Car Accident Attorneys

Whether you’re visiting New York to take in the scenery and the history or you call the Empire State home, there are plenty of things to love about the place. Unfortunately, many things aren’t great, including the traffic on many New York roads. These busy roads lead to long delays, and negligent drivers can place your safety and that of your passengers and vehicle at risk.

If you are in an accident in New York resulting from another driver’s careless or reckless actions, you can seek compensation for your monetary and emotional expenses.

A New York car accident attorney from Jacoby & Meyers LLP can tell you how we can help you with your claim.

We are proud of the winning cases we have fought on behalf of our clients, including:

  • A $5,000,000 settlement for a client who suffered severe injuries due to a multiple-vehicle accident in Queens
  • A $3,500,000 settlement for a client who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a collision caused by an overworked construction worker who fell asleep at the wheel
  • A $2,500,000 settlement for a client who was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle struck by a tractor-trailer that had turned too wide at a traffic light in the Bronx

Note these are only past results and no guarantee of success in all claims.

Jacoby and Meyers Legal Team Photo

How Car Accidents Occur in New York

According to statistics compiled by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 1,000 people die in New York each year in traffic accidents. Many thousands more suffer severe injuries. Around a third of the traffic fatalities in New York result from speeding, defined as exceeding the roadway’s posted speed limit and simply driving too fast for the traffic and weather conditions of the roadway.

Speeding causes several hazards, such as:

  • Greater potential for loss of control of the vehicle
  • A reduction in the effectiveness of the vehicle’s safety features, such as seat belts and airbags
  • A reduction in the time a driver has to see a hazard and brake
  • An increase in the distance the vehicle will travel after the driver brakes
  • The difficulty for other roadway users to judge a safe gap in traffic in which to enter the roadway
  • Increased crash severity due to the increased force caused by the excess speed

The counties with the highest number of traffic fatalities resulting from speed-related accidents include Queens County and Suffolk County.

Alcohol Impairment

More than 250 people lose their lives in New York yearly due to drunk driving. As with nearly all states, New York’s legal alcohol intoxication limit is 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood for most adult drivers. Contrary to popular belief, however, alcohol impairment doesn’t start when a person reaches the legal impairment limit but rather when they have their first drink.

Alcohol creates deficits in a driver’s skills to operate their vehicle safely, such as the ability to multitask, maintain lane position and control speed, brake effectively, and respond to emergency driving situations. These deficits grow more pronounced as the driver continues to consume alcohol. Because of this, the law can consider drivers in New York with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 legally impaired (as opposed to intoxicated).

At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, know how to track down Breathalyzer test results and how to use them—and any DUI charges or convictions—in your civil case to prove negligence and secure the compensation you deserve.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is another major cause of car accidents across the U.S., and New York is no exception. A driver distraction is anything that causes the driver to look away from the road, causes them to take their hands off the wheel, or causes their focus to be placed on something other than driving safely. Texting and other cell phone use are of particular concern, as it simultaneously presents all three driving distractions.

In New York, using a portable electronic device while driving is illegal. Prohibited activities include using the device to send or receive texts, messages, or emails, browse the internet, play games, or talk on the phone. Exceptions to the law involve using your phone while driving in an emergency, such as contacting local fire, medical, or law enforcement personnel.

At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, routinely obtain the other party’s phone records to determine if they had used their phones as evidence of negligence in your case and use it to show liability for your injuries.

Driver Fatigue

While any driver can find themselves exhausted behind the wheel due to changes in life circumstances, such as a new baby, or as the result of a late night or a health condition impacting the quality of their sleep, driver fatigue is a condition most commonly associated with those who work night shifts, swing shifts, and long-haul truck drivers.

Driver fatigue presents many similar deficits to the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle as alcohol impairment does, including difficulty controlling speed, maintaining lane position, and having quick responses to hazards that are necessary at times in New York traffic.

Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way

All drivers must yield the right-of-way to other roadway users in some circumstances, particularly at stop signs and red lights. Failing to yield can result in a severe type of car accident known as a T-bone—or broadside—collision. T-bone accidents occur when the front of a vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle.

This can be a hazardous accident if there is a large discrepancy between the vehicles colliding. Injuries in broadside collisions are often most severe for the occupants of the vehicle that was struck on the side due to the lack of protective features such as airbags, as those features are not generally included in the vehicle’s door panels.

If your accident occurred in an intersection equipped with a traffic camera, at Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we know how to subpoena its footage to support your case.

Improper Passing

In New York—as with most places—drivers are generally expected to pass slower-moving traffic on the left.

However, drivers may not pass in certain situations, such as:

  • If the driver’s lane is marked with a solid yellow line.
  • The driver cannot return their vehicle to the travel lane before any oncoming traffic is within 200 feet.
  • The driver is approaching a curve in the road or a hill and cannot see beyond it.
  • The driver is within 100 feet of a railroad crossing or a bridge.
  • If the driver attempts to pass will interfere with oncoming traffic.

Improper passing often results in a type of accident known as a sideswipe, which occurs when the side of one vehicle makes contact with the side of another. This type of accident can happen when the passing driver attempts to return from their lane without ensuring they’ve entirely passed the vehicle they’re overtaking.


Tailgating involves one vehicle following another vehicle so closely that the driver of the following vehicle is at risk of not having enough time to react if the vehicle in front of them stops or slows or enough distance for their brakes to bring their car to a complete stop. Tailgating is the most common cause of one of the most common types of traffic accidents: rear-end collision, which occurs when the front of a vehicle collides with the rear of another.

Seeking Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a New York Car Accident

Top 100 National Trial LawyersNew York is one of several no-fault car accident states in the nation. This does not, however, mean that there is no fault when a car accident happens. It means that those injured in a car accident usually must seek compensation for their injuries through the personal injury protection (PIP) policy they were required to purchase when they registered their vehicle.

However, if the expenses from the injury exceed $50,000 or the injury meets New York’s serious injury threshold, you can file a claim with the other party’s insurer.

New York’s serious injury threshold includes injuries that result in death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, fracture, loss of a fetus, permanent loss of the use of a body organ, member, function, or system, permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member, or the use of a body function or system.

The personal injury claims process usually begins with a claim filed against the at-fault party’s auto liability insurance policy. Suppose the insurance provider services that policy fails to compensate the claim through outright payment or a negotiated settlement agreement. In that case, the claim can be filed as a personal injury lawsuit. Claimants usually must file their lawsuit in court within three years of the date the injury occurred. This deadline is the statute of limitations, and at Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we know how to meet it.

Hiring Jacoby & Meyers LLP to Assist You With Your New York Car Accident Claim

Car accident claims require completing complex tasks. They come with a statutory deadline; if you miss the deadline, you can lose your right to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit. You must obtain medical documents, gather evidence, and depose witnesses. A claims adjuster will reduce the value of your claim to protect the insurance company’s bottom line.

All of these issues make it very difficult to navigate the process without the assistance of an attorney at Jacoby & Meyers LLP. We understand the process. Our team of legal professionals can take care of the workload of your case and provide the services necessary to obtain the compensation you need.

Proving Liability

One of the most important aspects of having a successful New York car accident claim is the ability to prove that someone else was responsible for causing the accident that resulted in your injury.

To prove liability, you need a lawyer at Jacoby & Meyers LLP who knows how to show:

  • The at-fault driver was obliged to take reasonable actions to avoid causing physical injury or property damage to others. The reasonable actions expected of all drivers on New York roadways include operating their vehicles safely and legally.
  • A breach in the duty that the driver owed occurred when the driver took dangerous or illegal actions.
  • Because of this breach, a New York car accident occurred in which you were injured and sustained expenses and psychological impacts resulting from that injury.

We know how to prove these elements of negligence. We’ve done it hundreds, if not thousands, of times at Jacoby & Meyers LLP, securing millions of dollars in compensation for our clients in winning case after case.

The Type of Expenses Through Your Claim Can Recover

Andrew Finkelstein Jacoby & Meyers LLP

New York Car Accident Lawyer, Andrew Finkelstein

We help New York car accident claimants recover compensation for expenses and impacts that they incurred in the accident, such as:

  • All medical expenses associated with treating the injury. If you sustain permanent injuries that require ongoing medical treatments, we can seek compensation for your future expenses.
  • Income losses from missing work due to the injury.
  • Lost earning capacity if the claimant’s injuries are permanent and they can no longer earn an income in the same capacity as they did before the accident.
  • Property damage resulting from the accident, such as the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
  • Psychological impacts arise from your injuries, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of the enjoyment of life.

Injured in a New York Car Accident? We Can Help You

Accidents in New York occur for a variety of reasons and can cause a myriad of injuries. The personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers LLP is focused on providing personalized services to assist you with unique aspects of your claim to help you receive the compensation you need. For your free case evaluation with our experienced New York car accident attorney, contact us online or by calling (212) 445-7000.