New York City Car Accident Attorneys
New York City is considered by many to be one of the worst cities in which to drive – and with good reason. With nearly eight and a half million residents and swarms of visitors to the Big Apple, there is never a time of the day or night when the streets aren’t a reticulated tangle of red and white.
Car accidents are as common as New York delis. However, their frequency does not at all alter their seriousness, especially when you’re the victim. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident due to the other driver’s negligence and your insurance isn’t covering your bills, you need to contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately, before your window of opportunity closes.
New York Car Accident Laws
New York is a no-fault state when it comes to car accidents, which means that neither party is allowed to sue the other for damages under most circumstances, regardless of who was at fault. Each party must submit a claim to his insurance company and receive compensation for medical expenses. However, the operative words in this rule are “most cases.”
There are certain cases where the law allows exceptions and permits an injured party to sue. If you meet any one of the qualifications below, you may fall under this exception and be entitled to much more than your insurance company is willing to pay – both to cover your medical bills and for the pain and suffering you endured from the accident.
You may file suit after a car accident if:
- You broke a bone
- You sustained a permanent injury that limits the use of a limb or organ (e.g. paralysis)
- You sustained an injury that significantly limits a body function or system (e.g. traumatic brain injury)
- You’ve been significantly disfigured
- You’ve been substantially disabled for at least 90 days
Filing A Personal Injury Suit
If you sustained one of the injuries above, you should talk to an experienced car accident attorney immediately, before your window of opportunity closes. The statute of limitations for this kind of accident is 3 years unless you are suing any type of city entity, including the NYCTA, NYCHA, city bus or subway. Then you have only 90 days to file a notice of a claim, which means that you must not only talk to your attorney and decide to sue before that time, but must formally file charges. This can take some time, and the earlier you get started the better.
In addition, you’ll want to begin the process early so your attorney and doctor can properly document your injuries in order to prove the severity of the injury.
Damages and Award
How much your suit is worth is up to the court, and you should never hire an attorney who guarantees you he can get a fixed number. However, an experienced car accident attorney can usually give you a good estimate as to the value of your claim. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for one or more of the following types of damages:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Lost opportunity (if you had to cancel an important contract or trip due to your injuries that cost you money)
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship/consortium
Since New York is a comparative-fault state, your award will be reduced by the percentage you are found to have contributed to the accident. For example, if the other driver was found to be 90% at fault and you were found to have been only 10% at fault, you would receive $90,000 from a $100,000 award ($100,000 less 10%). This is yet another reason why it’s vital to have experienced and aggressive representation – not only to win your case, but also to present your case in the best possible light so as to minimize your contribution to the accident and maximize the amount of the payout that you can use to cover your expenses.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, don’t wait to get help. Give us a call today for a free consultation at (212) 777-9400.