PROVIDING AUTO ACCIDENT VICTIMS WITH A VOICE
Motor vehicles accidents are among the leading causes of serious injury and death in the United States each year. Car crashes take nearly 1,100 New York lives annually, and result in 137,000 emergency room visits and 12,000 hospitalizations.
The aftermath of a car accident in New York can not only cost you thousands of dollars in property damages, medical expenses, and lost wages but can permanently affect your future health, well-being, and financial situation. For over twenty-five years the New York City car accident lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine have provided accident victims with hope for a better future.
If you've been injured in an auto accident, call 212-268-3222 or complete our online contact form to learn how our legal team can help you recover maximum compensation.
How Our New York Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Recovering from a car accident can be more overwhelming than you ever expected. Some car accident victims start out thinking they can handle their own personal injury claim and quickly learn that it can be a complex matter.
When you retain an auto accident attorney at Raphaelson & Levine, we handle every detail of your case. Here is what you can expect from our accident attorneys:
- Handle all communication with the other party as well as the insurance company and lawyer representing him or her
- Obtain all necessary documentation to prove your version of events, including medical bills, the official police report, proof of lost wages, statements from witnesses, and any other documentation that helps you build a strong case
- Determine sources of compensation you might not have considered, such as suing the manufacturer of your vehicle for making a defective part
- File your lawsuit within the state’s personal injury statute of limitations
- Work hard to reduce or eliminate any liability on your part since New York is a comparative fault state
You may not be aware that New York is a no-fault state, which means you must first file a claim through your own insurance company regardless of who caused the accident. However, the state still allows people to file personal injury claims in cases of severe injury or when you receive inadequate compensation from your insurance provider.
Our accident attorneys will carefully evaluate your case and give you an honest answer as to whether you should follow through with filing a lawsuit.
How Much is Your Car Accident Settlement Worth?
We have earned our clients over $500 Million of compensation, including a $1.5 Million settlement for a car crash victim with a history of prior injuries.
Many variables determine the answer to this question, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of your medical expenses, whether you can return to work, and how the effects of the accident impact your daily life.
A New York car accident lawyer from our firm can give you a better estimate based on our previous car accident verdicts and settlements after we learn more about your specific situation.
What Damages Can a Lawyer Help You Recover After a Motor Vehicle Accident?
The potential compensation you could receive from a car accident fall into two categories. The first type of payment covers your monetary losses. This includes past, present, and future expenses related to medical care, property damage, and lost wages.
It also pays for such things as the need for durable medical equipment and modifying your home or vehicle to accommodate your new physical situation. If you’re unable to return to work or must work part-time or at a less demanding position, the jury would determine your lifetime lost wages and set your award accordingly.
You may also be eligible to receive one or more types of compensation for non-monetary losses. This includes such things as pain and suffering associated with the accident, loss of enjoyment of life because you can no longer pursue hobbies and post-traumatic stress disorder caused by reliving the accident.
Lastly, a jury may award punitive damages as well, however, they reserve this for situations when the defendant acted in a reckless manner that showed a complete disregard for the safety of others.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries In New York
A rear-end collision is commonly associated with whiplash because the jolt of having the car struck from behind causes the accident victim’s head and neck to violently snap forward several times until the car stops.
Although the injuries from whiplash vary significantly depending on the force of the crash and other unique factors, common symptoms include ligament damage, neck pain, facial swelling, and temporary paralysis of the vocal cords.
It’s important to keep in mind that the effects of an injury may not be apparent right away. This is common in cases of concussion, whiplash, internal injuries, and emotional trauma.
At the personal injury law firm of Raphaelson & Levine, we encourage you and your passengers to receive prompt medical attention even when it doesn’t seem like anyone has significant injuries. A doctor can determine issues that aren’t visible as well as help to create a medical record associated with the accident.
Other common types of injuries sustained by car accident victims include:
- Spinal cord damage can leave a person a paraplegic or quadriplegic for life. Even those who don’t suffer a permanent handicap can struggle with lasting nerve damage that makes it difficult to feel or control their hands, arms, legs, or feet. A herniated disc in the back can cause ongoing pain, weakness, and tingling as well.
- The blunt force of a car crash can lead to a collapsed lung, broken ribs, internal bleeding, and internal organ damage. People already susceptible to heart issues may go into cardiac arrest from the shock of the sudden collision.
- When another driver strikes your car at a high speed, it’s common for the driver and passengers to strike their head against the steering wheel, windows, or another seat. This can cause a traumatic brain injury in an instant with effects that last for a lifetime. Even a mild concussion can cause cognitive processing difficulties, personality changes, and other serious issues for months or years. Severe brain injuries can lead to paralysis, hearing loss, vision loss, and skull fractures.
Other Bodily Injuries
- The arms, hands, legs, and feet can also sustain significant damage in a car accident. This is especially true for motorcycle drivers and riders who may suffer road rash, serious burns, or broken bones from attempting to break their fall. Some people have such severe injuries to a limb that a doctor must amputate it shortly after the accident.
In addition to the above physical injuries, it’s common for people to experience ongoing emotional distress due to the accident. They may become so fearful of another accident that they refuse to drive. Obviously, the loss of independence would have a major impact on quality of life.
Others deal with frightening flashbacks to the scene of the accident, anxiety, anger, and depression. If a passenger died at the accident scene or received much more serious injuries than the driver, he or she may struggle with guilt even though another person’s actions caused the accident.
New York Laws Affecting Car Accident Claims
New York is a comparative fault state when it comes to determining the payout in a personal injury lawsuit. For example, a jury may decide that your actions contributed 30 percent to the accident and the actions of the other party contributed 70 percent. That means a judge would deduct 30 percent from the amount of the payout the jury decided to award you.
No-Fault and Uninsured Drivers in New York
New York allows several provisions to get around its no-fault rule. You may file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver in these situations:
- Fracture of a bone
- Permanent limitations on the use of a body part, organ, system, or member
- Full disability for 90 days or longer
- Other serious injuries as determined by a medical professional
It can be difficult to determine if your injuries qualify as significant or permanent when you don’t know how they will affect you in the future. In addition to receiving a comprehensive exam from a doctor, the accident attorneys at our law firm can help you determine if you should go beyond your own insurance company and file a personal injury lawsuit.
Like every other state in the country, New York requires all drivers to purchase auto insurance and maintain the policy. Technically, a driver should not be on the road in New York if his or her policy has lapsed by even a day. While you like to think that everyone is a responsible driver, this is simply not the case. The Insurance Information Institute reports that one in eight drivers, or about 13 percent of the population of people with a driver’s license, drives without insurance. In New York, that number is one in five.
Getting into a car accident due to someone else’s negligence is bad enough. It can get especially stressful when that person made the irresponsible choice to drive without even the minimum of auto insurance. According to the New York State Department of Financial Services, every company that offers auto insurance must include an uninsured motorist portion. This covers you as the driver, any family members that live with you, and any occupants in your vehicle who sustained injury due to the negligent actions of an uninsured motorist.
You would need to file a claim with your own insurance company if this situation happens to you. However, you may wish to retain our services to track down the assets of the other driver or when you feel that the settlement offered by your auto insurance company is inadequate to meet your needs.
General Statute of Limitations For New York Car Accident Claims
Under New York’s Civil Practice Laws and Rules Section 214, you have three years from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. You cannot initiate a claim after that date even when if you have suffered severe injuries.
The law also recognizes that the effects of some injuries may not appear obvious right away. It amends this rule to allow a three-year statute of limitations from the time you made the connection between the car accident and your subsequent injuries. However, you must have ample documentation if you want to initiate a claim based on the discovery rule instead of the actual date of the accident.
If liability for your accident falls in whole or in part to a public agency or to any government office, the statute of limitations provides you only thirty days to file a car accident claim.
Wrongful Death Claims From Car Accidents
New York allows the immediate family members of a person killed in a car accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of the death.
Although no amount of money can bring your loved one back or ease the grief of his or her loss, a successful lawsuit can provide you with funds for the following:
- Medical expenses your family member incurred before succumbing to his or her injuries
- Costs associated with the funeral and burial
- Wages and benefits your loved one would have received from the date of the accident to the date of death
- Financial compensation to make up for the loss of your family member’s income and well as non-financial support and services that he or she provided to the family
- Inheritance the children of your loved one would have received had he or she lived to old age
- Compensation for the loss of care, nurturing, and guidance that the children of your deceased loved one will no longer receive
- Punitive damages in cases of extreme misconduct
New York law doesn’t allow you as the surviving spouse, parent, child, or other close family members to sue on behalf of your own pain and suffering. Fortunately, it does allow the attorney representing the family to sue for the pain and suffering the accident victim experienced prior to death.
Why Accident Victims Choose Raphaelson & Levine Auto Accident Lawyers
At Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, we’re proud of our reputation as the “Voice of the Injured.” With more than twenty-five years of experience in personal injury litigation and $500 Million earned for our clients, our accident lawyers have helped thousands of individuals move forward after a crash.
Our “No Win, No Fee” policy provides you with the confidence that we will expend every resource possible to secure you maximum compensation with no legal fees or expenses until we win your claim.
Our responsive injury attorneys handle every aspect of your claim and ensure you always know what’s going on throughout your case.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a car accident in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island call 212-268-3222 or contact us online today for a free lawyer consultation with a skilled New York City car accident lawyer at Raphaelson & Levine.
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