New York City Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been in a serious car accident in New York City, you can be left wondering “What’s next?”. The NYC auto accident attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP are here to help walk you through the car accident claims process, or take your case to court if need be. Contact us today at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a free case review.
Our experienced New York City car accident lawyers have become a well-known and trusted name across the city, and they are prepared to help you and your loved ones recover after a car accident. The attorneys have over 100 years of combined legal experience, making them well-equipped to handle even the most complex car accident cases.
Why Choose Hach & Rose, LLP For Your Car Accident Case?
Our New York City car accident attorneys have decades of experience handling car accident cases. We have access to extensive resources to investigate collisions, gather evidence, and track down eyewitnesses. We know the tactics used by insurance companies to deny claims or offer low settlements. They only care about saving money, and we will not allow them to take advantage of you. We will work hard to see that they treat you fairly and provide fair compensation for your losses.
We will complete each step of the legal process on your behalf so you can focus on recovering. We know you’ve been through a traumatic experience, and you should not have to deal with a car accident case alone. While you’re attending your doctor’s appointments and focusing on your recovery, we will create a strategy to reach a favorable outcome in your case. We will work meticulously to collect the evidence we need to prove that the other party was responsible for the car crash and should pay you full compensation.
- 7 Steps You Should Take After a Car Accident
- What Happens During an Accident Investigation?
- Damages Available in a Car Accident Case
- Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
- Types of Car Accident Cases We Can Handle
- Common Injuries Associated with Car Accidents
- How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident?
- Car Accident Laws in New York
- Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in New York
- Car Accident Stats
- Handling the Insurance Claim After Your Car Accident
- Speak to One of Our Attorneys
- Car Accident Claim FAQs
7 Steps You Should Take After a Car Accident
Our experienced New York City car accident attorneys have provided the following information to help you know what to do after a collision in New York. By following these steps, you can make better decisions to help protect yourself and build a convincing property damage and injury case, if necessary:
1. Call 911
New York law requires anyone involved in a car crash to remain at the scene and notify law enforcement if there are injuries or fatalities. If you leave before an officer arrives to investigate, you could face a hit and run charge.
If possible, move your car to a safe location while you’re waiting for help to arrive. If your car is not operational, move away from the road until an ambulance gets there.
You should also check on the occupants of other vehicles to inform the 911 operator of the medical care required. Determining the severity of everyone’s injuries will ensure they send the appropriate personnel to the scene.
2. Exchange information
Another law requires that you provide the following information to the investigating officer:
- Drivers’ license information
- Vehicle registration
- License plate number
- Insurance information
It’s also a good idea to obtain the names, phone numbers, and auto insurance details from all drivers involved in the accident. If you choose to file an insurance claim, you will need that information, and more than one person could be at fault.
3. File an accident report
All drivers involved in the crash must file an accident report within 10 days if anyone suffered injury, death, or over $1,000 in property damage. Be sure to completely and accurately fill out the Report of Motor Vehicle Accident form and submit it to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Failure to file a report is considered a misdemeanor offense, resulting in the suspension of a driver’s license or registration.
The form can be mailed to:
Crash Records Center
6 Empire State Plaza
PO Box 2925
Albany, NY 12220-0925
You should also obtain a copy of the investigating officer’s and other drivers’ accident reports. You can submit your request online or by mail with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
4. Take pictures and preserve accident scene evidence
Because vital evidence can be lost, cleaned up, or destroyed, it is crucial to secure as much evidence as possible while you are still at the scene. If you’ve been severely injured, make sure someone close to you documents what happened. Some vital evidence that could significantly help your case could include:
- Pictures and video of the scene, including the damage to vehicles, injuries suffered, and the conditions surrounding it
- Contact information and statements from witnesses
- Surveillance video from nearby businesses
Keep all documents related to the crash and your injuries, including medical bills, vehicle repair estimates and bills, wage statements and hours missed from work, and out of pocket expenses for travel, prescription medications, and other items.
5. Seek medical attention immediately
Don’t refuse medical treatment if emergency services are dispatched to the scene. Even if you are not transported to the hospital by ambulance for treatment, visit a physician as soon as possible after the accident to get a thorough evaluation of your injuries.
Some symptoms of injuries like mild traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, whiplash, and others may appear in the following hours or days, so don’t assume you’re not hurt just because you feel fine in the immediate aftermath.
Not seeking medical treatment could severely harm your injury claim if you need to file one later. If your doctor refers you for imaging tests, surgical procedures, physical therapy, or other treatment, you should follow their orders. A gap in treatment is significant evidence insurance companies can use to deny claims. They might argue that the accident didn’t cause an injury or your injury isn’t severe enough to require medical intervention.
6. Contact your insurance company to report the crash
After the crash, be sure to notify your insurer as soon as possible. Most insurance policies include a “Cooperation and Notice of Occurrence Clause,” which requires that you notify them of any accident, regardless of who was at fault, and to cooperate with their investigation. However, be sure to stick to the basic facts related to the accident when you speak to the insurer. You don’t want to go into too much detail and say something that could hurt your chance of recovering the maximum available settlement amount. Or better yet, let your attorney communicate with them on your behalf.
7. Speak with a knowledgeable New York City car accident lawyer about your rights
After the crash, you’ll likely have to speak with your insurance company and representatives from the other driver’s insurer. Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster will look for any information they can use to shift all or some of the blame onto you. To protect yourself and ensure that you get the fair compensation you deserve after an accident, hire a qualified and experienced car accident lawyer to represent you.
Your attorney will look out for your well-being and be there to protect you from those who wish to deny or diminish your valid injury claim. Not hiring a lawyer could cost you significantly, so turn to an attorney you can trust to get you what you’re owed.
What Happens During an Accident Investigation?
Multiple investigations will occur after your car crash. The first will involve law enforcement. If there were injuries or fatalities, an officer will show up at the scene to investigate what happened. They will take photos, speak to witnesses, and piece together the events leading up to the collision. They will write their findings on an accident report to file with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Typically, the report will include who they believe was at fault and any citations they issued against the at-fault driver.
If you choose to hire a New York City car accident attorney from Hach & Rose, LLP, we will perform our own investigation. To determine who was responsible for your injuries, we will gather as much relevant evidence as we can, such as:
- Accident reports
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Video surveillance footage
- Accident scene photos
- Auto insurance policies for all drivers involved
- Your medical records and bills
- Drivers’ cell phone records
- Repair estimates for all vehicles involved
The insurance company will also investigate. They will review the evidence we provide and evidence they find to determine who was at fault. They might ask for additional documentation and statements from all parties involved in the accident to support their theories or disprove ours.
Proving someone else was entirely responsible for the car crash is critical in a case like this. If there’s sufficient evidence, it will be a challenge for anyone to dispute it.
However, New York follows a pure comparative negligence rule that could diminish your compensation. If you share any degree of fault, a jury can reduce the total available compensation by your percentage of the blame. For example, if you incurred $100,000 in losses but were 20% at fault for the accident, you would only be entitled to a maximum of $80,000.
Damages Available in a Car Accident Case
Car accidents can have a devastating effect not only on your health but also on your finances. Severe injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and lost earning capacity may all be among your concerns. The emotional trauma that comes with a car accident can leave you mentally scarred for the rest of your life. Fortunately, under New York laws, you have legal recourse.
When you have been seriously injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Damages fall under two main subcategories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages provide compensation for losses that can be easily quantified, such as:
- Medical bills (past, present, and future)
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages, which are more difficult to quantify, compensate you for more subjective losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
At Hach & Rose, LLP, our team of New York car accident lawyers will fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve. If the insurance company does not offer you a settlement covering all of your expenses, we won’t hesitate to bring your case to trial. Our highly skilled trial lawyers have helped secure well over $300 million in compensation for our clients through jury verdicts and settlements. A significant percentage of that is from personal injury claims stemming from car accidents.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
Human error is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle-related crashes in the United States. Many behaviors drivers exhibit behind the wheel result in severe injuries and fatalities. The most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Texting, eating, drinking, and other actions that take the driver’s attention, eyes, or hands off the task of driving.
- Failure to yield the right of way – Certain situations require one driver to allow another to proceed first, such as at a four-way stop sign or merging onto a freeway.
- Speeding – Driving above the speed limit or too fast for conditions is a dangerous behavior that could lead to an accident.
- Tailgating – Following someone’s vehicle too closely prevents adequate reaction time if the driver ahead must slow down or stop suddenly.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – Drugs and alcohol can impair a motorist’s ability to drive safely and react appropriately to hazards on the road.
- Reckless or aggressive driving – Weaving in and out of traffic, road rage, and running red lights are all examples of reckless and aggressive behaviors.
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals – Obeying stoplights, stop signs, and crosswalk signals is necessary to ensure the safe and proper flow of traffic.
- Fatigued driving – Driving while tired has similar effects as driving under the influence and can lead to devastating crashes.
Unfortunately, too many drivers exhibit dangerous driving behaviors at some point, and oftentimes, occupants in other vehicles suffer the consequences of those actions. If another driver was responsible for your accident, you might be entitled to seek financial compensation from them.
Types of Car Accident Cases Hach & Rose, LLP Can Handle
Car accidents in New York come in many different forms, involving various causes, road conditions, vehicle types, and the resulting damages. Your accident could have occurred from one or more of the following factors: the other driver’s negligence, unsafe roads resulting from a municipality’s negligence, or vehicular defects. You may be facing costly medical bills and property damage, among other losses. We understand that this a very stressful and taxing time for you. Advice from a qualified attorney can help you determine the next steps for you to take.
Common types of New York car accidents that we handle at Hach & Rose, LLP include:
- Head-on collisions – One of the most dangerous types of collisions, occurring when the front of two vehicles collide.
- Trucking accidents – Trucks, such as 18-wheelers, can cause devastating injuries and damage due to the larger size of their vehicles.
- Rear-end accidents – When one driver collides with the rear of another person’s vehicle, it’s typically caused by tailgating.
- Wrong-way drivers – Someone who isn’t paying attention or is unfamiliar with the area might end up driving the wrong way down a one-way road.
- Side-impact crashes – Also called T-bone collisions, these happen when a vehicle collides with the driver or passenger side of another. This type of accident often occurs in intersections when someone runs a red light or stop sign.
- Single-vehicle collisions – Accident involving only one vehicle crashing into a tree, ditch, or another stationary object.
- Drunk driving accidents – Driving under the influence of alcohol slows reaction time, impairs motor skills, and impairs a person’s ability to drive safely.
- Distracted driving accidents – People who become distracted behind the wheel won’t notice what’s going on around them and will have difficulty reacting properly to an emergency.
- Uber/Lyft accidents – Injured victims can pursue compensation from a rideshare service if negligence caused the accident.
- Limousine and taxi accidents – The driver or company could be liable for your losses if they were at fault for the crash.
Common Injuries Associated with Car Accidents
The injuries people sustain in vehicle collisions can range from minor to severe. Some only require a few weeks of medical treatment, while others end up with permanent disability or impairment. The extent of your injury will likely depend on the type of accident you were in and associated factors, such as speed and weather conditions.
The most common injuries accident victims suffer include:
- Lacerations and disfiguration
- Head and brain injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Crush injuries
- Ejection injuries
- Loss of limb
If your injury impairs your physical or mental ability to return to work, complete routine tasks, or care for your family, you deserve to hold the at-fault party liable for your damages. Long-term effects from car crashes can interfere with anyone’s life and lead to expensive medical bills and associated costs. You should not have to pay out-of-pocket for the expenses you incur. The party that caused the accident should be financially responsible for your losses.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a New York City Car Accident Lawyer?
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we understand the financial strain you might be facing after the accident. When you’re treating your injuries, the last thing you want to think about is the cost of hiring a lawyer. We want our clients to have the opportunity to pursue compensation without the burden of upfront legal fees.
That’s why we take cases on contingency. That means you won’t have to pay us initially to represent you. We won’t collect any fees or costs unless we secure an insurance settlement or favorable jury verdict. If we lose, you won’t owe us any money.
Car Accident Laws in New York
New York is a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance. That means you must file a claim with your insurance company to get compensation for your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and other costs. Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of coverage all registered vehicle owners and drivers must purchase.
When you file a PIP claim, you can cover many types of expenses, such as the following:
- Ambulance costs
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Necessary x-rays, surgeries, and nursing care
- Dental costs
- Necessary prescriptions
- Mental health treatment
- Other reasonable and necessary expenses, such as transportation costs to medical appointments
- Lost wages, up to 80% of the victim’s salary
- Burial expenses, if applicable
Note that repairs to a damaged vehicle are not included on this list. PIP claims are intended to cover economic costs related to an injury suffered during an accident and do not cover property damages. You also cannot seek compensation for non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, through your no-fault insurance.
The most important thing to remember when filing a no-fault claim is that there is a time limit. You must submit your claim within 30 days of the accident. This deadline is strictly enforced and only rarely extended if the claimant can prove clear and reasonable justification for the failure to file within the deadline.
If you also want to seek non-economic damages or your coverage doesn’t compensate you for all of your economic damages, you might be allowed to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Every motorist is required by state law to purchase liability coverage with a minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage.
Eligibility for this type of claim is subject to the serious injury threshold, which requires your injury to include at least one of the following:
- Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring;
- Significant and permanent loss of a vital bodily function;
- Permanent injury other than disfigurement or scarring; or
Hach & Rose, LLP is familiar with PIP and liability insurance policies. We will review all policies to determine the available coverage and whether you are eligible for compensation.
New York City car accident lawyer Michael Rose discusses “joint and several liability” and how it can result in full coverage for your losses.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in New York
Lawsuits are complex, time-consuming, and require complying with strict deadlines and procedures. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are well-equipped to handle even the most complicated cases, however, and we’ll walk you through every step of the process.
Car accident lawsuits begin with preparing legal documents. Hach & Rose, LLP will need to prepare the complaint and summons first. A summons notifies the defendant of the suit and the requirement to appear in court on a specific date. A complaint provides the details associated with the case.
After we file the complaint and summons, the defendant will have 20 or 30 days to respond by filing an answer with the court. The answer will include their responses to the allegations contained in our complaint and whether they intend to file a counterclaim against you.
Discovery begins after the defendant files their answer. It is a lengthy process that involves both sides obtaining and exchanging documents associated with the case, such as medical records, emails, witness statements, and other evidence. This part of a lawsuit could also include scheduling depositions, where each party must answer questions about the case under oath.
At some point, we might schedule a mediation and attempt to settle the case before it goes to trial. This is an opportunity to meet with the defendant and their attorney to discuss the monetary damages and agree to compensation. If we’re able to settle, we won’t have to argue the case in court. If we can’t reach a settlement agreement, we will have to proceed with preparing for trial.
New York Car Accident Stats
# of Vehicles Involved in Accidents by Contributing Factor – New York 2020
|Unsafe backing up||293|
|Illegal drug use||8|
|Failure to yield right-of-way||690|
|Improper passing or lane usage||388|
# of Car Accident Fatalities by Person Type - New York 2019
Handling the Insurance Claim After Your Car Accident
While injury claims may have fewer steps than lawsuits, the process of investigating the accident, gathering comprehensive evidence to support your case, and aggressively negotiating for your recovery requires knowledge and skill.
Hach & Rose, LLP has decades of experience in dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies, unfortunately, are not on your side and will look for any valid reason to deny your claim. We will protect your rights and aggressively negotiate for the maximum settlement you deserve.
Typically, insurance claims involve the following steps:
- File claim
- Investigate accident and gather evidence
- Determine the full value of the compensation you’re due
- Send a demand letter to the insurance company
- Negotiate settlement
If the insurance company refuses to settle for an amount we believe is fair, we can move forward with filing a lawsuit.
Speak to a Dedicated New York City Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents can be devastating for everyone involved. When you’re in pain and suffering the aftermath of an injury, pursuing legal action against another person might seem like a daunting task. You can depend on us to spearhead the process and guide you through every step from start to finish. We will be by your side to advocate for your rights and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Don’t leave your future in the hands of an insurance adjuster that doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Let Hach & Rose, LLP prepare a strong case that reaches your legal goals. Our New York City car accident attorneys will meet with you for a free consultation to determine how we should proceed. We will assist you in your recovery and do everything we can to get you back on your feet. Call us at (212) 779-0057 today.
Car Accident Claim Frequently Asked Questions
If you were hurt in a motor vehicle crash and want to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions, you might have questions about state laws or the legal process. Below are some common questions people ask about their cases.
Each case is unique. Your New York City car accident lawyer will review all the factors of your case to determine the compensation you deserve. Some of these factors might include:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Duration of medical treatment
- Impact of the damage on everyday life
- Amount of available insurance coverage
- Total expenses associated with the case
- Lost wages from the inability to work
- Whether the injury caused permanent impairment, disfigurement, or disability
- Mental or emotional anguish resulting from the accident
- The estimated cost of future medical treatment
- Evidence proving fault
Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles website and fill out a form to mail in or request the report online for immediate download. Online requests come with a $7 search fee and a $15 report fee. If you submit a mail-in request, you will have to pay a $10 search fee and a $15 report fee.
It can take anywhere from 14 to 60 days for the report to become available, depending on who filed it and the method they used. If the police officer filed it electronically, it should be available 14 days after the crash. Paper filings are typically available after 30 days. Accident reports filed by other drivers can take at least 60 days to become available for purchase.
As required by state law, you must file a PIP claim with your insurance company before going after the at-fault driver’s liability coverage. However, if they don’t have insurance, you might be able to file an uninsured motorist (UM) claim with your insurance company. It is a mandatory form of coverage that’s available if the person who causes your accident doesn’t carry auto insurance. The settlement you receive will depend on the coverage listed on your policy. There is a state-required minimum equal to liability insurance requirements.
When you file a UM claim, you can pursue the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Out of pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
When you’re preparing to meet with us, you should bring as much information as possible so we can thoroughly review your case to determine your legal options. That includes the following:
- Photos of the damage to your car
- Medical records and billing statements
- A list of out-of-pocket expenses
- Accident report
- Detailed notes of your doctor’s names, facility addresses and contact information, and treatment dates
- Driver’s license, health insurance cards, and auto insurance information
- Witness names and phone numbers
We have the resources to request most of this information, so don’t worry if you don’t have any of it. Bring along whatever you are able to obtain, and we can request copies of the rest.
The insurance company might ask you to complete forms, sign documents, and provide details about the accident. It’s vital that you don’t speak to them. Let them know that you retained a lawyer and give them our contact information. We will handle all communication on your behalf.