Queens Car Accident Lawyer
You may drive safely by keeping a safe following distance, signaling before turning, and staying within the speed limit. Unfortunately, many other motorists act as though they are above the rules of the road and take unnecessary risks that greatly increase the likelihood of an accident. Dealing with this type of behavior is a part of modern life. However, if this type of negligent or careless driving causes injury, you should be entitled to compensation.
An experienced Queens car accident lawyer at Sullivan and Galleshaw can fight for you and work to hold the party responsible for your injuries financially accountable. Our attorneys can help explain your right to sue for car accident injuries and help you determine what your case might be worth. Call (877) 311-HURT to schedule a free legal consultation.
Queens, NY Car Accident Statistics
According to statistics released by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, there were 25,660 car accidents in Queens in 2017, the most recent year with available statistics. This accounts for approximately 8.29% of all accidents in the state of New York that year. Furthermore, there were 55 fatal accidents resulting in 60 deaths in Queens, which accounted for approximately 6% of all car accident fatalities in the state. Of those fatalities, the driver was killed in 20 crashes while a passenger was killed in 7 accidents. Bicyclists were killed in 4 reported accidents, but pedestrians were the most impacted with 29 deaths from car accidents in Queens in 2017.
Common Reasons for Queens Car Accident Lawsuits
All car accidents and the circumstances that make the crash inevitable are unique. No two accidents are exactly the same as factors can include the vehicles involved, the type of accident, the roadway conditions, vehicle defects, weather conditions, vehicle wear, and other important elements. However, understanding how the more commonly reported factors can influence one’s ability to avoid a wreck is essential for all drivers. There are a variety of potential causes for car collisions in Queens:
The GM ignition switch defect, Takata airbag defect, and the Toyota unintended acceleration defect are all still present in the fleet of vehicles. Cars that are vulnerable to unintended or unexpected operations are more difficult for other drivers to anticipate and thus more likely to end up in a collision.
Poor Weather Conditions
Snow, hail, sleet, and torrential rainfalls can cause reduced visibility and increased stopping distances. In fact, even the setting sun can make it difficult to see other vehicles and to maintain one’s focus. Drivers who do not adjust their driving to suit the conditions present are more likely to end up in an accident.
Drivers who speed, change lanes erratically, tailgate, or engage in other risky behaviors make the roads more dangerous for all. Drivers who do not conform their behavior to expected standards are harder to predict and can divert other driver’s attention from additional roadway hazards.
Many other reasons for car accidents and collisions can be explored at greater depth. However the foregoing can serve as a primer into, at least, some of the more common reasons for vehicle accidents.
Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
What common types of car crash injuries can you sue for? Cars and trucks traveling at high speeds have the force and momentum to cause massive damage and physical injuries. Especially if large vehicles or highway speeds are involved, the injuries are often fatal or life-altering. While the types and severity of injuries will vary from accident to accident, common car accident injuries that victims sue for in Queens include whiplash, brain injuries, bone fractures, and more.
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 that leaves muscle and soft-tissue damage. Whiplash injuries are extremely common, but they can also be extremely debilitating.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The brain is the control center of the body that regulates and oversees the functioning of all other bodily 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.
A broken or fractured bone is a serious injury that can take months or years to heal. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, broken bones can reduce both your ability to get around and perform certain tasks.
Burn injuries are often overlooked as a common car accident injury. However, burn injuries 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.
Many injuries can result in nerve compression or nerve damage.These injuries can be long-lasting and limit your ability to function independently.
Unfortunately, this is only a brief sample of some of the types of injuries that a car accident can produce. Injuries ranging from simple to severe can come in many other forms that require intensive medical care and expensive medical bills.
What Damages Are Available to Queens Car Accident Injury Victims?
Because New York is a no-fault car insurance state, there is a threshold for “serious injury” that Queens car accident injury victims must meet to collect damages beyond their no-fault insurance benefits. In general, no-fault insurance provides coverage for short-term, immediate needs including medical expenses and economic losses. However, the damages you claim through insurance are often too low to cover your injuries, and you may need to take your case to court instead.
As per § 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
While some of these standards are clearly defined, others leave room for interpretation that makes it more difficult to know whether you qualify for a lawsuit. An experienced Queens car accident lawyer can help you show that your injuries fit within one of these serious injury standards, entitling you to potentially greater damages.
The insurance payouts for no-fault insurance may cover medical expenses and lost wages, but these policies typically have upper limits and require you to pay a deductible to claim damages. If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, they should pay for the full cost of damages you suffered. In court, you may claim 100% of the damages you suffered, including the full cost of medical bills, any wages you lost or reduced earning capacity you suffered because of the accident, and damages for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages are usually unavailable in auto insurance claims, which means that a lawsuit automatically opens additional types of compensation to you.
How do victims get compensated for car accident injuries? To receive compensation in a car accident lawsuit in Queens, you must first prove the injuries you suffered and prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault. Your lawyer can help build your case, file the claim with the court, and try your case before a judge and jury to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Dedicated Queens Car Accident Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you have been in a car accident that resulted in catastrophic injuries or the death of a loved one, the experienced Queens car accident attorneys at Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP can fight for you. Before accepting any money from your auto insurance or the at-fault driver, talk to a lawyer about what your case might be worth and what types of compensation you might be entitled to in a car accident lawsuit. To schedule your free, confidential legal consultation, call (877) 311-HURT.