Car Accidents

Car Accident Lawyer in New York City

crash-1308575_960_720Representing New York City clients after a car crash

Car accidents can have devastating results. Depending on the size of the vehicles involved, their speed, and the points of impact, car crashes can cause serious injuries and even death. New York State has some of the most congested and dangerous roads in America. Whether you are driving on rural roads or city streets, there is always a chance that you can become involved in a serious accident. While in the best situations, your car’s safety features will protect you, quite often drivers and occupants can suffer serious injuries such as bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, concussions, shoulder and arm injuries, leg injuries, and, unfortunately, the list goes on and on. You should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. The time limit to file for no-fault insurance benefits is only 30 days from the date of the accident, and automobile insurance carriers defend car accident lawsuits quite strongly. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

New York’s no-fault insurance explained

When New Yorkers pay for car insurance, one type of mandatory coverage included in the premium is for no-fault benefits. Also known as personal injury protection (PIP), no-fault insurance covers medical bills and a portion of lost wages commencing immediately after an accident. However, even though you have paid for this coverage, you must affirmatively submit an application for no-fault benefits within 30 days of the accident or these benefits will not be available to you. Assuming you have timely applied, your insurance carrier will pay your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages up to the limit of the coverage purchased by you, or if the insurance carrier determines that no further care is necessary, it will stop paying benefits before your coverage has been exhausted.

Negligence explained

Negligence, or who was responsible for an accident, plays no role when it comes to no-fault benefits. However, a person injured in a motor vehicle accident must prove that the driver of the vehicle responsible for the accident was negligent in order to prevail on liability in a lawsuit for personal injuries. In some types of accidents, negligence is clear. A driver who rear-ends a stopped vehicle is almost always found to be negligent. A driver who fails to stop for a traffic signal and strikes another vehicle is almost always found to be negligent. In other types of accidents, negligence isn’t always clear. The burden is on the plaintiff to prove negligence. Without meeting this burden, a court will not award monetary damages to the injured plaintiff.

Recovering damages in NYC

If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may file a personal injury lawsuit seeking monetary damages. As discussed above, before damages can be recovered, the plaintiff must prove negligence on the part of another. If the plaintiff can meet that burden, he can recover damages provided that he has suffered a serious physical injury as defined by the New York State Insurance Law. The serious injury threshold is difficult to meet, and this is the portion of lawsuits that automobile insurance carriers challenge so strongly. If successful, the injured plaintiff can recover damages for pain and suffering and for the impact these very serious injuries will have on his quality of life. Additionally, the plaintiff may recover for medical bills and lost income. There is no requirement to meet an injury threshold for the recovery of damage to property. Also, under certain circumstances, a serious physical injury may not be necessary to recover certain economic damages if they are greater than “basic economic loss.”

Contact a Westchester County car accident lawyer

Car accident claims and lawsuits can be very complicated and complex. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in handling the insurance, legal and medical issues unique to these types of cases. For nearly 20 years, the Law Offices of Jonathan D. Sands has aggressively pursued full compensation for its injured clients. Contact our office to discuss your case.