Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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As of 2019, NYPD reported that 492 civilians had left the scene of a hit and run without reporting the incident to the police. While any car accident can be shocking, leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and can lead to arrest or further legal issues. We will review the legality aspects of leaving a hit-and-run accident, the consequences, and what to do if you are in this situation.

New York Laws and Hit-and-Runs

A cop's motorcycle parked behind a vehicle that is being towed away

In the state of New York, you must provide your license and insurance information to the persons involved in the accident if there is property damage or personal injury to either party. Even if there is no visible personal injury or property damage in the initial accident, exchanging contact information can come in handy if issues arise a few days after the accident. New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (VLT) 600(1)(a) regards property damage while VTL 600(2)(a) involves personal injury, not including animals. Personal injury from accidents should be reported to the police as well.

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With around 6 million car accidents occurring every year in the U.S., it is essential to be cautious when driving. While some of these accidents are unavoidable, many are caused by distracted, tired, or intoxicated drivers. Here are some tips to help protect you from a car wreck.

Always Wear Your Seatbelt

A person driving a car
Seat belts can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% when worn correctly by front-seat drivers. Wear your seatbelt to help avoid serious injury, even on short drives. Your seat belt protects you from being easily thrown around in the car or even through the windshield and can help reduce the risk of injuries or death.

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New York is a no-fault state for auto accident claims. If you get in an accident, you can receive reimbursement for the cost of injuries regardless of who caused the collision. Before paying out of pocket for medical bills, learn how no-fault laws impact your insurance claim.

Reviewing the Extent of Coverage

A wrecked vehicle in the middle of the street
New York requires drivers to have no-fault coverage for personal injury protection. With this type of policy, you can request reimbursement for lost wages and medical costs resulting from the accident. You can also use these funds to cover the cost of travel to and from medical appointments, household help if you become disabled, and other reasonable expenses.

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Grafitti'd truck parked on a street in New York CityIn auto accidents, victims can suffer various types of injuries and property damage, depending on the magnitude of the impact. Because commercial trucks are so large, accidents involving 18-wheelers tend to be more severe. Therefore, truck and car operators carry different responsibilities in road safety, so drivers should understand the different legal procedures. Here is a comparison of the processes for truck accidents and car accidents.

Causes of Car Accidents and Truck Accidents

Car accidents typically occur when one or more of the drivers don’t pay attention because of texting, rubbernecking, or another distraction. However, there are usually other elements involved in accidents with 18-wheelers. These trucks have large blind spots that limit the driver’s sight. Also, the cargo an 18-wheeler is hauling can affect its ability to slow down. This means that commercial truck drivers have to take extra precautions to keep everyone else on the road safe.

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Associate Regina Koyfman, with the assistance of Partner Daniela F. Henriques, recently defeated a defendant’s motion seeking dismissal on the issue of serious injury threshold. Our client (“plaintiff”) was a passenger in a motor vehicle that was struck on the passenger side, which caused severe injuries in the plaintiff’s neck and back. In support of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, they submitted the medical affirmation of Dr. James R. Dickson.

On June 10, 2019, Dr. Dickson conducted a defendant’s orthopedic examination of the plaintiff, which revealed the following ranges of motion across the plaintiff’s body:

  • In the cervical spine, both left and right rotation were fifty degrees, extension was 30 degrees, and flexion was 80 degrees.
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Most states, including New York, require their drivers and motorists to have liability insurance, but some drivers may not possess enough insurance to cover all injuries and property damage caused by their vehicle. If you find yourself involved in an accident with an underinsured driver, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Take Pictures of the Crash Scene and Get Medical Attention An insurance policy and other documents sitting under a pair of glasses

Take photographic evidence of damage to vehicles, debris, and any visible injuries. These images will serve as evidence for your underinsured motorist claim and help determine who was at fault. After an accident, either party may have minor or severe injuries, so call for emergency medical help immediately and make sure to keep any receipts from medical costs incurred due to the accident injuries.

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Every driver hopes that they never get involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, reckless driving, bad weather, car engine failure, and other factors can lead to one. Truck accidents are more dangerous than car accidents as trucks are massive and will have a more significant impact. Truck accidents often lead to serious or fatal injuries, financial burdens due to medical bills, and emotional trauma for both the injured and their loved ones. Therefore, it is vital to consult with a lawyer to understand all viable legal options to file a truck accident claim. Here are some of the claims to include.

Economic Damages Incurred

A white 18-wheeler driving behind a red vehicle
Economic damages incurred during a truck accident are relatively easy to account for since they have an actual monetary value. Your attorney will assess all the information required to calculate the economic damages, including but not limited to damage to your vehicle or property, cost of physical therapy and other medical expenses, renovation cost to your property due to damage, and lost wages.

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Recently, Edward R. Averbuch, an attorney here at Leav & Steinberg LLP, was successful in helping a client file a lawsuit against his auto insurance provider after they attempted to dismiss his claim.

Ed was representing a war veteran who was rear-ended by a truck while stopped at a light. Although the truck driver admitted that he was at fault to the police, the defendant’s insurance company contested our client’s injuries and moved to dismiss the case by arguing that our client did not sustain a serious injury as required by law.
A police motorcycle parked behind a car accident, representing the personal injury services of Leav & Steinberg LLP in New York, NY

There were two challenges that we faced in this case. First, the injuries sustained by our client are not typically associated with auto accidents. Our client suffered an aggravation of a urethral sling that required cystoscopy and the transurethral removal of mesh inside of his body. Second, our client had complications related to the urethral sling that required surgical intervention on two occasions before the accident.

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The streets of New York City are practically always busy with car and bike traffic. There are several bicycle paths and bike lanes in the city to help ensure the safety of riders. To help ensure your safety and the safety of those around you while riding your bike, you should stay to the right side of the road and follow all traffic laws. Still, even when you’re being as safe as possible, an accident with a car can still happen. If a driver hit you while you were riding your bike, you may be entitled to compensation.

Driver’s Fault

Bike accident and a boyYou can sue a driver if they were negligent or may have crossed into the cyclists’ path. Negligence on the part of the driver may be established based on contributory factors to the accident. A driver owes a duty of care to other road users, including cyclists. Drivers are expected to drive with care and observe all the traffic rules while on the road. You should consult a lawyer who is conversant with bike accident cases to help you seek compensation for injuries sustained.

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Beginning in 2020, all of us here at Leav & Steinberg, LLP made a promise to our clients: With excellent lawyering and exceptional customer service, Leav & Steinberg will continue to be one of the premier firms in New York. While many firm in New York and across the country, find January to be particularly slow, our firm has continued where we left off in 2019; always prepared to go to trial and only when the  provides complete justice for our clients.

Here are just a few highlights of matters resolved this month:

$1,435,000 for a man who had to undergo spinal surgery after a car accident- the defendant challenged whether his injuries were related or serious

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