two car collision

Roth & Roth provides guidance to New York drivers, passengers, and pedestrians harmed in local car accidents. Our team has a strong reputation that encompasses many areas of personal injury law — including motor vehicle accidents.

Whether you're dealing with difficult insurance representatives, negligent drivers, or anyone else who stands in the way of recovering the damages you deserve, assertive legal representation is crucial. That's exactly what we provide at Roth & Roth. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that you receive the full compensation to which you're entitled. 

There is no substitute for strong legal representation after a car accident. You'll never regret having our legal team in your corner.  

Roth & Roth has been successfully representing individuals and families throughout the State of New York for over 25 years. If you or someone you know was injured or killed in New York due to someone else's wrongdoing, contact us to discuss your options. Initial consultations are always free and we never get paid unless and until you do.

A variety of situations can increase the likelihood of getting into a car accident in New York. Some issues — such as weather conditions, traffic, or even vehicle defects — are beyond the drivers' control. Often, however, negligence is at play. This may take the following forms:

  • Speeding
  • Running red lights
  • Texting while driving
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Unsafe turning 
  • Not checking blind spots before turning or changing lanes
  • Following other vehicles too closely
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Should I speak to the other driver's insurance provider after a car accident?

It’s not a good idea to discuss your car accident directly with at-fault drivers' insurance companies. Unfortunately, these providers are notorious for lowballing victims. Instead, meet with a New York City car accident attorney, who can deal with these insurance companies on your behalf. 

Not only will this approach improve your likelihood of securing a desirable outcome, but it will also save you a lot of time and stress.

It is extremely important that you do not sign any documents or give a recorded statement without first speaking with an attorney.

What types of damages are available in a New York car accident case?

Victims of negligence-based car accidents can collect many types of damages. When obtained through the personal injury process, these typically fall into one of two main categories: compensatory or punitive. 

Common examples of compensatory damages include: 

  • Medical. From hospital bills to rehabilitation, New York City car accident victims may struggle under the burden of spiraling medical expenses. Hence, the need for compensation that covers the cost of treatment. A portion of the medical treatment bills may be paid by No-Fault insurance but often there is a 50,000 dollar cap. Anything over the No-Fault and additional coverages for OBEL and APIP are recoverable from the defendants. 
  • Lost wages. Car accident injuries can often be severe enough to make it difficult for victims to return to work. To account for this significant financial distress, car accident damages might include coverage for lost wages. This could encompass not only earnings lost in the immediate aftermath of the accident but also those that would otherwise be expected in the future. 
  • Pain and suffering. Sometimes referred to as non-economic damages, pain and suffering compensation accounts for the emotional component of recovery.

In certain cases involving drunk driving, malicious intent, or gross recklessness, punitive damages may also be recoverable. These aim to deliver greater accountability and to punish a defendant for their behavior.

What happens if the other driver is uninsured?

The State of New York mandates a separate form of insurance that comes into play when uninsured drivers are involved in motor vehicle accidents. This coverage also applies to hit-and-run crashes.

Mandatory requirements for this particular form of insurance only cover bodily injuries, and not damage to the vehicle or other property. However, passengers harmed in car accidents will likely be covered, as will those who unknowingly ride alongside uninsured drivers. 

What are the minimum coverage amounts for motor vehicle liability insurance in New York?

Registered motor vehicles in New York should cover, at a minimum:

  • Up to $10,000 per accident to account for property damage. 
  • Up to $25,000 for bodily injuries sustained by any one individual involved in the accident, if these injuries do not result in death.
  • Up to $50,000 for bodily injuries that result in the death of any one person involved in the crash.
  • Up to a combined $50,000 for bodily injuries suffered by two or more people, as long as these do not lead to either victim's death.
  • Up to a combined $100,00  if two or more people die as a result of the accident.
What does it mean to be a no-fault insurance state?

In New York, insured drivers and passengers are reimbursed by the insurance carrier for the vehicle they were in at the time of the accident, regardless of who was actually at fault for a given accident. This type of coverage that covers first-party benefits is known as No-Fault in New York and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in other states like New Jersey. No-Fault benefits cover a portion of the car collision-related medical bills, household help, transportation to medical appointments, and lost wages.

The goal of this initiative is to restore the general health and productivity of those injured in car accidents as quickly as possible. As such, only claimants with serious injuries can file car accident lawsuits in New York. 

What counts as a serious injury under New York's No Fault insurance requirements?

No-Fault mandates that a threshold level of injuries be sustained as a result of the car accident in order to sustain a third-party lawsuit against the culpable motor vehicle owner and operator. Lawsuits can only be brought for motor vehicle accidents if the ensuing injury meets a statutory standard of serious injury. 

Serious injuries are defined as follows in Article 51 of the New York Consolidated Laws section on Insurance Law:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Fracture
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
  • A significant limitation of the use of a bodily function or system 
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member

In addition to these impairments, Article 51 explains that the following situation qualifies as serious: a non-permanent injury that prevents the victim from resuming "usual and customary" activities for at least 90 of the 180 days immediately following the accident. 

Knowing how to identify and deal with the insurance carrier, getting all of the required proof, and knowing how to present it is an essential part of successfully resolving a claim for personal injuries arising from a car accident. This is why it’s important to work with a skilled New York car accident lawyer who can provide thorough documentation of your injuries and argue your case on your behalf. 

When are drivers ineligible for No Fault benefits?

While most drivers can obtain No-Fault damages even if they played a role in the crash or their injuries seem minor, a few exceptions exist:

  • The injured driver was under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs when the crash took place
  • Car accident injuries were intentionally caused by the 'victim' in an attempt to commit insurance fraud
  • The injury occurred while the driver was committing a felony
  • The injury took place in a stolen vehicle
  • The owner of the vehicle in which the accident occurred was uninsured at the time of the crash
  • The vehicle is an unregistered for-hire vehicle
  • The injury occurs on the job and therefore Worker’s Compensation is primary
What does it mean to be a comparative fault state?

New York is one of just a few states to operate under a comparative fault approach to personal injury claims. This terminology can sometimes be confusing, as New York is also a No-fault state in regard to insurance. 

Comparative fault, also known as shared fault, is a claimant-friendly rule that ensures that the plaintiff receives damages, even when he or she is presumed at least partially at fault. Whether the Defendant driver is 100% or 10% responsible the driver must pay his proportional share of the fault.

Pure comparative fault should not be confused with its modified counterpart, which is used in many other states. Under a system of modified comparative fault, the claimant is ineligible for damages if deemed over 50 percent to blame for the car accident. 

Conversely, pure comparative fault may allow the person primarily responsible for the crash to still collect some damages. These will be offset by the far greater damages awarded to the person deemed at fault to a lesser degree.

How long after a Car Accident can I file a claim?

An application for No-Fault benefits must be filed within 30  days. In accidents where the defendant is a municipality, a Notice of Claim must be served within 90 days, and a lawsuit commenced within one year and 90 days. For most other car accidents that take place in New York, the claimant is allowed to initiate a lawsuit within three years of the crash's date. This is called the statute of limitations.

Section 214 of the New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules clarifies that a three-year statute of limitations applies to anybody (including drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians) injured in a car accident. This echoes the general statute of limitations for personal injury in New York.

Similarly, the 3-year statute of limitations also applies to collecting compensation for damages sustained by the car or other property as a result of the collision. 

The one exception to New York's three-year car accident statute of limitations is in cases involving wrongful death. In New York, wrongful death cases must be filed within just two years of the date on which the deceased individual passed away. Keep in mind that this date may differ from the date of the accident that led to the person's death. 

As stated above No-Fault claim must be filed within a mere 30 days of the accident. Known as the Application for Motor Vehicle No-Fault Benefits, this must be promptly submitted to the No-Fault insurance carrier. Failure to meet this deadline could jeopardize your ability to secure compensation for medical treatment, household help, transportation costs to medical appointments, and lost wages.

Will my car accident case go to trial?

The likelihood of a car accident case going to trial largely depends on whether the resulting injuries are deemed serious enough to meet the statutory serious injury threshold. Cases involving mild or moderate injuries are often resolved, but frequently that is up to how reasonable the defendant or its insurance company is.  

Even if injuries stemming from a car accident are serious enough to meet the statutory serious injury threshold requirement, there's no guarantee that these cases will go to trial. In many situations, such cases are resolved or settled but the case must be prepared for trial in order to maximize its value. Many cases settle on the eve of trial. 

This is why it's important to work with a trial-ready attorney, as litigation always remains a possibility. Courtroom appearances are most likely when there is disagreement as to who was at fault for the accident, the extent of the fault, and whether there is enough proof to sustain the burden of establishing a serious injury under the statutory threshold. 

What can a car accident lawyer do for me?

An experienced  New York City car accident lawyer can assist with numerous components of your case. The attorneys will file the no-fault application, determine the owners of the vehicles, ascertain the insurance coverage for all the vehicles involved and make all the timely filings, file suit, attend all court appearances, meet with the client to prepare for depositions and medical appointments required by the defendant,  as well as take the case to trial. Without an assertive lawyer on your side, you could easily be bullied by insurance companies into accepting compensation that is unacceptably low. 

To help argue your case, your lawyer will gather extensive evidence that might otherwise be difficult for you to obtain on your own. This could include police reports, video footage, witness statements, or medical records. All these must be analyzed thoroughly to clarify fault and causation. 

In the midst of all this, your experienced car accident lawyer should be cognizant of all relevant filing deadlines. If you are injured in a car accident you must have competent representation by a firm that handles all aspects of the case from beginning through trial and possibly appeal. It's imperative that you work with a proactive car accident lawyer who continually demonstrates attention to detail.

Strong representation can make a world of difference in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident. During this sensitive time, it's crucial that you work with the best legal team available. After all, your New York City car accident attorney could determine whether you emerge with considerable compensation or whether you come up short. You need an assertive advocate who will fight to protect your best interests. 

With Roth & Roth on your side, you can feel confident that your case will rest in the most capable hands. Our New York City car accident lawyers know what it takes to resolve complex cases, even if you hold some degree of fault. Empathetic and non-judgmental, we provide the kind-hearted support you need during this stressful time.

Don't let insurance representatives or negligent drivers get away with irresponsible or unethical behavior. With a solid advocate in your corner, you can obtain both the justice and the damages you deserve. Look to Roth & Roth for help every step of the way. 

Ready to get started? Don't hesitate to contact our team of New York car accident lawyers. We are ready to discuss your case and get you on the path to a positive outcome.

Reach out today to learn more about our legal approach and our personal injury services. We never get paid unless and until you do; it costs nothing to speak with us.

“Roth & Roth were very helpful. They always made me feel comfortable and at ease. They prepared me very well so I wasn’t nervous. I have recommended Roth & Roth to members of my family. And what’s more, I’m happy that even after my case was settled, they still took the time to answer any questions I had.”
Roth & Roth Client
“Roth & Roth fully prepared us during the case and put my family at ease through each step in the case. I would definitely recommend Roth & Roth to anyone who needs caring, competent attorneys who will get the best result and treat you like a person while doing so.”
Roth & Roth Client
“Roth & Roth handled my personal injury case efficiently, satisfactorily and with expertise. I was kept informed every step of the way. I appreciated their support and guidance. All calls were always returned. They were always willing to listen. I was kept apprised of everything about my case. I will recommend Roth & Roth to anyone in need of an attorney.”
Roth & Roth Client
“It was a good experience working with Roth & Roth. They cared about me and the outcome of my case. David is magnificent! Audra is sweet and caring. If I needed to call, and the person was not in, someone always got back to me. I always felt they cared about me.”
Roth & Roth Client
“Working with Roth & Roth was a wonderful experience and felt like they were like family … like my relatives. When David was busy, I spoke to Audra. When Audra was busy, I spoke to David. Everything was explained to me – and no matter how many times I asked the questions, they gave me the answers in a way I would understand.”
Roth & Roth Client
“David Roth is a hard worker. I worked with Audra when she joined the firm. Everything was explained to me and they always answered any questions I had. They were always available for me. I have some friends who looked for lawyers and I recommended Roth & Roth. I will always recommend them.”
Roth & Roth Client