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Car Accidents

New York City Car Accident Lawyer Helping Residents in Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island

Car accidents injure or kill thousands of New Yorkers each year. Although all drivers have a duty not to cause injuries to other motorists and passengers while operating a motor vehicle, most car accidents are the result of negligence or recklessness. Being involved in a car accident is a frightening experience. With the help of the right attorney, however, you can get back on the road again.

Prime Law Firm is a first-rate personal injury firm serving clients in the greater New York area. Our experienced car accident attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the state insurance and negligence laws and a proven track record of helping our clients obtain just compensation. We believe that no one should suffer because of a negligent driver and will fight to protect your rights.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Queens

Most car accidents are the result of driver errors, including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
  • Disobeying traffic signals
  • Driver fatigue
  • Improper turns
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Following too close (tailgating)
  • Reckless driving
  • Mechanical defects

At times, automobile accidents may also be caused by defects in the road, a broken streetlight or traffic signal. In such cases, it may be possible to file an injury claim against the city, county, or state agency responsible for road maintenance as long as certain procedures are followed. Similarly, if the accident or injury was caused by a vehicle defect — faulty brakes, steering mechanisms, engines, or airbags — a product liability lawsuit can be filed against the manufacturer or distributor.

What should I do if I'm in a car accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, you should seek necessary medical treatment immediately. Even if you are not injured, it is important that you call the police and file a formal police report which can later assist with insurance claims and any lawsuits which may follow.

During this time, you will be required to show your driver's license and documentation of your insurance coverage. It is important that you obtain this information from the other driver as well. If you have a camera, you should take a photo of the scene or soon after to show any damage to your vehicle. You should also contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible so they can instruct you on the necessary steps to file your claim.

To ensure that you receive the greatest settlement possible, contact a personal injury attorney who can initiate an investigation before witnesses forget their testimonials and evidence is lost.

I was in a minor accident and the other driver and I just exchanged insurance information without calling the police. My insurance company is now giving me a hard time for not having a report. Is a police report necessary for all car accidents?

It is always a good idea to call the police at the time of an automobile accident. Although all insurance carriers have different policies regarding the necessity of a police report when filing a claim, many will accept an auto insurance claim without one. Nonetheless, police reports are helpful in determining the involved parties and documenting who was at fault. This information will assist your insurance company in their investigation and may expedite the resolution of the claim.

What is no-fault insurance?

New York is a No-Fault state for insurance purposes. This means that in a car accident, you must file a claim with your own insurance company to recover compensation for medical expenses, property damage, and other economic losses, regardless of which party is at fault. Insurers have teams of powerful attorneys, investigators and claims adjusters on their side, however, which gives them an unfair advantage over the injured. When insurance companies attempt to deny claims or pay out as little as possible, we know how to even the score and hold them accountable.

I was in a car accident and the other motorist's insurance company just called me for a statement. Am I required to provide one?

No! More often than not, the other driver's insurance company is calling to obtain information which may be used against you as you seek to recover losses. Respectfully decline their request and inform them that if they would like a copy of your statement, they may contact your insurance carrier directly.

Can I file a lawsuit if I am injured in a car accident?

In most cases, the party at-fault (or his respective insurance company) is responsible for paying for medical treatment and other related expenses such as lost work and compensation for vehicle damage. The extent of liability for an injury resulting from a car accident can vary based on jurisdiction. As a result, it is crucial that you hire a personal injury attorney who can help determine fault and recover any financial losses you've incurred. Although no-fault insurance laws govern car accidents in New York, it may still be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. To do so, you must have either sustained a serious injury or incurred a basic economic loss greater than $50,000. Under the law, a serious injury is defined as one that has resulted in:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent and total loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person‚Äôs usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

As you can see, proving that you suffered a serious injury can be a difficult burden when you are trying to recover and get back to your normal routine. Prime Law Firm can help to lift that burden with a powerful combination of aggressive legal representation and exceptional personal service.

What to Do After a Car Accident?

The first thing to do after you have been involved in a car accident is to call the police and seek medical attention. The reports of first responders will be important evidence in your injury claim. Also, collect the names and contact information of the other parties involved in the accident, and take pictures of the vehicle damage, the accident scene, and your injuries. If you are unable to do so, someone else may be able to take pictures for you. If you are treated at the hospital or by a doctor, records of any medical treatment will serve as valuable evidence in your claim.

It is important to seek medical treatment even if you do not think you have been injured. First, some injuries may not surface in the immediate aftermath of the accident, only to worsen in the days and weeks ahead. Moreover, failing to see a doctor can make proving your claim more difficult. The opposition may be able to argue that your injuries were not the result of the accident and prevent you from recovering damages. Finally, do not acknowledge any liability for the accident or speak to anyone from the insurance company before calling an experienced car accident attorney.

New York City Automobile Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be frightened and not know where to turn. Prime Law Firm is here to help you, fighting endlessly to help you obtain compensation for the harm you have endured. We will take the time to learn about the circumstances surrounding your car accident and work to show how the other driver was liable. We will handle all dealings with the insurance company so that you can focus on recovering. If the insurer fails to make a reasonable offer, or if you have sustained a serious injury, we are prepared to try your case in court. Above all, we are ultimately concerned about your well being and your future. Call our office today at 212-994-7777 or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a consultation.