Sustaining serious injuries in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence or recklessness can change your life instantly. You are an accident victim left to recover from your serious injuries, and you have medical bills and other expenses that have piled up because you cannot work. Perhaps you have considered working with a Bronx personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation but feel confused about the no-fault law in New York and do not understand your rights. We are here to help.
Raphaelson & Levine, our personal injury law firm located in New York City, wants to ensure that all accident victims know their legal rights when filing a car accident claim against the responsible party. First, New York law gives all types of accident victims three years from the accident date to initiate a personal injury claim. This is called the statute of limitations.
Secondly, New York is one of 12 states and the District of Columbia that enforces no-fault laws for auto accidents. No-fault means that the insurance companies representing each driver pay their expenses regardless of who caused the accident. However, you can still sue for damages above what the other party's insurance company offers in certain situations. These include:
Lastly, it's essential to understand that New York is a comparative negligence state regarding personal injury claims. This means that the agent for the other party's insurance company or a judge could assign you a percentage of the blame for causing your own serious injuries. New York does not bar you from collecting if you share any responsibility, but the comparative negligence law does reduce your settlement amount by your percentage of the blame. That means you would receive 75 percent of the proceeds in a successful settlement if you determined that your actions contributed 25 percent to the accident.
The definition of serious injury and assigning blame percentage are both highly subjective. Your Bronx car accident lawyer from Raphaelson & Levine will aggressively litigate to obtain maximum financial compensation. We secure the services of expert witnesses such as medical doctors and accident reconstruction specialists to prove that you bear little or no responsibility and that you suffer from the injuries you claim. To learn more about the personal injury lawsuit process, please contact Raphaelson & Levine for a free consultation at 212-268-3222.
Your safety and the safety of your passengers, people in other vehicles, and pedestrians near the accident scene are paramount and should always prioritize. Immediately after impact, check yourself and passengers for injuries and call 911 if anyone needs medical help right away. Do not attempt to move an injured passenger yourself.
If you're able to steer the car towards the side of the road and turn on your emergency flashers. You will then want to contact the local police department. A police officer will come to take statements from you, the other party, and witnesses as to how the auto accident happened. Be sure to exchange contact information and insurance details with the other driver without accusing him or her of anything or taking the blame yourself.
Taking photos of your vehicle’s condition and any injuries as you wait for the police can help your personal injury claim later. Don't forget to notify your insurance company of the car crash as soon as you get home or released from the hospital. You can also contact our law firm to inquire about legal representation to recover your medical expenses, lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, and more. The personal injury attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine are available to assist you from the beginning. Please call us at 212-268-3222 to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Although auto accidents occur for various reasons, most share a common element of negligence on the part of one or both drivers.
According to the New York City Police Department, the following are the most common reasons for car accident cases.
For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the term distracted driver is someone trying to text and drive at the same time. While that is one of the most common types of distracted driving, anything that takes the driver's attention away from safe driving for even a few seconds is a distraction. A car can spin out of control in seconds and cause a serious crash when the driver is engaged in any other activity besides driving. Besides texting and talking on the phone, some other examples include looking at road signs, changing the radio station, eating, and turning to look at passengers in the back seat.
Texting or using a smartphone while driving has become such a problem in New York that state legislature passed a hands-free law stating that drivers cannot hold any electronic device while trying to operate their vehicle. New York law expressly prohibits reading from an electronic device, playing games, or looking at images while driving. The motor vehicle accident attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine have helped many accident victims struck by drivers using their smartphone instead of paying attention to driving. Please don't hesitate to contact us at 212-268-3222 if this has happened to you.
Rear-end collisions are among the most common type of car accident cases. These auto accidents occur when one vehicle stops suddenly. The driver behind strikes the vehicle, or the driver in the rear crashes into the vehicle in front due to a road hazard or simply not paying attention. The rear driver is usually at fault for these motor vehicle accidents, but not always. If you plan to file a car accident claim and need help proving liability, the best thing you can do is secure the services of a personal injury attorney from our law firm right away.
Sideswipe crashes happen the most often when one vehicle collides with another vehicle while the driver attempts to change lanes. These car accident cases often produce serious injuries because the driver and passengers of the struck vehicle do not have as much protection as they would if the other car struck the front or the back instead of one of the sides. The impact is much more direct because of this.
New York considers a driver legally impaired if they register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or greater. Drivers under age 21 face criminal and potential civil liability if they register a BAC greater than .02. People may also not drive with illegal drugs in their system or even prescription drugs if they have a sedative effect or impair judgment.
An impaired driver does not make good decisions, regardless of the intoxicating substance. Despite New York's laws against drunk driving and the significant penalties that come with it, thousands of drivers still choose to put others at risk because they refused to get a ride home and took the chance to drive instead. If you have suffered a serious injury or a loved one has succumbed to wrongful death due to another motorist's actions, remember the law firm of Raphaelson & Levine is here for you. Please call us today at 212-268-3222 whether you're an accident victim due to drunk driving, tailgating, severe weather, road construction, speeding, fatigued driving, disregard of traffic laws, or causes.
Investigating car accident cases, arranging for witness testimony, and negotiating your claim either with an insurance company or in court takes time. The sooner you reach out to a Bronx car accident lawyer at Raphaelson & Levine, the more time your lawyer will have to prepare a strong case. You have nothing to lose since we offer a free consultation and work on contingency, which means you pay nothing until your lawsuit’s successful settlement. We strongly advise you not to wait until the three-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims is set to expire before consulting with our law firm.
The purpose of any financial compensation you receive is to reimburse you for actual financial losses such as medical expenses along with intangible losses like pain and suffering. While we cannot provide you with an exact amount of how much you might receive, we encourage you to review some of the case results on our website better to understand our car accident attorneys’ experience and skill.
The law offices of Raphaelson & Levine, located in New York City, serve accident victims and their families from the entire metropolitan area. This includes people living in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Westchester County. To request your free case review, complete the contact form on our website, or call us directly at 212-268-3222 today.