Common Car Accident Questions
If you need a New York car accident attorney, or you’re uncertain whether your situation requires a lawyer and you have questions, contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., online or call us at 212-279-2000 today. We serve accident victims in New York City – which includes Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx.
The following are questions frequently asked by clients who have been involved in car accidents:
One of the best things you can do is to acquaint yourself ahead of time with the best steps to take when you have an accident. Click to read our car accident checklist.
In a “no fault” state, your own insurance company pays for your injuries and damages (up to preset policy limits) regardless of which driver is at fault for the accident. In some states, who pays for the expenses related to the accident is determined by who caused the accident. “No fault” laws are intended to lower insurance rates and reduce the time it takes to get payment for your damages.
If the accident was the other driver’s fault, then you can make a case that the other driver’s insurance should pay your expenses. In New York, you can sue the other driver if your case meet certain conditions. The best way to determine if your injuries qualify for additional compensation is to consult an experienced car accident attorney. Click for more information on New York car accident insurance.
Although you may be able to handle your claim without the help of an auto accident attorney, it will be much harder to do so. Automobile accident lawyers have invaluable experience dealing with insurance companies, accident investigations, witness interviews and settlements. You should definitely contact a car accident lawyer if the injuries were serious, likely to be permanent, or resulted in a loved one’s death. An attorney should also be consulted if fault is not a clear issue, the police report is incorrect, the limits of your liability insurance are low, you have no insurance or your insurance company involves its own attorney in your case.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you have a limited amount of time in which to file a claim. This time period, known as a statute of limitations, varies from claim to claim and from state to state. In New York, the deadline is generally three years from the time of the accident. If you miss the deadline, you may be unable to recover compensation for your injury. This is one reason why it is so important to talk with a lawyer as soon as you suffer an injury.
New York City has the highest rate of traffic accidents in the state of New York. Given typical driving conditions in the city and the millions of drivers, this is not surprising. While some accidents are unavoidable, the majority of traffic accidents happen because drivers are behaving carelessly. Many drivers are distracted by other activities and may not be paying full attention to the road. They may be talking to passengers, eating, drinking or talking on cell phones. Drivers are also distracted by numerous technological devices, such as navigation systems and DVD players. Even when drivers are paying attention, they may make improper turns, fail to obey traffic signals, speed or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In those situations, they may be liable when they cause an accident. Some car wrecks are caused by bad weather and poorly designed or maintained roads. Accidents can also occur due to defective car designs or defective parts, such as faulty car tires. In those instances, a product liability lawsuit may arise against the carmaker or tire manufacturer.
Even though New York is technically a “no fault” state, you should not volunteer such information. If you have serious injuries due to the other driver’s actions, you do not want to damage your case by initially claiming that the accident was your own fault. Even if you think you were at fault, you may find out later that the other driver was as much or more at fault. You should first talk to a lawyer who has extensive experience with automobile accident claims and personal injury cases.
Motorcycle accidents tend to result in severe injuries due to the fact that, by design, motorcycles are unable to provide much protection. Head injuries are the leading cause of death from motorcycle crashes, which has led many states to enact helmet laws. The laws of New York require that a helmet and eye protection be worn at all times while riding a motorcycle.
Choose riding gear that will increase your visibility in addition to providing you protection in the event of a crash. Wear brightly colored clothing. Leather clothing such as a jacket provides some protection to skin during a spill. Use reflective materials on your clothing, motorcycle and the helmet, especially at night. In New York, riders are required to have a 4-inch square of reflective material on the back of their helmets.