New York Vehicle Accident Lawyer
You’ve been hurt by a bad driver. Our team wants you to know that you don’t need to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Kaplan Lawyers PC handles your claim from start to finish, and you owe us absolutely nothing unless you get paid.
Why NYC Is a Dangerous Place for Drivers, Passengers, Cyclists and Pedestrians
New York is a city on the go — fast, busy and bustling. More than 23 million people call the New York metro home, with about 1.6 million in Manhattan alone. That’s to say nothing of the enormous and ever-present tourist population. At any given time, then, we have millions of people on the move. New Yorkers rush into subways, hop into cabs, use their smartphones to summon Uber or Lyft rides, or get behind the wheels of their own vehicles. Add to that the visitors who don’t always know where they’re going or how to get there. They sometimes dart unwittingly into traffic or make dangerous last-minute turns in a rental car.
The sheer volume of hustle, bustle and transportation means that accidents are just waiting to happen here. And they happen all the time. Even if crashes don’t produce catastrophic injuries or death (and in many cases, they do), New York auto accidents trigger an avalanche of stress, red tape, and financial hardship. Medical bills, lost income, endless paperwork, continuous pain, emotional trauma, and flashbacks all become daily reminders of a terrible event.
Unfortunately, the at-fault party’s insurance company typically offers very little help. If they offer a settlement, it’s likely for much less than the victim deserves. In today’s legal climate, insurance companies rarely do the right thing unless the victim hires a lawyer. As New York City vehicle accident lawyers, we understand how frustrating and unfair that is.
Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today to schedule a free consultation with our team. That’s why Kaplan Lawyers PC offers contingency fee representation. You don’t have to pay us unless (and until) we get you money.
Common Causes of NYC Vehicle Accidents
While vehicle crashes have many causes, the most common is human error. When people make mistakes behind the wheel, other people can suffer dearly. Here are some of the most common causes of New York City traffic collisions:
- Reckless Driving – This includes speeding, failure to observe stop signs or traffic signals, improper lane changes, illegal turns or following another vehicle too closely. In 2015, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of vehicle crash fatalities. In 2014, 48,774 New York vehicle crashes were caused, at least partially, by a driver following too closely to the vehicle in front of them.
- Distracted Driving – More than ever before, drivers have mobile devices and accessories that draw their attention from the road. In addition to mobile phones, distraction can include extra passengers, loud music, navigation devices, car stereos, eating, drinking and grooming while driving. In 2014, distraction contributed to 48,774 crashes in New York.
- Impaired Driving – Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol have put others in danger because of their poor decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. In 2014, alcohol was a contributing factor in 7,391 vehicle crashes in New York, and the use of illegal drugs contributed to another 650 crashes.
- Failure to Drive Appropriately for Weather Conditions – When snow, ice and rain start to fall in New York, it is up to drivers to adjust their driving behaviors accordingly.
- Drowsy Driving – Whether driving home after a long work shift or on a long road trip, fatigue can make a driver inattentive and extremely dangerous. In 2014, drowsy driving contributed to 1,343 crashes in New York. That same year, it was reported that 3,177 crashes occurred because the driver fell asleep behind the wheel.
- Hit-and-Run Collisions – In some cases, a negligent driver flees the scene, leaving victims to suffer in the wake of the damage they left behind. Every year, hit-and-run drivers kill around 1,500 drivers, 60 percent of which are pedestrians. When hit-and-run accidents occur, victims can still sometimes find a way to be compensated for the damages they’ve suffered.
- Vehicle Defects – Sometimes it is not the error of the driver but rather a manufacturing error that can lead to a serious vehicle crash. Defective tires, brakes or headlights are just a few examples of defective vehicle parts that can cause motorists injury and accident. In 2014, vehicular factors led to 10,006 crashes in New York, the most common of which were defective brakes and tire failures.
If you were hurt in a car accident, it’s not your responsibility to identify the cause of another driver’s negligence. Leave that to Kaplan Lawyers PC. We’ll investigate your case to find out who was at fault and how much you are owed. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
FAQs: Vehicle Accidents
Why File a Personal Injury Claim After a Vehicle Accident?
Vehicle accidents are costly, painful and endlessly frustrating. Drivers usually have insurance that covers expenses after a crash, but too many crash victims are met with payment that simply doesn’t meet their needs. A personal injury claim is your chance to stand up and demand payment for the costs you face. A claim can cover: medical bills, ongoing treatment, medications, property damage suffered in a crash and non-economic damages, such as pain, suffering, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. If an insurance company hasn’t given you a fair deal, you have options. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we understand the value of having an advocate to fight on your behalf. We make sure that insurance companies live up their end of the bargain and that negligent drivers are held accountable. Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Let us help you understand your options, so you can decide what to do next.
Do Different Accidents Result in Different Injuries?
When you compare the severity of injuries from different types of vehicle wrecks, it becomes evident the dramatic impact of (a) type of vehicle, (b) speed at time of collision, and (c) availability and use of safety equipment.
Should You Explore Your Options?
When you’ve suffered a serious injury, particularly if it was caused by another driver, you should always consider your legal options. Insurance companies don’t always live up to their promises, and you want to be sure that you aren’t leaving money on the table when you’re faced with expensive medical bills, property damage and other costs. We know that it’s not always clear what steps to take after a serious vehicle accident in New York City, which is why we offer free case evaluations. We want to help you understand your options, so that you know whether you should move forward with an injury claim. To schedule a free consultation with Kaplan Lawyers PC, contact our team today by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form.
What should I do if I have been involved in a car accident?
First make sure that everyone is okay. Call 911 so that a police officer will respond to the scene, and to ensure that anyone who has been injured can get medical attention. Get information from the other driver (name, phone number, insurance information). Ask any witnesses for their contact information, too. If it is possible to do so, take pictures of the scene. In the weeks that follow, keep extensive records concerning police reports, medical bills, car repairs and any other relevant financial or medical information.
What should I say following the crash?
You should speak to the police as honestly and truthfully as possible and you should ask for the information of the other driver and witnesses. Aside from that, you should say very little after being involved in a car accident. There can often be a number of contributing factors that lead to an automobile accident, and it is unreasonable to assume that you will know what lead to the crash. What you say to the other driver might be used against you later. For this reason, it is best never to admit fault or apologize to the other driver.
Should I seek medical attention?
After being involved in a car accident, a person might be in shock and unaware of the full extent of their injuries. It can also be the case that injuries will worsen over time, and it will be helpful to have your injuries documented at a medical facility.
How should I deal with insurance companies after a car accident?
You should notify your own insurance company of the crash. However, your attorney will be able to deal with insurance companies in the days, weeks and months that follow a crash. DO NOT give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. You are under no obligation to talk to another driver’s insurance company. They will likely try to shift the blame onto you if at all possible. Let your attorney handle the conversation.
What if the other driver flees the scene?
If the other party leaves the scene after a crash, you should still call the police and contact your attorney. You can still receive payments from your insurance company for many of the damages you have suffered. If possible, try to get the license plate number or the make and model of the hit-and-run driver’s vehicle. The police might be able to use that information to track down the other driver.
Do I need an attorney to handle my automobile accidents claim?
The insurance company employs an army of attorneys, claims specialists, and experts to win the case, so in order to get the compensation that you are entitled to you will need to hire an attorney that specializes in this type of law. Our legal team has decades of experience and a proven track record of maximizing settlements, and we are in the best position to guarantee that you get everything that you are entitled to.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The statute of limitations (or time in which a claim must be brought from the date of the accident) is 3 years for a personal injury claim. If a claim is being brought for wrongful death, the claim must be brought within 2 years from the date of death. If the claim is being brought against a municipality, the time to bring a claim is significantly shorter depending on who the claim is against, so you should consult with an attorney immediately.
Can I bring a claim even if the other driver wasn’t 100% at fault?
New York law follows the pure comparative negligence rule. It states that an injured party will receive compensation for their injuries in proportion to their percentage of contribution to the accident. For example, if a jury believes that a claimant was 10% at fault, the other driver is responsible for 90% of the claimant’s damages.
Do I have to pay any legal fees if I lose my case?
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee, which means that if you don’t win your case we don’t get paid.
How much is my case worth?
If any attorney tells you that they know how much your case is worth before reviewing all of the documentation, then they are lying or incompetent. However, our legal team has decades of experience and will maximize the value of your case.
How long will it take to settle my case?
Every case is different, but our legal team utilizes the most advanced technology and aggressive legal strategy to expedite our clients’ cases, generally resolving cases years faster than any other firm.
How will my medical bills get paid?
Whether you were the driver or passenger in the car, your medical bills will be paid for by the company that insured the car you were in. However, you must file a No Fault application with the insurance company within 30 days from the date of the accident; if you fail to do so, you have waived your right to file the claim for benefits.
Does No Fault pay for anything else?
No Fault will also pay for lost wages, prescription costs, transportation to medical providers, and reasonable expenses for household services.
Why does my insurance company have to pay the bills if the other driver caused the accident?
The insurance companies were involved in the drafting of the legislation that created this policy. They agreed to this plan so that injured parties can get the treatment that they need even if it is unclear who caused the accident — liability will not determine who pays.
Why would the insurance companies want that?
The insurance companies agreed to the legislation because the law also limits access for injured parties to the court system. The statute states that an injured person can’t proceed with a lawsuit unless they have sustained a serious injury as defined by the legislation, which significantly restricts an individual’s ability to collect money for pain and suffering.
What is the legal definition of a serious injury?
A serious injury has been defined as death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or 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’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
How will I know if my injuries will be considered serious?
Many of the injuries sustained in automobile accident cases become progressively worse with time, and their seriousness may be difficult to determine shortly after the accident. However, the automobile accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC recommend that you retain an attorney immediately so that all filings are completed to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
How can I get my car fixed?
If you have collision coverage, we would recommend that you contact your insurance company and submit a claim under your policy. If you don’t have collision coverage you will have to file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company. However, a third-party claim can take significantly longer to resolve, and the insurance company will try to twist your words against you; therefore, we recommend that you contact a legal professional before contacting the insurance company directly.
Vehicle Crash Types by Point of Impact
Vehicle crashes often involve a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object. The point of impact in a vehicle can determine the severity of the injuries suffered by occupants. In 2015:
- 54%: Frontal impact collisions accounted for over half of vehicle occupant deaths.
- 25%: Side impact collisions accounted for one-quarter of vehicle occupant deaths.
- 5%: Rear impact collisions accounted for 5 percent of vehicle occupant deaths.
- 16%: Other types of impact, mostly rollovers, accounted for 16 percent of vehicle occupant deaths.
Regardless of your crash type, you deserve payment for the harm you’ve suffered. Kaplan Lawyers PC is here to help you get it. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
If You Need to Deal with Insurance Companies…
Remember that when speaking to your own insurance company, you should cooperate with them to the best of your ability. However, if they offer you an amount that is inadequate, you are under no obligation to accept that offer. Contact an attorney to fight for the payment you are owed.
If you are contacted by another driver’s insurance company, or any insurance company that is not your own, do not speak to them. A representative of an insurance company might try to get you on the record making statements that eventually shift the blame away from their policyholder or reduce the amount of money you’re offered. Direct these representatives to your attorney.
Our team knows how to deal with insurance companies. Let us do the work on your behalf. Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today to schedule a free consultation.
Featured Article: Why Auto Body Shops Refer Clients to Kaplan Lawyers PC
After being involved in a car crash, people are forced to place their trust in others. They rely on their attorneys to represent them in claims, doctors to treat their injuries and auto body shops to repair their vehicles. Just like all the other professionals that assist people after a vehicle crash, auto body shops provide an invaluable service to their clientele, and they work hard to make sure their customers are taken care of. Read Full Article
If You Might Be Injured, See a Doctor
If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident, you should always see a doctor to eliminate the possibility of an injury. This is no time to “power through” or put a brave face on your pain. Injuries should be treated immediately, and it’s best to document your suffering in case you need to file a legal claim for compensation. So many things can go wrong after a car wreck. Don’t leave anything up to chance. Go see a doctor as soon as possible, and follow the physician’s advice closely.
Featured Article: Is Society Evolving Into a More Dangerous World for Drivers?
There is a narrative we hold near and dear in America: Progress makes life better. In a blink of the proverbial eye, technology has created a world that is more connected and convenient than ever before. For the most part, we’re healthier, safer, and smarter. For all their virtues, emerging technologies bring with them their own challenges. Innovation opens the door to both improvement and peril. I submit that we’re seeing a bit of both on the highway horizon. Read Full Article
NYC Vehicle Accidents and Road Safety
Consequences of NYC Vehicle Accidents
Victims of negligent drivers in New York can face immeasurable hardship from the injuries they have suffered. Some of these injuries include:
- Spinal Cord Injury – Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, causing around 38 percent of SCIs.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – Crashes are also one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries, causing around 17 percent of TBIs.
- Burns – Around 5 percent of burns admitted to burn centers in the United States occurred on roadways.
- Broken Bones – One medical study concluded that motorists at the greatest risk for fractures were motorcyclists and bicyclists
- Internal Damage – Internal injuries, such as organ damage, intestinal damage or fractured ribs, can be extremely dangerous for victims in vehicle crashes, largely because they can be difficult to detect upon initial inspection.
- Wrist and Ankle Injuries – Trimalleolar and colles wrist fractures can be expensive, painful injuries with effects that linger for the rest of a victim’s life.
- Whiplash – Whiplash, a sudden jerk that causes a head and/or neck injury, is one of the most common types of injuries following a vehicle crash, especially in rear-end collision injuries.
In addition to pain and suffering, victims must deal with the financial fallout of a traffic crash, including medical bills, lost income, loss of work capacity and ongoing therapy and rehabilitation. In the worst of vehicle accidents, the victim can lose their life due to the negligence of another driver. In these cases, it is possible for surviving family members to hold the at-fault driver responsible for the financial fallout stemming from the loss of a loved one, including outstanding medical bills, funeral costs, loss of income and end-of-life care costs.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, you should not have to pay the costs for their mistakes. Our New York vehicle accident attorneys are here to help you hold that negligent driver accountable for the losses they caused you. Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today to learn more about how we can help you win the payment that you deserve.
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]
If You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident…
ACCIDENT LAWYER NEW YORK
- Make sure that you and your loved ones aren’t in harm’s way.
- Call 911 to notify police of the crash and request immediate medical attention.
- Don’t admit fault or speak at length to the other driver. You don’t know all the facts, and the words you say might later be turned against you, even if they were intended as polite gestures.
- Cooperate with the police and provide them with the information they want.
- Seek medical attention for any possible injuries you might have suffered.
- Keep copies of any and all documents you receive that are related to the crash and your injury.
- Consider contacting a vehicle accident attorney soon after the accident. An attorney can help make sure you aren’t taken advantage of or given inadequate payment from insurance companies.
Don’t hesitate to contact the New York vehicle accident attorneys Kaplan Lawyers PC to explore your options. We offer free consultations to help you better understand your case.
Kaplan Lawyers PC Can Make a Difference
EXPERIENCED NY VEHICLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
We believe in what we do. We help people get payment when they’ve suffered serious injuries, and we make sure they aren’t taken advantage of by insurance companies or other attorneys. An advocate is invaluable in the wake of a vehicle accident. You’re likely facing many challenges, and we take pride in the fact that our clients can count on us to be their ally.
We meet clients at their homes and cater all our services to meet their specific needs. If you want to speak to our team, you can contact us any time to schedule a free consultation. We want to hear more about your case and tell you what we can do to help.
Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today to learn more about your legal options.