New York City Car Accident Lawyers
As any visitor or resident knows, New York City is full of speeding and reckless drivers. Unfortunately, the result of this aggressive driving is that thousands of innocent people are seriously hurt or killed in preventable auto accidents every year. If you were severely injured in a New York City car accident, such as a head-on collision, rear-end collision, or rollover, or if someone you love passed away from injuries sustained in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your suffering, pain, and losses.
At Sullivan & Galleshaw, we are highly experienced and knowledgeable attorneys with a focus on personalized and aggressive client representation. Backed by more than 16 years of practical experience to help aid our clients, you can feel confident that your legal rights will be fully protected, that you will be guided and supported through each and every step of the legal process, and that you will always be treated with dignity, professionalism, and respect. To start discussing your options in a free and private case evaluation, call the New York car accident lawyers of Sullivan & Galleshaw today at (718) 843-0300.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in NYC?
Each jurisdiction has its own strict time limit for filing personal injury and wrongful death claims, known as the statute of limitations. In New York, the statute of limitations on auto accident injury claims is three years beginning from the date the accident occurred. For wrongful death cases, the statute is limited to two years from the date of the decedent’s passing. While two to three years may sound like plenty of time if your accident took place recently, it is always wise to consult with an attorney immediately.
New York’s Auto Insurance Laws and the Serious Injury Threshold
New York follows the no-fault auto insurance system. Under this no-fault system, drivers injured in car accidents normally must seek compensation through their own insurance provider. However, in special cases where the injuries were very serious, the victim may be permitted to side-step the usual no-fault rules and directly sue the driver at fault for damages.
Pursuant to Section 5102(d) of the New York Insurance Law, you may meet the serious injury threshold if you experienced any of the following because of your accident:
- Any bone fracture, regardless of the bone or bones affected.
- The loss of a fetus.
- Dismemberment, i.e. accidental limb amputation.
- The permanent and complete loss of your ability to use a limb, organ, body system, or bodily function.
- Permanently limited use of a limb or body organ.
- Significant disfigurement, such as facial disfigurement caused by a burn.
- Significant limitations to your use of a body system or bodily function.
- A medically determined, temporary injury which will prevent you from performing your usual daily tasks and activities for at least 90 days of the 180 days immediately following your accident.
As you can see, some of these injury types are somewhat more ambiguous than others. Therefore, it is extremely important that you have the support of an experienced attorney who can work with medical experts and advocate on your behalf.
What Compensation is Available for Claimants?
The specific damages awarded to successful plaintiffs vary from one case to the next, due to factors such as differences in plaintiffs’ ages, employment, and the severity of their injuries — all of which will be taken into consideration by the courts. However, generally speaking, plaintiffs may be able to recover damages related to losses and expenses such as:
- Loss of companionship if a spouse passes away.
- Loss of parenting value (e.g. providing guidance, performing chores), if the victim has minor children.
- Medical expenses stemming from the accident, including but not limited to any necessary surgical procedures, medical devices (e.g. braces, wheelchairs), prescription medications, and physical therapy.
- In wrongful death cases, expenses related to burial, cremation, and medical care prior to the decedent’s passing.
These sorts of damages, which are meant strictly to compensate the plaintiff’s losses, are known as pecuniary or compensatory damages. In cases where the defendant was extremely reckless or careless, the courts may also order punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant both to punish the defendant, and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
Additionally we provide legal services for the following types of car accidents:
- Rollover Accidents
- Accidents That Occur at Intersections
- MTA Bus Accidents
- Passenger Van Injuries
- Distracted Driver Accidents
- Accidents Caused by Underinsured Drivers
If you were hurt in a vehicular accident, or if a loved one was killed by another driver, you may be able to collect compensation to help with the hardships you are going through. To set up a free and confidential case evaluation, call the New York car accident attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw at (718) 843-0300 today.
Can I receive compensation for lost income?
Yes. If you can’t work due to pain or disability, then you can seek damages for lost income. Imagine you suffer a concussion that keeps you from working for 3 months. That is income you would have earned if you hadn’t suffered a car accident injury. You can make a claim for that income and, if necessary, sue the driver who injured you.
If you suffered a permanent brain injury, then you might need to get a new job since you can no longer work at your current position. If you lose income by making a job switch, you should receive compensation for loss of earning capacity as well.
What are examples of negligence?
If you can step outside the no-fault system, you can sue a negligent driver for your accident. Some examples of negligence include distracted driving, eating and drinking, failing to yield, tailgating, illegal lane changes, and failure to use turn signals. You can also sue if another driver was reckless. Examples include drag racing, speeding, or running a red light.
Can I sue for road rage?
Yes. If a driver took reckless actions and caused a collision, you can sue them. Many New York drivers suffer from extreme anger, and they might recklessly cause a collision. You should stay in your car if the other driver approaches you in an aggressive fashion.
Because I have no-fault benefits, do I need a lawyer?
Possibly. There is no reason to assume your own insurer will treat you fairly. They might claim you weren’t injured in a car accident, so you can’t use PIP benefits. Or they might claim you intentionally injured yourself.
In other situations, they will discount your injuries and claim you are receiving unnecessary medical care. And, of course, you need to be on the lookout for an insurer that drags its feet investigating a claim or delays paying compensation. Please consult an experienced attorney at Sullivan & Galleshaw to review whether you are being treated fairly.
Can your law firm help with a hit and run?
Yes. There are several ways to get compensation even if the driver has split the scene. First, you can use your PIP benefits. If you still have losses, you might use uninsured motorist coverage to receive additional compensation. We might also help you make a report to the police so that the motorist is found.
What’s the first thing I should do after an accident?
You should stop your vehicle immediately. That’s the law. You can then pull over to the side of the road so you are not blocking traffic, but you must stop.
What else should I do following a crash?
Make sure to call the police. An officer can create an accident report, which will contain vital information about the crash. Your insurance company will want to see this type of accident report as well.
Also, remember to swap personal and insurance information and take pictures of all vehicles involved in the collision. You should also speak to witnesses, who might fill in the details about what led up to the collision.