dragons,” based on peer review by Lawdragon
- Listing in Best Lawyers Publication, determined by Extensive Peer Review
When you hire a Parker Waichman attorney for your automobile accident claim, you can feel confident that only competent accident attorneys will be managing your case.
Our Offer to You
During your first call with Parker Waichman LLP, you will be able to speak with one of our skilled New York auto accident attorneys, who will listen to your story and help you understand all your options for potential compensation.
We understand that because of this crash, you are dealing with damage to your car, medical bills, time off work, and most importantly, physical injury that limits your life. When you are already struggling to make ends meet, we know you can’t worry about how you will afford to litigate your automobile accident case. That’s why we take on the work ourselves, allowing you to worry less and focus on your health and your loved ones.
No Risk, Contingency-fee Representation
You need to put your energy into other aspects of your life, so allow us to fight this battle for you. We offer confidential consultations at absolutely no cost, and we contract our New York car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis. That means we will absorb all the financial risk ourselves, and you do not need to worry about up-front expenses. We will advance the costs of litigating your claim, and if you don’t get paid, neither do we. We believe in creating an environment where justice is accessible to everyone, and we are committed to standing up for victims’ rights. Contact our law firm today to find out how we can help you and your family during this trying time.
Call Parker Waichman LLP Today For Your Free Case Review
The attorneys at Parker Waichman, LLP are ready to help you recover for your car accident injuries. If you were involved in a car accident in New York and have related injuries, contact our firm today for a free consultation by filling out our online form or by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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