New York Car Accidents by the Numbers
New York State and New York City record a large number of car accidents each year. To get a better idea of how dangerous the streets of New York can be, consider the following statistics released by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for a single recent year:
- There were 304,804 collisions throughout New York State.
- 52,621 of the car crashes were in New York City alone.
- 1,188 people lost their lives in a New York motor vehicle crash, with 281 of those fatalities occurring in New York City.
- There were 169,177 non-fatal injuries reported as a result of crashes throughout New York State.
- 42,062 of those injuries were a result of New York City car collisions.
- Motorcycles were involved in 5,180 crashes in New York State, 1,519 of which happened in New York City.
- There were 6,328 bicycle/vehicle crashes in the state, with 3,927 happening in New York City.
- Pedestrian/vehicle crashes accounted for 16,432 collisions across the state, and more than two-thirds of them, or 11,501, were in the city.
- In New York City alone, 183 pedestrians and 9 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents.
Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident in New York City
The lawyers of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., understand the disruption that a serious car accident can have on your life. We have helped many families in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn and the Bronx move forward after a car accident. We work hard to see that you obtain the resources you need to recover fully if you’ve been injured by the negligence or fault of another driver.
Protecting your rights in a car accident claim is very important. Here are eight mistakes to avoid so you do not do anything to jeopardize your case:
1. Not getting a medical examination. You need to get a medical exam as soon as you can after a crash. Not only could seeing a doctor potentially save your life if you suffered serious injuries with no outward symptoms, but it can also help preserve your right to make a claim. Your doctor needs to document all injuries that you sustained so you will have proof that the injuries resulted from the car accident.
2. Admitting blame. The person who is at fault for causing a car accident could be held responsible for paying for damages that result from the crash. You do not want to tell police or others that you were at fault, even if you believe you did something wrong. There are many factors involved in causing a crash, and all of the evidence may not be apparent to you in the stressful aftermath of the accident. Instead of speculating about fault, provide simple, factual answers to the questions the police ask.
3. Not calling the police or notifying your insurance company. After a car accident, you should make two phone calls as soon as possible. The first call should be to the police and the second call should be to your insurance company. You need to call the police so they can investigate the accident and write a report about what occurred in the crash. This report can be very valuable in case there is a dispute about how the accident happened.
You need to call your insurance company for several reasons. First and foremost, you want to ensure you do not do anything to jeopardize the coverage provided by your insurer. This can be very important even if the other driver was to blame because the other driver might have insufficient insurance or no insurance at all. Your insurer could potentially pay out in such cases through uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Another reason to report the accident to your insurer is because New York has no-fault insurance rules. This means that those who suffer “minor” injuries in car accidents are limited to making a claim with their own insurer for medical costs and lost wages. There is a very limited time frame for getting benefits through no-fault insurance.
4. Trusting the insurance company. Many people trust their insurance company after a car accident, and some even trust the insurance company for the driver who was to blame for the crash. This is a big mistake. While you purchase an insurance policy to protect you from loss, the goal of the insurance company isn’t to protect you. Instead, they want to pay out the absolute minimum they can – or even pay nothing at all – to protect their bottom line.
Insurance companies try many different tactics in order to pay as little as they possibly can, even when it is clear that an accident claim should be covered. If you trust the insurance companies, you could end up getting much less compensation than you deserve for your car accident losses.
5. Giving too much information to the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company would like to pin the accident on you if possible to avoid paying a claim. They may try to find inconsistencies in your story or try to trip you up when asking you about injuries in order to suggest that you are exaggerating your losses.
You should never agree to provide a recorded or written statement to any insurance company without the advice of a lawyer. The best way to deal with insurance companies is to have a lawyer help you with all interactions. With an attorney, you can be sure you have someone looking out for you.
6. Signing anything without understanding your legal rights. One of the tactics that insurance companies sometimes employ involves trying to get you to sign something that waives your rights. For example, an insurance company might offer you some limited amount of compensation in exchange for signing a release absolving them of liability. If you sign something without understanding it, you could give up some of the money or benefits that the law entitles you to.
7. Settling your claim before you know the full extent of your injuries. When you contact a car accident attorney in New York to settle your claim, you need to sign a release of liability in exchange for receiving an agreed-upon amount of compensation. Once you sign a release of liability, you are barred from making any additional claims based on the accident. It doesn’t matter if your injuries turn out to be more severe than you thought – you have already given up your rights to pursue additional compensation by signing a release. In many cases, what first appear to be minor injuries turn out to be more serious or long-lasting. You should always be sure that you have a clear understanding of all medical problems resulting from the crash before you settle.
8. Not contacting an attorney. Car accident claims are complex, especially with New York’s no-fault system. You need to have an experienced advocate who understands the law and who can advise you on how best to proceed with your car accident claim. Your attorney can be an advocate who takes on the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies have lawyers and experts representing their interests, and you deserve to have an attorney to stand up for yours.
Why You Need a New York Car Accident Lawyer
There are many reasons why it is important to have a New York car accident attorney after you have been involved in an auto accident, including the following:
1. A lawyer can help you understand your rights. New York car accident claims are complex because New York has a no-fault system. This means that every driver has to buy personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and has to rely on this coverage to pay medical costs and lost wages in the event of a crash that causes only “minor” injuries.
Getting your insurer to pay a PIP claim can be complicated, especially since there are strict time limits. A New York car accident lawyer can help.
Car accident victims with serious injuries must show that they are eligible to file a personal injury claim outside of the no-fault system. This adds another layer of complexity to car accident lawsuits. A lawyer can assist you with all aspects of a claim when your injuries are serious, from proving your eligibility to following through with your case so you can recover the maximum compensation available under the law.
2. A lawyer can assist you in valuing your claim. When you make a personal injury claim after a car accident, the case could be resolved in different ways. One way is to settle out of court for an agreed-upon sum. Another way is to sue and let a judge or jury decide what you deserve.
In order to determine whether you should settle – and for how much – you need to know what your claim is actually worth. This can be hard to determine. While every case is different, there are certain things you should be compensated for in a car accident lawsuit, including medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. A lawyer who is familiar with car accident claims in New York can help you estimate the value of your claim. Knowing the value of your case is essential because you want to make sure that you do not leave money on the table and that you get enough compensation to allow you to rebuild your life after a serious car crash.
3. A lawyer can help you investigate the cause of the accident. In order for a car accident lawyer in NYC to settle a claim for serious injuries, you need to show that another driver was legally responsible for the accident. Proving legal responsibility involves showing negligence and causation. Negligence means the other driver broke a safety rule or was unreasonably careless. Causation means that the negligence was a direct cause of the crash, which was a direct cause of your injuries.
It is often unclear exactly who was to blame for an accident, especially if you and the other driver have conflicting stories about what happened. A New York City car accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove that your crash was caused by another driver. The sooner you contact a lawyer and start to gather this evidence, the stronger the case you can build.
4. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company. Insurance companies are not your friends. They are not looking out for you. They are not trying to make sure you are fairly compensated for all of your losses. Insurance companies want to hold on to their money so they can be profitable, and they have a team of lawyers and experts who help them do that. This is true both when you are trying to get money from your own insurance company and when you are trying to get money from another driver’s insurer.
You deserve to have your own knowledgeable advocate who can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf. A New York City injury attorney understands car accident laws and insurance laws. Your attorney can review and interpret your policy and value your claim. Your attorney can then use negotiating skills and legal knowledge to fight to get you a fair settlement from the insurance company. Settling out of court could be preferable to avoid the time, stress and expense of a trial – as long as a fair settlement is reached.
5. A lawyer can take your case to court to get you the money that the law entitles you to. When the insurance company will not offer a fair settlement or when it acts in bad faith, you need to go to court to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Car accident lawsuits can be complicated, and there are many legal rules and procedures that must be followed. You also have the burden of proving your case to recover damages.
Dealing with court rules and presenting evidence are not things you should try to do on your own. Instead, you should turn to a legal professional who knows the New York court system and knows how to build and present a case, giving you the best chance of obtaining full and fair compensation after your crash.
Trust David Resnick & Associates, P.C., with Your New York City Car Accident Claim
These are just some of the many reasons why having a New York City car accident lawyer is essential. You need an attorney with experience handling car accident claims and with the knowledge, skill and ability to advocate on your behalf.
At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., we have extensive experience representing clients in car accident lawsuits throughout New York City. Rest assured that our attorneys will negotiate a prompt, fair and just settlement or fight aggressively to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available under the law.
Maximizing Your Recovery in a Car Accident Case
If you were injured in a car accident in New York City, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the injuries caused by the accident. This may include both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages represent out-of-pocket expenses such as medical bills and lost wages, while noneconomic damages are intended to compensate a victim for the pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Because New York has a “no-fault” insurance law, not all victims are entitled to pain and suffering damages. The no-fault laws require a victim’s own liability insurance provider to compensate the victim for economic damages up to a certain point regardless of who was to blame for the collision. If the victim suffered “serious” injuries in the crash, then the victim may also be entitled to pursue additional economic damages as well as noneconomic damages through a traditional personal injury lawsuit.
Contrary to what many people believe, there is no “magic formula” for determining the amount of compensation a victim is entitled to in a car accident case. There are, however, numerous factors that can affect a victim’s recovery. The New York City car accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., understand how each of these factors work together to maximize a victim’s recovery.
The first step in maximizing a car accident victim’s recovery is to ensure that all evidence relating to the accident is preserved. Evidence comes in many forms, and all of it may add to the strength of a victim’s case.
Some common forms of evidence that should be preserved in a car accident case include:
- Physical evidence – Preserving physical evidence may mean taking photos of the damage to the vehicles or securing the vehicles for inspection. While you may need to have your vehicle repaired after an accident, always be sure to take plenty of photographs that include a time and date stamp on them and have one or more professional repair shops provide a detailed written estimate of the damage prior to repairs. Along with photos of the vehicle, you should take photos of yourself if you have obvious physical injuries from the accident.
- Witness statements – Neutral witnesses to an accident can go a long way toward proving negligence, or fault, in an accident. Although a police report may include witness identification and contact information, it is best not to rely on a police report. If you are able to speak to witnesses at the scene of the accident and get contact information, it will likely be very helpful. If not, it may be necessary to send an investigator to try to locate witnesses from nearby establishments or residences to corroborate your version of events.
- Weather and road conditions – Sometimes factors such as road or weather conditions play a role in a car accident. A poorly designed or maintained roadway, for instance, may have played a role in the accident. Likewise, a malfunctioning traffic light might have triggered a crash. Weather could also be an important factor if another motorist failed to adjust his or her speed for the adverse conditions. All of these potentially relevant conditions need to be documented through photos, official reports or records.
In some cases, the cause of the accident is clear to everyone involved. More often than not, though, causation is one of the main issues in a New York City car accident case. Because the other parties wish to avoid liability, they will ordinarily not admit to causing the accident.
Therefore, we may use a variety of tools and tactics to prove causation to a jury. Some of these include:
- Accident reconstruction experts – Accident reconstruction experts spend a considerable amount of time studying an accident to determine how the accident occurred. An accident reconstruction expert is a highly educated and trained scientist or engineer, as a rule, who can explain to a jury exactly how an accident occurred with a great degree of accuracy.
- Video accident recreation – Often, creating a video that depicts how the accident occurred can help a jury envision what caused the crash and who was to blame.
- Demonstration exhibits – A demonstration exhibit may be a video or audio recording of the conditions just prior to an accident or could include an example of the weather or road conditions existing at the time. Basically, it includes anything that “demonstrates” a factor contributing to the accident for the jury.
- Experimental tests – In some cases, we may be able to present an experimental test to the jury where we recreate conditions that existed at the time of the accident to show what likely occurred.
Negligence, or fault, in a New York car accident could lie with another motorist, a municipality because of poor road design or maintenance, a vehicle manufacturer, or other parties that in some way contributed to the accident. More than one of these potential parties could share the fault in an accident. To ensure maximum recovery in a car accident, it is imperative to explore the potential liability of all potential defendants in the investigation process.
In legal terms, injuries (including pain and suffering and lost wages) are referred to as “damages” in a car accident case. Proving the number, extent and severity of your damages is crucial to maximizing your recovery. To do this, we may employ medical experts to discuss your physical injuries, as well as to provide us with an estimate of the future medical expenses you are likely to incur as a result of your injuries. We may also use economists and financial experts to discuss the financial impact the crash had on you and your family. Finally, we may turn to life-care planners and psychologists to convince a jury of the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the collision.
Find Out How Our NYC Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Recover Maximum Compensation
If you have been injured as a result of a New York City car accident, or have lost a close relative in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries or your loss.
Maximizing your recovery is crucial for both you and your family to ensure that you are compensated for the full financial and emotional impact of the collision. The car accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., represent car accident victims in New York City.
For a free initial evaluation of your case, contact the firm today by calling 212-279-2000 or by filling out our online contact form. The aftermath of a car accident can be a challenging time for a victim, which is why you need an experienced attorney.