Car accidents happen daily in New York City. Minor crashes are often open-and-shut cases, but when someone suffers severe injuries due to someone else’s negligence, they have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. If you have questions about your case and your right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, a car accident lawyer in Lower Manhattan can guide you through the legal process.
What Types of Cases Does a Car Accident Lawyer in Lower Manhattan Handle?
Every collision case has unique circumstances that can impact the victim’s right to compensation. Some claims only involve one vehicle where that driver is responsible for their losses. However, the most common cases attorneys see include the following:
- Rear-end collisions. In these cases, the person following the other vehicle is nearly always at fault. These collisions can cause severe injuries when impact occurs at high speed, or the person in front is on a motorcycle.
- Head-on collisions. These are among the most severe and even deadly crashes, especially at high speeds. Common causes include distracted driving or driving under the influence.
- Side-impact collisions. The most common place for a side-impact accident, also known as a t-bone accident, is at an intersection. When one vehicle runs a red light, colliding perpendicularly with another car, the potential for severe injuries is high, mainly if the impact occurs near a passenger or the driver.
- Rollovers. A rollover can occur under a number of circumstances, and several factors can contribute to the severity of the crash, including whether the people in the vehicle wore seatbelts.
- Sideswipes. These accidents commonly occur when someone makes an improper lane change or unsafely merges into traffic.
Most car accidents are the result of traffic violations. For example, tailgating, running a red light or making an improper lane change are all traffic violations that could render the person liable for damages the victims incur.
How They Contribute to Your Claim
When you hire a car accident lawyer in Lower Manhattan, they act as your legal representation, taking all necessary action to build your cause while you focus on healing. Some contributions they make to your claim include:
- Talking to the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement
- Investigating the accident to establish negligence and find evidence supporting your claim
- Identifying all recoverable damages and adequately valuing your settlement
- Producing the evidence required to prove your losses
- Preparing your paperwork without mistakes that may delay your claims process
Additionally, car accident lawyers typically work on contingency, which means they will handle your claim at no upfront charge. They know the importance of having experienced legal representation without the burden of additional financial losses. Therefore, they only receive payment if they win your case.
What New York Laws Impact a Car Accident Claim?
Every state has laws that govern personal injury claims in the state. When discussing your case with a car accident lawyer in Lower Manhattan, you may discuss three critical laws that apply to auto accident claims in New York: no-fault auto insurance, the statute of limitations and the comparative negligence rule. Take a more in-depth look at each.
No-Fault Auto Insurance
New York is one of only a few states that require drivers to carry personal injury protection insurance. In many cases, especially minor collisions, this is beneficial. In the event of an accident, all parties involved will seek compensation for medical care costs, lost income and other related out-of-pocket expenses through their own PIP policies. This insurance coverage is a no-fault system that will pay out without considering who is at fault.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you need to sue the person responsible for the accident and your injuries, you have three years from the date of the accident to file. Submitting the paperwork after the statute of limitations runs out will likely result in the dismissal of your claim without consideration.
The Comparative Negligence Rule
When both parties share liability in a car accident case, Manhattan civil court will apply the pure comparative negligence rule. According to this law, you can still recover a percentage of damages when you are partially responsible for the accident and even if you are more liable than the defendant. For example, if the court determines you are 20% at fault and your damages amount to $100,000, you will still recover $80,000. If you have questions about your role in the accident, a car accident lawyer in Lower Manhattan can help you understand how this rule may affect your claim.
When Can You File a Lawsuit or Claim Against the At-Fault Party in New York?
To account for the limitations of a no-fault auto insurance policy, New York law allows victims of negligent drivers who suffer severe injuries to bypass the no-fault system and file an at-fault civil claim. To qualify, the injuries must meet one of the following requirements:
- Cause total disability for at least 90 days
- Result in significant disfigurement
- Cause broken bones
- Result in the significantly limited use of a body system or function
- Result in the permanent limited use of a body member or organ
If you qualify and decide to file an at-fault claim, you can access more extensive damages than are available through your PIP policy.
What Damages Can You Recover From an At-Fault Claim?
You can recover all your compensatory damages related to the accident and your injuries through an at-fault claim. These include economic and non-economic losses.
Economic damages cover the entire financial impact of your claim, including the medical expenses incurred from your injuries, the loss of income from missed work or lost earning capacity, the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property and any other out-of-pocket expenses for things necessary during recovery. The non-economic damages cover how your accident and injuries impact your mental health. Recoverable examples include:
- The physical pain and suffering you endured because of your injuries and treatment
- Losing the ability to enjoy your life again
- Loss of consortium when your injuries impact your intimate partnership
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress
When you work with an experienced attorney, they will identify and value your damages to accurately reflect your losses. Proving economic damages is less challenging than proving non-economic losses. For example, your lawyer may use the multiplier method to assign a reasonable monetary value to mental and emotional losses. This requires them to total the cost of current and future medical expenses and multiply that amount by a factor between 1.5 and 5 to determine the value of pain and suffering. More severe injuries will result in a higher amount of non-economic damages.
When Should You Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Lower Manhattan?
If you suffered a severe injury in a collision, it is never too soon after the crash to contact a car accident lawyer in Lower Manhattan. At Cellino Law, we understand the physical, emotional and financial devastation a severe accident can have on the victims and their families. We offer a free consultation so you can talk to an experienced attorney about your legal options and get the help you need as soon as possible. Contact Cellino Law online today or call (800) 555-5555 to speak with an attorney about the details of your case.
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Thank you for your efforts on my behalf. I am very pleased (and surprised) at the amount of the settlement. We will use the funds to help pay down the debt on the truck we had to purchase after ours was totaled. Thank you again.
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Choosing the right attorney to represent you after an accident can make all the difference. This is no cliche. I recently experienced these words to live by first hand. After a tractor trailer rear ended me at high speed in 2017 I retained Allan Silverstein to handle my case. I quickly realized that bringing a lawsuit rapidly snowballs into a mountain of details that can make or break your results. Documents, case histories, doctor visits, bills, and lots of phone calls all need to be accurately kept track of if a successful outcome it to be attained. To complicate matters I reside in New York and the incident took place in New Jersey. Luckily, Allan was licensed in multiple states. I was fortunate to find Allan to handle this matter from the New York area. Armed with an accurate account of the facts Allan went to work on the difficult job of negotiating with the defending insurance company as well as my no fault carrier in order to obtain the best possible outcome for my set of circumstances. In a lawsuit communication is key and and events can be of a timely nature. Allan never failed to return my calls - usually the same day! He fought skillfully and respectfully to get me the best possible settlement. He is easy to deal with and a likeable down to earth guy. He always listened with compassion and respect to my issues. He guided me with objective understanding as well as a realistic analysis of the merits of my case. When we finally settled Allan got me a fair agreement beyond my expectations and negotiated with my doctors to make sure all my bills were paid. It was a great experience having Allan represent me. Quality work in any aspect of life is hard to find. Quality is what I got with Allan Silverstein. I highly recommend him if you find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney.
I just want to let you know that I did receive my settlement check. More importantly, I want to thank you again for all you did for both me and my family. I could not be more pleased with my experience at Cellino Law. From the moment I first spoke with you I felt comfortable - you took a sincere interest in my case, clearly explained the process and effected a quick settlement. From this day forward, when someone asks if I can recommend a good lawyer I will, without hesitation, say "Cellino Law". Thanks again.
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