Car, Truck and Pedestrian Injuries
Our Bronx and New York City car accident lawyers have over a century of combined experience litigating serious Bronx car accident cases, and have the resources to ensure that any case we accept is properly investigated and proven so that our clients have the best chance of putting their lives back together after suffering a serious injury in a car accident. Our success rate at trial and at the negotiating table is greater than 95% for all of the car accident cases we accept, and we have won many hundreds of millions of dollars for our car accident clients over the years. If we take your case, our Bronx car accident lawyers will ensure that you receive the full measure of all available insurance benefits and liability coverage to provide you with the best possible chance of a recovery that will compensate you for devastating injuries suffered in a car accident.
We are very selective in accepting Bronx car accident cases, taking only approximately one in twenty car accident cases that are presented to us. This way, we can ensure that the proper resources, time and attention are invested in your case to give you and your family the best possible chance at a large award in court. If we accept your case, you can rest assured that the best expert witnesses, top quality accident investigative and reconstruction techniques, top-quality medical analysis and treatment, and lawyers who are committed to fighting for you for as long as it takes to obtain justice will be available to you and your family to ensure that every element of your case is proven the right way. Bronx car accident lawsuits are very complex, and we have the skill, experience and commitment to our clients to ensure that any case we accept is properly proven and successful.
Nearly everyone recognizes that the automobile was among the most transformative inventions of the twentieth century. The value of the freedom that cars provide to people – the ability to get from place to place quickly – cannot be overstated. However, since its invention, the automobile has also become among the most consistent causes of serious injuries and deaths throughout the United States, including New York City. Try as we might, despite vast improvements in safety technology, the incidence of car accidents in which people are hurt or killed is on the rise.
The National Safety Counsel estimated that, in 2016, there were approximately 40,000 fatal car accidents nationwide, representing a 6% increase since 2015, and a 14% increase since 2014, making 2016 the deadliest year on the roads throughout the United States in over a decade. The NSC also estimated that approximately 4.6 million people were seriously injured in automobile accidents in 2016. The NSC stated that 2016 car accidents resulted in approximately $432 billion in damage, a figure that includes both physical injuries to people (taking account of medical costs, lost wages, lost benefits, and other costs) as well as property damage. This represents a 12% increase in the cost of car accidents in the United States when compared to 2015.
The Department of Health of the State of New York calculated that, between 2012 and 2014, there were an average of 1,098 deaths per year due to car accidents, 12,093 hospital admissions per year due to car accidents, and 136,913 visits to the emergency room due to car accidents occurring in New York State. In Bronx County alone, as a monthly average during the period of 2012 through 2014, four people were killed, 73 people were hospitalized, and 875 people were treated for injuries in an emergency room due to automobile accidents. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2014, New Yorkers were involved in a total of 966 fatal car accidents, 9168 car accidents involving serious injuries, 15,990 car accidents involving moderate injuries, and 79,092 car accidents involving minor injuries, in addition to 4,612 crashes involving injuries of unknown severity.
Given the ubiquity of car accidents in which people are seriously injured or even killed, it comes as no surprise that car accident lawsuits are among the most common types of cases filed in New York City and throughout the nation. In any given year, thousands of car accident lawsuits are filed in the Bronx and the other boroughs of New York City. Some of the most common types of car accident cases filed in the Bronx and elsewhere in New York City involve:
- Truck Accidents.
- Motorcycle Accidents.
- Pedestrian Accidents.
- Bicycle Accidents.
- Head-On Collisions.
- Rear-End Collisions.
- T-Bone Collisions and Intersection Accidents.
- Distracted Driving Accidents.
- Dangerous Roadway Designs.
- Improper Repairs.
Car accident lawsuits originating in the Bronx and New York City are a species of legal claim known as a “tort” claim. A “tort” refers to a harm done to a person, most commonly due to negligence, and encompasses nearly every type of personal injury claim recognized under New York State law. Car accident lawsuits that are brought in New York City, including in the Bronx, are tort claims that are generally governed by the following sets of legal rules: the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, the New York City Department of Transportation’s Highway and Traffic Rules, the New York Insurance Law, and common-law principles of negligence (rules that have been developed by judges deciding car accident cases over time). Our top Bronx car accident lawyers have over a century of combined experience applying these rules to hold negligent drivers accountable for the pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills and other serious damages that they cause when serious injuries result from a car wreck.The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law
The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law sets forth the “Rules of the Road” for drivers of all motor vehicle in New York State, including the Bronx and New York City. The major theme inherent in the VTL is that drivers of any motor vehicle owe a duty of “due care” to others to operate vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner. Section 388 of the VTL also holds owners of vehicles involved in car accidents responsible for any injury or death caused by someone operating their vehicle with permission and consent, whether express or implied. The VTL establishes specific responsibilities for drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians that use the roads in the Bronx and all over New York State. In any car accident lawsuit, establishing that a defendant driver violated a particular section of the VTL is critical to establishing their liability for serious injuries that they may have caused. At trial, if it is proven that a driver violated the VTL and thereby caused an injury, the driver is charged with negligence per se, and can be more easily held responsible for injuries they have caused due to the negligent operation of a vehicle.
For example, imagine that you are stopped at a red light, and a pizza delivery driver, driving a car with a “Ray’s Famous Original Pizza” logo emblazoned on its hood, on his way to deliver a pizza slams into the back of your car, causing a serious rear-end accident. Imagine further that this pizza delivery driver was texting and driving (possibly to receive direction to use in making his delivery) in the moments before he caused this accident. Your Bronx car accident lawyer will immediately recognize that three key sections of the VTL must be applied to this case: VTL Sections 388, 1129(a) and 1225-d. Because the defendant driver was delivering pizza in a vehicle that is almost certainly owned by Rays Famous Original Pizza restaurant at the time of the accident, VTL 388 applies to hold both the driver and the restaurant responsible for the accident. Because the driver rear-ended you, VTL Section 1129(a) applies to hold him responsible for following you too closely and failing to avoid a collision. Because the driver was texting when he caused the accident, VTL Section 1225-d applies, which strictly prohibits this activity.The New York City D.O.T. Highway and Traffic Rules
The New York City D.O.T. Highway and Traffic Rules set forth rules of the road that are applicable only in New York City, and apply in addition to the VTL. Because the DOT Rules are not “statutes” promulgated by the New York State Legislature, but are local rules of the N.Y.C. D.O.T., violations are only evidence of negligence in court, rather than negligence per se as with violations of the VTL. The DOT Rules cover many of the same topics as the VTL, but add additional requirements applicable only to car accidents occurring within New York City limits.The New York Insurance Law
Believe it or not, not every injury that is caused in a car accident can be the basis for a successful lawsuit, no matter how negligent a defendant driver may have been in causing an accident. Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law, also known as the “No-Fault Law”, outlines the strict rules that limit the types of injuries that are compensable in any New York car accident lawsuit. Specifically, Section 5102(d) of the Insurance Law contains these stringent requirements. These rules, in addition to the insurance benefits that are provided by the No Fault Law, are discussed in detail here. To meet the strict requirements of the No Fault Law “Serious Injury” requirement, we ensure that all of our clients have access to the proper doctors and medical treatment to document and treat their injuries, all without paying a penny out of their own pocket. We also make certain that our clients have access to the insurance benefits provided by the No Fault Law by ensuring that the proper insurance filings are done for you. Even the best car accident case can be lost if the plaintiff’s injuries are not properly documented, treated and proven, and we ensure this is done properly for all of our car accident injury clients.Common-Law Principles of Negligence
In addition to the VTL, the DOT Rules and the New York Insurance Law, the courts in New York have established their own sets of rules that are applied to determine liability in every Bronx car accident lawsuit. These rules are known as “common-law” rules, and have been developed over many years through series of decisions by judges – both at the trial court level, and the appellate level – examining car accident cases. To use the example of the rear-end accident involving the pizza delivery driver cited above, a New York court deciding that case would find the driver negligent as a matter of law simply because he contacted another vehicle from behind while it was stopped unless the pizza delivery driver had a “non-negligent explanation” for having caused a rear-end accident. This common-law principle shifts the burden to the defendant driver to prove that he was not negligent once a rear-end accident has been established.