Car accidents and what ensues can be more complicated than many people realize. It's true that some are simple events that can be handled with the exchange of insurance information and filing a police report. Others have serious consequences that involve injuries, disputes about fault, and a number of other factors. At times, the only real solution is to hire a car accident attorney who can protect your interests.
As part of the process, your legal counsel will help you understand laws and legal precedents that apply in your case, provide counsel about how to proceed with legal action, and even how to conduct yourself as the case is pending. Here are some examples of what you will learn and how access to legal representation will make a difference.
Car Accident Statistics in New York City
So what is considered a serious car accident? The event can include one or both of the following in order to be classed as serious. When there's extensive damage to the vehicles involved, or if one or more of them have to be totaled, they are generally classed as serious accidents.
The second qualification has to do with injuries. Any injuries that require medical attention, especially if that attention must be administered immediately and in a facility like a clinic or a hospital, ensure that the event will be considered serious.
With that in mind, accident lawyers can provide some statistics about auto accidents in New York City. Here are some examples provided by the New York Department of Health:
· An average of 292 deaths annually occur due to auto accidents in the city.
· This amounts to 1.6 deaths per 100,000 New Yorkers each year.
· The death rates were highest among people over the age of 65; the second-highest rates applied to those in the 20-24 age range.
· An annual average of 6,207 hospitalizations occur due to drivers and passengers involved in motor vehicle accidents.
· When asked how often hits and runs are solved, statistics for 2020 provide a good idea. During that year, NYPD detectives solved 11 of the 39 reported hit-and-run cases, which is a solve rate of 28%.
Your legal counsel will be able to provide additional information, especially statistics that relate to the type of auto accident you've been involved in recently.
How Serious Are New York City Car Accidents?
One look at the monthly reports issued by the New York Police Department makes it possible to understand the severity of accidents within the city. That monthly report includes data from all five boroughs covered by the NYPD. The report covers all sorts of accidents that involve motor vehicles, including crashes, hit and run cases, and single vehicle incidents.
As seen above, the chances of being involved in a fatal car accident in New York today are quite real. Along with the deaths proper, the repercussions for those who are left behind are significant. Spouses are left without their life partners, children lose parents, friends lose loved ones. The degree of damage done is difficult to sense totally unless you are personally involved in the aftermath of a fatal accident.
What's Meant By a Yellow Car Accident?
You may hear your legal counsel refer to a yellow car accident. This has nothing to do with the color of any vehicle. It does have to do with accidents that occur near the site of a traffic light when the light is currently flashing yellow.
One example of a yellow car accident has to do with one vehicle attempting a left-hand turn at the cau-tion light. Rather than yielding the right of way to a vehicle that is moving straight through the intersec-tion, the driver proceeds to make the left turn. That ends in a crash with the oncoming vehicle. In such an event, the driver who was attempting to turn left would be at fault.
First Steps After a Car Accident in NYC
As your New York car accident attorney will point out, there are a few simple steps that should be taken after a car accident takes place. These are:
· Check yourself and any passengers for signs of injuries.
· Call 911, report what happened and your location. If anyone is injured, make that known.
· Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party while waiting for the authorities to arrive.
· File a police report and notify your insurance company.
· Retain legal counsel.
Keep in mind that if anyone is seriously injured, transport to a medical facility becomes a priority. The police and emergency tech professionals are likely to arrive quickly. While the police evaluate the scene, the EMTs will assess injuries and prepare injured parties for transport if needed.
New York's No-Fault Insurance Rules
Is New York a no fault state for car accidents? The answer is yes. That means your insurance coverage will cover medical and other losses incurred as a result of the accident, within whatever limits are found in the policy terms and conditions.
However, the state's no-fault insurance laws do not prohibit you from seeking further compensation from the responsible party. As a New York defective road accident attorney can attest, events caused by vehicles that do not meet the state's standards provide a basis for seeking more compensation. In addition to any out-of-pocket expenses that remain after your insurance company settles claims, there is the possibility of seeking damages for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Your lawyer can evaluate the situation and tell you if this is possible in your case.
What If I'm Blamed For My Car Accident?
Perhaps you're the party who is being blamed for the accident. It's important to secure legal counsel rather than assuming nothing can be done. This is because there may be extenuating circumstances that would be recognized by the court. A lawyer who has handled a number of car accident cases in the past will be in a position to spot them.
For example, knowing how to prove someone was speeding in an accident might be to your advantage. If it could be proven that the other party was moving well above the speed limit, it could be an indica-tion that the accident would not have occurred since the two vehicles would have likely passed each other rather than a crash resulting. After your legal counsel looks at all the factors and possibly gathers more evidence, things may not be as clear cut as originally perceived.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in New York?
Under the current New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules, there is an amount of time in which any lawsuit related to a car accident must be filed. This means you may not have to file immediately after the event. This is good news since it provides a time frame for medical evaluation as well as assessment of the car's condition to take place.
How long do you have to report a car accident in NY? The current time frame is three years. This is true for anyone who was involved in the accident. That includes motor vehicle operators, passengers, pedestrians who were injured in the event, or bicyclists.
So how many years for a hit and run to be reported? While the same three-year time frame applies for filing lawsuits, it's necessary to report the event within ten days from the date of the accident, assuming there's $1,000 or more in damage to your vehicle and/or to other vehicles. Failure to file the report with the DMV could result in the suspension of your license.
Legal Help While You Focus on Accident Recovery
Accident recovery may involve two specific areas. One has to do with repairs to your vehicle. While insurance may cover most of the costs, there may be other expenses that remain. A car accident attorney can tell you if seeking compensation for any lingering expenses for auto repair, or replacement can be sought.
In like manner, the best car accident lawyer can represent you when there are other related expenses that apply to your situation. These may be medical costs that remain after the insurance company remits payments for claims, loss of income due to injury, and even possibly compensation for pain and suffering.
Let Your Legal Counsel Do The Talking
One of the key benefits of choosing to getting a lawyer after a car accident is that you have someone who can take the lead in protecting your interests. Rather than having to field queries from the other parties, all communications can go through your legal counsel. This helps to prevent interactions that could be damaging to any claims you plan to pursue.
Having your own legal counsel also helps to take some of the mystery out of what can be done. While you don't know the laws that apply, your lawyer does. That makes it easier to ensure that everything is done in order, communication with the court and other parties remains clear and concise and you have someone who can explain what's happening using terms that you readily grasp.
Solid Advice That Your Lawyer Will Provide
Attorneys for car insurance claims take the care of their clients seriously. To that end, you will receive advice about how to proceed while legal action is underway. Some of that advice includes the following:
· Tell all to your legal counsel. No matter how insignificant it may seem to you, share the information. Some minor tidbit might be key to your case.
· Say little to others about the case. Keep it vague outside of the discussions with your lawyer. You never know who may be listening.
· Ask questions if you don't understand anything. Your lawyer wants you to be clear on where you stand, what the choices of action happen to be, and how each choice could turn out.
· Provide updates when and as they come. Information about additional medical treatments you may need or more time missed at work should be brought to the attention of your hit and run attorney, even if it's only a single treatment or a couple of additional days off without pay.
Call Our Experienced NYC Car Accident Lawyer For Help
There's no reason why you have to deal with the aftermath of an auto accident by yourself. Opting to hire a lawyer, even when you feel the matter is cut-and-dried, is often the most practical thing that you could do. A lawyer is in a position to look objectively at the facts, provide you with advice that's based on current laws, and then represent you if the matter becomes more complicated than simply accepting a settlement extended by an insurance company.
The attorneys at Linden Law have proven track records for helping clients receive the compensation that they deserve. In a case where the client was hit from the rear by another vehicle and subsequently required back surgery, the client received $750,000. Another client who was the innocent party in two collisions that took place in a period of 3.5 weeks received $665,000.
One client was involved in a car crash that resulted in soft tissue injuries. The outcome was that he could no longer earn a living as a plumber. We secured $665,000 for our client. Another client was injured after a commercial vehicle ran a stop sign, requiring surgery for damage to the knees and shoulders. That resulted in compensation of $347,500. Bring us your case and let's find out what we can do for you.
Contact our NYC Car Accident Lawyer and bring along everything in your possession that has to do with the event. That includes copies of police reports, medical bills related to the accident, auto repair estimates, and anything else that's relevant to the situation. Together, we will work through what has taken place and identify and determine what sort of legal aid you need to resolve the matter and get on with your life.