Car Accident Attorneys Serving New York

Car crashes are a daily occurrence in New York City. Statistics from the NYPD show that more than 4,800 people were injured and 19 people were killed in traffic accidents in June 2022 alone.

You may be entitled to compensation if you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a car accident. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will fight to maximize your recovery.

For a free case review, please call (212) 543-1600 to speak to a New York City car accident lawyer. Our firm serves clients throughout the five boroughs and other areas of New York.

yellow cab and other vehicle traffic in Manhattan, New York City

When Should You Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident in New York?

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is generally in your best interest to speak to a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible. Crucial evidence won’t be around for long after the car crash, and a lawyer can provide you with valuable assistance at every stage of your case.

Car accident claims are also subject to strict legal time limits. In New York, any personal injury claim must be filed no more than 3 years after the fact (see Section 214 of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules). So, if you are injured in a car accident, you have a maximum of 3 years to bring a claim against the other driver.

If your loved one dies in a car accident, you have just 2 years to bring a wrongful death claim (see New York Estates, Powers & Trusts § 5-4.1). The clock starts running on the date of your loved one’s death.

Additional time limits and procedural rules apply if you are bringing a claim against a municipal entity (such as the City of New York, New York State, etc.). Bottom line: You should contact a New York City car accident lawyer promptly if you were injured or lost a loved one in a crash.

Car accident claims are complicated, and it is extremely difficult to manage a legal matter on top of trying to recuperate from your injuries. A car accident attorney at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can represent you effectively and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Can You Sue for a Car Accident in NY?

The ability to bring a claim or file a lawsuit against another driver after a car accident in New York depends in large part on the seriousness of your injuries from the crash. New York is a no-fault state. All motorists are required to carry Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP) to cover expenses in the aftermath of the accident.

In the event of a car accident in New York, no-fault benefits through your PIP coverage are often the only option for recovering compensation. However, you may be able to file a lawsuit if (a) the other driver was at fault for the crash and (b) the accident resulted in any of the following:

  • Bone fractures
  • Dismemberment (i.e., the loss of a limb)
  • Significant disfigurement (i.e., scarring and other injuries)
  • “[P]ermanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system” (or “permanent consequential limitation” of the same)
  • “[Si]gnificant limitation of use of a body function or system”
  • Loss of a fetus
  • 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 a minimum period of 90 days within the first six months following the accident
  • Wrongful death
    – (Definitions from New York Insurance Law § 5102(d))

These constitute serious injuries under New York law. Victims who suffer serious injuries in car accidents (as well as families who lose loved ones in crashes) caused by the negligence of another driver can bring a fault-based claim for compensation outside of what is available through PIP benefits.

It is not always necessary to file a lawsuit to recover compensation after a car accident. Most car accident claims settle out of court, and the majority never go to trial. However, it is of the utmost importance to understand your right to sue and when it may be necessary to start legal proceedings. A New York City car accident lawyer can help you with this decision and handle all aspects of your claim.

Verdicts and Settlements

$1,170,000 - Motor Vehicle Crash

For an elderly couple suffering multiple injuries in an auto accident and aggravated by injuries suffered a few months later in a subsequent auto accident.

$4,425,000 - Motor Vehicle Accident

For a young boy left with traumatic brain injuries, including left arm and left leg partial paralysis, after a drunk driver struck the minivan in which he was a passenger. This verdict was listed as one of New Jersey’s Top 20 Personal Injury Awards in 2020.

$1,300,000 - Roadway Design and Defect

Recovered from the State of New York for a seriously injured passenger in a car that left the roadway and plunged down a 200 foot embankment.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in New York City

Many different factors contribute to car accidents. Some of the most common issues that lead to crashes in New York City and other areas of New York include:

  • Distracted driving. Driver inattention and distraction are the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. Cell phone use, interactions with passengers, and outside distractions can all draw the driver’s attention away from the task at hand and cause a crash.
  • Following too closely. Drivers who tailgate other vehicles have minimal time to brake, commonly resulting in rear-end collisions.
  • Failure to yield. Right-of-way laws govern the flow of vehicles at intersections and when drivers merge into traffic. Violating the right of way frequently leads to accidents.
  • Improper passing and lane usage. Unsafe lane changes, passing too close to another vehicle, and other behaviors can lead to collisions with other vehicles and/or a driver being run off the road.
  • Unsafe speed. Whether it is an issue of exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions, unsafe speed is a major contributor to car accidents in New York.
  • Running stop signs, red lights, etc. Motorists need to exercise caution when intersections and sections of the road where traffic is modified (i.e., work zones). Disregarding a traffic sign or signal can have devastating consequences.
  • Improper turns. Turn lanes should be clearly identified by signs and and/or markings on the road. Car accidents with drivers in the same lane and/or the oncoming lane can occur when drivers don’t turn properly and/or fail to signal. 
  • Unsafe backing. Backover accidents commonly occur in parking lots and when vehicles back out of driveways, alleys, and other areas where the driver has limited visibility.
  • Inexperienced drivers. Many New Yorkers rely on trains, buses, and subways to get around. Lack of daily driving leads to inexperience behind the wheel, which increases the potential for accidents.
  • Drinking and driving. Alcohol use impairs driving ability. In addition to the drunk driver, car accident victims may also be able to bring claims against the individual or business that served the alcohol. (This is known as “dram shop liability”; see New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law § 65.)

Although human error accounts for the majority of car accidents, it is not the only issue that contributes to car crashes in New York. Vehicle defects, dangerous road design, and inadequate maintenance of roads are just a few additional issues that lead to car accidents.

It is important not to account for all of the factors that caused the car accident and to identify all of the responsible parties. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will investigate thoroughly to determine what led to the crash and who is liable for your injuries and damages.

Who Is Liable for a New York City Car Accident?

The New York no-fault law is intended to reduce the number of fault-based claims in the legal system. As a consequence, victims of car accidents in New York are generally unable to sue when the other driver is at fault for the crash.

However, exceptions to the no-fault rule do make it possible to bring a car accident claim against the at-fault driver if the victim is seriously injured or killed. Thorough investigation of the crash may also reveal that one or more parties other than the driver can be held accountable.

Negligence on the part of the following parties may expose them to liability for a car accident:

  • The driver of the other vehicle
  • The driver’s employer, if he or she was operating the vehicle for work (employer liability may be an issue in truck accidents, bus accidents, taxi accidents, rideshare accidents, etc.)
  • Vehicle manufacturers, if the failure of the car or a component contributed to the accident
  • Construction companies for providing improper signage and mismanaging operations in work zones, errors in managing traffic near construction sites, etc.
  • Government entities responsible for maintaining safe roads

Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will fully investigate the car accident to identify all of the parties at fault for your injuries or the death of your loved one. Our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience acting on behalf of those who have been injured or lost family members in motor vehicle accidents.

We are skilled negotiators who understand how insurance companies handle accident claims. Insurance companies know this, and they are generally more willing to agree to favorable settlements as a result of our reputation. But, if a settlement cannot be reached, our car accident lawyers will never hesitate to file a lawsuit, prepare for trial, and fight for the maximum award in court.

traffic cone sitting in front of a car damaged in an accident

What Damages Can I Recover for a New York City Car Accident?

It can be difficult to know what compensation you are entitled to after a car accident in New York. The harm suffered by victims does not always meet the serious injury threshold. If this is the case, you will only be entitled to PIP no-fault benefits for basic economic loss (necessary medical expenses, loss of earnings, and other “reasonable and necessary expenses”).

But, if you have a fault-based car accident claim (i.e., you suffered serious injury), a New York City car accident lawyer can pursue full compensation for the following damages:

  • The cost of medical care, including emergency room treatment, hospitalization, surgery, physical rehabilitation, etc.
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced or lost earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Assistive devices
  • Medical-related travel
  • Other out-of-pocket costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life

You and your family may also be entitled to compensation after a car accident if the negligence of the other driver and/or any additional parties led to the death of a relative. Damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim include the cost of medical care prior to your loved one’s passing (if applicable), funeral and burial or cremation expenses, loss of economic support, loss of the loved one’s support and services, and more.

Serious car accident injuries and wrongful death in car crashes carry enormous costs. A New York City car accident lawyer at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can determine how much your case is worth and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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What Should I Do After a Car Accident in New York City?

A car crash is a traumatic and stressful event. It can be difficult to know what to do next, especially if you were injured in the accident.

The following steps can help you stay safe and protect your legal rights after a New York car accident:

1. Get to Safety

Car accidents in New York City often occur on crowded streets. If you are able to move yourself and/or your vehicle safely, you should try to get out of the path of traffic as soon as possible.

2. Call 911

If anybody was injured in the car crash, call 911 and wait for help to arrive. Emergency personnel will assess your injuries and determine whether you or anyone else involved in the accident should be taken to the hospital.

New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 605 states that any accident resulting in injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage must be reported to law enforcement promptly and to the New York DMV within 10 days. By calling 911 and providing a statement to the police, you can satisfy this reporting requirement.

3. Exchange Information with the Other Driver

You will need the other driver’s insurance information even if you do not have grounds to make a fault-based car accident claim. Be sure to get the following from any drivers involved in the accident:

  • The driver’s name and contact information
  • Insurance details, such as the carrier; policy number; vehicle identification number; and year, make, and model
  • The vehicle’s license plate number

It is also important to speak to any witnesses who saw the crash, especially if the driver fled the scene.

4. Take Photos

Photographs of the accident scene represent the strongest evidence you can obtain immediately following a car crash. Take pictures of the vehicles involved, any injuries you sustain, and damage to the road and/or debris. It is also important to photograph the surrounding area to show where the accident took place and the conditions at the time.

5. Seek Medical Care

You should see a doctor or visit the emergency room as soon as possible once you leave the scene of the car accident. Doctors can determine if you suffered any serious injuries and provide necessary treatment.

6. Report the Car Accident to Your Insurance Company

Most auto insurance policies require that accidents be reported no more than 30 days after the fact. You should report the crash as soon as possible both to ensure that you meet the insurance reporting requirement and to get started on your claim.

PIP and other insurance may cover some of your losses after a car accident. Even though this is “your” insurance company, it is crucial never to admit fault or say anything to suggest fault in interactions with any insurer.

7. Speak to a New York City Car Accident Attorney ASAP

Hiring a lawyer is crucial for protecting your rights after a car accident. Without an attorney, you are at the mercy of insurance companies who care far more about the bottom line than they do about you.

A car accident attorney is committed to advocating for you and advancing your interests. Crucially, your lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf, which tends to result in a better outcome for your case.

Do I Really Need a New York City Car Accident Lawyer After a Crash?

Some car accident claims can generally be handled without an attorney. This includes cases where you suffered minor injuries or property damage only in the crash.

But, if you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, there are a number of important reasons to have an attorney on your side. A New York city car accident lawyer can do the following on your behalf:

  • Investigate the car crash to determine how and why it happened
  • Collect evidence to build your car accident claim
  • Review your medical records and consult your doctors to determine if your car accident injuries meet New York’s serious injury threshold
  • Determine who is at fault for the accident
  • Assess the available insurance coverage; you may be entitled to compensation via the other driver’s bodily injury liability and/or property damage liability insurance in addition to your own PIP insurance
  • Calculate your damages from the car accident
  • Negotiate a fair settlement

Another reason to hire a car accident attorney as soon as possible after a collision is the possibility that your case may need to go to trial. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi is dedicated to achieving the best results for our clients. If that means going to court, we have the resources and drive to thoroughly prepare your case and fight full compensation.

Client Success Story
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The Office of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have been so helpful in my case that I just wanted to stress to anyone needing an attorney who has been in an accident that this office is the best. From the beginning of my case I was treated as number one. Mr. Maggiano and staff always kept me informed of the entire process of my case. I even had a driver, Juan, from their office, take me to my medical appointments because I no longer have an automobile. It just made me feel so much more relaxed. This is a law firm makes you feel right at home as soon as you come in. There were many times that I had questions and I would speak to Mariel, Mr. Maggianos’s paralegal and she would always be there to help

- Kenneth Gadsden

Client Success Story
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Nothing but praise for Maggiano, DiGirolamo, and Lizzi. I have never seen such a fantastic display of teamwork at all levels of the firm. (As an aisde, everyone one who works at the firm was extremely courteous and kind – character traits that one would not typically associate with a law firm. )

Furthermore, the legal results brought about by Mr. Maggiano’s tireless litigation efforts on our behalf were very fair and just. If you ever find yourself in a car accident, be sure to consult Maggiano, DiGirolamo, and Lizzi.

- Haig Norian

Client Success Story
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I have been a practicing personal injury lawyer in New Jersey for over twenty years. I knew Michael Maggiano by reputation and when I was involved in an automobile myself I went to him to handle my case. I learned that the reputation was well founded and he has an outstanding law firm, very efficient and professional. He and his staff were always available and helpful during every step of the process and the resultant settlement was excellent. I could not recommend Mr. Maggiano and his firm more highly. Thank you to all at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi .

- Kevin Decie

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Claim in NY?

The time it takes for a car accident case to settle depends on a variety of different factors. Common issues that can make reaching a settlement take longer include:

  • The seriousness and complexity of your injuries
  • The damages you are due
  • Complex liability issues
  • Whether you were partly at fault for the accident
    • New York follows a comparative negligence rule which allows all parties to a personal injury claim to recover compensation in proportion to their level of fault (see New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 1411). Often, however, disagreements can arise over each party’s proportion of fault.
  • The willingness of the insurance company to negotiate in good faith

A “straightforward” car accident claim may be settled within a few months. More complicated cases, however, can take years to resolve. The time it takes to reach a settlement may also be prolonged if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit (although the case can still be settled any time before and even during trial).

Contact a New York City Car Accident Lawyer Today

Car crashes can take an immense toll on victims and their families. This is especially true when the accident leaves you with serious injuries or results in the loss of a loved one.

At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, our New York car accident attorneys have been consistently recognized as the best in their field, year after year, by leading publications and organizations. We have received recognition from Super Lawyers, U.S. News & World Report, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and more.

Our car crash lawyers understand the complexities involved in litigating accident cases in New York. We put ourselves in your shoes, understand your needs, and handle the difficulties for you so you and your family can focus on getting better. 

Please call (212) 543-1600 today for a free consultation. Our car accident lawyers serve clients throughout the five boroughs of New York City and other areas of New York.