New York Car Accident Lawyers
The law firm of Block O’Toole & Murphy is known for landmark verdicts and settlements, including a $110 million jury verdict for an injured cyclist. Our lawyers have consistently attained some of the best results in New York car crash cases, including a $32.7 million record-breaking jury verdict for a pedestrian hit by a car and a $22.5 million settlement for a driver injured in a head-on collision. Every year since 2012, no other law firm in New York attained more results exceeding $1 million than Block O’Toole & Murphy.
If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident because of someone else’s negligence, our lawyers understand the pain and devastation that follow the incident. Our goal is to help our clients get the full and fair compensation they deserve – we are not satisfied with any other result. This includes the financial resources to cover damages such as:
- Medical treatment
- Pain and suffering (emotional and physical)
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form for a FREE legal consultation. Our lawyers provide legal advice to injured car crash victims, including pedestrians, drivers, passengers, cyclists, and many others.
Common Car Accident Questions
If you have been injured in a car accident in New York, you may have questions like, “Do I have a personal injury case? If I do have a case, how long do I have to bring it? Who is at fault?” These are all common questions, and we can provide answers to them.
Do I have a lawsuit?
If you were injured in a car accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, it is very possible you have a valid personal injury claim. However, there are some cases in which you may not need to bring a claim. One of these is New York’s no-fault insurance law. New York State requires anyone who has a vehicle licensed and registered in New York to have no-fault insurance coverage. This means that, in the case of an auto accident, regardless of who caused it, your insurance will cover up to $50,000 of certain costs related to your injuries. The purpose of no-fault coverage is to ensure those injured in auto accidents are compensated as quickly as possible for their losses, taking liability out of the equation.
No-fault benefits are only applicable for covering damages related to physical injuries, such as medical expenses and lost income because you cannot return to work; they will not cover vehicle damage, nor will they cover noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Additionally, you may not be able to bring a personal injury case in New York as long as no-fault insurance can cover it, unless your injuries pass certain thresholds of severity, such as death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, or fractures, among other injuries listed in New York’s Insurance Law 5102d.
Therefore, the answer to the question, “Do I have a lawsuit?” depends. If you were not hurt in the crash and are trying to obtain compensation for property damage only, you may not need legal representation. However, if you have been severely injured and want to make claims for damages that exceed the $50,000 limit, or include pain and suffering (among other reasons), it is possible you can make a personal injury claim. In either scenario, you should contact a car accident lawyer to discuss the facts of your case and see if you have a valid claim.
Additionally, note that there is a very limited time period to recover no-fault insurance benefits; typically, within 30 days. If you are seeking no-fault benefits, it is crucial you begin the process as soon as possible.
How do I know who is liable?
In order to prove fault in an auto injury lawsuit, the lawyer who takes your case must prove that the other party was negligent and that their mistake(s) resulted in your injuries. For instance, if you had the right of way and another driver failed to yield, it is very possible they are responsible for the crash. In another instance, if icy roads caused two vehicles to spin out of control and crash into each other, there may be a case against the state or city municipality in charge of maintaining the roads. However, even when it seems like liability in a case is straightforward, it may turn out to be more complex, especially because of New York’s comparative negligence law.
New York is a comparative negligence state, meaning that both parties in a case can be found at fault for an accident. For example, if one car crashes into another at an intersection, the first car would likely be found at least partially liable for the accident, and the other car could be found liable as well if they did something like stop short in the middle of the intersection or did not have their turn signal on. In cases like these, both parties have to pay a certain percentage of compensation, based on how liable they were for causing the accident. The party with 20 percent liability would pay less than the party who was found to be 80 percent at fault, for instance.
To discuss the facts of your case and determine potential liability, it is best to speak with a car accident lawyer. Dial 212-736-5300 for a free legal consultation today.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
According to New York State law, the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car crash is three years from the date of the accident. However, this law is subject to certain exceptions, including crashes involving municipal vehicles such as public buses. If you were hurt in a car accident, it’s best to speak with a personal injury attorney with a strong knowledge of traffic laws immediately or soon after to discuss the laws that may apply to your specific case.
Can I afford to file a lawsuit?
Likely, yes. Most personal injury law firms take cases on a contingency basis, meaning they do not charge any fees until they win your case. Additionally, they take their payment out of the settlement they win for you, so you likely wouldn’t have to worry about paying legal fees out of pocket.
Can I still make a claim if I believe I am partially at fault for the accident?
Yes, this is a possibility because of New York’s comparative negligence law. If you believe that you may be partially at fault for an accident, but that the other driver is liable as well, you may still have a case. The liability of each negligent party can be determined as percentages, and each party receives compensation based on the percent they are found to be at fault. Additionally, you may not be as liable as you think; you might be unaware of other factors contributing to fault for the accident, such as defective vehicle parts or hazardous road conditions. This is a situation in which you would benefit from speaking with a car crash attorney.
Can I still file a claim if I wasn’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident?
Yes. You can still file a claim if you weren’t wearing a seat belt, but the case will likely be more complex as a result. Even if you were not the at-fault driver, the defense could argue that your injuries would not have been as severe if you wore your seat belt, as New York State law dictates, potentially lessening the amount of compensation you would receive. This is another case in which it would be in your best interest to contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Block O’Toole & Murphy consistently attains top results in auto accident cases for clients. In 2020 alone, we recovered the highest motor vehicle accident settlement in the Northeast ($9 million), as reported by the New York Law Journal. Call us at 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form to speak with a qualified auto accident attorney today.
I don’t feel like I have any serious injuries. Do I need to see a doctor?
Absolutely. You may not realize the extent of your injuries at the scene of the accident, either as a result of adrenaline or because it is the kind of injury that develops more slowly, like a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It is important to see a doctor soon after the accident not only from a medical standpoint, but from a legal standpoint as well. It is beneficial for your case to have medical records that show you needed and sought treatment in a timely manner as a result of the accident.
What is my case worth?
This varies depending on the details of each case. Typically, in a car accident personal injury case, you may be able to make a claim for the following kinds of damages:
- Medical bills from care needed for injuries
- Pain and suffering, both physical and emotional
- Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle
- Lost wages, from not being able to return to work as a result of injuries
- Loss of quality of life
Your case’s worth will depend on the severity of these damages, among other factors, including the amount of insurance coverage available.
Should I speak to the other driver’s insurance company?
No. If the other party’s insurance company tries to contact you and ask for information, you should not speak to them until you have discussed your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. It is possible that the other party’s insurance will try to obtain information from you to minimize the validity of your claim.
If you have further questions about a potential case, please feel free to call us at 212-736-5300.
Severe Injuries From Car Collisions
Car accidents can lead to injuries that can heavily impact a person’s life. The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand how devastating some of these injuries can be, which is why we fight for the full amount of compensation our clients deserve, to help them get the best medical attention. Common serious injuries from car crashes can include the following:
- Paralysis and other spinal injuries, such as herniated discs
- Brain damage, such as Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Heart Attacks
- Significant scarring
- Multiple fractures
- Emotional trauma, such as PTSD
Sometimes, car accident victims may experience delayed symptoms, which is why you should never wait to get medical attention. For example, concussion symptoms often take longer to be felt and may not be apparent immediately after a crash, especially with all the adrenaline flowing through your system. Emotional trauma such as PTSD can also be a delayed symptom of a car collision. It is important that you see a medical professional as soon as possible after being involved in a collision, to ensure that any injuries you have do not worsen.
Common Causes of Car Crashes
There are many different reasons car crashes can occur; they are not always a result of driver error. Regardless of the exact cause of your accident, if there was negligence involved, it is likely you will be able to file a claim for it. It is helpful to know some of the different factors that contribute to car accidents, so you can understand who the potential defendants would be in a case. Common causes of car collisions include:
- Drunk Driving: Every day in the United States, almost 30 people die in drunk-driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Alcohol reduces a person’s ability to function properly, leading to an increased risk of driver error and accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving includes any activity that takes your full attention away from the road. This could include texting or talking on your cell phone, eating or drinking, or making radio or GPS adjustments; any task that causes you to focus just slightly less on driving makes you a distracted driver, and therefore increases the risk of accidents.
- Failure to Yield: Many car accidents occur because a driver did not properly follow the rules of the road, especially at an intersection. If a driver fails to yield to another motorist or pedestrian, whether by running through a stop sign or simply not paying attention, the consequences can be serious.
- Road Hazards and Road Defects: Road hazards or defects, can include, among other things, debris, icy roads, or signage that is not visible to drivers. These can be just as much a cause of accidents as driver error. In cases like these, if the road hazard was a known problem, it is possible the city or state municipality responsible for maintaining the road could be found liable.
- Manufacturer Automobile Defects: Sometimes, an accident is not caused entirely by driver error. The motorist may be following all the rules of the road, but is unable to prevent an accident because of a defective part in her vehicle. For example, the brake system may stop working. If this is the case, the car manufacturer may be liable for the accident.
Sometimes, accidents like these cannot be prevented. If that is the case and you are involved in an accident, we are well-equipped to determine the cause and who is potentially liable. We utilize police reports from the accident scene to help provide evidence of the circumstances of the accident. Our legal team also works with traffic experts, witness accounts, and more to recreate the accident scene, in order to determine the best way to go about handling your case.
Top Verdicts & Settlements in Auto Accident Cases
Block O’Toole & Murphy has a long tradition of obtaining significant verdicts and settlements for injured car accident victims. We have recovered over 100 auto accident case results exceeding $1,000,000 each.
Select verdicts and settlements include:
- $32,756,156 jury verdict in a Long Island case for a pedestrian who suffered life-threatening head trauma after he was hit by a drug-impaired driver.
- $22,500,000 settlement for a driver hit by a vehicle coming from the opposite direction in upstate New York.
- $20,181,484 verdict for an IT executive injured in a collision caused by icy roads in Westchester County, New York.
- $13,500,000 settlement for a woman who was hit by a car while she was walking home at night. This was the highest reported settlement for a personal injury case in Suffolk County, New York.
- $12,000,000 settlement in a Brooklyn car accident case for a child who was standing on the sidewalk when he was hit by a car.
- $9,950,000 settlement for a social worker who required a leg amputation after she was hit by a van that careened into her office’s parking lot in Buffalo, New York.
- $9,500,000 settlement in a Brooklyn case for a client who suffered catastrophic injuries, including partial leg amputation, after he was hit and dragged by an NYCTA bus
- $9,263,326 jury verdict for a passenger in a New York City taxi cab who suffered spinal nerve damage after the taxi was involved in a multi-vehicle rear-end collision.
- $7,525,000 settlement in a Suffolk County wrongful death case for the surviving family after a tragic car crash killed two members of their family.
- $5,160,000 verdict for a driver who suffered herniated discs after another car ran a stop sign and crashed into his car in Queens, New York,
- $5,000,000 settlement for a woman who suffered aggravation of a pre-existing condition after a multi-car collision in Levittown, New York.
- $4,600,000 settlement for a 53-year-old man with a spinal injury after he was involved in a serious car crash in Babylon, Long Island.
- $4,250,000 settlement for a 42-year-old man who sustained leg and back pain after a rear-end collision in Westchester County, New York.
- $4,100,000 jury verdict for a 54-year-old passenger who suffered herniated discs after a rear-end accident on the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.
- $4,000,000 settlement for a driver who suffered permanent disability from his job as a result of a car crash in Woodhaven, Queens.
- $4,000,000 settlement for a client who sustained permanent injuries after he was hit by a vehicle in Forest Hills, Queens.
- $4,000,000 settlement for a pedestrian who sustained foot and ankle injuries after she was knocked down by a car in the Bronx
- $3,800,000 recovery in a Suffolk County case for a truck driver who sustained multiple injuries after an accident involving a defective vehicle.
- $3,500,000 settlement for a bus operator who sustained neck, back, and shoulder injuries after the bus was rear-ended by a sanitation truck owned by the City of New York in Brooklyn.
- $3,500,000 settlement in a Queens case for a client who was unable to return to work after his car was sideswiped by another vehicle, causing him to swerve and crash into a parked vehicle.
- $3,500,000 settlement for a driver whose car was struck by another vehicle at an intersection in the Bronx.
- $3,450,000 settlement in a Queens case for a pedestrian who was crossing the street within a crosswalk when he was hit by a bus.
- $3,375,000 settlement for a driver who was rear-ended by a truck while he was stopped at a red light in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
- $3,369,066 verdict for a front-seat passenger who sustained injuries requiring cervical fusion surgery after a car collision in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.
- $3,175,000 settlement for a 38-year-old worker who suffered knee and spinal injuries after he was hit by a forklift in Jamaica, Queens.
- $3,000,000 settlement in a Brooklyn case for a 39-year-old worker whose vehicle was struck by an NYC Sanitation Department snow plow.
- $3,000,000 settlement for a man who required a total hip replacement after he collided with an MTA bus in Flatlands, Brooklyn.
- $3,000,000 settlement in a wrongful death case for the family of an entrepreneur who tragically died in a car crash in Suffolk County, New York.
- $2,840,000 recovery for a driver who suffered cervical radiculopathy after a sudden car collision in Manhattan.
- $2,760,000 settlement for a front-seat passenger who suffered injuries to his neck and back after the car was hit by a commercial truck in Brooklyn.
- $2,750,000 settlement for a car accident victim with injuries requiring multiple surgeries, including an arthroscopic knee surgery, after a rear-end crash on the Bruckner Expressway.
- $2,750,000 settlement in a Queens case for an auto accident victim who suffered herniations to the L3-4 and L4-5 discs.
- $2,700,000 settlement for a client who suffered serious leg injuries after he was hit by a commercial truck in Babylon, Long Island.
- $2,650,000 recovery for a van driver who suffered a herniated disc to his lumbar spine with radiculopathy after he was involved in a rear-end collision.
- $2,625,000 settlement for the estate of a married couple from upstate New York who were fatally struck by a tractor-trailer.
- $2,558,000 settlement for the family of a victim who died as a result of being struck by a drunk driver in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
- $2,500,000 settlement in a Bronx case for a driver who was rear-ended by a distracted driver.
- $2,500,000 settlement for a client whose car was hit by a vehicle exiting a parking spot in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.
- $2,500,000 recovery in a Bronx case for a client who suffered degenerative disc disease after a serious collision.
- $2,500,000 verdict in a Nassau County case for a passenger who sustained burns and multiple fractures after the vehicle lost control.
- $2,500,000 verdict for a driver hurt in a side-impact collision with a cement-mixing truck near a Brooklyn construction site.
- $2,400,000 settlement in a Supreme Queens case for a 39-year-old man who sustained serious neck injuries after a rear-end crash on the Long Island Expressway.
- $2,250,000 award for a victim who sustained a brain hemorrhage and other serious injuries as a result of a head-on collision in Westchester County, New York.
- $2,225,000 settlement for a 55-year-old passenger who suffered lower back pain after she was involved in a car crash in Manhattan.
- $2,150,000 recovery in a Nassau County case for a driver who collided with another vehicle making a left turn at an intersection.
Visit our Motor Vehicle Verdicts & Settlements page to learn more about our results in car crash cases. Our attorneys litigate all types of car accident cases, including rear-end collisions, sideswipe accidents, rollover accidents, side impact crashes, and more.
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