Car Accidents

The accident may only last a few seconds, but injuries can last a lifetime. While insurance may help to pay for unexpected costs, those benefits aren’t always enough. The state of New York protects its citizens by providing clear guidelines regarding who may pursue legal action after a car accident. 

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In the blink of an eye a car accident can cause life-changing injuries or rip loved ones away from their families. Victims usually have no idea that these are the last moments of normalcy that they may have before this life-altering event changes everything.

At The Lipsig Firm, we understand that injuries and deaths that occur during or after a car accident can be horrific and painful. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand what your legal rights are after an auto accident.

New York Car Accident Law

New York is one of a few states that have instituted a “no-fault” car insurance program. This means that if you are a New York driver with insurance in the state, you will turn to your own insurance company to pay for any injury claim you may have after an accident, regardless as to who was at fault.

However, in some accidents the injured are allowed to go outside the confines of this system and file a lawsuit against the driver who was at fault.  New York law allows this to happen if the injured party:

  • has significant disfigurement
  • a bone fracture
  • permanent damage resulting in limited use of a body organ or limb
  • significant damage resulting in the limitation of a body function or system
  • injuries resulting in full disability for 90 days, or
  • if victims died as a result of the crash

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Personal injury lawsuits can seek compensation for pain, suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, or lost opportunities, which are all damages that will not be paid out via an insurance claim.

What is the Statute of Limitations for car accidents in New York?Car crash

New York has enacted laws which limit the amount of time a victim has to file a lawsuit after being in an accident. For car accidents, the statute of limitations is three years for both a personal injury lawsuit as well as property damage lawsuits.

What if BOTH drivers were at fault?

Comparative fault is used in a situation where more than one driver is to blame for causing an accident. In the state of New York you can still seek to recover compensation from the other party involved even if you were also at fault, however, any compensation you recover will be reduced by a percentage equal to your share of the liability in the crash.

For example, if you go to court and the verdict awards you $10,000, but the jury also finds you 30% at fault because you were speeding at the time of the accident, you will only be awarded $7,000.

Factors That Can Contribute to Driver Negligence

While there are environmental factors that no one can control while driving, such as a deer jumping into on-coming traffic or a tree falling across the road, the majority of car accidents occur as a result of driver negligence. Drivers can be found negligent when they fail to take every reasonable caution while driving to ensure other driver’s safety.

New York State reported that in 2013 there were a total of 259,740 car accidents. Of those, 203,457 accidents were caused by “human factors”. Common factors include:

  • driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • texting or talking on a cell phone
  • failing to keep a reasonable distance from the car in front of you (tailgating)
  • improper lane usage
  • listening to music with headphones
  • failure to yield properly
  • speeding
  • aggression / road rage, and
  • general driver inattention

What Should I Do After A Car Accident?

The moments after a car accident can be confusing and scary. The effects of adrenaline can leave you feeling shaky and have your heart pumping. If you or a loved one are injured, this can incite panic. However, there are important things to do at the scene of an accident, if possible.

  • Check all drivers and passengers for injuries and seek medical attention if needed.
  • Call the police.
  • Exchange information with the owner of the other car.
  • Talk to any witnesses.
  • Take pictures.
  • Call your insurance company, and
  • Use caution discussing the incident. Do not sign any documents or make a recorded insurance report without first speaking to an attorney.

Contact An Attorney Regarding Your Car Accident Today

Choosing an attorney is an important decision and not one to be taken lightly. At Lipsig, Shapey, Manus, and Moverman P.C., our attorneys are experienced in handling cases involving car accidents and have successfully won compensation for our clients’ losses.

While it is important to keep in mind that all cases are different, a few examples of our car accidents case results are below:

$2.5 Million

Jury verdict in Manhattan for a 34-year-old woman who suffered multiple injuries when her car was hit by an intoxicated driver.

$2 Million

Verdict for a 32-year-old- man who required spinal surgery after his car was side-swiped by another car.

$1.8 Million

Settlement for a 54-year-old man who had his back injured after his car was struck from behind by another vehicle.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, call the attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus, & Moverman P.C. today for a free consultation at 1-888-461-1713.