Queens, NY Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents are a common cause of injuries in Queens, NY. Many injuries sustained in car wrecks are extremely severe due to high-speed impacts or the disparity in size between the involved vehicles. These injuries can result in expensive medical bills, extreme pain, or even permanent disability.
In many cases, car accidents are caused by the negligent actions of a specific driver. Despite this, New York is a no-fault car insurance state, which means your own insurance company will pay for certain damages regardless of fault. However, there are limits to what no-fault insurance will pay and serious injuries can often exceed these limits. That’s why New York law allows you to seek higher damages in cases involving “serious injury”.
If a driver’s negligent or careless action led to a “serious injury” of a non-negligent person, then the negligent driver may be able to be held liable for expenses related to the injury sustained by the innocent person. Negligent actions can include texting while driving, speeding, breaking other traffic laws, and driving while intoxicated.
According to § 5102(d) of the New York State Insurance Law, there is a list of standards for “serious injury.” If your injury meets one of these standards, you may be entitled to file your case in court to seek higher damages than your insurance is willing to pay. These qualifying injuries include the following:
- Loss of limb
- Serious disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Loss of pregnancy
- Loss of an organ, a bodily function, or the use of a bodily system
- Significant injury to an internal organ (e.g., traumatic brain injury)
- Injuries that interfere with your day to day life for at least 90 of the next 180 days after the accident
At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP we are committed to helping victims involved in serious car accident get the compensation they deserve. We know that an injury can destabilize you financially, mentally, and emotionally. Serious injuries can prevent you from going to work, lead to expensive medical bills, result in debt, and may require long-term treatment.
Statistics of Car Accidents in Queens, NY
The New York Police Department releases public data about car accidents in Queens on their website at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/nypd/downloads/pdf/traffic_data/cityacc-en-us.pdf
Based on their April 2021 data, we see that most motor vehicle accidents in Queens involve either a passenger vehicle, SUV or station wagon. Commercial vehicles with six or more tires, as well pick-up trucks were involved in 6% of accidents.
Below is a chart illustrating the different contributing factors, or causes, of car accidents that result in injury or death. We see that distracted driving is by far the biggest factor, though many car accidents are caused by following too closely, improper lane changes, or other illegal driving actions. Most of these contributing factors are signs of negligent behavior.
When we look at who gets injured in car accidents, we see that the majority of people injured in car crashes are the drivers. However, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists can also be hurt.
Common Car Crash Injuries in Queens, New York
Injuries sustained in a car accident can vary. Some of the more common injuries include:
- Whiplash: Whiplash injuries are caused by the shearing and tearing of muscle and tissue following a violent impact or abrupt change in speed. This often causes the victim’s head to snap back and forth in a painful motion, which results in muscle and soft-tissue damage. While whiplash injuries are extremely common, they can also be extremely debilitating.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: The brain is the control center of the body, which regulates and oversees the functioning of all other body systems. Therefore, injuries to the brain can be devastating and life-changing. A brain injury can cause confusion, problems with speech or language, trouble with concentration, motor control issues, and many other serious symptoms and disabilities. Crashes that involve impact or trauma to the head can cause these types of injuries.
- Broken Bones: More severe accidents can cause broken bones, which often take months or years to heal. In some circumstances, a broken bone can permanently change how your body functions.
- Burn Injuries: Burn injuries are often overlooked as a common car accident injury. However, burn injuries are common and can be caused by chemical burns from materials used in a vehicle’s operation, friction burns, or a vehicle fire that sparks during or following a collision.
These are only some of the injuries car crash victims can sustain. At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, we realize every crash is unique and we are committed to evaluating your specific injuries when calculating the value of your claim and building your claim.
How Can The Car Accident Attorneys At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP Help You?
The goal of our Queens injury law firm is to help restore stability to you and your family after an injury. We want to get you as close to the position in life you were at immediately before the accident as we can. This means making sure you get all necessary medical treatment to restore your health, as well as fighting to reclaim all direct and indirect expenses related to the injury from the at-fault party. We work hard to get you fair compensation.
We will help prove liability by gathering evidence, and if necessary, conducting an independent investigation of fault. We do our best to anticipate potential defenses by the at-fault party and their insurance company. We work to build a strong argument about why the driver’s actions were negligent and why they should be held liable.
When you hire Sullivan & Galleshaw, we deal with all relevant insurance companies on your behalf. We will take care of all negotiation and investigation on your behalf. This means you get to focus on recovering.
Why Choose Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP As Your Queens Injury Lawyer?
Our law firm has earned a reputation for excellence. We’ve helped people throughout Queens and across New York City. Our two principal attorneys have over 30 years of collective practical experience representing injury victims across the greater New York metropolitan area.
We have numerous reviews and case results that reflect on our prior accomplishments. While past results do not guarantee of any future outcome, they can still be a useful indicator of our experience.
Furthermore, we understand that every case is unique — no two cases are the same. That’s why we work to give your case the individual attention it deserves, and we customize our approach to each and every case.
Get Help From Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP in Queens, NY
Taking action as soon as you can is key to building a strong case. Delaying can cause crucial evidence to be lost or cause doubts about the extent of your injuries. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation. We can help determine whether you have a strong case and outline what your legal options are and what your next steps should be. Call us now at 718-843-0300 or fill out the contact form near the bottom of this page.
We are a local law firm and help individuals throughout Queens, including the following neighborhoods: Astoria, Bayside, Briarwood, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Corona, Sunnyside, Woodhaven, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Claims in Queens, NY
What are the Steps I Should Take After a Car Crash in Queens?
Following a motor vehicle accident, you should be prepared to take immediate action to protect your health, mental well-being, and legal rights. Here are the steps to take:
- Medical Care: First and foremost, you should seek immediate medical attention if you suffered severe harm. Emergency medical needs are always the most important thing. For non-emergency injuries, make sure you get a prompt evaluation by a doctor.
- Report/Documentation: Any car crashes in Queens that result in injuries or major property damage should be reported to law enforcement. Additionally, try to document your collision to the best of your ability. Get information about all other drivers/vehicles involved, take extensive photographs, and write down exactly what happened.
- Professional Help: The car accident claims process in New York is notoriously complex. You do not have to go through the entire thing alone. An experienced Queens auto accident lawyer like the team Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP will help you get justice and compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
New York law requires injury victims to file their claim within 3 years from the date that the accident took place. This is known as the state’s ‘statute of limitations’ for car accidents claims. As there are very few exceptions to the statute of limitations, you must comply with the time. While this may seem like a long time, it’s crucial to take action as quickly as possible to ensure no crucial evidence is lost. The sooner you initiate the car accident claims process in Queens, the better position you will be in to get compensation for your damages.
What Happens If I Miss the Deadline to File a Claim In New York?
New York has a strict statute of limitations for car accident injury claims. If you fail to file a legal claim before the statute of limitations runs out, then you will likely lose out on your ability to take action at all. In other words, you will not be able to recover the financial compensation that you rightfully deserve under New York law.
Is New York a Fault-Based Car Accident State?
Technically, New York is a no-fault car accident state. Minor and moderate accidents fall under our state’s no-fault insurance system. All motorists in New York are required to purchase no-fault insurance coverage. When an accident occurs, their initial claim will be against their own no-fault policy. No-fault benefits apply regardless of who caused the accident. That being said, you can “step outside” of the no-fault system and file a personal injury claim directly against a negligent driver, negligent trucking company, or another at-fault party in certain circumstances.
When Can I File a Car Accident Injury Lawsuit in New York?
In general, New York’s no-fault insurance system is meant to cover minor and moderate accidents. To be eligible to file a fault-based car accident injury lawsuit, you must have sustained serious injuries in a crash. What constitutes a “serious injury” for the purposes of New York law? The answer is that courts generally refer to the state’s 90/180-day rule. Under New York State Insurance Law §5102(d), you can file a fault-based car accident lawsuit if you can meet the following criteria:
- You sustained a permanent injury or impairment; or
- You sustained a medically determined non-permanent injury/impairment that prevented you from engaging in usual/customary activities for at least “90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence.”
What If I’m Partially At-Fault for My Car Accident in New York?
For fault-based car accident claims, New York operates under a comparative negligence system. Each party to a crash will be held liable for their share of the damages. In Queens, New York, you may be entitled to compensation beyond what no-fault insurance provides, despite allegations of partial fault. That being said, your compensation will be reduced proportionally when you are assigned a greater percentage of the blame for the accident. Contact our office today to discuss your specific situation. Our Queens, NY car accident lawyers will help to protect you from an unjust finding of fault.
What Evidence is Used to Establish Liability in a Car Accident Claim in New York?
In car accident cases, evidence can come in a wide range of different forms. Ultimately, any documentation/information that can help to determine how and why a crash occurred may be relevant evidence. Some of the most common examples of evidence in car accident claims include:
- The police report;
- First party statements;
- Third-party witness testimony;
- Photographs of the crash damage;
- Photographs of the wider scene;
- Video footage;
- Cell phone records;
- Truck company records; and
- Expert accident analysis testimony.
Is it Worth Contacting an Injury Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
Car crashes that happen at low speeds or with minimal damage to the vehicles can still result in injuries, such as whiplash. These types of injuries can be expensive to treat and you may still be able to be compensated for them. Thus, the best thing to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident, whether minor or major, is to contact an attorney for advice about your next steps. We offer free, fully confidential initial consultations to people involved in car accidents in Queens.
Can I Rely On Insurance Adjusters for Guidance With the Claims Process?
Unfortunately, you cannot rely on insurance companies—even your provider—for guidance with the car accident claims process. While there are state regulations in place that require insurers to use good faith settlement practices, these companies are not on your side. They want to protect their own profits. An experienced Queens car accident attorney will protect your rights.
What Our Clients Say
James did an extremely professional job handling my case. Whenever I had questions or concerns he was there with answers and guidance. I was very impressed with his knowledge of personal injury cases especially dealing with automobile accidents. I would highly recommend James to anyone in need of a great lawyer!!!!
Work Injury Settlement
The client, a sanitation worker, fell over a pothole inside the depot yard; They required knee, wrist and elbow surgery. They were approved for ¾ pay and Social Security Disability Insurance.View more results