Long Island Car Accident Attorney
Auto Accidents in Queens & Throughout New York City
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in motor vehicle collisions throughout New York City. If you or someone you love was involved in a serious auto accident, you could be entitled to financial compensation through the state’s no-fault system. This system allows you to recover for certain damages, such as medical expenses, regardless of who was to blame for the collision. However, the no-fault system also has some significant limitations that can affect your overall recovery.
It is important that you work with an experienced attorney, like our Long Island car accident attorney, Joseph J. Perrini, III. An attorney can explain all of your legal options and help you with the details of your claim, including negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company. With nearly 30 years of experience and tens of millions of dollars in compensation recovered for his clients, Attorney Perrini is ready to fight for you and your rights.
Common Causes of Car Accident
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Bad weather
- Inexperienced drivers
- Driving at nighttime
Ways to Prevent a Car Accident
Keep your distance
Don't get distracted
Don't drive drowsy
Wear your seatbelt
Limit the passengers in the car
Common Injuries in Car Accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures/ broken bones
Is New York a No-Fault Car Insurance State?
New York is one of several states to follow a no-fault car insurance system. This means that everyone who owns and/or operates a motor vehicle in the state of New York must have no-fault insurance, otherwise known as personal injury protection (PIP). When you are involved in a crash, you can turn to your own insurance provider and receive compensation for certain financial losses resulting from the crash, no matter who caused the accident or how it occurred.
In New York, no-fault insurance typically pays for:
- Medical bills
- Prescription drug expenses
- Lost wages/income
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Housekeeping and other miscellaneous expenses
While the no-fault system can be a great benefit in that it can speed up the recovery process and allow you to be compensated for your damages even if you were to blame, it also has several drawbacks.
New York’s no-fault insurance system does not cover the following:
- Property damage
- Vehicle repair costs
- Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering
Additionally, you must file a PIP application/claim within 30 days of the accident to receive compensation. A recent amendment to the no-fault rule also states that you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the collision to be eligible to file a claim. If you miss either of these deadlines, your recovery could be compromised.
How to Go Outside the No-Fault System
In some cases, it may be possible to step outside the New York no-fault system and file a third-party car accident claim against a negligent driver. This may be appropriate in cases involving severe bodily injury in which the victim suffers medical and other damages in excess of their no-fault limits. It could also be appropriate when the victim wishes to seek compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. In other cases, an individual may not be entitled to no-fault insurance coverage and may need to file a third-party claim or lawsuit, such as in cases involving motorcycle accidents.
If you were involved in a standard car accident in New York, you may be able to step outside the no-fault system if you can prove that you suffered a “serious injury,” as defined by the state.
To meet the state’s serious injury threshold, your injury must result in at least one of the following:
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent impairment of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Substantial and total disability for at least 90 days
Additionally, the state of New York recognizes bone fractures as “serious injuries.” If you broke a bone in the crash, you likely automatically meet the serious injury threshold. Moreover, there are other ways to meet the serious injury threshold. Contact our office immediately to find out how.
Proving Fault for Your Car Accident
If you wish to go outside the no-fault system and file a claim against a negligent driver’s insurance provider or bring a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver, you will need to prove that they were at fault for the accident. The state of New York follows a rule of “pure comparative negligence” when it comes to auto accidents, meaning you do not need to prove that the other driver (or another party) was entirely to blame—only that they shared some of the fault. Even if you were mostly at fault for the collision, you can still recover compensation for your damages in a third-party claim or lawsuit. However, your total recovery will be reduced by your at-fault percentage. So, if you were 25% to blame, you could only recover up to 75% of the full amount of your losses.
At the Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III, our Long Island auto accident attorney works with a team of experts to investigate claims and determine how these incidents occurred. We look for evidence of negligence, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, or traffic law violations. Once we have established fault, we aggressively seek maximum compensation on behalf of the injured.
Contact Our Firm for a Complimentary Consultation
We recognize how traumatizing auto accidents can be for victims and their loved ones. At the Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III, our team offers compassionate legal guidance tailored to you and your needs. As your Long Island car accident lawyer, Attorney Perrini will be personally involved in your case, offering direct communication and honest counsel from start to finish. We are available to take your call 24/7, and we do not collect any legal fees unless we recover compensation for you. You have nothing to lose in contacting us today and setting up a free initial consultation with a member of our team.
Auto Accident FAQ
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
The steps that you take after a car accident matter. As soon as you can, call 911 for help if someone was injured or if there is significant vehicular damage. You should also position your car away from moving traffic if possible and safe; do not attempt to move your car if it puts you in more danger. Next, photograph the scene thoroughly with your smartphone to get immediate, concrete evidence of what happened. Talk with all other parties involved to exchange identifying and insurance information. Get the contact information of any eyewitnesses who stopped to help. Lastly, go to the doctor for a checkup. Even if you feel okay, you should see a medical provider immediately to be sure.
Can I still recover damages if I was not wearing a seatbelt at the time
of the accident?
You should always wear a seatbelt while in a vehicle because this little piece of safety equipment dramatically increases your chances of getting out of a violent accident unscathed. But if you don’t wear one for whatever reason, you should know that it doesn’t automatically disqualify you from filing a claim against the other driver in a car accident. If that other driver was negligent and hit you, and you were seriously injured, then they can still be held liable for your damages. What will probably happen, though, is that your liability for any damages related to your injuries will go up because you intentionally made the choice not to protect yourself with a seatbelt.
What if the at-fault driver has inadequate insurance to cover all my damages?
If the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to take care of your damages, you might still have a few options to make a full recovery. In New York, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance can be used to pay for more of your post-accident bills without involving the other driver’s insurance company. The same is true if you added uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance to your policy. This policy type will provide more damages paid by your insurer if the other driver’s insurance policy will not be enough to handle all your damages.
Insurance Industry Insight
Our firm knows how insurance companies operate and is prepared to leverage this insight to advocate for the recovery that you deserve.
For us, it is not about the money. We genuinely care about our clients and will do everything we can to make them whole after an injury.
Personalized Legal Solutions
Our firm is dedicated to providing you with undivided attention, as well as to tailoring our approach to your particular needs.
A Legacy of Results
Our experienced legal team is not afraid to go to trial on behalf of our clients and has recovered millions of dollars in the process.
Pedestrian Hit By Driver $2,000,000
$2,000,000.00 to a retired woman who sustained numerous hand and wrist fractures requiring surgery while walking into the street to hail a cab.
Car Accident $1,950,000
$1,950,000.00 to plaintiff who sustained fractures to his lower extremity when involved in an intersection accident.
Bus Accident $1,875,000
$1,875,000.00 to an administrative assistant who was struck in the rear by a bus and sustained cervical and lumbar herniations requiring surgery.
Car Accident $1,450,000
$1,450,000.00 to a student that was injured in a Florida highway accident who sustained a lumbar herniated disc requiring surgical intervention.
Car Accident $1,150,000
$1,150,000.00 to student who sustained herniated discs requiring surgery while a passenger in a van that was cut off by another motor vehicle.
Rear-End Accident $850,000
$850,000.00 to a middle-aged plaintiff who was rear-ended while at a stoplight and sustained a shoulder tear and cervical disc herniation which required fusion surgery.
Van Accident $675,000
$675,000.00 to a plaintiff who was struck by a van and sustained a herniated disc and extremity injuries.
Car Accident $675,000
$675,000.00 to a woman involved in an automobile accident who claimed a herniated disc in her cervical spine and an aggravation of herniated and bulging discs in the cervical and lumbar spine requiring a cervical fusion surgery.
Pedestrian Accident $550,000
$550,000.00 to a middle-aged plaintiff who was struck at an intersection and sustained knee injuries requiring two arthroscopic surgeries and a right shoulder tear.
Slip & Fall $470,000
$470,000.00 to an 86 year old woman that tripped and fell on an uneven portion of asphalt in a parking lot who sustained a fractured left shoulder requiring a reverse arthroplasty.