Can a New York Car Accident Lawyer Assist Me?
Car accidents are sudden, shocking, and traumatic events. However, if you have sustained serious injuries, the impact doesn’t simply fade away after a single distressing night. In fact, a motor vehicle collision has the potential to completely change your life, leaving you and your family forever altered.
You are not alone if you have been injured in an auto accident. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the state experienced nearly 304,100 car crashes in a recent year. Shockingly, over 41% of these incidents resulted in serious personal injury, and 1,109 were fatal. For more car accident statistics, click here.
However, mere statistics cannot convey the true cost that car accidents impose on countless New Yorkers. At Garrity Traina, we do not want you to become just another statistic.
We understand the overwhelming disruption that a crash can cause. Your future may seem uncertain, and your mind filled with troubling questions. As one of New York’s most distinguished personal injury teams, we help individuals like you every day.
Some examples of past settlements and verdicts we have obtained for car accident victims include:
- $16,000,000 for a child paralyzed in a crash
- $7,600,000 for a woman who required a leg amputation after a collision
- $4,000,000 for an infant who suffered brain trauma in a crash
- $3,100,000 for a victim who needed spinal fusion surgery
- $1,460,000 for a passenger with brain and spinal injuries, among others
While we cannot turn back time and erase your accident, we can provide a solid legal foundation for your complete recovery.
Even if you drive cautiously and take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of everyone sharing the road, you cannot prevent negligent or reckless drivers from causing accidents. The consequences of a car crash can be horrendous, resulting in preventable deaths and life-altering, disabling injuries that could have been avoided with responsible driving practices and common sense.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries and associated losses due to the actions of a negligent driver, begin your journey to recovery by contacting the New York car accident lawyers of Garrity Traina today. We will protect your legal rights and seek financial compensation that covers all your losses.
What Our New York Car Accident Lawyers Will Do to Secure Maximum Compensation
We will start by conducting a thorough investigation of your car accident. This investigation aims to determine how the crash occurred, what caused it, how it has affected your personal and professional life, the appropriate compensation for your damages, and who should be held liable for the losses incurred due to the crash. Our skilled New York car accident lawyers will accomplish this by:
Identifying All Parties Liable for Your Losses
Apart from the driver who crashed into your car, there may be other parties you can hold responsible for your injuries. These parties include:
- Other drivers or motorists: In some accidents, evidence shows that more than one driver or motorist contributed to the crash, such as in cases involving chain reaction accidents.
- The car manufacturer: If a crash was caused by a vehicle malfunction or defect, the car manufacturer can be held liable.
- The party responsible for designing or maintaining the roadway: If a poorly designed or maintained roadway contributed to or caused the crash, the designer and party responsible for road maintenance may be held liable.
- The municipality: If the crash occurred due to a defective or malfunctioning traffic signal, stop sign, or street light, the municipality may be liable.
Collecting the Right Evidence
We will gather the necessary evidence to fully support your claim. This evidence may include:
- Police and accident reports
- Photos and videos of the accident scene, all involved vehicles, and your injuries
- Statements from witnesses who observed the crash
- Your medical records
- Video footage of the crash from dashcams or security cameras from nearby businesses, if available
Negotiating a Fair Settlement with Insurance Providers or Taking Your Case to Court
With decades of experience dealing with insurance providers, we have honed our negotiation skills to secure the best possible results for our clients. We will handle all communications with insurers and their claims adjusters on your behalf, ensuring that you never have to face them alone.
If the insurance provider refuses to play fair, offers a low settlement amount, delays your compensation, or denies your claim, our New York car accident lawyers are fully prepared and equipped to take your case to court and win.
What are Common Car Accident Injuries?
At Garrity Traina, we meet clients every day who have suffered severe injuries in car accidents. Some of the more common injuries include:
- Cuts, scrapes, lacerations, and abrasions: These injuries can usually heal on their own, but there is a risk of infection. Additionally, visible scars can cause extreme embarrassment and emotional distress.
- Broken bones: Car accidents can cause devastating fractures. Certain fractures, such as rib fractures, can lead to complications like pneumonia. Many victims require surgery to stabilize broken bones with pins or screws, which carries its own set of risks.
- Burns: Second and third-degree burns can profoundly impact a person’s life, resulting in permanent disability. Burn victims often need multiple surgeries to regain full range of movement. Burns on visible body parts can also cause emotional distress.
- Whiplash: Violent rocking movements in a rear-end collision can stretch or tear tendons in the neck and upper back, leading to constant pain and difficulty returning to work.
- Crush injuries: Heavy weight on the body can cause skeletal muscles to break down, leading to kidney failure, coma, or even death. Immediate medical treatment is crucial to prevent disastrous consequences.
- Amputations: Horrific car accidents can result in victims losing a limb or having limbs torn off.
- Brain injuries: A hard blow to the head can damage the brain, affecting its ability to send and receive signals. Traumatic brain injuries can impair a victim’s memory, coordination, speech, and behavior.
- Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal column can lead to compromised mobility or loss of sensation. While some spinal cord injuries respond to rehabilitation, others result in permanent disabilities.
These are just a few examples of the serious injuries we have encountered. In all cases, it is vital for injured motorists to seek immediate medical attention after an accident to receive prompt treatment.
Will My Auto Insurance Coverage Be Sufficient?
New York recognizes the devastating consequences of car accidents. That’s why every motorist is legally required to carry a minimum liability insurance policy of $25,000 for one person’s bodily injury and $50,000 for multiple injured individuals.
Additionally, every driver must have $50,000 of mandatory “no-fault” insurance coverage. If you sustain injuries, your initial expenses will be paid out of your personal no-fault policy, rather than the insurance coverage of the other driver.
How Does No-Fault Insurance Work?
No-fault auto insurance is available to injured drivers regardless of their responsibility for the accident. It can cover a portion of your necessary medical expenses and lost wages.
Unfortunately, no-fault insurance claims exclude critical types of damages that you may be experiencing. They do not account for “pain and suffering,” even though physical pain and psychological trauma are common debilitating effects of a car crash.
As many people have discovered, insurance companies are often reluctant to fully compensate for losses. In cases where they do compensate, the amounts are often woefully inadequate.
For many severe injuries, relying solely on insurance coverage is insufficient.
How Can I Obtain the Compensation I Need?
If you have suffered a severe injury, the car accident lawyers at Garrity Traina may be able to help you secure additional compensation beyond what your insurance company provides.
Once your no-fault coverage is exhausted, pursuing compensation through the other driver’s insurance policy becomes necessary.
Fighting an Insurance Company
Even filing a traditional auto insurance claim can become challenging. Keep in mind that insurance companies prioritize their own bottom line.
Insurance adjusters often try to downplay the severity of injuries. They hire additional medical experts and attempt to label suffering as “temporary,” even when the effects are clearly long-lasting.
To obtain the compensation you deserve, you must establish that the other driver’s negligence contributed to your accident. This is difficult, if not impossible, without strong legal representation.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Settle Your Case
Instead of representing yourself in a dispute, it is essential to enlist the services of an experienced New York City car accident lawyer. A seasoned attorney significantly improves your chances of receiving a full and fair settlement for your injuries.
Our attorneys are well-versed in the tactics insurers employ to deny claims. For example, insurers may ask for recorded statements concerning your injuries. They may try to minimize your injuries by saying things like, “Your back injury wasn’t as bad as you thought, right?” or “You were up and about within a day or two, correct?” It is easy for our clients to agree to these statements, even when they are untrue.
Insurers can also attempt to convince you that you bear partial responsibility for the accident. If you accept any responsibility, you can expect a significant reduction in compensation. According to New York’s rules, your compensation amount is reduced proportionally to your level of fault. For example, if you were 50% responsible for the collision, you would receive only half of what you would normally be entitled to.
With an attorney by your side, you will avoid making simple mistakes that insurance companies can exploit. You will also protect your right to compensation by accurately valuing your injuries. Many people are unaware of the value of their injuries and settle for far less than they deserve.
Finally, negotiating with an insurer is an art, not a science. An experienced New York auto accident lawyer knows when to hold out for more money and when to accept the best settlement likely to be offered.
Strengthening Your Claim
Insurance companies possess vast resources that individuals lack. Following the filing of your claim, they will go to work.
Insurance adjusters, along with teams of medical professionals and accident investigators, meticulously scrutinize the facts of your crash. They search for loopholes to minimize their payout.
An experienced auto accident attorney is an invaluable asset in defending your rights. Your lawyer’s ability to gather and present evidence to support your version of events is crucial. Any weakness, failing, or misunderstanding of New York State’s legal code could jeopardize your chance to secure compensation.
Fortunately, our personal injury attorneys are extensively qualified to counter an insurance company’s arguments point by point, leveraging the resources, knowledge, and over 100 years of combined experience necessary to win.
How Much Will a New York Car Accident Lawyer Cost Me?
Legal fees are undoubtedly a concern, as most people want to maximize their compensation to help rebuild their lives after a devastating crash. If fees are excessive, victims will have fewer resources to cover medical expenses and other bills.
In New York, car accident lawyers work on a “contingency” basis. This means lawyers do not charge upfront legal fees. Instead, they begin working on your case and only receive payment if they win, either through a court decision or a settlement.
Contingency fees represent a percentage of your settlement that the lawyer will receive, usually ranging from a third to 40% depending on when your case is resolved. If the lawyer does not win your case, you do not owe any legal fees. Contingency fees offer several benefits to clients:
- Lawyers only take cases that have a solid legal claim, as they have no incentive to pursue frivolous lawsuits.
- Lawyers have a vested interest in maximizing your compensation since it increases the fees they receive.
- Clients receive the expertise of an experienced car accident attorney without any upfront costs, leveling the playing field. Defendants’ insurers spare no expense in hiring top-dollar lawyers to represent their interests.
Aside from attorney’s fees, clients are responsible for certain costs associated with the lawsuit, such as postage, court reporters, and expert witness fees. You should discuss estimated costs and how you will cover them.
All fee agreements should be in writing to protect both clients and attorneys, ensuring transparency regarding billing for the case. At Garrity Traina, we are more than willing to thoroughly explain any fee agreement if necessary, ensuring you understand the fees and costs you may be responsible for.
Can I File a Lawsuit?
If we cannot reach an agreement with the insurer and secure a settlement offer that satisfies you, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to trial.
Did Negligence Cause My Crash?
We expect other drivers to operate their vehicles safely and minimize the potential for accidents as much as possible.
Legally, this expectation is known as a “reasonable standard of care.” If others failed to meet this standard, most of us would hesitate to get on the road.
Unfortunately, many drivers do not meet this standard. When they fail to do their best, and others are injured as a result, they have acted negligently and can be held accountable in court.
3 Reasons to File a Lawsuit
Negligence is the foundation for most car accident lawsuits, but it is not the only reason to file a lawsuit.
1. Driver Negligence
Approximately 41% of all car accidents are caused by driver inattention. Distractions such as mobile phones, GPS devices, and even simply changing the radio can be numerous within a vehicle. Surprisingly, many motorists fail to pay attention when it matters most.
More than 30% of accidents result from “decision errors,” where drivers fail to consider weather conditions, drive too fast on difficult roads, or perform illegal driving maneuvers. 3% of drivers responsible for accidents were actually asleep at the wheel during the collision.
These are all examples of driver negligence and provide strong grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
2. Defective Vehicles
In many cases, auto manufacturers and parts suppliers are at fault for an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 45,000 accidents occur each year due to vehicle malfunctions.
Tire, wheel, and brake failures are surprisingly common during operation. While some problems are a result of normal wear and tear, others stem from defective design or manufacturing.
If a vehicle defect contributed to your accident, you may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible through a personal injury lawsuit.
3. Improper Road Design
In rare but devastating instances, poorly designed roads contribute to accidents. Low visibility, inadequate median barriers, and other factors are inherently present on many roadways.
However, they do not have to be. If negligent engineering or construction played a role in your crash, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the City or State of New York.
New York City’s government has become increasingly aware of the impact road designs can have on preventing or contributing to accidents. Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” program, which aims to eliminate all pedestrian deaths within a certain timeframe, focuses on creating forgiving streets for motorists.
The examples mentioned above only scratch the surface of numerous causes that can contribute to a car accident. To learn more about negligence and how it may have caused your traffic collision, click here.
How Much Is My Lawsuit Worth?
Wondering if negligence caused your crash? Unfortunately, no attorney can determine the value of a potential case without conducting an extensive investigation.
The compensation amount you are entitled to will vary depending on the specific facts of your accident and, crucially, the severity of your injuries. To learn more about New York State’s definition of “serious injury,” click here.
Types of Damages in a Car Accident Case
Several types of damages can be sought from a negligent party.
Economic, or compensatory, damages are the most common and cover purely financial losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning potential.
For instance, if you suffered a whiplash-type injury resulting in severe back and neck pain, the court might award compensatory damages to cover medical procedures, prescriptions, and ongoing rehabilitation expenses.
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify but equally important. In addition to tangible medical bills, serious injuries come with a range of adverse effects, most notably physical pain.
The suffering caused by pain and any psychological distress you experience collectively fall under “pain and suffering.” If your attorney can successfully demonstrate your mental or physical anguish, the court may award damages to compensate you.
We cannot determine the value of your potential lawsuit. However, we have a long history of surpassing our clients’ expectations with our personal injury cases. To learn more about our successful track record, click here.
Contact Our New York Auto Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a car crash in New York State?
Get in touch with the experienced personal injury lawyers at Garrity Traina today. With our extensive resources and over 100 years of combined experience, your case will be in capable hands. Our attorneys are aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable. All you need to do is make the call.
Interested in learning more about your legal options? We offer a free, no-obligation consultation for all injury victims. Simply call 917-268-6710 or fill out our contact form to begin exploring the best path forward with a qualified auto accident attorney.