If you have been injured in a car accident in New York, one thing that can help ease your stress is gaining an understanding of New York’s car accident laws. When you know what you need to do and what to expect, you can worry less. Below, the New York car accident attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP explain some of New York’s car accident laws and how they might apply to your own case.
Should you have questions about car accident laws in New York or want to speak to a lawyer about your potential claims, you can reach our office by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER or by filling out the contact form on our website. Our skilled attorneys offer same-day case consultations, and we are always available to provide you with the answers you need.
New York’s No-Fault Law
One of the first laws you need to understand in the event of a car accident is the state’s No-Fault Law. The law is housed in Article 51 of New York Insurance Law.
Under the No-Fault Law, car accident victims are entitled to “first party benefits” from their own vehicle insurance carriers. Regardless of who was at fault in causing the car accident, injured persons must submit claims to their own insurance companies in order to collect benefits related to their accidents. According to Section 5102(b) of the Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations Act, “first party benefits” means “payments to reimburse a person for basic economic loss on account of personal injury arising out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle.”
NY Statute of Limitations
In New York the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for personal injuries resulting from someone’s negligence is three years generally. The exceptions come about if the defendant is a municipality and generally speaking the most prevalent statute against municipalities is a year and 90 days.
In addition to the statute of limitations though there’s something else that traps a lot of people because they hear they have a year or two years and they think they can take their time but they shouldn’t. The trap I’m referring to is called a notice of claim. This notice of claim or notice of intention to file claim means you need to give the municipality a notice that you are going to sue them and that notice has to be served on them in a very certain way.
This information is located in the statute and will state a very particular person or location where it needs to be served. It’s also in the statute that if don’t serve it within a specific time frame and if you don’t serve it pursuant to all the technical details in the law you can actually have a judge throw out your claim. This is why it is important to understand and abide by the notice of claim.
If you’re involved in an accident that’s why you need to hire a lawyer immediately the first thing you do is get on your cell phone and call a lawyer. Specifically I’d say call the best, Parker Waichman and we’ll meet you wherever you are on the spot. We’ll come to the hospital, we’ll come to your house and we’ll come to your office. We know how important it is to investigate accidents within 12 hours of when they happen. This is so critical because insurance companies that represent the other person or company involved in the accident will have their investigators out to the scene within hours of the accident too.
We want to be there first. We want to talk to the witnesses first and we want to talk to the police officers first. There is a world of difference in the outcome of the case if we’re there first that I guarantee you.
What is Basic Economic Loss?
“Basic economic loss,” under Section 5102(a) of the Act includes a combination of the following:
- Necessary expenses incurred for medical, hospital, surgical, nursing, dental, ambulance, x-ray, prescription drug and prosthetic services;
- Necessary expenses incurred for psychiatric services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation;
- Necessary expenses incurred for any non-medical remedial care and treatment rendered in accordance with a religious method of healing recognized by the laws of New York;
- Loss of earnings from work which the person would have performed had he/she not been injured and reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by such person in obtaining services in lieu of those that he/she would have performed for income; and
- All other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred.
In other words, anyone injured in a car accident in New York (no matter who caused the accident) will submit a claim through his or her own insurance carrier for reimbursement of medical expenses and lost wages associated with the accident. The No-Fault Law requires people to use this insurance procedure for reimbursement, and the law caps possible recovery at $50,000. You can recover only up to $50,000 and can recover only economic losses, like those listed above. You cannot recover for pain and suffering under the law, as these are considered “non-economic losses.”
How Do You Recover for Pain and Suffering?
In order to recover for your pain and suffering and any other non-monetary damages, you have to meet the “serious injury” threshold in the No-Fault Law. Section 5102(d) defines “serious injury” as a personal injury which results in:
- Significant disfigurement;
- Loss of a fetus;
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system;
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system; OR
- A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
If you or a loved one sustained one of these types of injuries, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit in court against the driver who injured you and against his or her insurance company. By filing such a lawsuit, you can seek damages beyond those in the No-Fault Law, including compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering.
More on New York Accidents
- Personal Injury Lawyer in NYC
- New York Accident Personal Injury Lawyers
- Car Accident Lawyers in NYC
- New York City Pedestrian Accident Attorney
- New York Truck Accident Injury Lawyers
- Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in New York
New York’s Laws on Shared Fault in Car Accidents
New York follows a system of “pure comparative negligence” (also known as “pure comparative fault”) in personal injury cases. Under New York personal injury law (NY CPLR §1411), a person’s potential recovery can be reduced if he or she is at all to blame for his or her own injuries. The law states:
In any action to recover damages for personal injury … the culpable conduct attributable to the claimant or to the decedent, including contributory negligence or assumption of the risk, shall not bar recovery, but the amount of damages otherwise recoverable shall be diminished in the proportion which the culpable conduct attributable to the claimant or decedent bears to the culpable conduct which caused the damages.
This law means that, when you share some of the fault for the car accident that caused your injuries, your potential award will be reduced by your share of the fault. For example, if a driver ran a stop sign and hit you, but you were reading a text message at the time of the accident, you could be held partially at fault for your own injuries. While the other driver is primarily to blame because he violated a clear traffic law, a jury (or judge) might nevertheless find that if you had been paying full attention to the road, you might have been able to avoid the accident or avoid being injured as seriously. If the jury decides the other driver was 75 percent to blame for the accident (and thereby your injuries), and you were 25 percent to blame, your award could be reduced by 25 percent to account for your own fault.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP for Your Free Case Review
New York’s laws pertaining to car accident cases can be complicated, but an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options and your potential recovery. If you suffered injuries in a car accident in New York, contact Parker Waichman LLP for a free case consultation by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or by filling out the online form on our website.
How Do I Get My Police Report in Manhattan?
In the hours following an accident or arrest, a police report is generated by the investigating Manhattan police officer. Once the report has been generated a "public portion" of the report is available immediately. The public portion of the police report withholds information until the case is completely closed. Once the case has wrapped up, you or your attorney can talk to your local Manhattan police precinct to obtain a copy of the full police report. How you are able to get your report varies depending on the preference of the precinct. Some prefer to do it electronically, others via mail, and others in person. Regardless, there may be a waiting period and your precinct may charge a fee to request a copy of the police report. When it comes to help in getting a police report under New York personal injury law, Manhattan, NY, residents should know that Parker Waichman is here to help you make the most of your case. Our law firm is recognized nationally for our care of clients and skill in gathering evidence to get you the compensation you deserve.
Uptown Neighborhoods Astor Row Carnegie Hill Central Harlem East Harlem Fort George Hamilton Heights Harlem Hudson Heights Inwood Le Petit Senegal Lenox Hill Lincoln Square Manhattan Valley Manhattanville Marble Hill Marcus Garvey Park Morningside Heights St. Nicholas Historic District Sugar Hill Upper East Side Upper Manhattan Upper West Side Washington Heights West Harlem Yorkville Midtown Neighborhoods Columbus Circle Diamond District Garment District Hell’s Kitchen Herald Square Hudson Yards Korea Town Little Brazil Madison Square Midtown Midtown East Midtown West Murray Hill Rockefeller Center Sutton Place Tenderloin Theater District Times Square Tudor City Turtle Bay Neighborhoods Between Midtown and Downtown Brookdale Chelsea Flatiron District Flower District Gramercy Park Hudson Yards Kips Bay NoMad Peter Cooper Village Rose Hill Stuyvesant Square Stuyvesant Town Union Square Waterside Plaza Downtown Neighborhoods Alphabet City Battery Park City Bowery Chinatown Civic Center Cooperative Village Downtown Manhattan East Village Financial District Five Points Greenwich Village Little Australia Little Germany Little Italy Little Syria Lower East Side NoHo NoLIta Radio Row SoHo South Street Seaport TriBeCa Two Bridges West Village Islands Near Manhattan Ellis Island Governors Island Liberty Island Randalls and Wards Islands Roosevelt Island
New York City Police Department (646) 610-5000
1 Police Plaza Path, New York, NY 10038 New York City Police Department - 1st Precinct (212) 334-0611
16 Ericsson Pl, New York, NY 10013 New York City Police Department - 5th Precinct (212) 334-0711
19 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013 New York City Police Department - 6th Precinct (212) 741-4811
233 West 10 St, New York, NY 10014 New York City Police Department - 7th Precinct (212) 477-7311
12 1/3 Pitt St, New York, NY 10002 New York City Police Department - 9th Precinct (212) 477-7811
321 East 5 St, New York, NY 10003 New York City Police Department - 10th Precinct (212) 741-8211
230 West 20th St, New York, NY 10011 New York City Police Department - 13th Precinct (212) 477-7411
230 East 21st St, New York, NY 10010 New York City Police Department - 17th Precinct (212) 826-3211
167 East 21st St, New York, NY 10022 New York City Police Department - 19th Precinct (212) 452-0600
153 East 67th St, New York, NY 10065 New York City Police Department - 20th Precinct (212) 580-6411
120 West 82nd St, New York, NY 10024 New York City Police Department - 23rd Precinct (212) 860-6411
164 East 102nd St, New York, NY 10029 New York City Police Department - 24th Precinct (212) 678-1811
151 West 100th St, New York, NY 10025 New York City Police Department - 25th Precinct (212) 860-6511
120 East 119th St, New York, NY 10035 New York City Police Department - 26th Precinct (212) 678-1311
520 West 126th St, New York, NY 10027 New York City Police Department - 28th Precinct (212) 678-1611
2271-89 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027 New York City Police Department - 30th Precinct (212) 690-8811
451 West 151st St, New York, NY 10031 New York City Police Department - 32nd Precinct (212) 690-6311
250 West 135th St, New York, NY 10030 New York City Police Department - 33rd Precinct (212) 927-3200
2207 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10032 New York City Police Department - 34th Precinct (212) 927-9711
4295 Broadway, New York, NY 10033 NYPD Manhattan Central Booking (212) 374-3838
100 Centre St, New York, NY 10013 NYC Police Department (646) 610-5000
2 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10007 Central Park Precinct (212) 570-4820
86th St & Transverse Rd, New York, NY 10024 Midtown North Precinct (212) 767-8400
306 West 54th St, New York, NY 10019 Midtown South Precinct (212) 239-9811
357 West 35th St, New York, NY 10001
Bellevue Hospital Center (212) 562-4141
462 1st Ave, New York, NY 10016 Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital (212) 848-6000
900 Main St, New York, NY 10044 Gracie Square Hospital (212) 434-5300
420 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021 Harlem Hospital Center (212) 939-1000
506 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10037 Hospital for Special Surgery (212) 606-1000
535 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021 Lenox Hill Hospital (212) 434-2000
100 E 77th St, New York, NY 10075 Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital (212) 838-9200
210 E 64th St, New York, NY 10065 Manhattan Psychiatric Center (646) 672-6767
600 E 125th St, New York, NY 10035 Manhattan Veterans Administration Hospital (212) 686-7500
423 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (212) 639-2000
1275 York Ave, New York, NY 10065 Metropolitan Hospital Center (212) 423-6262
1901 1st Ave, New York, NY 10029 Mount Sinai Beth Israel (212) 420-2000
281 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003 Mount Sinai Hospital (212) 241-6500
1468 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10029 Mount Sinai Morningside (212) 523-4000
1111 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025 Mount Sinai West (212) 523-4000
1000 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019 New York-Presbyterian – Allen Hospital (212) 932-4000
5141 Broadway, New York, NY 10034 New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center (212) 305-2500
630 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032 New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital (212) 312-5000
170 William St, New York, NY 10038 New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center (212) 746-5454
525 E 68th St, New York, NY 10065 New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (212) 979-4000
310 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003 NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases (212) 598-6000
301 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003 NYU Langone Medical Center (646) 929-7870
550 1st Ave, New York, NY 10016 Rockefeller Institute Hospital (212) 327-8000
1230 York Ave, New York, NY 10065
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation
Have you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident in New York?Click To Get A Free Case Review