Bronx Car Accident Attorney
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) estimates more than 82,000 auto crashes occurred across the five boroughs in 2017, with almost 14,000 of them in the Bronx. Approximately 201 of these accidents resulted in one or more fatalities with thousands more resulting in injuries that ranged in severity. Auto accidents cost New York City accident victims millions in lost productivity and medical costs every year. Many car accidents are preventable and would not occur if it weren’t for the negligence which may not even be your fault.
If you have sustained an injury or lost a loved one in a car accident in New York City, you might be eligible to recover compensation for losses. Contact Bronx car accident lawyer, Ivan Diamond, of The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond at (718) 588-2000 to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation.
Car Accidents Result in Catastrophic Injuries
Victims of auto accidents can suffer a range of injuries from minor bumps and bruises to loss of life depending on the individual circumstances of an accident such as the cause, the speed at which a collision occurred, and how many cars were involved. Some of the most common injuries that victims of car accidents suffer include:
- Fractured bones. Even a minor car accident might result in broken arms, legs, pelvic bones and more. Victims often face weeks of rehabilitation services, and in some cases multiple surgeries after they break or fracture a bone. In serious accidents, victims might also dislocate one or more of their joints.
- Lacerations, cuts, and scrapes. Not all cuts and scrapes are serious and many will heal fully, but in severe crashes victims might suffer deep cuts or lacerations from shards of metal and other objects. When cuts are deep, they leave scars and might require cosmetic surgery to repair.
- Internal bleeding. Broken ribs or puncture wounds from a severe crash might lead to internal bleeding, which if not immediately treated could result in long-term organ damage or other issues.
- Neck injuries. This includes whiplash.
- Back injuries. Depending on the severity of the crash, victims might suffer debilitating back injuries such as herniated discs or cracked vertebrae causing lifelong difficulties with mobility and long-term pain.
- Spinal cord injuries. Although spinal cord injuries are also back injuries, they deserve special attention because of their severity. When a car accident bruises or cuts a victim’s spinal cord, they risk loss of bodily functions and partial or complete paralysis.
- Head injuries. Some drivers suffer serious head traumas that might lead to minor concussions, contusions, and traumatic brain injuries in the most severe cases. All these injuries require different recovery times and might lead to a wide array of physical, emotional, and social effects that last a lifetime.
- Amputations. Accidents that occur at high speed and other severe accidents might result in the permanent loss of one or more limbs.
- Coma and permanent vegetative state. The most severe accidents might result in a coma or complete loss of bodily function for accident victims.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
As a car accident attorney, I have had plenty of opportunity to discuss the causes of accidents with clients that I have represented.
Although multi-vehicle accidents do occur, most accidents involve only one other vehicle. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving. More than 18,000, approximately one out of four of all the traffic crashes in New York City in 2017 were caused by distracted driving. You might assume that these are a result of cell phone usage, but that is not the case. The DMV reports that only 172 accidents were caused by texting or using a cell phone. Most distracted driving accidents are a result of the driver taking their eyes off of the road because they are adjusting their GPS, eating, reaching for something in their vehicle, or watching another roadside accident or incident.
- Failure to yield. Almost 10,000 accidents on New York City roadways were caused by drivers who ignored yield signs and caused a car accident. Although failure to yield is one of the most often violated traffic regulations that leads to accidents, drivers who fail to keep right or perform improper lane changes also cause motor vehicle crashes. Failure to yield also leads to many parking lot accidents, especially when the right of way isn’t always clear.
- Following too closely. Following another vehicle too closely is often related to accidents that involve speeding. Almost 11,000 New York City traffic accidents in 2017 were a result of a driver tailgating the vehicle in front of them. About one-third of car accidents across the nation are rear end accidents, making them the most common type of accident. While some types of accidents and causes are difficult to prove, determining fault in rear end accidents is often easy.
- Driving under the influence. Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication remains a common cause for car accidents everywhere, including New York City. Car crashes that involve alcohol are the most prevalent. In 2017, almost 1,600 car crashes on New York City’s roads involved alcohol. Sometimes those under the influence are also guilty of hit-and-run accidents; they flee the scene of the accident because they aren’t thinking clearly or they are worried about getting caught with drugs or alcohol in their system.
New York City Auto Accident Fatality Statistics
If you lost a loved one in a car accident in New York City, you might be eligible for compensation for your financial and emotional losses. I also represent families who have lost loved ones in a car accident.
New York’s DMV reports the following fatalities over the last years. These totals include drivers and passengers, but do not include pedestrians or bicyclists that might have been killed in an accident:
- 2009: 98 deaths
- 2010: 103 deaths
- 2011: 103 deaths
- 2012: 119 deaths
- 2013: 102 deaths
- 2014: 101 deaths
- 2015: 92 deaths
- 2016: 69 deaths
- 2017: 86 deaths
Most Dangerous Borough for New York City Drivers in 2017
Queens remains the most dangerous place to drive of the five boroughs in New York City. In order from most to least, here are New York City car accident fatality statistics for 2017.
- Queens: 27 fatalities
- Brooklyn: 19 fatalities
- Bronx: 18 fatalities
- Manhattan: 12 fatalities
- Staten Island: 10 fatalities
Fault in New York Car Accidents
New York is one of the few states that has no fault insurance laws. Drivers must carry minimum insurance and when an accident happens, the first step is to file a claim with their own insurance company to seek compensation for economic damages for their injuries. In minor fender-benders and accidents that aren’t that serious, New York law prohibits you from taking legal action for your injuries. You can, however, sue the at-fault driver for damage to your vehicle. A skilled car accident attorney will let you know when or if escalating your injury claim to a lawsuit is the right choice for you. There are situations where a third party might be liable for a car accident. Some examples include:
- A cyclist or pedestrian who disrupts traffic and causes an accident might be liable.
- A business that doesn’t regularly service its vehicles might be at fault if a maintenance issue such as worn out brakes or a blown out tire causes a car accident.
- The New York state, a county, or the city of New York might be liable if a poorly maintained road caused an accident.
- A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of cars or car parts might be at fault if a defective auto part or automobile caused an accident.
Seeking Compensation From a New York Car Accident
If you were severely injured in a car accident in New York City, you might recover damages once you have exceeded your insurance policy’s limit. In addition, no fault insurance only covers economic damages, so filing a personal injury suit may give you the opportunity to recover non-economic damages too. The most common damages that a court awards car accident victims include:
- Medical expenses including ambulance rides, emergency services, hospitalization, follow-up visits, radiology, diagnostic testing, surgery, prescription medication, and more
- Future medical expenses for motor vehicle accidents that result in permanent disability, a chronic condition, or your case is settled or goes to trial before you have made a complete recovery
- Lost wages for time away from work due to your injury
- Lost earning capacity in the event that an injury prohibits you from returning to your job
- Rehabilitation services including physical therapy and assistive devices such as walkers, canes, wheelchairs, and prosthetic limbs
- Pain and suffering
Loss of consortiu
- Scarring and disfigurement which is typically associated with burns from car accidents that included a fire or explosion, but lacerations and amputations also cause scarring and disfigurement for an accident victim.
- Funeral and burial expenses when filing a wrongful death claim because you lost a loved one in a car accident. New York has specific laws about who can file a wrongful death claim, so you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible in this situation.
Defense Strategies to Shift Blame and Avoid Damages
In the event that you take legal action and your lawyer files a personal injury suit for your car accident, parties associated with the defense will often use tactics to shift the blame to you or another party to try and reduce the amount of damages that you may recover. Some examples of these tactics include:
- Disputing that the defendant is at fault, instead claiming that you caused the accident
- Disputing the amount of property damage that the defendant caused
- Dispute the amount of economic losses that you have incurred
- Dispute your injury and claim that you had a preexisting injury
- Dispute the severity of your injuries
- Dispute the value of your non-economic damages
Keep in mind that New York is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that if the court finds you were partially at fault for your injuries, it will reduce any verdict in your favor accordingly. For example, if you were struck by a drunk driver but you were traveling more than five miles over the speed limit, you may be found to be five percent responsible for the accident. If you sue for $1,000,000, you can only recover $950,000. This rule motivates the defense and insurance companies associated with the defense to prove that your actions contributed to the accident and injuries so they can shield themselves from liability. New York law gives you the right to recover the full value of economic and non-economic losses beyond what your no-fault insurance covers. When fault or injuries come under scrutiny, you may need a skilled attorney on your side to represent you and ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Time Limits for Taking Legal Action for Injuries from a Car Accident
After a car accident, notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Waiting too long may give your insurance company the right to deny your claim. New York also has a time limit for you to take legal action. You must initiate a lawsuit within three years from your date of injury. In the event you are pursuing a wrongful death claim because you have lost a loved one to the accident, you only have two years from the date of passing to bring suit. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident ensures that you aren’t prohibited from recovering damages because you waited too long to take action.
Contact Bronx Auto Accident Attorney Ivan Diamond
Choosing not to work closely with a lawyer after a car accident could risk having your claim denied or being offered an insurance settlement that is far less than you deserve for your losses and injuries. Having represented many car accident victims, I understand the stress that being severely injured in a car accident brings to you and your family. In addition to dealing with the physical pain of recovery, you most likely have had to take time off from work while medical bills continue to accumulate. I offer free consultations and typically handle car accident cases on a contingency fee basis deducting attorney fees from any settlement or verdict in my clients’ favor.
Car accidents can cause serious injury and dramatically alter your life. When you are involved in an accident, email me or dial (718) 588-2000 for a free consultation, so I can review your case and help you determine the best path forward for your situation.
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond888 Grand Concourse #1L Bronx, NY 10451 Phone: (718) 588-2000 Ivan M. Diamond is available for home and hospital visits, as well as weekend and evening appointments.
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