New York City Car Accident Attorney
If you live or work in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Bronx or Manhattan, motor vehicle accidents can start to feel like a part of everyday life — until you or a loved one suffers injuries in a car or pedestrian accident. Your world can turn upside down in a moment by physical injuries, uncertainty and financial stress. You and your family deserve the best New York City car accident lawyer by your side during this stressful time. We can help you know your rights, avoid mistakes and make sure you get the compensation to which you may be entitled. At The O’Connor Law Firm, we handle all types of auto accidents, including:
- Bus accidents
- Pedestrians injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
New York City Car Accident Statistics
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports there are about three million people injured in motor vehicle accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 36,560 traffic fatalities in 2018. More than 100 deaths per day. This represents a 2.4% decline from 2017 (37,473).
New York City is the largest metropolitan area in the country. It does not need to be rush hour for the streets to be packed with cars, trucks, rideshare vehicles, buses and commercial vehicles. Even the traffic laws required to handle the millions of commuters are unique.
In the five boroughs of New York City, there are more than 200,000 vehicle accidents each year. More than 50 vehicle accidents per day. Despite the national decrease in traffic deaths in 2019, traffic fatalities in New York City increased in 2019 for the first time in six years. There were 218 deaths caused by vehicle crashes in 2019 compared to 202 deaths in 2018 (approximate 9% increase).
NYC Vehicle Accidents By Borough
According to data from the New York City Police Department, there were 10,877 motor vehicle collisions in March 2020 alone. The breakdown of vehicle crashes per borough is as follows:
|Brooklyn:||3,468 collisions with 408 drivers, 271 passengers, 110 cyclists and 164 pedestrians injured|
|Queens:||3,235 collisions with 508 drivers, 300 passengers, 38 cyclists and 149 pedestrians injured.|
|Bronx:||1,981 collisions with 299 drivers, 201 passengers, 32 cyclists and 105 pedestrians injured.|
|Manhattan:||1,841 collisions with 124 drivers, 86 passengers, 65 cyclists and 97 pedestrians injured.|
|Staten Island:||352 collisions with 69 drivers, 46 passengers, 23 cyclists and 4 pedestrians injured.|
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Each Borough of New York City
While vehicle accidents happen throughout New York City at a rate of more than 50 per day, some intersections have a higher rate of accidents. Some of the most dangerous intersections in each borough have been identified as follows:
|Manhattan:||2nd Avenue & East 59th Street, Manhattan|
|Brooklyn:||Flatbush Avenue & Tillary Street, Brooklyn|
|Queens:||58th Street & Roosevelt Avenue, Queens|
|Bronx:||East 149th Street & Morris Avenue, Bronx|
|Staten Island:||Richmond Avenue and Victory Boulevard|
Common Causes of Vehicle Accidents in New York
According to the most recent Motor Vehicle Collision Report from the New York City Police Department, the following factors were the most common contributing causes to vehicle accidents and injuries in March 2020:
|Aggressive Driving||Alcohol involvement|
|Backing up unsafely||Cell phone use|
|Distracted driving||Disregarding traffic controls|
|Following too closely||Improper passing|
|Improper turns||Unsafe lane changes|
|Speeding||Failure to yield the right of way|
While car accidents happened for many different reasons, districted driving was the most common cause of vehicle accidents by a wide margin in New York City. In fact, according to the NHTSA, distracted driving is the number one cause of vehicle accidents nationwide. If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle accident, it is important that you contact an experienced car accident attorney to understand your legal rights before you speak to an insurance adjuster.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in New York City?
If you have been in a vehicle accident, you may be uncertain of what to do next. Here are 7 steps to take and 5 mistakes to avoid immediately after an accident:
7 Steps to Take After a Car Accident:
- Call for medical attention.
- Report the accident to the police.
- Get the name, address and insurance information from all drivers.
- If you are physically able, take photos of the accident scene and any dangerous conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
- Obtain witness names and contact information.
- Contact an experienced car accident attorney who will advise you of your rights to deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Provide information to your attorney to assist in reporting the accident to your insurance company and filing a no-fault application for medical and wage benefits within 30 days of the accident.
5 Mistakes To Avoid After a Car Accident:
- Don’t engage in any detailed conversation at the accident scene. Even if the accident was not your fault, anything you say can be used against you later.
- Don’t speak to the insurance adjuster for the at-fault party. After an injury is reported, the insurance company will immediately start working on limiting its financial exposure. Their focus is to pay you as little money as possible. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer before you speak to an insurance adjuster or anyone you don’t know. It is better to direct any claims representative or private investigator to your lawyer than to voluntarily discuss your accident. You do not have to speak with them.
- Don’t wait too long to seek medical attention. Insurance companies will deny you sustained a serious injury if you did not seek medical attention soon after the accident. The hospital or doctor’s records will support your claim of injuries and provide evidence your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Don’t post to social media about your car accident. One of the first steps an insurance company takes after receiving notice of a claim is to search the victim’s social media accounts to gather information that may be used against you.
- Don’t believe what the insurance company tells you. The insurance company for the at-fault party has one goal in mind when they speak to you – to save themselves money and limit what they pay you. They will try to get you to give them a recorded statement by telling you it’s required. Do not believe them. You do not. You should direct them to your attorney and tell them not to call you directly.
What are New York No-Fault Benefits?
No-fault insurance is not available in all states, however, in some states, like New York, it is required. Anyone who registers a vehicle in New York State must show proof of insurance which includes no-fault coverage.
No-fault benefits, also called personal injury protection (PIP), are provided by your own car insurance and will pay for your economic loss, such as medical bills, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. It will also cover any passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident even if someone else caused the accident. If you are a pedestrian or a cyclist injured in a car accident, the insurance carrier for the vehicle that struck you will provide you with no-fault benefits. These benefits include:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Prescription drug costs
- Lost income as a result of your injuries
- Travel-related expenses for medical visits
- Cost of household help, if medically necessary
- These benefits are limited to $50,000 unless the vehicle owner has purchased additional PIP coverage above the basic coverage
What is Bodily Injury Coverage in New York?
The purpose of the no-fault law is to make it easier for injured New Yorkers to get the medical care they need without worrying about having to sue someone in order to get their bills paid. Of course, no-fault benefits only cover economic loss like bills and income. These benefits do not provide for non-economic loss such as pain and suffering.
The insurance companies also benefit from the no-fault law. As part of the concession for the payment of economic loss without showing fault, New York instituted a requirement that any lawsuit filed for a physical injury arising out of the use or operation of a vehicle must be a “serious injury” as defined by the Insurance Law §5102. Bodily injury coverage is the portion of a vehicle owner’s insurance policy that would cover a claim for personal injuries, pain and suffering and other “non-economic” losses.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is a part of your own motor vehicle insurance policy that protects you if you are injured due to the fault of another driver who either has no insurance or does not have enough insurance. For example, in New York, the minimum amount of liability coverage is $25,000. So if you suffer significant injuries you may only be able to recover $25,000.
However, if you have your own car insurance policy that includes UM coverage, you can opt to increase the UM coverage up to the limit of your own liability coverage.
So if you have $100,000 UM coverage, you could first obtain an offer of the limit of the $25,000 from the vehicle that caused the accident and then go to your own insurance company and claim an additional $75,000 because that is the difference between the $25,000 obtained from the at-fault driver and the amount of your UM coverage of $100,000.
How Can a New York City Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
After a client has signed with The O’Connor Law Firm, we like to explain the legal process and answer any additional questions about their case. Here is a list of some of the steps your accident attorney will take in handling your case:
- Initial interview with client, educate and answer client’s questions.
- Notify all negligent parties and their insurance companies of our representation and that they are not permitted to speak with you. Demand that they preserve any evidence.
- Investigate additional insurance policies that may provide coverage for your injuries, including client’s insurance policies, if applicable.
- Hire an investigator to gather evidence, interview witnesses, obtain police reports, surveillance video and other relevant evidence.
- Retain experts as early as possible to inspect the accident scene or relevant dangerous conditions before it is repaired by the negligent party.
- Gather your medical records and other records that support your damages claims, including W-2s and other employment records.
- Communicate and negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Commence the lawsuit by filing a summons and complaint.
- Litigate your case aggressively and thoroughly to provide you with the best possible outcome.
- Communicate with you throughout the course of your case, keeping you informed and educated about the litigation process.
Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you before you speak to an attorney. We will help protect your rights and make sure the insurance companies deal fairly with you. We are ready to help you when you need us.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?
While no-fault benefits will provide for basic economic loss, including medical bills and lost wages up to $50,000, a personal injury lawsuit is intended to compensate injury victims for the pain and suffering caused by someone else’s negligence. You may also be entitled to economic loss above and beyond the basic economic loss provided for through your no-fault benefits. Some of these damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Future medical expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you before you speak with an attorney. It is important to understand how much your case is worth. An experienced New York car accident lawyer will be able to explain the damages you may be entitled to. At The O’Connor Law Firm, we retain experts when necessary to establish the damages our client’s deserve.
Let a New York City Auto Accident Lawyer Help You Get Your Life Back On Track
At The O’Connor Law Firm, we take pride in helping injured New Yorkers when they need it most. We will help you level the playing field against the insurance companies and get you what you deserve. When you meet with us, we will provide you with an honest assessment of your case. We will tell you if you have a potential claim, whether a settlement offer is in your best interests and help you understand your rights.
Call or contact us today for a free case review to find out how we can help you. Our car accidents attorneys can also come to you if you are unable to travel to our offices.