New York City (NYC) Car Accident Lawyers

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    NYC car accident lawyer

    A car accident in New York City can be one of the most overwhelming experiences in your life. Facing severe injuries caused by a negligent driver can disrupt your life entirely. Naturally, you want to ensure everything is taken care of soon after your crash. However, dealing with insurance companies and New York’s complex insurance and personal injury liability laws can be difficult to handle while trying to focus on your recovery.

    In order to hold another driver responsible for their negligence, you will have to show that your injuries meet the severity threshold set out by state law. Doing so can get you compensation for your pain and suffering, an additional category not included in insurance claims for medical expenses, property damage, and lost income.

    Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 to get a free case review with our car accident lawyers.

    When Can You File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in New York City?

    While you may be able to sue after a car accident in New York, you must prove that you suffered over $50,000 in damages or suffered a “serious injury.” “Serious injury” has a specific legal definition under I.S.C. Law § 5102(d) which includes the following:

    • Death
    • Dismemberment
    • Significant disfigurement
    • Fracture
    • Loss of a fetus
    • Permanent loss or limitation of a bodily organ, limb, function, or system
    • Significant but not necessarily permanent limitation of a bodily function or system
    • Any medically determined injury or impairment that prevents you from performing your ordinary daily activities

    Our car accident lawyers can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver in your crash if your injuries meet these criteria. We can begin assessing your case and evaluating the value of your total damages. Additionally, we can begin gathering evidence and developing legal strategies for your case.

    Factors that May Impact Your Compensation After a Car Accident in NYC

    The first thing that comes to mind in most car accident claims is how much compensation is available. One crucial takeaway in personal injury cases involving car accidents is that there is no set dollar amount for compensation for each case. Every car accident is unique, and each incident has different circumstances that can significantly impact your compensation.

    Every factor in your car crash matters. Our car accident lawyers can help you walk through all of the elements of your crash to help you understand what to expect from your case moving forward.

    The severity and extent of your injuries can play a significant role in your compensation. A victim who suffers minor injuries in a car accident may not recover as much compensation as one who suffered more substantial losses. When the court evaluates your case and looks at your injuries, they will consider all of the other elements tied to them. This means the court will grant compensation based on the cost of the medical treatment you received and the level of pain your injuries caused, among other factors.

    Another important factor that the court will look at when determining your compensation is the other driver’s actions. If their actions are found to be grossly negligent, reckless, and wanton, the court may grant you additional compensation or damages known as “punitive” damages. It is also essential to remember that New York has unique insurance laws that can also impact your compensation after a car accident. Our attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm can walk you through this complicated insurance process.

    New York’s No-Fault Insurance System and How it Affects a Car Accident Lawsuit in NYC

    Unlike some other jurisdictions, New York has what is known as “no-fault” insurance. Under this type of insurance system, the victim of a car accident must seek compensation from their car insurance, regardless of who was responsible for the crash. This can be frustrating for many car accident victims, especially after experiencing extensive losses. In many instances, the assistance provided by insurance companies may not fully compensate you for your losses. Typically, car insurance companies are limited to providing compensation for things like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. However, they remain silent about your pain and suffering, which are also important damages.

    You may bring a personal injury claim against the liable parties in a car accident if you can demonstrate that you suffered serious injuries. To meet this threshold, you must prove you sustained an injury that lasted for more than ninety days. You can also show that your injury caused significant disfigurement, permanent limited use of a body part, or a permanent disability, among other significant losses. It is essential to consult with an experienced car accident attorney to get a better sense of your situation and how your injuries may provide you with a better chance of getting full compensation.

    Benefits of a Lawsuit Compared to an Insurance Claim for a New York City Car Accident

    When you file a claim with your car insurance provider, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, repair or replacement value of damaged property, and lost income while recuperating from your injuries. However, your insurer will only cover up to the limit allowed by your policy. Different policies have varying limits, but you may find that your recovery will be cut short if you only choose to file an insurance claim.

    A lawsuit, on the other hand, provides compensation for all of these categories without being hamstrung by policy limits. If your serious condition warrants a serious amount of monetary recovery, you deserve to get it, especially when another driver is responsible.

    Additionally, lawsuits provide damages for what insurance claims cannot – the personal and emotional pain and suffering that accompanies severe car accident injuries. Victims may experience chronic pain or the onset of psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. These conditions can impact a victim’s enjoyment of life, personal relationships, and ability to engage in their favorite activities or pastimes.

    Insurance does not provide for these harms because they are not financial in nature, but that does not mean they are any less real to the victim. The best way to get an idea of how much more you stand to gain through a lawsuit as opposed to an insurance claim is to bring your case to the attention of one of our seasoned New York City car accident lawyers.

    Whose Insurance Covers a Car Accident in New York City?

    Insurance is often the first thing that injured drivers think about after car accidents. New York is one of a handful of states that follows a no-fault insurance system. Under this system, injured drivers file claims with their own insurance companies rather than the other driver’s insurance. Additionally, your insurance will cover you up to a specific amount without having to prove that anyone is at fault.

    This system can be great for drivers who need payouts quickly, but insurance often fails to cover specific types of damages. Things like medical bills and property damage are often covered, but your pain and suffering usually are not.

    If your insurance claim will not fully cover your damages, you may have the option to file a lawsuit. However, there are a few hoops to jump through before making this happen. Talk to our Manhattan car accident attorneys about your potential lawsuit and insurance claims today.

    What if the Other Driver Flees or Has No Insurance in NYC?

    The State of New York has the third-lowest estimated rate of uninsured drivers on the road, behind New Jersey and Massachusetts. Only roughly 4% of drivers on New York roads are uninsured, less in New York City itself. Therefore, you are unlikely to run into a situation where you are in an accident, and the other driver does not have insurance coverage.

    However, if you do, there is a reasonable possibility that the driver decides that they are better off leaving the scene before the authorities arrive. This is technically a hit-and-run under New York law, which is a criminal act.

    Drivers may decide to flee the scene for a variety of other reasons, including those who are unlicensed, intoxicated, driving someone else’s vehicle without permission, or simply panicked. For this reason, you should always call 911 if you are involved in an accident. If the other driver leaves, you can provide a description of the driver and their vehicle to the dispatcher so that patrolling officers in the area can attempt to apprehend them.

    If the other driver flees and is not caught, you may not have the ability to file a lawsuit. However, you can still recover compensation for your harms through your own insurer’s Personal Injury Protection policy (PIP). Most insurance plans offered in New York have specific coverage pertaining to uninsured motorist accidents for specifically this reason. If your insurer gives you a hard time about a claim after a hit-and-run, be sure to contact our New York car accident attorneys as soon as possible.

    How Long Does it Take to Get Compensated After an Accident in NYC?

    Car accident victims often have concerns about when they will get the compensation that they deserve. Unfortunately, it is difficult to estimate how long it will take to get your compensation without specific information about your case.

    Factors that may affect the timeline for receiving compensation include whether you are pursuing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, the number of vehicles that were involved in the accident, the severity of your injuries, and the willingness of insurance companies to cooperate.

    Most of these factors are not within your control. One aspect that you can control, however, is your representation. Car insurance companies that know they are dealing with a claimant who does not have a lawyer may often strategically drag out the process. They do this in the hope that the claimant settles for much less money upfront or even gives up on their claim entirely.

    Our experienced New York City car accident lawyers know when an insurance company is acting in bad faith. By getting representation, you can prevent an insurer from using underhanded tactics to keep your compensation away from you and potentially take the insurance company to court to recover even more than you were initially owed.

    Damages You Can Recover in a NYC Car Accident Lawsuit

    As mentioned, our lawyers can help you recover several types of damages by filing a lawsuit. An insurance claim will typically only cover your economic losses, like medical expenses, and even then, only up to the policy limit. In a lawsuit, you can claim both your economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages cover a broad range of personal suffering that can be compensated financially. We can accurately evaluate the following damages so you know you are getting the full value for your injuries:

    Current and Future Medical Costs

    Your medical bills will often form the core of the damages you claim in your case. However, you are entitled to more than just your current medical expenses. Depending on the severity of your accident, you might have medical needs long into the future. Our team can consult with experts to assess what your treatment will require and include it with our demand for the bills you have already paid.

    Our lawyers will use your medical records as evidence of your injuries, the treatment they require, and your doctors’ prognosis for your recovery. This is why it is important to make every appointment and follow through on your treatment plan.

    Doctor’s notes, physical therapy reports, and other critical documents will need to be submitted as evidence to the insurance company. If the defendant’s attorney sees that several appointments have been missed, they will use this to argue that your injuries were not that serious, potentially lowering your compensation.

    Lost Income and Loss of Earning Ability

    We can also collect paystubs and employment records to claim your lost income. Many car accident victims need to take time off of work to recover. However, even a short amount of time out of work could cost you dearly. You might have also lost out on precious overtime pay, missed bonuses, or lost important opportunities because you were injured. We can help prove these losses so you get some measure of justice.

    If your injuries are serious, you might have lost the ability to do the work you did before. Suppose you need to change position as a result of your injuries. If the position pays less, you should be compensated for the difference. Our team will work with experts to help determine an appropriate value for your loss of earning capacity.

    Property Damage

    After a NYC car accident, you will likely have property damage to claim. Naturally, we will help you claim damages to your vehicle. In some cases, this might mean compensation for repair costs. In others, we will help negotiate fair market value for a replacement.

    However, you can also be compensated for personal property that was damaged in the accident. For instance, your phone might have been smashed in the impact, or an expensive watch you cherish may have been destroyed. Our attorneys will make sure your lawsuit includes these losses.

    Out-of-Pocket Costs

    You can also claim expenses you have had to pay just to deal with your injuries. This includes paying for childcare, rental cars, and other transportation expenses. Be sure to keep receipts and invoices for services you received as part of addressing your injuries. We will use them as evidence to recover these costs.

    Pain and Suffering

    “Pain and suffering” is a legal term for the physical pain and discomfort you experience following your accident. While these damages can be hard to quantify, our team has the experience to assess them accurately.

    Pain and suffering might be obvious from your injuries and testimony. For example, if you injured your spine in an accident, you can tell the court about the chronic pain you now live with and the emotional suffering from not being able to be as active as before. In more complex cases, we can call an expert witness to explain to the court how your injuries have caused your pain and suffering.

    Emotional Anguish

    Victims commonly suffer emotional anguish of all types after a NYC car accident. You might feel humiliation or depression about the impact your injuries have had on your life. Many car accident victims suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can severely limit their activities and ability to get back behind the wheel. Our lawyers pride ourselves on getting our clients compensation for these deeply personal losses.

    Loss of Consortium

    Our team can also help you and your spouse claim “loss of consortium” if your accident has impacted your relationship. This is a specific claim in your complaint that seeks compensation for any loss of intimacy or contributions you make. Regardless of whether the issue is physical or psychological, we can help you get damages for this impact on your marriage.

    You can typically claim these damages if your relationship with your children has also been affected. For instance, if your injuries prevent you from providing the same level of affection to your children, you deserve to be compensated for losing out on irreplaceable moments with your loved ones.

    Loss of Joy in Life

    Many of the damages described above often add up to the victim’s loss in the enjoyment of life. Fortunately, our lawyers can help recover for this loss in your lawsuit. Your car accident might have left you in a state where you can no longer participate in long-enjoyed hobbies. Perhaps you cannot play in your weekly company softball game or even walk your dog. If your family life has been affected, it is hard to take much joy in life. These are the things that make life special, and we will fight so you get justice for your life being altered.

    Scarring and Disfigurement

    You can also be compensated if you are disfigured or left with scars following your treatment. These damages recognize that you will always have a permanent physical reminder of your accident and should be paid accordingly. This is especially true if you are left with visible scars. It can affect your confidence and self-esteem to the extent that it prevents you from exploring opportunities. Our lawyers can help determine what would constitute adequate payment for your scarring.

    The Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in NYC

    In most car accident cases, the victims have up to three years to file their lawsuits with the court. This legal deadline leaves no room for error. If you fail to meet this legal timeline and do not submit your lawsuit, the court may – and probably will – refuse to hear your case. However, just because you may have plenty of time to file a lawsuit does not mean that you should wait that long to take legal action or delay other important tasks after your car accident.

    The more time you wait to file your claim after your car accident, the more challenging it may get to win your case. Keep in mind that it is easier to obtain all of the evidence required in your case soon after your accident. If you wait too long, any physical evidence or testimony may be lost. Another important thing to remember is that your insurance company will look at the facts of your crash within hours of it happening. You may think that your insurance tries to look after your best interests. However, they will usually try their best to look for ways to deem you liable and reduce your payout, all while increasing your premiums. You can act faster than your insurance company by hiring our legal services before talking to insurance.

    It is critical to get assistance from experienced NYC car accident injury lawyers from The Carrion Law Firm. Our attorneys can work with you while preserving and protecting the evidence in your case.

    How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in NYC?

    Many accident victims with valid lawsuits choose not to pursue their claims because they are hesitant about the cost of legal fees, especially with medical bills piling up. Fortunately, many car accident injury lawyers in New York will work on contingency fees.

    In a contingency fee structure, you need not worry about paying for your representation until your case is resolved, either by settlement or court verdict. Your lawyer gets paid a percentage of what you recover in damages. That way, your lawyer has extra motivation to win you more money, and you won’t be stuck paying for your representation, which is worth more than your case. If your case ultimately does not succeed, you won’t owe your lawyer anything.

    If you are concerned about your ability to afford competent and dedicated legal representation to help you with your car accident injury case, our resourceful car accident lawyers can discuss possible flexible and creative fee structures with you that won’t put you in a financial bind while you recover from your injuries.

    Our New York City Car Accident Attorneys Can Help

    For a free case evaluation with our car accident attorneys, contact The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.