Auto accidents are traumatic experiences. If you've been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused, have a lot of questions, and may not know where to turn to for legal advice.
On top of the physical injuries, you have the hassle of dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, missing work, and managing your physical and emotional recovery and rehabilitation.
If you lost a loved one to a car accident, the agony becomes much worse as you have to face your grief while also dealing with insurance paperwork. You are not alone.
Hiring an experienced Queens car accident lawyer is the best way to make sure that you get the maximum compensation for your car accident injuries.
Known as the “voice of the injured,” the car crash lawyers at Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm have over 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of car accident victims throughout New York and have recovered more than $700 Million dollars for injured motorists like yourself.
Our team of award-winning personal injury lawyers near Queens, NY, will work tirelessly to get you maximum compensation. We work on a contingency basis so you don't have to worry about paying any fees until we win your car accident case.
Call 212-268-3222 or contact us online today for a no-risk, free consultation.
How can a Queens car accident lawyer at Raphaelson & Levine make a difference in your claim?
After a car crash, it’s important to remember that many insurance companies are looking out for their best interest, not yours. They may offer a lowball settlement that doesn’t account for your full medical bills and damages, ignore your negotiations, or pressure you to sign agreements and make statements that could hurt your claim.
There is no doubt that car accidents cause hassles.
Besides seeing your doctor and starting injury recovery, you also need vehicle damage estimates, claim filing guidance, and time to review all the releases and documents your insurance company sends you.
You do not need this stress while also facing pain and suffering.
A car accident attorney at Raphaelson & Levine will handle the complex parts of your claim while you focus on feeling better.
Our legal team has resources unavailable to most laypeople, and those resources help us secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
When you hire an attorney at our law firm, you benefit from:
- A thorough investigation: Our attorneys and paralegals collect accident reports, police reports, medical records, and other documents to find all the facts of your claim. If another driver received a ticket or drove under the influence, we will find out about it.
- Leading experts: Our network of experts includes medical specialists, accident reconstructionists, and other professionals whose insight helps us represent you better. If you sustained a complex or disabling injury, our medical specialists examine you and prepare expert testimony to explain the extent of your injury to an arbitrator or jury.
In accidents involving TBIs, you may not fully remember the accident or how it happened. Our car accident reconstruction experts can study the scene and documentation to explain how the accident occurred and where the fault lies.
- Industry-leading technology: Our firm manages cases with case management and valuation technology to ensure your claim receives attention, and our settlement figures are accurate.
- Experienced legal guidance: Our attorneys are passionate about ensuring accident victims receive fair and complete compensation for their injuries. We guide you every step of the way and help you make informed decisions.
Raphaelson & Levine demands maximum compensation for all our clients in the state of New York. We seek to hold the responsible party and their insurance company accountable for what happened to you. Your compensation amount will consist of:
- Medical expenses: Medical bills include all costs arising from medical treatment, including doctor exams, surgeries, mental health counseling, physical therapy, and medication.
- Lost wages: You can recover lost wages in an auto accident claim if you miss work due to pain, recovery, surgery, and doctor appointments.
- Diminished earning capacity: Diminished earning capacity damages are relevant when an accident victim cannot return to their previous occupation due to physical injuries. They may need to live on disability payments or work lower-paying jobs. When that occurs, they can receive the difference between their previous and present earnings.
- Adaptive living costs: Costs arising from permanent disability include structural changes to your home, mobility devices, or vehicle modification.
- Pain and suffering: All injuries, even seemingly minor soft tissues injuries, cause pain and suffering. Pain disrupts work and life, and we include that disruption in your case value.
- Mental distress: Car accidents frequently cause mental trauma, especially if serious injuries or wrongful deaths are involved. You may face mental anguish from trauma or the results of a disabling or disfiguring injury.
Even if you are partially at fault, we can still recover fair compensation under New York’s no-fault car accident laws. Under a no-fault system, your insurance company will handle the claim and pay for your property damage, while the other driver benefits from their insurance company. You must file a claim with your insurance company within 30 days of the accident to receive these benefits.
Also, New York is a comparative fault state, meaning you can collect compensation even if you were partly at fault. Your award decreases by your portion of the blame.
For example, if an arbitrator or court determines you were 20 percent at fault in an accident, your compensation decreases by 20 percent. So, if you received an award of $20,000, the court cuts $4,000 off of that for your fault determination, and you receive $16,000.
Our attorneys previously proved fault against other parties even when police and insurance companies believe otherwise. We may find mistakes in police reports or witness testimony.
Our experts or attorneys may visit the accident scene and find new evidence or review surveillance camera footage that shows an entirely different view that works in your favor.
So, even if your situation seems hopeless, it may be worth it to call our firm and schedule a free case evaluation. Sometimes, there are possibilities you cannot see right away, which may be evident with our years of experience.
How much is my Queens car accident claim worth?
Your car accident claim value depends on the extent of your injuries and how they impact your life. Under this formula, severe injuries leading to temporary or permanent disability attract higher awards than soft tissue injuries.
However, never underestimate the effects of injuries. All of them cause expense and distress. Even if you feel your injuries were not a big deal, you are still entitled to damages — especially if you had to cancel plans, miss work, or lose wages and opportunities to address them.
What is the time limit for filing a car accident lawsuit in New York?
New York law imposes a statute of limitations, or time limit, on filing a personal injury claim after a car accident. You have three years from the accident date to file your claim.
While this may seem like a long time, it goes by quickly when dealing with injury recovery and financial stress from an accident. It is important to contact an attorney immediately when you suspect you have a personal injury claim.
7 Common causes of car accidents in New York
Car accidents take many forms, including t-bone, sideswipe, and rear-end collisions involving two or more vehicles. When negligent drivers flee the scene after colliding with another car, that is called a hit and run.
Drivers must stay at the scene and exchange information, especially if circumstances require police presence.
Common causes of car accidents in Queens, NY include:
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is the most common cause of road accidents in the United States. NYC is no exception to this rule: Driver inattention and distraction resulted in 25.9 percent of auto accidents from May 2014 to May 2015.
This trend continues to 2022: In February 2022, 1,965 vehicles caused injury or fatal collisions due to driver inattention and distraction, with 522 of those accidents happening in Queens.
- Speeding: Speeding is frequently a factor in collisions because it causes other driving problems, including failure to brake on time or stop at traffic devices or signs.
Failing to follow speed limits also makes it difficult for drivers to navigate inclement weather or react to dangerous road developments.
- Driving under the influence: Alcohol and drugs slow reaction time and decision-making, turning cars into maiming and killing machines. In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving accidents, accounting for 28 percent of all vehicle fatalities.
- Reckless driving: Reckless driving includes many types of dangerous driving, including unsafe lane changes, failure to keep right-of-way, following too closely, or road rage.
In New York City, these failures make it the second most common cause of traffic accidents. Some cases involve intentional disregard for the safety of other drivers and could produce punitive damages against that driver.
- Inclement weather: Ice, water accumulation, and snow leave roads slippery. Drivers may hit a patch of black ice or fail to exercise appropriate caution. While many insurance companies consider weather-related accidents “no-fault,” drivers may still be negligent if they don’t adjust speed or driving style to weather conditions.
- Mechanical failures: Tire blowouts, brake failures, and engine stalls can stop cars and cause collisions. Some of these causes may be the fault of a mechanic or manufacturer; product defect liability often enters into car accident cases. Also, many failures arise because a driver fails to maintain their car or repair dangerous issues, like weak brakes. They may face liability under those circumstances.
- Road hazards: Debris, objects falling off other cars, and potholes can damage vehicles and cause accidents. A driver may hit another vehicle avoiding these hazards, or suddenly stop when road hazards damage their car.
Other negligent parties may face responsibility if they played a part in the negligence, e.g., failed to tie down their truck loads or make repairs on a road or driveway.
Personal injury attorneys look into the cause of an accident to find the responsible party. Sometimes, what appears to be a simple case upfront may be more complex when we conclude our investigation.
Our Queens car accident lawyers seek all responsible parties to maximize your settlement and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Most common types of injuries in Queens, NY, car accidents
Unfortunately, Queens is home to the highest number of fatal accidents in New York City. In 2018, the borough saw 69 traffic accident deaths, which comprise 35 percent of the total deadly crashes throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
Most car accident victims in Queens are vehicle occupants. However, the number of victims who are bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists continues to grow. Many people in these latter groups sustain injuries serious enough to require hospitalization.
Seven of the most common car accident injuries suffered ina collision include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) comprise a high rate of post-accident hospitalizations. Of the Queens County residents admitted into the hospital after a traffic crash, 30 percent of them sustained a TBI. More than one-third of bicyclists admitted after a car accident received a TBI diagnosis. Head injuries are common with head-on collisions.
- Neck and spinal cord injuries: This class of injuries range from soft tissue sprains/strains to fractures. Fractures in these areas may cause impairment, paralysis, or death. Whiplash is a common car accident injury, and while it is considered “minor,” it often leads to pain, headaches, stiffness, difficulty concentrating, and overall discomfort.
- Bone fractures: High-speed collisions may fracture bones throughout the body. Broken ribs are common injuries from airbags and seatbelts when there is a hard impact. Also, people crack their knees or break their leg bones when they brace against the impact or hit their knees on the dashboard.
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions: Flying objects and broken class may cause bruises and wounds. Some of these wounds are superficial, while others may require stitches and lead to scarring and disfigurement.
- Burns: Spilled fluids and gasoline may splash on victims or catch fire, leading to severe burn injuries. It is also common for drivers to receive airbag burns on their hands or face.
- Internal injuries: Blunt force trauma may cause internal bleeding and other injuries. These injuries may turn deadly if left untreated--which is why you should seek a medical exam after an accident, even if you think you’re doing OK.
- Mental distress: Car accidents can be traumatizing. Many accident victims face heightened depression, anxiety, and fear after a severe car accident, especially if someone died in the collision.
You must seek medical attention after a car accident. Some injuries do not have symptoms right away, especially if you are running on adrenaline after a collision.
Delaying treatment can lead to chronic pain and disability or, with some injuries, even death. It is better to be safe than sorry, even if you do not believe you are injured.
Injured? Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Queens car accident attorney nearby
Car accidents are jolting events, and you do not need to make it more stressful by navigating your claim alone. Take comfort by relying on the voice of the injured, Raphaelson & Levine.
For over twenty-five years we’ve fought to recover justice for our client, earning a reputation as New York City’s most trusted personal injury law firms. Our reputation is well-earned through our experience and compassion, and we are prepared fierce advocate for the compensation you deserve.
Call our trusted Queens car accident attorneys today at 212-268-3222 or contact us online for a no-risk, free consultation.