New York Car Accident Lawyers
Among the Top Car Accident Attorneys in New York
Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in New York car accident trial law. Six of our attorneys have achieved AV Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest ranking for ethical standards and legal ability. Five of our attorneys have been included in Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan Area as published in the Magazine Section of the New York Times. Our firm is listed among the Best Lawyers in the State of New York and is listed among the Best Law Firms in the New York Metro area by US News & World Report.
Experienced and Successful New York Car Accident Attorneys
Car accidents can have long term negative effects on injured individuals and their families. Victims of car accidents may face debilitating injuries, such as brain damage, burns, broken bones, amputations, and internal bleeding. The injuries suffered in car accidents may force the victims and their families to face a number of hardships, such as emotional and financial strain. In addition to severe injuries, car accidents often prove to be fatal.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), 32,675 motorists lost their lives in fatal traffic accidents around the country in 2014 and another 2.3 million people were injured:
Fortunately, individuals who have suffered a serious injury in a car accident may be able to recoup for compensation their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. If the accident victim's injury was fatal, their family may be eligible to receive compensation for damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. At, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our New York car accident lawyers have decades of experience representing people who have been seriously injured or killed in auto accidents. We understand the hardships that victims face following an avoidable accident. While our car accident attorneys understand that they cannot help with the long-term physical or emotional damage caused by an accident, we do our best to help ease our clients' financial burden by pursuing maximum compensation in a lawsuit.
The NHTSA also published the following statistical map showing the concentration of motor vehicle fatalities by county in New York. In 2014, the highest concentration of motor vehicle deaths is clearly in the New York City metropolitan area with Long Island having the highest levels:
Have you or someone you love suffered a serious injury or died in a car accident? Was the injury the result of another driver's negligence? If so, you may be eligible to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to recoup compensation for any damages incurred. For a free consultation with our car accident lawyers, call 212-406-1700 or fill out our contact form.
Car Accident Investigation
What Is Negligence?
What Should an Individual Do After Being Involved in a Car Accident?
Injuries Suffered in Car Crashes
The type of injury that can be suffered in a car crash varies greatly depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Small accidents can result in minor injuries such as bruises, lacerations, or broken bones. Major car accidents, however, can have life-long consequences for victims, such as brain damage or death. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our car accident lawyers in New York represent clients who have suffered any type of serious injury, including:
- Spinal cord damage
- Brain damage
- Neck Injuries
- Severe head injuries
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Wrongful Death
Causes of Car Accidents in New York City
In New York City, car accidents can be caused by numerous different factors. Not every accident that results in an injury, however, presents grounds for a lawsuit. Individuals may have grounds for a lawsuit if they suffered an injury in an accident that was caused by any of the following:
- Driver was inattentive behind the wheel
- Talking on the phone or texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to signal while changing lanes
- Failure to obey traffic signs
- Failure to yield
- The roadway had defects, such as a poor design or negligent maintenance
- The vehicle had a mechanical defect which led to the accident
We can assist you with the following types of car accident cases:
- Rear end collision
- Drunk driving victims
- Side impact collisions
- DUI accident
- Texting while driving
- Head on collision
- Taxi accident
- Pedestrian accidents
- No fault insurance
- Suv rollover accidents
- Hit and run accidents
- Fatal car accidents
- Vehicle accidents
- Traffic accidents
While all of the aforementioned causes are the result of negligence, they do not necessarily present the injured party with grounds for a lawsuit. In order to have a valid lawsuit, the injured individual must be able to prove that the responsible party's negligence was directly responsible for the accident. For instance, if one driver acted negligently, but their negligence was not the cause of the accident, they cannot be found liable. Additionally, the injured individual must have suffered either economic (monetary loss) or non-economic (pain and suffering) damages to have grounds for a case.
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law and the Traffic Rules of the City of New York
Many New York attorneys are unaware of the applicability and importance of pleading and proving violations of the applicable sections of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. These sections, where applicable, can be powerful evidence of negligence and also be determinative of liability in certain cases. Similarly, for accidents which occur within the boroughs of the City of New York, many attorneys are not even aware of the Traffic Rules of the City of New York and their potential applicability to a given accident. This is why it is so critical to hire attorneys experienced in motor vehicle litigation who have the knowledge and expertise necessary to maximize your recovery.
For example, in case where an injured person was struck by a left-hand turning vehicle while the injured person was traveling straight and with the right-of-way, there is a specific section of the Vehicle and Traffic Law applicable to such situation:
"The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard."
Various other Vehicle and Traffic Law Sections frequently plead in motor vehicle accident cases include:
- VTL 1110 - Obedience to and required traffic-control devices
- VTL 1128 - Driving on Roadways Laned for Traffic
- VTL 1129 - Following Too Closely
- VTL 1180 - Basic rule and maximum limits
- VTL 1212 - Reckless Driving
- VTL 1225-c - Use of Mobile Telephones
In addition to the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, accidents which occur within New York City may be subject to the Traffic Rules of the City of New York. These rules are promulgated by the New York City Department of Transportation. Their purpose comes directly from the NYC DOT:
"The New York City Traffic Rules comprise Chapter 4 of Title 34 of the Rules of the City of New York. It includes rules on traffic signals; pedestrians; restrictions on turns; speed restrictions; other restrictions on movement; rules for parking, stopping, and standing; rules for buses, taxis and for-hire vehicles; truck routes; rules pertaining to parkways and parks; limitations upon dimensions and weight of vehicles; and other information."
New York Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys should be familiar with these rules as their violation may constitute some evidence of negligence for an offending driver.
No-Fault Claims and Compensation for Auto Accident Victims
Every car insurance policy in New York State provides for a minimum of $50,000 in no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In New York, the car insurance policy that covers the vehicle you are operating, or are a passenger in, provides the no-fault coverage in the event of an accident. Also, if you are a pedestrian injured in a car accident, the insurance policy of the car that struck you is obligated to provide you with no fault benefits, even if the other vehicle, or the pedestrian, was primarily or even 100% responsible for causing the accident. No-fault benefits include and provide all necessary medical expenses incurred, including hospital bills, any necessary surgeries, nursing care, dental procedures, ambulance trips, x-rays, prescriptions for medication and prosthetic devices. Benefits also include the cost of any psychiatric, physical therapy and occupational therapy and rehabilitation. No-fault benefits cover loss of earnings up to $2,000 per month, and all other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred up to $25 per day, for household help and for transportation to and from medical appointments. In order to be eligible for these benefits, an application must be signed and filed with the appropriate insurance company within thirty (30) days of the accident. A failure to timely file an application may well jeopardize your rights to these benefits. Therefore, it is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible following your car accident to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to under the law.
Time, Speed, and Distance Considerations in Car Accidents
New York State Requires Individuals to Purchase Liability/Bodily Injury Insurance to Protect Drivers, Passengers, Other Motorists, and Pedestrians in the Event of a Car Accident
Every car insurance policy, as mandated by New York law, provides minimum limits of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in liability or bodily injury coverage. These requirements mean that any one individual injured in an accident may collect no more than $25,000 from the insurance carrier of the owner or driver of the car that caused the accident. It also means that that the insurance carrier is only obligated to pay up to a total of $50,000 no matter how many people are injured in the accident and have suffered bodily injuries. New York car insurance policies must also provide for a minimum death benefit of $50,000 in the unfortunate event that someone is killed in a car accident. It should also be noted that New York's mandatory insurance amounts differ when it comes to for-hire transportation. Vehicles for hire, such as a yellow taxi cab, black car, limousine or other livery vehicles, that are licensed to operate in New York City, are required by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to be insured with liability/bodily injury limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
The aforementioned insurance requirements are merely the minimum insurance coverage amounts or limits for liability or bodily injury that New York law requires for privately owned or for-hire automobiles. Many vehicle owners in New York choose to insure their vehicle and themselves with significantly higher liability/bodily injury insurance coverage limits that would be available to compensate someone that is injured in a car accident. Also, most commercial, business and company owned vehicles have insurance policies with liability or bodily injury limits that far exceed the New York State minimums and often provide up to $1 million or more in coverage. As a result, it is extremely important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible who will investigate and determine the type and amount of liability/bodily injury coverage that may be available as compensation for your injuries.
New York Law Protects Car Accident Victims' Rights Even When a Driver Lacks Proper Insurance
In some cases where a car accident is the result of one individual's negligence, the negligent party does not have proper insurance. An uninsured motor vehicle is defined as one whose owner is (1) a financially irresponsible motorist and (2) is unknown and cannot be identified. Motorists are considered financially irresponsible when the owner, operator, or other person legally responsible for the operation of the motor vehicle failed to have a valid and collectible policy of bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance following an accident which resulted in personal injury or death. In many instances, the owner of a vehicle that causes an accident is unknown and cannot be identified. Under these situations, the vehicle that caused the accident would be considered an uninsured vehicle. As a result, the uninsured motorist coverage of your car insurance policy would be triggered and available to compensate you for your injuries. Thus, even though you may not have caused the accident, and the offending vehicle may have violated the law by not having a valid insurance policy or fled the scene of the accident, you would still have a claim as against your own insurance company to collect compensation for your bodily injuries. Further, pursuant to New York law this uninsured insurance coverage is also available to all family members that reside in your household; anyone who is listed as a driver on your policy; and all occupants of your vehicle when an accident occurs. The uninsured and underinsured coverage can be purchased from the insurance company with limits that are equal to the amount of the liability or bodily injury coverage. For instance, if your policy has liability/bodily injury coverage in the amount of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, the uninsured and underinsured coverage can be purchased to have the same limits.
Underinsured or Supplementary Underinsured Motorist (SUM) coverage also provides critical protection to New Yorkers injured in an accident due to a negligent driver of an underinsured vehicle. An underinsured vehicle is one that carries an insurance policy with bodily injury liability limits that are not enough to compensate you for the serious injuries that you sustained in the accident. For example, someone suffering injuries and damages valued at $100,000, from an accident with a vehicle that is only covered by the New York statutory minimum coverage of $25,000, would only be able to recover $25,000 from the responsible party. Therefore, under this circumstance the offending vehicle is considered underinsured. Under New York law an injured person can make a claim for additional compensation against his own insurance carrier, or the carrier of the car he or she was in when the accident occurred pursuant to Underinsured or Supplementary Underinsured Motorist (SUM) coverage that exceed the limits of the offending vehicle or party. If there was an applicable insurance policy that provided Underinsured or Supplementary Underinsured Motorist (SUM) coverage, with limits up to $100,000, the injured person would then be entitled under the law to file a claim to make up the difference up to the limits of this coverage. That is, the injured person would be entitled to an additional $75,000 as further compensation for the bodily injuries sustained in the car accident. There are specific time limitations within which claims for Underinsured or Supplementary Underinsured Motorist (SUM) coverage, as against the insurance company, must be made. There are also specific insurance company requirements that have to be met and documents that have to be provided in order to have a valid claim. Therefore, in order to maximize the available compensation for your bodily injuries following a car accident, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible who will investigate and determine whether there is applicable and valid Underinsured or Supplementary Underinsured Motorist (SUM) coverage and, if so, timely file the appropriate claim forms and provide the necessary documents so as not to jeopardize any of your rights under New York law.
Notable Verdicts and Settlements in New York City Car Accident Cases
At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our car accident attorneys have recovered over $1 billion for their clients. Some of our more notable verdicts and settlements include:
- $4 million recovery for the family of an individual who suffered severe injuries resulting in a 7-year-coma and eventually death. The case was complex as the driver who initially appeared primarily responsible for the accident had a minimal insurance policy. After meticulous preparation and consultation with accident construction experts, attorney Dallin Fuchs brought the case to trial. At trial, Mr. Fuchs was able to prove that a different driver, who had an adequate insurance policy, was responsible for the accident. The jury rendered $4 million in compensation for the husband and two young children of the decedent.
- $3.2 million recovery for a 33-year-old police officer who suffered severe brain damage in an accident. The plaintiff was in the passenger seat of a patrol car responding to a robbery in progress when the vehicle collided with another car in an intersection. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool brought a lawsuit on behalf of the injured passenger against the city. The case was complex, as three witnesses claimed that the civilian driver, who lacked adequate insurance coverage, ran a red light at a high speed. At trial our car accident lawyers found other witnesses who said, in fact, that it was the driver of the police car who ran the red light. Furthermore, our auto accident attorneys were able to discredit two of the three city witnesses by getting them to admit that they had not actually seen what color the light was when the accident occurred. The jury rendered a verdict which placed 100% liability on the driver of the police car and the city of New York. They awarded the plaintiff with $3.2 million in compensation.
- A large recovery for a woman who was struck crossing the street outside the crosswalk. The plaintiff had been struck by a van owned by a prominent cable company at the time of the accident. While there was a witness who testified that the plaintiff was inattentive while crossing, our car accident attorneys were able to show that the driver was inattentive by cross examining him. As a result of our attorneys' skilled cross examination, we were able to secure a successful verdict for our client which gave her significant compensation.
- A female pedestrian was crossing the street in the Bronx when she was struck by a car. The impact caused her to suffer a fractured femur, which necessitated open reduction internal fixation surgery. After litigating the case for one and a half years, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool secured a verdict that equaled the full amount of the driver's insurance policy.
Publications and Lectures
In addition to successfully representing plaintiffs in a variety of vehicular accident matters, the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are sought out by the legal community for their expertise. Our lawyers have written articles and given lectures to fellow members of the Bar in the areas of car, truck, bus and all types of automobile accident cases throughout the State of New York. Below are a sample of publications from and lectures and seminars in which our lawyers have been involved:
- Overall Planning Co‑Chair, Basics of Handling an Auto Accident Case, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section
- Speaker - Ethical Considerations in Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation ‑ Basics of Handling an Auto Accident Case, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section
- Author - "Ethical Considerations in Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation," Basics of Handling an Auto Accident Case, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section
- Speaker - Summary Judgment for the Plaintiff in Auto Accident Cases ‑ Basics of Handling an Auto Accident Case, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section, New York State Bar Association
- Author - "Summary Judgment for the Plaintiff in Auto Accident Cases," Basics of Handling an Auto Accident Case, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section
- Speaker - Intake of the Plaintiff's Case ‑ Basics of Handling an Auto Accident Case, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section
- Co‑Chair, "2011 Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation: The Road Less Traveled", New York State Bar Association
- Ethical Considerations in Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation ‑ "2011 Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation: The Road Less Traveled", New York State Bar Association
- Summary Judgment for the Plaintiff: Not Just in Rear‑End Collision Cases ‑ "2011 Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation: The Road Less Traveled", New York State Bar Association
- Truck and Bus Accidents ‑ "2011 Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation: The Road Less Traveled", New York State Bar Association
- "Auto Claims and Trials: Winning, Defending and Understanding Coverage", Lorman Education Services
- "Auto Insurance: Uninsured, Underinsured and Accident Litigation", Lorman Education Services
- "Automobile Litigation: Update and Strategies", New York State Bar Association
- Author, "Intake of the Plaintiff's Case," Basics of Handling an Auto Accident Case, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section, Spring 2012
- Author, "Motorcycle and Bike Accidents," 2011 Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation B The Road Less Traveled, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section, Fall 2011
- Author, "Summary Judgment for the Plaintiff in Automobile Accident Case: Do Not Be Afraid to Use the Sword," 2011 Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation B The Road Less Traveled, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section, Fall 2011
- Author, "Ethical Considerations in Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation," 2011 Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation B The Road Less Traveled, New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section, Fall 2011
- "Auto Insurance: Uninsured, Underinsured and Accident Litigation", Lorman Education Services, Spring 2008
- "Auto Insurance: Uninsured, Underinsured and Accident Litigation", Lorman Education Services, Spring 2007
- Author, "Evaluating Damages Related to Automobile Accident Claims and Selecting the Right Experts", New York State Bar Association, Automobile Litigation: Update and Strategies, Spring 2006
How Can One of Our Car Accident Attorneys in New York Help You?
Due to the complex process involved in recovering compensation for a car accident related injury, it is within the best interest of victims to hire a skilled attorney. A reliable car accident lawyer will handle the filing of the No-Fault claim and negotiations with the insurance company. Furthermore an attorney will handle all aspects of the legal proceedings including, taking pictures of the scene of the accident, interviewing witnesses, review the police report and medical records, hire medical experts to testify on behalf of the victim, and pursue maximum compensation for the victim's losses. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our attorneys have been defending the rights of car accident victims for the last five decades. Our attorneys have excelled at proving liability. We have secured many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in auto accident cases.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, the New York personal injury attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will give you a free consultation to determine your legal options. To see if you have grounds for a claim, call 212-406-1700 or contact us on-line. Our attorneys are selective about the cases we take, which allows us to concentrate on representing clients who have been seriously injured or killed in New York car accidents.