New York is home to more than 12 million licensed drivers. That is a lot of people on the road in a state that is just over 54,000 square miles in size.
Unfortunately, with so many drivers on the road, accidents are inevitable.
Do you know your rights if you are in an accident in New York? Do you know what to do to ensure you can recover compensation?
The aftermath of an accident can be scary and overwhelming. If you are injured, it makes the situation even worse.
The details of what happened in your accident play an important role in determining if you can recover compensation. We understand how challenging this situation can be. Our legal team has over 30 years of experience and has helped clients recover tens of millions in compensation. We can provide you with the same experienced and aggressive representation after a New York car accident.
Long Island Car Auto Attorney
As mentioned above, millions of drivers are on New York roads and highways at any time. While the city is well known for traffic congestion and other issues, all drivers have a responsibility to others to operate their vehicles safely and share the road.
Unfortunately, many drivers view having a license as a right, which creates a feeling of entitlement and overconfidence. These types of ideals often lead to dangerous consequences for you and others.
Not only can these feelings cause serious injuries, but even fatalities.
There are many ways that drivers may abuse their driving privileges and cause harm to others on the road. Some examples of negligence that leads to car accidents in New York include the following:
Distracted Driving or Driver Inattention
In 2021, driver distraction and inattention caused 107 fatalities in New York. This does not account for the thousands of injuries caused by distracted driving accidents.
When you are behind the wheel, it is essential that you focus on the road and your surroundings to stay safe. Unfortunately, there are several types of distractions that occur, which include the following:
- Manual distractions. A manual distraction is anything that causes you to remove your hands from the steering wheel. Examples of manual distractions include adjusting the temperature or radio, reaching for something in your vehicle, eating, and drinking.
- Visual distractions. A visual distraction occurs when you take your eyes off the road. It can include anything besides the road ahead that catches your eye and attention, like your GPS system, animals on the side of the road, or a billboard.
- Cognitive distractions. A cognitive distraction occurs if your mind wanders from the task of driving. Examples of cognitive distractions include talking to passengers, fatigue, and mood changes. Each of these things can make it hard for you to focus on driving.
The most common form of distraction is texting. It involves all three of the types of distractions mentioned above. If you use your cell phone while driving, you are five times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers who stay focused on what they are doing.
Aggressive driving is another serious problem in New York and the entire country. It includes the following behaviors (among others):
- Cutting off another driver
- Changing lanes without using your turn signal
- Purposely tailgating
Many other types of aggressive driving may occur, too. All these actions can lead to a devastating accident. In many situations, aggressive driving leads to road rage.
When aggression turns into rage, a driver may do the following:
- Ram another vehicle on purpose
- Sideswipe another vehicle on purpose
- Run another driver off the road on purpose
- Throw objects at another vehicle on the road
Aggressive driving and road rage are extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, the traffic situation on many New York streets results in countless cases of this each year.
Following too Closely or Tailgating
A large percentage of accidents in New York are caused by tailgating. This occurs when one driver follows another too closely.
While most cases of tailgating result in minor accidents, even a fender bender can lead to disastrous consequences.
For example, whiplash injuries are especially common in rear-end accidents. Many require extensive and ongoing rehabilitation to recover fully.
It is estimated that 30% of fatal accidents in New York are alcohol-related. Additionally, there is a drunk driving-related injury every two minutes.
If a drunk driver injures you or a loved one dies in a drunk driving-related accident, you deserve justice. We can help ensure that drivers who get behind the wheel intoxicated are held responsible for their actions.
Failure to Yield Right of Way
The “right of way” rules in New York are part of what makes the intersections in the city so dangerous. If you fail to follow the rules and yield the right of way, you may cause a serious and even fatal accident.
Experts have stated that drowsy driving is often as dangerous (or more dangerous) than driving while intoxicated.
It is estimated that around 50 million Americans are dealing with some type of sleep disorder. If you drive while sleepy, it can impact your reaction time and judgment. Regardless of why the other person was sleep deprived, you deserve to receive the compensation you are entitled to.
As mentioned above, driver negligence and inattention is the leading cause of New York car accidents. However, a more serious form of irresponsibility is present.
According to one analysis, approximately 12% of traffic accidents were caused by a vehicle malfunction.
Common malfunctions that cause accidents include the following:
- Broken headlights or tail lights
- Bald tires
- Inadequate suspension
- Ineffective brakes
- Improperly maintained transmission
- Engine failure
- Steering system malfunction
As time passes, vehicles break down and experience wear and tear. If you do not properly maintain your vehicle, it may become unfit to drive. If the condition of a vehicle contributes to an accident, the driver is considered legally responsible for the unsafe nature of the vehicle.
Can Automakers be Held Liable for Vehicle Defects?
Millions of vehicles are recalled by the major automakers each year. Sometimes, car companies make serious mistakes when designing and manufacturing vehicles. Unfortunately, even if the issues are known, the company does not address them until an injury or fatality has occurred.
In other situations, issues are present with the vehicle itself. SUVs are more likely to be involved in rollover accidents than other passenger vehicles.
If a large auto manufacturer creates vehicles that threaten drivers’ lives, they should and can be held accountable. You can file a lawsuit if a vehicle defect or malfunction causes an accident where you are injured.
Improper Road Design
Improper or hazardous road designs are also causes of accidents. In some situations, drivers use tactics that are unsuitable for the weather conditions. An example would be speeding when the road is wet or changing lanes in a snowstorm when visibility is low.
Some potential causes of accidents caused by improper road design include the following:
Roads do not suddenly appear. They are designed based on state and federal standards.
Every curve in a highway has to be designed to maximize the area your headlights hit. The uphill slopes should be gentle enough so drivers can see over them.
When roads are designed, there are countless requirements like the ones above. When they are all adhered to for the road design, a safe and acceptable road is formed. However, if even one aspect is ignored or forgotten, it can create serious dangers for those using the road.
Roadway geometry is the cause of about one percent of accidents in the U.S. While this may not seem like a lot, it is a significant number.
Missing Traffic Signs or Signals
Traffic signals and signs are designed to make roadways safer and “intelligible.” They tell drivers what to expect and what is coming. They also provide information related to possibly dangerous conditions or situations.
If needed markers are not in place, accidents occur. It is estimated that over 10,000 traffic accidents occur annually due to missing signals and signs.
On some roadways, proper signage is in place; however, it is dangerous in its location or what it says. Sometimes, state lawmakers set the legal speed limit too high. This makes driving conditions impractical and unsafe for everyone on the road. The signs give drivers the “legal” ability to drive at speeds unsuited to the environment.
Potholes and Other Defects in the Road
The streets in New York are full of potholes. Some are small cracks, while others are larger depressions.
Potholes can cause serious damage to vehicles. One out of ten experienced serious car damage and required repairs after hitting a pothole in 2021. Unfortunately, vehicle damage is not the only possible outcome of hitting a pothole or encountering another type of road defect.
The DOT (Department of Transportation) is responsible for maintaining streets and keeping them safe. However, with more than 6,000 miles of roadways in the state to monitor, the DOT is not immediately liable for injuries related to pothole-related accidents.
To hold the city of New York liable for an accident, the following must have occurred:
- The DOT was given a written notification of the existence of a road defect.
- The DOT was given reasonable time to repair or fix the issue.
- The DOT did not repair the defect or hazard.
Our legal team can help determine if holding the DOT or the state of New York responsible for your accident, injuries, and losses are possible.
Types of Car Accidents Our Legal Team Can Help With
It can be frightening to be involved in a car accident. Situations like this are emotionally and physically jarring. When you hire our car accident attorney, they will ask specific questions to determine what happened.
Our team may also examine your vehicle or the pictures of your vehicle to understand the type of accident you were involved in. When we do this, we better understand how the at-fault driver was negligent.
Here, you can learn more about some of the most common types of car accidents we deal with.
Rollover accidents occur when a vehicle rolls over after colliding with another vehicle or hazard. These are often single-vehicle accidents and in this situation, it is difficult to know how to recover compensation.
Our legal team will determine the cause of your rollover collision and recover compensation from the manufacturer of the vehicle or another party.
A multi-vehicle accident occurs when more than two vehicles collide. Usually, this is a chain reaction type of situation that begins with an initial impact.
It is challenging to resolve these types of accidents without proper legal guidance. Without our legal services, you may not know how to determine is financially liable or how to distribute liability if more than one negligent action occurred.
You may have heard of T-bone collisions. They occur when a vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. These are extremely common at intersections and stop signs and typically involve distracted drivers or drivers who are speeding.
Sometimes, these accidents cause life-threatening injuries since the passenger or driver sustains most of the impact (depending on what side of the vehicle the collision occurs on).
Rear-end accidents occur when one vehicle collides with the rear of the vehicle ahead of it. Common causes of these accidents include driver inattention, tailgating, and speeding.
Common Injuries Seen in New York Car Accident Cases
If you are involved in a New York car accident, you may need extensive treatment for your injuries. The medical costs related to these injuries can be significant.
Even the ride to the hospital in an ambulance costs money.
Also, if the accident is serious enough, you may be unable to work for several months, or longer. This makes paying your bills and the cost of medical treatment challenging.
Our legal team will work to determine liability in your car accident cases and ensure the at-fault party is held responsible.
It is important to note that the actual medical costs you will incur depend on the type and severity of the injury you sustain. Common car accident injuries include the following:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Injuries that cause a spinal cord injury or brain injury can cause conditions that require ongoing medical care, which comes at a cost. For some, it is necessary to relearn simple tasks or modify their home and vehicle to meet the limitations caused by their injuries.
If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you have legal options. Our team can begin investigating the situation immediately, to help you receive the justice you deserve.
You should not have to pay for the expenses incurred because of another person’s negligence. Contact our legal team immediately if you cannot work, pay your bills, and wonder what options you have.
Understanding the Potential Losses After a New York Auto Accident
If someone in your family dies due to another driver’s negligence, the pain you feel is unimaginable. When this situation occurs, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
The relationship you have with the accident victim plays a role in whether you can seek legal compensation. A New York auto accident attorney from The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, can help determine if you have grounds to file this legal claim.
When you file a wrongful death claim, you can seek compensation for funeral and burial costs. There are other types of compensation you may qualify for, too, which include the following:
- Loss of companionship
- Final medical costs related to your loved one’s care and treatment
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of your loved one’s income and possible future income
Filing a wrongful death claim can be challenging. These cases are complex and confusing. Contact our auto accident attorney to help you get the best possible results for your claim. We can help you with the legal process during this difficult time.
Common Questions About New York Auto Accident Claims and Compensation
How Does a Car Accident Claim Work in New York?
After a car accident in New York, the first step in the legal process is to file a civil claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
We have found that most civil claims settle without going to court. By hiring our auto accident attorney at The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, we will not recommend accepting a settlement offer until it is what you deserve.
We have encountered situations where the insurance company for the at fault party will not negotiate or make a fair offer. In this situation, we will not settle. Instead, our team will file a lawsuit and take your case to court. We are dedicated to ensuring justice is served.
Attempting to negotiate with an insurance company requires someone who knows what tactics these companies use to reduce payouts. Since insurance companies are for-profit businesses, they will try to do what is best for the business’s bottom line. Unfortunately, this is at your expense.
You can count on your attorney to handle negotiations and communications with the insurance adjuster. We take care of the legal process so you can focus on your recovery or grieving the loss of a loved one.
If you do not have legal representation when negotiating with an insurance company, you may make a mistake and accept a settlement that does not cover all your accident-related costs. Unfortunately, once you accept the settlement, you sign away your right to take further legal action against the at-fault party.
Accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company without legal advice may not solve your financial troubles. In fact, it may put you in a position of running out of money long before all your medical costs and other losses are covered.
Is There a Statute of Limitations to File a New York Auto Accident Claim?
State law limits the amount of time you have to file an auto accident lawsuit. According to the law, you have three years from the accident date (with some exceptions). For example, you have only two years to file a wrongful death claim.
It is necessary to act fast to ensure you meet all legal requirements without missing the deadline.
Also, calling for legal representation soon after your accident ensures that all related evidence is collected. For example, you must interview witnesses while the incident is still fresh in their minds and before they forget important details. Another reason you should not wait to call our legal firm is so we can collect evidence related to your accident before it becomes misplaced, lost, or damaged.
It is important to note that if you do not meet these deadlines, you will lose your right to file a claim against the at fault driver.
Our New York auto accident lawyer can help ensure you are not in this situation. We are seasoned professionals and understand all the state laws and restrictions related to a car accident claim.
If you want us to help with your claim, call our office immediately. We will get to work immediately to collect evidence and file a claim.
Do You Need to Seek Medical Care Immediately After a New York Auto Accident?
Auto accidents are traumatic events. When you find yourself in this situation, your body’s “fight or flight” response will be activated. Part of this includes the release of adrenaline in your body, which can mask injuries and pain.
When you seek immediate medical care, you can find out if you have injuries you do not know about. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding, may not show symptoms after the incident. However, if you wait to seek medical treatment, it can lead to permanent organ damage.
Another reason to get medical treatment immediately after an accident is to create a record and timeline that can be used for evidence. This will connect your accident and injuries, which is beneficial in a car accident case.
Getting immediate medical care after a car accident is essential to protect your health. It will also protect your ability to file a lawsuit in the future.
What Type of Evidence Will Help Your Car Accident Claim?
It is important to have evidence to help with your car accident claim. Some of the types of evidence to have include the following:
- Medical records. You need to keep all medical bills and records related to your accident. This can help prove the cost and severity of your injuries.
- Proof of lost wages. You need to show proof of the money you could not earn because of your injuries. This includes past pay stubs and the time you had to take off work.
- Eye-witness contact information. You need to get information from anyone who saw your accident so your attorney can contact them later.
- Photographs from the scene. Take photos of the scene of the accident if you can. The photos and videos you capture can be helpful evidence when your lawyer attempts to prove liability.
It is important to give as much information as possible to your lawyer. No evidence is considered too small to matter. Collect evidence and contact our legal team immediately if you sustained serious injuries.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a New York Auto Accident Lawyer?
The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, takes pride in representing accident victims. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means we collect payment from the compensation you receive.
Hiring legal representations is important in protecting your financial future and seeking justice. The medical expenses related to your accident and being unable to work and earn money can cause significant stress for you and your family. You should not have to worry about how you will pay for legal representation.
We also offer free auto accident case evaluations. Our team will help you understand your rights and create a plan to move forward with your case.
What Types of Compensation Can You Receive if Your New York Auto Accident Claim Is Successful?
After an auto accident, the cost for medical treatment can be significant. Depending on how severe your injuries are, you may never be able to return to the job you had before your accident. These along with other changes will impact your life and your family’s lives in many ways.
Seeking compensation for your losses provides you with justice. What happened to you was not fair and you should be compensated. Some of the types of compensation you may receive in a New York car accident case include the following:
- All medical-related costs from the injuries you sustained in the accident.
- Pain and suffering for your psychological, emotional, and physical harm.
- Ongoing medical costs related to your need for ongoing care, such as medications and therapy.
- Loss of wages and future earnings if you cannot return to work or to the same job you worked before the accident.
- Loss of income from your time away from work.
Every New York car accident situation is unique. The outcome of your case and situation depends on the facts of your accident. At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, our past results prove that we are committed to helping our clients receive justice.
Let Our Auto Accident Attorney Fight for Your Right to Compensation
We will never recommend that you settle for less than you deserve. Our legal team will fight for the full compensation you are entitled to.