Fighting for Your Rights While You Recover from a Car Crash in New York
Auto accidents aren’t fair to the people injured in them. They happen unexpectedly, and they can turn your whole life upside down in the blink of an eye.
If you’ve recently been hurt in a car crash here in Kingston or the surrounding area, you probably have a lot of questions. You deserve answers. You may very well deserve financial compensation too.
Car crashes are alarmingly common in New York, and the overwhelming majority of them are caused by careless driving.
Fortunately, the personal injury laws in our state protect auto accident victims by requiring negligent drivers to pay for the damages they’ve caused.
Unfortunately, that responsibility frequently falls to insurance companies, which are notoriously reluctant to pay their fair share.
But the insurers don’t get to call the shots. They have a responsibility to stand by the policies they sell and the law that governs them. And as Kingston auto accident attorneys, it is our job to hold insurers accountable, to fight for your rights, and to demand they pay you every penny you’re owed.
Too often, the insurance corporations in New York adopt a “deny first, investigate later” approach to accident claims. No matter how legitimate your injuries may be, if they can find a way to pay you less for your claim, they’ll take it. Indeed, it can be difficult to get an insurance adjuster to take you seriously at all.
But we’ve found that once you get an experienced, aggressive auto accident lawyer on your side, their attitude starts to change.
At O’Connor & Partners, we have spent years taking on insurance companies and getting injured New Yorkers the money they deserve.
While we can never promise a particular outcome in advance, we are proud of our long record of results — maximizing compensation for auto accident victims in claims both big and small.
Below, we explore some of the most common issues related to New York auto accident claims and answer several frequently asked questions. Beyond all else, we urge you to talk to an attorney before you accept any insurance company’s settlement offer.
Learn about your rights and the compensation you might be able to claim. Call O’Connor & Partners today.
Rear-end collision is the most common kind of car accident in New York, and it may take many forms: high-speed, low-speed, on the freeway, in a parking lot, etc.
While it is true that the rear-most driver is usually at fault in these accidents, that isn’t always the case.
Regardless of fault, you should speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your options and whether you might have a claim for compensation.
Distracted Driving Accidents (Texting While Driving, Etc.)
Texting behind the wheel has become a full-blown epidemic in the United States, and New York is no exception. One trip down a major Kingston roadway reveals the disturbing truth: “intextication” is rampant, and it puts us all in danger.
Other forms of distraction can be just as dangerous: reading, writing, eating, playing the radio, applying makeup, horseplay with passengers, and so on.
There is never an excuse for taking one’s attention off the road. Distracted or texting drivers must be held accountable for the injuries they cause through their carelessness.
Drunk Driving Accidents
Even as New York has enacted stricter penalties for drunk driving over the years, DUI / DWI remains a real problem. The use of illegal and/or prescription medications, too, can leave a driver’s judgment dangerously impaired. Even some over-the-counter medications can make it impossible to operate a vehicle safely.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk or drugged driver in New York, please contact the experienced Kingston auto accident lawyers at O’Connor & Partners to learn more about your rights and remedies under the law.
Drowsy Driving Accidents
Driver studies show that fatigue can be as debilitating as alcohol. If you’ve been injured in a car crash and suspect that the driver’s drowsiness might have been a factor, please contact us right away.
Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents
Cyclists and pedestrians are at grave risk of harm when they encounter a vehicle moving at moderate or high speeds. Tragically, bicycle and pedestrian accidents frequently cause catastrophic injury or death.
Our office has years of experience in dealing with these complex and sensitive claims. We can help.
Other Types of Kingston Auto Accidents
No two accidents are quite alike. From side-impact and head-on collisions to parking lot crashes, vehicle rollovers, and more, New York car wrecks take many forms.
Whatever the nature of your accident, our veteran legal team is ready to take a stand on your side.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents
How Long Does a Settlement Take?
- Varies depending on the complexity of the issues
- Your final maximum medical improvement
- Cases can be settled in less than a year, or more significant, complex cases take up to two years
How Much Should I Settle For My Accident?
- What is the liability of the defendant, how have they been negligent
- How serious are your injuries, how will they affect your life
Is It Worth Getting An Attorney For A Car Accident?
- Those who hire attorneys for their injuries get three to five times the recovery
What Does An Accident Attorney Do?
- Good accident attorneys with meet with you and your loved ones
- Investigate the scene and protect the evidence
- Create your story and case via evidence, litigation, and questioning of witnesses
When Should You Get A Lawyer For An Accident?
- As soon as possible, including if it involves a family member
- Meet with an attorney who will protect your case and evidence
Is It Worth Getting A Lawyer For A Minor Accident?
- Even minor collisions can cause very serious injuries
What Constitutes “Driver Negligence” in New York?
While there is no “one size fits all” definition of driver negligence, common examples include:
- Following too closely
- Running red lights, crosswalks, or stop signs
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Texting behind the wheel
- Driving while drowsy, drunk, drugged, or distracted
- Failing to adjust one’s driving in inclement weather
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Weaving between lanes or failing to use a turn signal
What Are the Most Common Injuries in New York Crashes?
While every claim is different, some of the most common injuries include:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Cuts, bruises, or lacerations
- Whiplash or soft tissue injuries
- Concussions or other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal organ damage or bleeding
- Airbag injuries
Very severe accidents might also cause:
- Disfigurement or disability
- Vision or hearing loss
- Back or spinal cord injuries
- Arterial dissection, heart attack, or stroke
- Permanent disability
What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Crash? Can I Still Recover?
Unlike some other states, New York uses a rule called “comparative negligence.” Even if you are partially at fault for your car crash, you may still be able to recover for your injuries.
A court will review the facts and assign you a percentage of fault. The total damages you are awarded will then be reduced by that percentage. (For example, if you were 60% at fault and suffered $100,000 in damages, you would still be able to recover $40,000).
If your claim is resolved through an out-of-court settlement rather than going to trial, the two sides will determine these numbers through negotiation. As Kingston auto accident attorneys, we have often been able to recover substantial compensation for our clients without having to go to court (though we are always willing to go to trial if that’s what it takes).
Isn’t New York a No-Fault Insurance State? What Does That Mean for Me?
There’s a lot to know about the no-fault insurance system in New York. While it is true that you must turn to your insurance provider to recover for most personal injuries in our state, there are exceptions — and no-fault insurance doesn’t apply to property damage and some other categories of claims.
Unfortunately, even when you are submitting a claim to your own insurance company, you can’t always count on the adjuster to give you a fair shake. On the contrary, insurance companies work themselves. They don’t represent your best interests, and they are not on your side. They want to save as much money as they can. But an experienced Kingston auto accident lawyer can help you fight for the justice you’re owed.
Please don’t make assumptions about how New York’s no-fault insurance rules might affect your rights to compensation. Call and talk to our legal team about your options instead.
The Person Who Hit Me Didn’t Have Insurance. What Now?
There may still be hope. Many auto insurance policies include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. (Not sure if yours does? Call now and ask — and add it if not! This additional coverage is typically quite affordable and can make a world of difference if an irresponsible driver ever hits you.)
Even if the absence of this coverage, we may be able to identify additional sources of compensation. Let us take a look at the circumstances surrounding your accident.
How Much Is My NY Car Crash Claim Worth?
The value of any potential recovery will depend on the nature of your injuries and the facts of your claim. For example, you may be able to recover compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy expenses
- Pain, suffering, and/or emotional distress
- Lost wages due to time away from work
- Future loss of income due to disability
- Property losses
- Loss of love and support (in wrongful death claims)
- Additional losses caused by the accident
These are only examples. We can help you get a better idea of your claim’s potential value during a free, no-obligation consultation in our office. We may even be able to tell you how much victims in the Kingston area have recovered in similar situations in the past.
Schedule a Free Car Accident Case Review
Please don’t accept a settlement offer from an insurance company without talking to our office first. You might be entitled to far more money than you realize. And at O’Connor & Partners, it’s our job to help you get it.
Our Kingston auto accident attorneys have years of experiencing in maximizing compensation. Let us take this burden off your shoulders and fight for your best possible outcome at every step along the way.
Best of all: we will not charge you a fee unless we get you money first. Even then, our fee will only be a portion of your overall recovery.