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New York Fatal Car Crash Lawyers

Acclaimed New York Wrongful Death Attorneys Representing Those Who Have Lost a Loved One in an Auto Accident

car wreck, fatal car crash

Fatal car crashes occur all too often. These crashes are caused by someone’s failure to use reasonable and ordinary care. This can be the neglect of the driver of one or more vehicles involved in the accident, alcohol or drug involvement, reckless conduct, the vehicle owner’s failure to maintain the vehicle, municipalities failure to maintain the roadway, an improper or unsafe design or a manufacturing defect.  Unfortunately, we at Block O’Toole & Murphy have seen the devastation caused when a fatal car crash occurs.

We have represented surviving family members in tractor-trailer accidents, student driving accidents, limousine accidents, pedestrian knockdown accidents, and pedestrians being run over by a bus. We have also covered unique cases, like a case in which two landscaping trucks drag racing one another and striking our clients vehicle head on, causing severe injuries to the driver, and the death of her husband passenger. The devastation caused by these accidents often destroys the surviving family members.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s roadway safety data, in New York in 2018, there were 887 fatal car crashes, with 941 deaths as a result of those crashes. Although the fatality rate is down slightly from .81 in 2017 to .76 in 2018, it’s clear that car accidents are still a leading cause of wrongful death in New York..

While most New York motorists are aware of the dangers of driving in New York, no one expects to lose a loved one in a motor vehicle accident. If your relative or loved one was killed in an auto accident, our acclaimed New York wrongful death attorneys may be able to help you handle the financial consequences of your loss. Although we cannot eliminate the grief incurred because of the accident, we believe that our wrongful death lawyers will play an invaluable role in the recovery process.


  1. Common Causes of Car Accidents
  2. How to Bring a Fatal Car Crash Wrongful Death Case
  3. Damages in a Wrongful Death Case and Pre-Impact Terror
  4. Types of Car Accidents
  5. Fatal Car Accident Lawyers
  6. Case Results in Fatal Car Accident Cases

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Car accidents can be caused by many factors, some related to driver behavior and some related to factors out of the driver’s control. Some of the negligent actions that can cause car crashes include:

  • Distracted driving (such as texting or talking on the phone, putting on makeup, or being distracted by someone else in the vehicle)
  • Drunk or intoxicated driving
  • Reckless driving (such as speeding or being overly aggressive)
  • Car manufacturer error
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Driving in bad weather conditions
  • Poorly designed or maintained roads

Not all car accidents are caused solely by another motorist’s wrongdoing. There could be multiple contributing factors or other liable parties involved.

For example, the offending driver could have been driving in a car that, due to a manufacturer error, was not well-equipped to handle the snowstorm he was driving in. Or the minor behind the wheel of the car that caused an accident could have been served alcohol by a bartender who chose not to ID. In many car accident wrongful death cases, there could be multiple parties who may be found liable for contributing to the accident.

How to Bring a Fatal Car Crash Wrongful Death Case

A wrongful death claim is legal action taken by the loved ones of someone who has died because of someone else’s negligence, with the goal of recovering compensation for the surviving family’s losses. Wrongful death claims typically arise when a person dies in a case that otherwise would have been considered personal injury.

Understanding your legal rights when a loved one tragically dies in a car crash is not an easy task, especially while grieving. If you have lost someone in a car accident due to another party’s negligence, it is likely in your best interest to speak to a fatal car crash lawyer to discuss your case and allow them to guide you through the complex process of bringing a lawsuit. However, we can offer some general guidelines below on things to consider if you are thinking about bringing a wrongful death case after a fatal car crash.

  • Statute of limitations: In New York, wrongful death cases must be brought within two years of the victim’s date of death.
  • Know who can file: Typically, wrongful death suits can only be brought by immediate family members, such as the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased. In New York, in order to bring the lawsuit, one of these family members has to be designated as the personal representative for the decedent’s estate in order to make the claim.
  • Damages: Think about what kind of damages you are trying to recover by making a wrongful death claim. Common damages in wrongful death cases include medical and funeral expenses for the deceased, loss of the deceased’s future income, loss of companionship, and damages for the pain and suffering the deceased might have experienced before their death in the accident.
  • Uninsured and underinsured coverage: It might be useful to ask your insurance carrier about uninsured and underinsured coverage. These two kinds of policies can help protect you if the driver who is at fault had inadequate insurance coverage and cannot afford to pay damages. Uninsured coverage provides coverage for wrongful death damages if the at-fault driver had no insurance at the time of the crash. Underinsured coverage provides coverage when the at-fault driver’s insurance policy has been exhausted. Underinsured coverage is a bit trickier to navigate, because the insurance company will likely want you to be satisfied with the amount that the at-fault driver’s policy covered.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer will be able to elaborate on these topics; do not hesitate to get in touch with an attorney if you are in need of legal assistance. We understand that you just suffered the unimaginable loss of your family member; the last thing you want to think about is bringing forth a lawsuit. However, time is of the essence, and it is important to hire a seasoned, knowledgeable, and compassionate attorney to represent your family. A thorough investigation must be started at once. Video surveillance is all over the place, businesses, homes, doorbell cameras, police surveillance cameras, dash cam cameras, body cameras, and others.

These video images show what actually happened as opposed to a witness’s recollection of what had happened. All police reports and all accident and incident reports must be obtained and analyzed. All witnesses must be interviewed. An accident reconstruction might be needed depending on the facts. Most vehicles have electronic recording devices (known as a “black box”) built-in by the vehicle manufacturer.  Some vehicles have GPS devices. All of the information on these devices must be preserved, interpreted and analyzed by the lawyer and his or her experts.

A careful and thorough deposition of the drivers involved in the accident must take place. Your attorney should not simply ask deposition questions in a vacuum, but rather juxtapose other evidence, such as videos, black box data, photographs and witness statements to challenge the credibility of the drivers involved in this fatal car crash.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Case and Pre-Impact Terror

In addition to medical and burial expenses, New York law allows recovery from “pre-impact terror.” This term describes the fear and terror one suffers as they realize that an accident is about to happen. This is also known as “fear of impending death.” New York law also allows for recovery for pain and suffering, provided there was some level of conscious awareness of that pain. New York law also allows recovery for pecuniary losses. This means the loss of income, wages, and services the decedent would have provided to their family throughout their lifetime if the accident did not occur. Lastly, New York law allows for a loss of service, support and guidance for the children of the decedent.

Types of Car Accidents

The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are well-versed in New York wrongful death law and have prevailed on behalf of many bereaved families. We accept a variety of wrongful death cases, including those stemming from the following types of fatal car crashes:

  • Rollover accidents
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Side-impact crashes
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Pedestrians hit by cars
  • Poorly maintained roads

Regardless of the type of car crash, if you have lost a loved one in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Call us at 212-736-5300 today to speak to an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

New York Fatal Car Accident Lawyers

Our attorneys have experience handling a wide range of vehicle accident cases, including those involving fatalities. We are dedicated to seeking the maximum compensation on behalf of our clients and holding the responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions. Our unwavering commitment to our clients and compassionate approach has helped us develop and maintain a track record of impressive results, including:

  • $13,000,000 Settlement for a mother who lost her loved ones in a fatal rear-end accident
  • $7,525,000 Settlement for a family after a mother and son were tragically killed in a fatal car crash in Long Island
  • $5,000,000 Settlement in a wrongful death case for the surviving children of a mother who was killed in a truck accident in midtown Manhattan
  • $3,000,000 Recovery after a car collision took the life of a loving father who suffered severe injuries and passed away 11 hours after he was taken to the hospital
  • $2,625,000 Settlement for the children of a New York couple who was killed while driving in Pennsylvania
  • $2,558,000 Recovery in a Brooklyn wrongful death case for the family of a car passenger who sustained a traumatic brain injury and died 9 months later
  • $2,545,000 Settlement in a tragic Suffolk County case for a mother who was killed as a result of 3-car collision
  • $2,000,000 Wrongful Death Recovery for parents of a driver who passed away as a result of a crash caused by icy roads
  • $1,750,000 Settlement for the surviving children of a woman who was killed by a bus while walking in a crosswalk in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
  • $1,000,000 Settlement for the spouse of a pedestrian who was struck by a car in the Bronx and died days later at Jacobi Medical Center

Block O’Toole & Murphy recovered nearly two billion dollars for clients. We serve the NYC boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island as well as all of New York State.

At Block O’Toole & Murphy, we treat every single one of our clients with the respect and personal attention they require. Speak with a qualified lawyer today by calling 212-736-5300 or fill out our online contact form.

Wrongful Death

Speak with a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Explore your legal options with a free consultation today. Please fill out the short online form below or call 212-736-5300 to speak with a qualified wrongful death attorney.