Queens Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents are some of the most common, and most injury causing accidents. Even something as simple as a fender bender can lead to slipped discs and whiplash injuries. Back and neck injuries can stay with a victim for years after an accident or show up months after a car crash occurred.
The forces at work in a car accident are too intense for the human body to withstand, leading to a very high risk of injury after a collision. Once you seek medical attention for your injuries, the skilled Queens car accident attorneys at Omrani and Taub can help you receive compensation for the medical costs, car damage, as well as pain & suffering from your car accident.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Queens
Car accidents can be the results of many different factors, from human error to hazardous roadway conditions. While not every car accident is due to negligence, many are. According to the most recent crash statistics, driver distraction/inattention caused 48,774 car accidents in New York in 2014. These crashes resulted in 100 fatalities and more than 24,000 injuries. Cell phones contributed to nearly 650 of these accidents.
As the number of mobile devices continues to rise, so does the number of car accidents. The stop-and-go traffic in Queens presents a prime opportunity for drivers to take out their phones – texting, emailing, and scrolling through social media. Often, drivers don’t put their devices down when traffic starts, leading to terrible pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents and rear-end collisions. Other common causes of accidents include unsafe and negligent driving, improperly trained mass transit drivers, vehicular factors such as parts failure, and environmental factors.
Most Common Traffic Violations
The data above is current as of January 26, 2017 from NYC Open Data. According to the chart, distracted driving is the second most common reason for car accidents in New York, just behind speeding. More car accidents are happening each year due to drivers on their call phones than from drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When a car accident is caused by a negligent driver, an environmental condition, or a defective auto part, injured parties can rely on the attorneys car accident attorneys at Omrani & Taub, P.C., for experienced, aggressive representation. Proving negligence in New York requires in-depth knowledge of our state’s car accident laws. Our team knows how to make a judge and jury understand exactly how your accident happened, using evidence we gather from the case.
New York Car Accident Law
New York has a no-fault law for car accident cases. This can be bad news for victims, because it means they have to collect settlements from insurance policies no matter who or what caused your accident. Insurance companies notoriously give smaller settlements than what the case would win in court – unless victims hire an experienced personal injury attorney to manage negotiations with the company.
The no-fault rule only applies to personal injury cases, meaning you can file a claim against an at-fault driver for property damage. A victim can bring a personal injury claim against a negligent party if his or her injuries meet New York’s “serious injury” threshold. To meet this threshold, accident victims must experience:
- Significant disfigurement
- Bone fracture
- Permanent body organ or member disability
- Significant body function or system limitations
- Full disability for at least 90 days
A skilled injury lawyer with years of experience handling car accident cases in New York can prove that you meet the serious injury threshold, and he or she can take your case to court if necessary to obtain the fairest compensation. The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim in New York is three years after the accident. After these three years, the court will most likely refuse to hear your case.
Fatal Car Accidents
Every year, car accidents claim the lives of thousands of innocent victims around the world. High-speed accidents and head-on collisions often lead to fatal injury due to internal bleeding, severe brain injury, or other trauma. Human error will always be one of the most common and preventable causes of fatal car accidents. The families of deceased accident victims are left to pick up the pieces, mourning the loss of a loved one while facing medical and burial expenses. These families deserve answers for their needless losses and compensation for their damages.
Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents
In the most recent NY accident report data, 966 people died in car crashes in a single year. This number included 268 pedestrians and 47 bicyclists. New York is a dangerous state for car accidents, with heavy traffic and perilous roadway conditions. Of all the fatal crashes in this year, a vast majority – 839 – was the result of human error. The #1 cause of fatal crashes in NY is unsafe speed. Other common causes are failure to yield the right-of-way and alcohol involvement.
The second leading cause of fatal car accidents in NY was environmental factors, including slippery pavement, obstructed view, glare, and faulty traffic control devices. At first, these accidents may seem to be no one’s fault – just a force of nature. Upon further inspection, however, most of these cases were avoidable with proper roadway and vehicle maintenance. Drivers who lose control of their vehicles due to a dangerous roadway can file a claim against the government responsible.
Vehicular factors were the third leading causes of NY car accidents in 2014. These factors included defective parts, tire failure, and inadequate maintenance. If someone is negligent in maintaining their brakes and they crash into someone else because of it, the driver of the improperly maintained vehicle is responsible. If, on the other hand, the brakes fail due to a manufacturing error, the injured driver could potentially sue the parts company.
Fatal Car Accidents in Queens
When someone dies at the hands of a negligent driver, the victim’s family has the right to file a claim against the driver for wrongful death. In the event of a wrongful death accident, the court may award damages to a few different people. The court will look at many factors surrounding the deceased person’s relationships with surviving family members, and typically, it awards spouses, minor children, and/or parents. Compensation for a wrongful death case may include recovery for:
- The deceased person’s medical expenses.
- The deceased person’s pain and suffering until death.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- The family’s financial losses due to the death.
- Loss of consortium, or loss of the deceased person’s love and companionship.
To prove a wrongful death case for a car accident in New York, a personal injury attorney must work closely with the surviving family member(s) to prove the other driver was responsible for the fatal accident. This involves an investigation into the accident, conducting eyewitness interviews and hiring an expert witness to testify about the cause of death. Like every state, New York has specific rules regarding wrongful death cases. You need an experienced local attorney by your side for the best chance at success.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) accidents can be physically and emotionally traumatizing. Even if a victim recovers from severe injuries, he or she may never fully mend the psychological damages from a DWI car accident. Fighting for justice in court can be the only thing that provides accident victims and their families a chance for closure in these cases.
In 2014, 7,849 crashes involved a drunk driver in New York state. Each of these accidents was completely preventable had the drunken driver not gotten behind the wheel. Of these crashes, 270 were fatal. Accident victims who survive a DWI accident may suffer permanent disability, lifelong emotional trauma, and a completely altered life – all because of someone’s bad decision. The extent of the physical, emotional, and personal property damage from a car accident depends on the severity of the crash. Common DWI accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic cardiac arrest
- Internal organ damage
- Extremity and limb damage
- Emotional distress
Due to the high volume of DWI accidents involving unsafe speeds, injuries are often severe or fatal in nature. Victims may need extensive surgeries, rehabilitation, physical and emotional therapy, and expensive medical equipment. They may also have to pay for home or vehicle modifications. The costs of a serious injury can quickly escalate, leaving a family in financial hardship.
More important than the financial damages are the intangible damages that DWI crash victims face. Victims with permanently disabling injuries such as paralysis or brain damage cannot live alone, often needing a caretaker. Family members can suffer loss of love and companionship, and the victim can have a lower quality of life. DWI accidents are entirely preventable. When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel and injures or kills someone in a car accident, the law offers a bit of respite in a personal injury or wrongful death case.
What to Do If You’ve Been Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident
If an intoxicated driver caused your accident or injury, seek medical attention for your injuries immediately. Even if you don’t believe you’ve sustained an injury, secure medical clearance before returning to your daily life. The accident may have injured you without you realizing it. If you wait to see a doctor for your injuries, the defendant can use this as evidence against you to prove your injuries must not have been too painful or serious. Once you’re on the road to recovery, consult a Queens DWI accident attorney.
An attorney can confirm a driver’s intoxication at the time of a crash by obtaining the police reports. If the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage of 0.08% (the legal limit in New York) or more in an accident, he or she is guilty of DWI. The same rule applies to drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of 0.02% or more and a commercially licensed driver with a BAC of 0.04% or more. An experienced DWI accident lawyer can help prove negligence regardless of the BAC percentage on record, since even one drink can change the way a driver operates a vehicle.
Like most cities near New York City, traffic in Queens can be intense. Driver inattention, distraction, and negligence can easily lead to a devastating car accident in the blink of an eye. Stop-and-go traffic is a common setting for distracted driving car accidents, as mobile use continues to increase behind the wheel. Going at a slow speed, this kind of distraction can critically injure or kill pedestrians and bicyclists. Going at a fast speed, it can cause catastrophic collisions.
Driver distraction has been a growing problem nationwide. As the rate of mobile technology use increases, so does the rate of car accidents. Out of 254,829 total crashes in New York in 2014, driver inattention and distraction were the leading cause of 48,774 of them – or 19.1%. Of these accidents, 100 were fatal and 24,201 involved personal injuries. The leading causes of driver distraction in these cases were, in order from first to last:
- Outside car distraction
- Passenger distraction
- Cell phone use (handheld)
- Other electronic device use
- Eating or drinking
- Cell phone use (hands-free)
Outside car distraction accounted for 924 accidents, while digital distraction accounted for 1,037 accidents altogether, including headphone use and onboard navigational systems. Digital distraction is a very real problem for today’s drivers, especially when vehicles are temporarily stopped at traffic lights or in traffic. Drivers may take their eyes away from the road to send a text or read a message, and suddenly they’re going through a red light or failing to stop at a pedestrian crosswalk. These accidents can happen in a split second and are completely preventable.
Common Distracted Driving Accident Injuries
Distracted driving accidents can be severe, especially when they involve pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road often don’t have time to hit their brakes before impact, leading to a higher-speed collision and more severe injuries. These drivers often fail to yield the right-of-way and cut other drivers off while making left turns. All these factors contribute to the high rate of injury with these crashes.
A personal injury case in New York must meet a serious injury threshold to be an exception to our state’s no-fault accident rules. The no-fault rule restricts accident victims whose injuries do not meet the threshold to receiving a settlement from his or her insurance company. To qualify as an exception, your injuries must:
- Significantly limit the use of body systems or functions
- Permanently limit the use of body organs or members
- Lead to full disability for at least 90 days
- Include bone fracture
- Result in significant disfigurement
Typical car accident injuries vary greatly and can result in anything from paraplegia to permanent brain damage. If a distracted driver caused significant injury to you or a loved one, you have the right to seek compensation in court for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and loss of consortium, if applicable.
Contact our Experienced Queens Car Accident Lawyer
Navigating New York’s no-fault car accident law and other relevant rules can be difficult. Trust the personal injury lawyers at Omrani & Taub, for skilled representation in Queens and throughout New York. With decades of experience in the area, we have the in-depth legal knowledge you need to obtain just compensation for your personal injury. Call (212) LAW-SUIT or (718) 714-1515 for a free consultation.