Personal Injury Law Firm In NYC

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Car Accidents
Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs And Kool And The Law Office Of William A. Gallina, LLP

NYC CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER

CAR ACCIDENTS

Our NYC car accident lawyers have decades of experience representing people who have been seriously injured or killed in auto accidents. 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. Thousands of motorists lose their lives each year in fatal traffic accidents, while millions are injured. New York City has one of the highest concentrations of motor vehicle deaths in the State of New York.

Fortunately, individuals who have suffered a serious injury in a car accident may be able to recoup damages for 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 And The Law Office Of William A. Gallina, LLP, our car accident lawyers understand the hardships that victims face following an avoidable accident. While we know we cannot erase the long-term physical or emotional damage caused by an accident, we do our best to help ease our clients' financial burdens by pursuing maximum compensation in a lawsuit.

What Are Some Common Car Accident Injuries?

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 lifelong consequences for victims, such as brain damage or even death. Our NYC car accident lawyers represent clients who have suffered any type of serious injury, including:

  • Spinal Cord Damage
  • Amputations
  • Back Injuries
  • Brain Injuries
  • Burn Injuries
  • Neck Injuries
  • Spinal Injuries
  • Severe Head Injuries
  • Wrongful Death

What Are Some Causes Of Car Accidents In New York City?

Car accidents can be caused by numerous factors. Not every accident that results in an injury, however, presents grounds for a lawsuit by our NYC car accident lawyers. Individuals may have grounds for an auto accident claim 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
  • Driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Speeding
  • Failure to signal while changing lanes
  • Tailgating
  • 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

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 accountable for the accident. For instance, if 1 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.

What Should I Do If I Am In A Car Accident?

You should always report the accident to the police, regardless of how minor it is. Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses. Make sure the police give you a copy of the driver exchange information form. Give your insurance company a call immediately following the accident for further instructions. Failure to report your accident may result in your insurance company denying payment of any claims you subsequently file. Within 30 days of receiving proper notice of the claim, your insurance company must notify you whether it will pay or deny your claim or that the claim is being investigated.

If The Car Accident Is Not My Fault, Do I Have To Let My Own Insurance Know About It?

Yes, you need to inform your insurance company of the accident.

Auto Accidents

If I Tell My Insurance About My Car Accident, Will They Raise My Insurance Premiums? What Kind Of Coverage Is My Insurer Required To Provide?

Your insurance company cannot raise your premium if the accident was not your fault. New York is a no-fault automobile accident state. It means that your automobile insurance company is required to pay for your medical expenses up to a certain amount, depending on the policy you purchased.

What If I Was A Passenger In A Friend’s Car And He Caused The Accident? Do I Have To Sue My Friend?

To the extent your friend has bodily injury protection as part of his insurance policy, his insurance company is required by law to pay for your damages. It will also be required to hire an experienced car accident attorney to defend your friend if a lawsuit is filed. By purchasing insurance benefits, your friend will not have to pay for legal defense or related expenses.

Do I Still Have A Case If I Received A Traffic Citation Stating I Was The Cause Of The Accident?

That depends. If the accident was not completely your fault, you can still recover damages from the other driver for that portion of the accident that was his or her fault. New York allows injured parties to bring claims against others even if they were partially at fault.

How Are Car Accidents Investigated?

Once you've met with an experienced NYC car accident lawyer, you may be wondering exactly how your case can be proven. We do this by fully investigating your accident scene so we can try to determine exactly what happened and who is at fault.

Our auto accident attorneys gather all the information available, such as:

  • Where the accident occurred
  • What the weather was like
  • Which drivers were involved
  • Where each driver stated they were at the time of the accident
  • What the drivers were doing when the accident occurred

If you took a photograph at the time of the accident, you will be better off than most. Having a picture of the damage that occurred to both vehicles and the surrounding area can go a long way toward proving your case. The environment around your accident is just as vital as any other picture. It can help tell the story as well.

After your accident, we review the police report. A police report can give us a lot of answers as to how the accident occurred and provide vital information regarding the other driver. We will want to view their licenses and previous issues reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles. A police report also gives us the most accurate and current insurance information for the driver so that we can bring a lawsuit against them. This allows us to put the other driver and their insurance company on notice that we're looking for compensation for the accident, that we believe the other driver is at fault and as such should be responsible for the costs you've incurred because of the wreck.

In NYC, accidents involving a death or a catastrophic injury that is likely to lead to death will typically lead to a special police investigation conducted by the Collision Investigation Squad (CIS). Our car accident lawyers request that the City of New York provide the materials of the CIS’ investigation, as well as accident photos showing the position of the vehicles involved. The Auto Insurance Specialists (AIS) reports will typically include photos and measurements of details from the scene of the accident (like skid marks and yaw marks), as well as statements from drivers and witnesses.

Accident victims can recover compensation such as lost wages, hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drug costs, physical therapy, pain and suffering and any other economic loss.

Car Accident Lawyers

What Is A Car Accident Cross-Examination?

There are a lot of different aspects to the litigation process that you will get to experience and understand if you file a personal injury lawsuit. One of the most known aspects of the process is cross-examination. Cross-examination is an opportunity for each attorney to ask questions of the witnesses brought forth by the other side during trial. You see this interaction a lot in both movies and television as these cross-examinations play out into dramatic moments full of surprises. It’s not as dramatic in real life, but can be remarkably revealing.

Cross-examinations begin by asking each witness how they are related to the case. They could be an eyewitness to the scene of the accident, painting the picture of how your injuries occurred. Or they could be an expert witness here to testify on your behalf regarding your medical health and how your injuries affect you now and into the future. With each of these witnesses, the attorneys are using their testimony to present your case and prove their side is right. In car accident cases, attorneys must prove that the fault of the accident and subsequent injury was likely caused by the other driver. By asking each witness questions, we're able to go step-by-step through the accident case, your injuries and how your future will look.

Getting information out of witnesses during a cross-examination can be a difficult task. Most people do not want to admit fault or that they had any part in causing or contributing to your injuries. But as experienced attorneys, we're looking to prove your case and do so by asking tough questions that fully cover the extent of your accident. This allows us to probe for the truth in how you were harmed so that you can win your personal injury lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve.

New York Vehicle And Traffic Law And The Traffic Rules Of The City Of New York

Many NYC car accident lawyers 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 cases 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 a situation:

Vehicle And Traffic Law §1141:

“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."

NYC car accident lawyers 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 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
  • Prosthetic Devices
  • Psychiatry
  • Physical Therapy
  • 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 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 car accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to under the law.

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 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 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 an NYC car accident lawyer as soon as possible, as they can investigate and determine the type and amount of liability/bodily injury coverage that may be available as compensation for your injuries.

Auto Accident Lawyers

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 an 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 another 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 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

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 exceeds 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. 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 NYC car accident lawyer 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.

Publications And Lectures

In addition to successfully representing plaintiffs in a variety of vehicular accident matters, our auto accident attorneys are sought out by the legal community for their expertise. Our car accident 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.

Among The Top Car Accident Lawyers In NYC

Our NYC car accident lawyers are recognized as leaders in auto accident trial law. 6 of our attorneys have achieved AV Preeminent status with Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest ranking for ethical standards and legal ability. 5 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.

How Can Your NYC Car Accident Lawyers Help Me?

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, reviewing the police report and medical records, hiring medical experts to testify on behalf of the victim and pursuing maximum compensation for the victim's losses. Our auto accident attorneys have been defending the rights of car accident victims for over 60 years. Our lawyers have excelled at proving liability. We have secured many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in auto accident cases.* 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.

How Do I Schedule A Consultation With Your NYC Car Accident Lawyers?

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free consultation with our NYC car accident lawyers, call our Manhattan office at 212.406.1700, our Bronx office at 718.892.0400 or contact us online. We will review your case and discuss your legal options with you. The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool And The Law Office Of William A. Gallina, LLP take all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our services are free of charge unless there is a monetary recovery. Our law firm is proud to serve the New York City area, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, as well as the surrounding counties and New Jersey. We offer legal services in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Chinese.

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Queller, Fisher, et. al., LLP
Personal Injury Lawyers Serving NYC

*PRIOR RESULTS CANNOT AND DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR OUTCOME WITH RESPECT TO ANY FUTURE MATTER, INCLUDING YOURS, IN WHICH A LAWYER OR LAW FIRM MAY BE RETAINED. VERDICTS ARE SUBJECT TO REDUCTION AND MODIFICATION ON APPEAL.

*AV PREEMINENT AND BV DISTINGUISHED ARE CERTIFICATION MARKS OF REED ELSEVIER PROPERTIES INC., USED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MARTINDALE-HUBBELL CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES, STANDARDS AND POLICIES. MARTINDALE-HUBBELL IS THE FACILITATOR OF A PEER REVIEW RATING PROCESS. RATINGS REFLECT THE CONFIDENTIAL OPINIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE BAR AND THE JUDICIARY. MARTINDALE-HUBBELL RATINGS FALL INTO 2 CATEGORIES: LEGAL ABILITY AND GENERAL ETHICAL STANDARDS.