New York City Car Accident Lawyers

Douglas & London Has Secured Millions for Victims of Driver Negligence

No one gets behind the wheel intending to cause harm to other drivers. Yet, auto accidents remain among the leading causes of catastrophic injuries and fatalities around the country and the state of New York. According to the NYPD, nearly 8,000 collisions occurred throughout the boroughs of New York City within the month of July 2023 alone. In 2022, over 37,000 NYC travelers were seriously injured.

Douglas & London advocates for victims of car accidents throughout NYC, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. With the help of our established network of forensics experts, investigators, medical professionals, and legal support staff, our car accident attorneys work tirelessly to prove negligence on the part of the driver who caused the accident, find every potential defendant who may share liability, and substantiate your injuries.

Too many people place their trust in the insurance companies to cover their losses before they realize the company was never on their side. If you have been injured, we encourage you to seek legal counsel as soon as you can.

NYC Car Accident Statistics

In a city of nearly 2 million registered vehicles, NYC car accident lawyers are busy. Here is the breakdown of July 2023 by category of victim and injuries vs. fatalities.

  • Motorists – 2113 injured, 8 killed
  • Passengers – 1686 injured, 3 killed
  • Cyclists – 475 injured, 1 killed
  • Pedestrians – 616 injured, 4 killed.

Passenger vehicles and SUVs were overwhelmingly involved in the collisions, but hundreds of accidents included buses, taxis, semi-trucks, transport vans, bicycles, and motorcycles.

10 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in the 5 Boroughs

A review of the causes of those July 2023 collisions reveals a long list of largely preventable errors, such as:

  1. Driver inattention/distraction
  2. Following too closely
  3. Failure to yield right-of-way
  4. Passing or improper lane usage
  5. Passing too closely
  6. Unsafe speed
  7. Traffic control disregard
  8. Backing unsafely
  9. Unsafe lane changing
  10. Improper turn

Common types of car accidents and car accident injuries

  • Head-On Collisions – a forceful collision of two vehicles moving directly toward each other in opposite directions, which may cause face and head trauma, traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord damage, internal injuries, fractures, and lower extremity ligament tears.
  • Rear-End Collisions – a collision where one vehicle hits another from directly behind, causing whiplash injuries of the neck at low speeds and, at high speeds, catastrophic injuries like spinal cord paralysis, head and brain trauma, facial disfigurement. It also includes wrist and arm fractures and seat belt-related internal injuries.
  • Sideswipe Crashes – a vehicle traveling in the same direction as another collides side-to-side, potentially causing the impacted driver to lose control of their vehicle and impact other drivers, barriers, or pedestrians. These accidents can lead to internal organ perforation, spinal cord damage, hip fractures, and shoulder injuries, mainly when the driver impacts another vehicle or roadside object such as a traffic light or road barrier.
  • Rollover Accidents – a jarring collision that causes the vehicle to flip upside-down, crushing or collapsing the roof and causing head and traumatic brain injuries, permanent paralysis (quadriplegia or paraplegia), and severe whiplash.
  • Intersection Accidents – a collision that commonly occurs when a car is turning left at an intersection and is struck in the side by a car traveling the opposite direction, commonly resulting in head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and whiplash due to violent lateral acceleration upon impact.

New York City No-Fault Insurance

New York is considered a no-fault accident state, which means that your own insurance company should cover the cost of your medical bills without requiring any proof of financial liability. This system allows for faster reimbursement of claims because the parties do not have to prove fault to collect.

New York drivers must register their vehicles with the state and prove financial responsibility by demonstrating they can pay out-of-pocket or purchase a no-fault insurance policy with at least the minimum requirements. A typical no-fault policy must carry $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 per accident, $50,000 per person, and $100,000 per accident for death, as well as $10,000 for property damage.

No-fault insurance can cover the expense of the ambulance ride, x-rays, surgeries, nursing care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, medication, prosthetics, dental bills, mental health counseling, and lost wages up to 80% of the victim’s salary. It should also cover other reasonable and necessary expenses, such as transportation costs or household services. Funeral and burial expenses may be included in the event of a fatality.

Exceptions to coverage include motorcyclists, people who were driving under the influence or committing a felony crime at the time, and the uninsured. Victims must notify their insurer within 30 days of the accident to receive coverage. Even then, there is no guarantee all expenses will be covered. It helps to have a New York City car accident lawyer acting as an advocate for you.

A bodily injury claim is different from a no-fault claim. If you were severely injured in an accident through little to no fault of your own, you are entitled to pursue a lawsuit to compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, and future lost earning capacity. Compensation for a car accident can also include home modifications, property damage, physical pain, loss of enjoyment in life, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.

What to Do After an Auto Accident

If you are well enough to wait, call the police. An accident report with witness statements made at the scene contains important evidence that goes to the issue of liability, should you file a lawsuit.

If possible, take photos of the aftermath, the intersection, signage, and road conditions. Whatever you can record about the accident, such as the weather, the lighting conditions, etc., will help preserve your recall and help paint a picture for the experts hired by your lawyer for use in their investigation. If any witnesses are on the scene, try and get their contact information. If you are taken away from the scene via ambulance, a police report is certain to be filed.

Even if you can drive away from the scene, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Remember, symptoms of whiplash, back injuries, and traumatic brain injury can appear subtly and worsen in the days or weeks following the accident. Your medical records are an integral piece of your future claim for damages. Photos of your injuries are also compelling evidence. Document your healing process as well as any new pain that develops in the aftermath.

In the days following the crash, you will likely be contacted by various insurance companies to make statements about what happened to you. Remember, those folks are not your friends. Before you make any statements, consider filing a legal claim for damages and talk to an attorney. The auto accident division of Douglas & London believes in getting started sooner rather than later.

A Word on Reporting Traffic Accidents in New York State

New York law requires you to report a traffic accident that results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 within ten days of the accident. Failure to do so could result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Likewise, most auto insurers contractually require motorists to report their accidents as soon as possible, so they can begin investigating the claim. Failure to report your collision could result in denial of compensation. If you were involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, or a taxi accident, you would need to report the crash to the appropriate agency.

New Yorkers Trust Douglas & London

We work with hundreds of NYC car accident victims each year and know firsthand the toll it takes not only the injured person but also the people in that person’s life. You may be left without reliable transportation, unable to get to work or even able to work at all. You may have new physical limitations that require in-home assistance as you recover, or you may have a looming surgery to look forward to.

A car accident can be a major disruption in a person’s life, so we make our clients a deal. You focus on healing, and we’ll manage your case. We won’t even charge you legal fees unless we win compensation on your behalf.

We have helped injured parties collect over $18 billion in compensation over the past two decades, and motor vehicle collisions are among the most common types of cases we handle. We seek recovery for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future working capacity, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life. If you have lost a loved one, we can seek wrongful death compensation to get some measure of justice for the survivors left behind.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident anywhere in New York City, please contact us online or give us a call and speak to a personal injury attorney about your options today.