New York Car Accident Lawyer

When you have been seriously injured in a car accident and aren't sure where to turn for help, contact a qualified car accident lawyer in New York to discuss the details of your case.

Car accidents occur every hour of every day. They are one of the most common sources of personal injuries. Drivers responsible for the accident are liable for any damages, whether that's personal bodily injury or property damage. Insurance payouts that are fair and adequate can cover the costs of some damage, but oftentimes, it's not enough. When it's not enough, you may need a personal injury lawyer who has specific experience with auto accidents. 

At Law Offices of Dennis Smith, PC, we have expertise in New York Car Accidents and Long Island Car Accidents so that we can help you file a solid, well-supported personal injury claim to ensure you receive just and fair compensation. Contact us online or at (212) 680-4280 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation about your case today.

Common Car Accident Injuries in New York

Injuries sustained from auto accidents can range anywhere from minor to fatal. The types of immediate bodily injuries often involved in personal injury claims include:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations and cuts
  • Nerve damage
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Chronic pain

Any and all of the above injuries can be serious and life-threatening. All bodily injuries – regardless of their severity – are compensable if you are the victim of the accident. In many cases, psychological, mental, and emotional injuries are also compensable.

Types of Car Accidents in New York

The type of injuries you sustain depends on the type and manner of the car accident. Common types of crashes include:

  • Head-on collisions, which are among the most devastating types of collisions that result in serious and life-threatening bodily injuries
  • Rear-end accidents, which are among the most common and frequently result in whiplash
  • Side-impact collisions, which are common, usually occur at intersections and result in a range of injuries depending on where the vehicle was struck
  • Roll-over accidents, which are less common but result in head and neck injuries
  • Sideswipe accidents, which are less common and occur when one of two or more vehicles traveling parallel with each other swipes the side of the other vehicle
  • Blind spot accidents, which are less common and occur when one vehicle fails to spot another vehicle while changing or merging into another lane

The type of car accident can indicate liability for property and bodily damages. It's important to remember, though, that accidents can be complex events, and so though the type may initially and seemingly indicate fault, a thorough investigation must be conducted for a clear understanding of where liability falls.  

Common Causes of Car Accidents in New York

Car accidents happen due to many reasons. Typically, causes can be grouped into three categories: drivers, vehicles, and environment.


  • Intoxicated driving (e.g., alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, illicit drugs)
  • Distracted driving (e.g., eating, texting, disciplining children)
  • Drowsy driving or falling asleep while driving
  • Speeding or reckless driving
  • Decision error (e.g., driving too fast for the conditions, misjudging another driver's actions)
  • Recognition error (e.g., inattention)
  • Performance error (e.g., overcompensation, poor directional control)


  • Tires/wheels-related
  • Brakes-related
  • Steering/suspension/transmission/engine-related
  • Manufacture defects


  • Slick roads (e.g., ice, loose debris)
  • Glare
  • View obstructions
  • Signs/signals

Most crashes are the direct result of one driver. Aside from crashes caused by drivers, vehicles, or environmental conditions, there are other reasons that don't fall within these categories. For instance, pedestrians can sometimes be the cause of an accident. In other circumstances, the cause cannot be determined. 

When the cause of an auto accident is easily identified, liability will also tend to be easily identifiable. More complex auto accident cases, however, require the insight of an experienced auto accident attorney and the knowledge and expertise of expert witnesses.

Who Is at Fault for Your Car Accident in New York?

Figuring out who is responsible for your car accident is one of the most important parts of your case. Your car accident lawyer in New York City and Long Island will need to carefully review the details of your case to determine who is liable. In many cases, the driver of another involved vehicle will be found responsible for causing the car or motorcycle accidentsmotorcycle accidents.. Some common types of driver negligence include:

  • Speeding
  • Drunk driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Following too closely (also a common cause of bike accidents)
  • Failure to stop
  • Failure to use a turn signal
  • Reckless driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Distracted driving 

But you may be surprised to learn that another involved driver isn't necessarily the person responsible for causing the accident. For example, maybe there was a faulty or malfunctioning car part that caused the accident. In cases like these, the following parties could be held accountable:

  • Parts manufacturers
  • Maintenance techs
  • Automakers
  • Part suppliers and distributors
  • Safety inspectors

Then you have to consider the possibility that the roads themselves may not have been safe. This could be due to broken pavement, missing street signs, broken traffic lights, or some other hazard. If this is true for your case, then the government agency responsible for maintaining the safety of the roads, such as the New York State Department of Transportation, could be held accountable for your injuries.

Only after carefully reviewing the circumstances of your case and the evidence at hand will your car accident attorney in New York City and Long Island be able to establish culpability and move forward with your case.

Shared Fault in New York Car Accidents

New York is a comparative negligence state when it comes to shared fault. Many car accidents survivors are hesitant to move forward with a car accident claim because they are under the impression that if they are partially responsible for causing the accident, they are not entitled to compensation for their losses. 

Thankfully, that's not true. In New York City and Long Island car accidents, if you are partially liable for the accident, you can still be awarded compensation. However, you will still need to answer for your portion of fault. This is done by reducing your settlement in proportion to your percentage of fault. 

For example, let's say you chose not to wear your seatbelt when you got into the car. You are subsequently hit by a drunk driver. You may be found to be, say, 10 percent at fault for your injuries since you chose not to wear your seatbelt. Any amount that you are awarded in your claim will then be reduced by that 10 percent.

The Insurance Company and Your Car Accident Claim in New York  

Dealing with the insurance company after your car accident may be the most burdensome part of any car accident claim. This is because the insurance company is often not advocating for your rights. At the end of the day, many companies couldn't care less about how the accident has impacted your life. The insurance company may only care about one thing— its profits. 

New York state is a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance. This means that you are required to carry personal injury protection and will need to file a claim with your own car insurance in the event of an accident. 

It doesn't matter who is at fault for the accident at that time. Your claim will be filed with your own insurance company. But just because you're working with your insurance company doesn't mean it is going to be on your side.

The insurer may attempt to place more blame on you for the accident by manipulating your statement, or they may make you a fast settlement offer. A settlement offer may seem like a great idea because you need money, and you need it now. 

But the truth is any amount that the insurance company has offered you is probably significantly less than what your claim is actually worth. It may be in your best interests to have your car accident lawyer in New York City and Long Island handle the insurance negotiations on your behalf so that you don't have to worry about being taken advantage of.

Benefits of Filing a Personal Injury Claim in New York

After a car accident, insurance companies will investigate the cause of the wreck to see who was at fault. They will then offer to cover the victim's expenses. Insurance companies, however, are for-profit entities. They make money by bringing in premium payments and increase profit margins by minimizing the amount of money they pay out in settlements.

When an insurance company offers a settlement, that offer may not represent the true value of fair compensation a victim deserves. Victims should be compensated for their:

  • Medical bills, past, and future
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages, past, and future
  • Reduced earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • And more

Frequently, insurance settlement offers only cover property damage and medical bills, and only those expenses incurred to date. Sometimes the settlement will also include lost wages, but again, it may only include the wages lost to date and not future wages or loss of earned income. Much of it depends on the rules of your jurisdiction.

By hiring a lawyer and pursuing these other forms of compensation, accident victims can fight for what they really deserve. 

Contact an Car Accident Lawyer in New York Today

Auto accidents can be straightforward or complex. Regardless of which, it is in your best interests to speak to an auto accident attorney. At Law Offices of Dennis Smith, PC, we work hard for our clients to obtain fair and just compensation. Contact us using our online form or by calling us directly at (212) 680-4280 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation today.

New York Car Accident FAQ

The trauma of a serious car accident can be a lot to overcome, in more ways than one. In an effort to reduce the information overload you're probably experiencing, we've provided a brief FAQ below with the answers to some of the most common questions car accident survivors like you have had regarding their claims. Questions not answered here can be discussed during your complimentary consultation.

What is the statute of limitations in New York?

It depends on the circumstances of the car accident and who was at fault. Deadlines can be as soon as thirty days from the date of the accident, so it is imperative you contact a Long Island auto accident attorney immediately.

What happens if I was involved in a hit-and-run car accident?

An investigation in a hit-and-run accident is of the utmost importance. However, sometimes law enforcement can be overburdened and cannot devote the time and resources to investigate, whereas an experienced hit-and-run attorney can.

How do New York car insurance claims work?

As mentioned, New York is a no-fault insurance state. This means that no matter who was at fault for the accident, you will be entitled to medical benefits and a portion of your lost earnings through your own insurance provider when you file the necessary no-fault paperwork. Keep in mind that you only have thirty days to file the paperwork from the date of the accident. A qualified attorney can help you meet this tight deadline. Keep in mind that you only have thirty days to file the paperwork after a no-fault accident. A qualified attorney can help you meet this tight deadline.

The Law Offices of Dennis Smith, P.C. Is Here for You

At the Law Offices of Dennis Smith, P.C., we focus on Construction Accidents, Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Truck Accidents, and Wrongful Death. We are here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system.

Contact Us Today

The Law Offices of Dennis Smith, P.C. is committed to answering your questions about Construction Accidents, Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Truck Accidents, and Wrongful Death issues in Long Island. We offer consultations and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.