Queens Car Accident Lawyer
City streets are filled with dangers and any number of potential car accident risks. If you were involved in a car crash in Queens, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the driver who hit you and get your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages covered through a lawsuit.
To protect your right to recovery following an accident, call the police and seek medical attention. Doing this will result in evidence that you can use in your case. Victims should be careful when speaking with insurance companies, even their own, as misspeaking could jeopardize a claim. Because no-fault laws apply in Queens, only victims with serious injuries can sue for compensation. In order to recover damages in a lawsuit, you must file your case within three years of your accident. After bringing your claim, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, acted negligently, caused the accident, and caused your injuries. You will also need to submit proof of your losses for proper calculation of your compensatory damages.
To have our Queens car accident lawyers assess your case for free, call The Carrion Law Firm now at (718) 841-0083.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Queens
Immediately after being injured in an auto accident, there are a few things victims should do right away. This includes calling the police and going to the hospital.
In Queens, all motor vehicle accidents that result in injury, death, or upwards of $1,000 in property damage must be reported to the police. Not only do victims have to do this to comply with the law, but to ensure there is sufficient documentation of their accident occurring. Our car accident lawyers can obtain the police report for your incident in the days that follow the crash. We can then review this report to learn additional details about your collision and its cause.
Victims must also go to the hospital, even if they appear uninjured. Common car accident injuries, such as whiplash, might take time to come to the surface. Experienced medical professionals can diagnose your injuries and create a treatment plan for your physical recovery.
Because your claim will be based on injury, it is essential that you are able to provide medical evidence of your injuries. So, you should continue getting the proper care, even if that includes surgeries or prescription medication. You will likely be able to recover compensation for all the medical expenses you have incurred because of a car accident when you file your claim in Queens.
Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Queens Car Accident
In New York, you are required to carry no-fault car insurance. This sometimes limits your ability to claim compensation from the other driver directly in a lawsuit and may even limit your right to file a third-party claim with their insurance company.
Insurance companies are also notorious for reading into any word you say and using anything that they can against you to reduce how much they have to pay. Even if they do pay a claim, they may offer you only a fraction of your actual damages.
You should never talk with an insurance company – even your own – without discussing your injury case with a lawyer beforehand. In serious injury cases, the insurance companies are careful to avoid payments, and often try to pay only a percentage of medical costs and lost wages. Usually, car insurance claims cannot even cover pain and suffering damages, so you will have to take your case to court to get these damages covered at all.
Our attorneys can step in and negotiate with the insurance companies for you to get compensation. If the insurance companies are unable or unwilling to cooperate and offer settlements that cover your injuries, we can take your case to trial and fight to get a judge and jury to award you the financial compensation you need to be paid.
Who Can Sue Following a Car Accident in Queens?
Because New York is a no-fault state, victims are limited regarding their recovery methods. As a victim, it is important to understand how such rules apply to you and your case, specifically.
All drivers in Queens must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. That way, if you sustain minor injuries in an accident, you can file a claim with your PIP coverage and eliminate the need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. This is the case, regardless of who is to blame for an accident. Victims who have sustained serious injuries are the only ones permitted to file lawsuits in Queens.
According to I.S.C. Law § 5102(d), serious injuries include dismemberment, disfigurement, loss of a fetus, and death, among others. Furthermore, if an injury impedes your ability to live as you normally would for at least 90 of the first 180 days following an accident, you have met the serious injury threshold in Queens.
Because lawsuits often provide the opportunity for recovery of greater damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, it is important to learn whether or not your injuries qualify you to sue. Our lawyers will review your medical records and speak with medical professionals to see if your injuries meet the definition of serious injury in New York.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in Queens
You will only have a certain amount of time to file your car accident lawsuit in Queens. If you miss the deadline, you will be barred from recovery entirely.
All injury cases in Queens must be filed within three years of an injury occurring. This means that you will have three years from the date of your accident to bring a compensation claim against a negligent driver. Although three years can seem like ample time, it is important to begin the process as soon as possible. This will allow our attorneys to have plenty of time to gather evidence in support of your claim, improving your chances of recovery.
When victims wait to sue, they risk certain evidence becoming unavailable. For example, security camera footage might be erased as time passes. Eyewitnesses might forget what they saw. And, it can be more challenging to draw a connection between a victim’s injuries and an at-fault party’s actions the more time that goes by. So, do not wait to bring your claim and consult with our attorneys about your right to compensation immediately after an auto accident in Queens. Although there is an exception to the statute of limitations for delayed discovery, that rarely applies to car accident cases, especially those involving serious injuries.
Proving Car Accident Cases in Queens
When you take a car accident injury case to court, it will be up to you as the plaintiff to prove your case to the jury and judge before they can award you any money. Across the country, car accident cases are typically filed on negligence grounds, which means that you do not need to prove that the defendant did anything wrong on purpose to get damages paid. Instead, you have to prove that it is more likely than not that they committed some negligent act that caused your crash and subsequent injuries.
Negligence in a car accident case often involves simple mistakes and errors behind the wheel that anyone could have committed. The issue in the case comes down to the fact that if these mistakes caused a crash, the driver who committed them is the one who has to pay the damages stemming from the incident.
Most car accident cases are filed because of dangerous traffic violations like speeding, distracted driving, reckless driving, and drunk driving. These kinds of issues can cause serious injuries, especially if the driver’s mental state makes it harder for them to react to dangers and slow down before the crash. Many high-speed crashes occur on narrow city streets and highways in Queens, leaving victims injured because of avoidable errors.
If there was no traffic violation per se, the defendant may still have committed unreasonable mistakes behind the wheel that put them at fault. Ultimately, the jury will judge many of these mistakes with an objective standard by comparing the case to what an average driver of reasonable prudence would do.
Proving Who Caused the Crash
Once you establish what the negligent act or omission was, you also need to show that it is in fact what caused the crash. In inclement weather, many crashes happen because of the weather, not because of anything any person did. In cases like this, a crash might have been unavoidable, and even if the other driver was breaking the law, they could have been unable to stop the crash. This can throw a wrench into some car accident cases.
More often, the issue with causation is proving who is responsible because multiple drivers might have actually done something wrong. According to C.V.P. Law § 1411, there is no requirement that a victim be 100% innocent, and you can actually get compensation even if you shared fault for the crash. For example, if you were speeding a bit, but the other driver ran a red light while drunk and T-boned you, most courts would overwhelmingly agree that the other driver was at fault even if you shared a fraction of the blame.
Courts can assign a percentage of the blame to each driver and make them responsible for that portion of the damages. This means you might lose a percentage of your overall payment based on your percentage of the fault, but our New York City car accident lawyers will work to focus the blame on the at-fault drivers and minimize any losses on your behalf.
Proving Your Damages
In addition to proving negligence and liability, you must also provide evidence of your losses to recover compensation for a car accident in Queens. Our attorneys will do this by submitting proof of damages. This refers to any losses, financial or otherwise, that you have incurred as a result of a negligent driver’s actions. To ensure you have sufficient proof of your damages, keep records of any and all losses related to an accident. Most likely, the majority of your losses will be in regard to medical bills. As you receive invoices or bills during the course of your treatment, provide them to our lawyers.
If you have missed work because of an injury sustained in an auto accident, keep records of your lost wages. To prove lost wages, we might use previous pay stubs or tax returns. Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as child care and transportation costs, may be compensable as well. There is no limit on a victim’s recovery of non-economic damages in auto accident claims Queens.
You will also have to provide proof of your non-economic damages if you wish to recover compensation for pain and suffering. When proving your need for non-economic damages, our lawyers might turn to experts, such as mental health professionals. Seeing a therapist can increase your chances of recovering compensation for pain and suffering and also help you work through the emotional challenges you are facing in the aftermath of an accident. Statements from friends and family can also aid in your recovery of non-economic damages in Queens. There is no cap on recovery of non-economic damages for victims of auto accidents in New York.
Contact Our Queens Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation on Your Accident
To get a free and confidential case review from our car accident lawyers, call The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.