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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

A Guide on How to File a Lawsuit for Car Accident in New York

New York is renowned for its bustling cities, where traffic accidents happen every day. When these crashes are the result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another, the victim has the right to file a claim for damages.

Although filing a lawsuit against the negligent party won't take away the pain, it can certainly help victims take their lives back and get justice.

However, the truth is that many are intimidated by the prospect of filing a car accident lawsuit. While the process may seem daunting, partnering with a trained and experienced attorney can make a world of difference.

This article will provide guidance for accident victims who were injured because of negligence or wrongdoing by another.

Understanding Personal Injury Law

Understanding Personal Injury Law

The first step in any car accident lawsuit is understanding what the law has to say. Victims are advised to talk to an experienced local attorney to ensure that they have a comprehensive understanding of what the law says regarding these incidents. Here is an overview of some of the laws victims need to know about:

The No-fault System

There are several states that have some form of no-fault auto insurance, including New York. This rule states that if a person is injured in a motor vehicle crash, they can file a claim under their own insurance to obtain compensation for their healthcare expenses and other costs related to the injury.

The system was put in place to ensure that injured parties are paid out as quickly as possible, which allows them to receive medical treatment. While it allows victims to obtain coverage for expenses related to their injuries, it's important to note that it does not cover property damage, which is often a given with car accidents.

The Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits

It's important for claimants to remember that there is a deadline for taking legal action against an at-fault party. This is called the "statute of limitations."

In New York, claimants have three years from the date of the accident in which to take legal action. However, some exceptions to this rule may apply, so it's best for victims to get advice from the best car accident lawyer in Long Island if they are unsure.

Two Ways to Obtain Compensation

There are two main ways that victims can be compensated for the damages they incur in a car crash:

  • Filing a claim with an insurance company or

  • Taking legal action for serious injuries that go beyond the threshold of insurance coverage.

Our reliable team of New York car accident attorneys is ready to help injured victims claim damages that are not typically covered by insurance.

Filing a Claim with an Insurance Company

To obtain recompense, victims can file a claim with their own insurance company. This will cover their medical bills and other damages related to their injuries. However, it does not cover motor vehicle damage.

If the at-fault driver has liability coverage, the injured party can file a claim with their insurance company to obtain compensation. An insurance claim will typically cover the following:

  • Medical expenses (only reasonable and necessary damages are covered)

  • Lost wages

  • Other necessary expenses related to the victim's injuries

  • Death benefits of up to $2,000

When Victims Should File a Car Accident Lawsuit

The reality is that some car accident cases are more serious than others. Depending on the nature of the crash, serious injuries can result. This might include permanent disabilities or conditions that require long-term care and medical treatment.

In such cases, filing a New York car accident lawsuit is often the best course of action, as it ensures that the injured party is able to receive the medical care they require. A personal injury claim (or a claim against the other driver's insurance) will allow victims to obtain compensation for the following:

  • Lost income

  • Property damage

  • Medical expenses related to the accident and other economic losses

  • Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages

To determine whether they have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, injured victims can contact The Law Office of Carl Maltese.

How to File a Lawsuit for a Car Accident in the State of New York

There are certain steps plaintiffs should take following a motor vehicle crash to increase their chances of filing a successful claim:

Contact Law Enforcement at the Accident Scene

The first step passengers or drivers involved in a collision should take is to contact the authorities. When police officers arrive at the scene, they will contact emergency services if necessary to ensure that injured parties receive the medical attention they need.

It's also important for victims to call the police because the report that they create can provide vital evidence used to back up their claims.

If they are able to do so, injured parties should try to gather evidence while on the scene. This might include the contact details of the other driver and witnesses, photographs of the accident scene, videos, etc.

Obtain Medical Care

Car accidents can result in a number of serious injuries, such as:

Therefore, it is crucial that anyone injured in a crash seek immediate medical attention. They should also follow the doctor's orders carefully to ensure that they recover quickly and that they have a sound legal claim.

Gather Evidence

Before filing a car accident claim, the plaintiff must gather enough evidence. This would include medical bills, letters from their employer regarding their inability to work, the names and numbers of witnesses, and more.

Approach a Car Accident Lawyer

Although the state of New York allows victims three years to pursue compensation, it's important that injured parties seek legal advice as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney will need time to prepare a strong legal case and can offer much-needed legal advice and guidance on how to proceed.

They will also handle all communication with the other driver and will help the victim determine how much their car accident case is worth.


A lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident to determine how it happened and who is to blame. In most cases, the other driver is at fault because of negligent acts such as speeding, driving while under the influence, failing to yield the right of way, and more.

However, other parties, such as motor vehicle manufacturers, may also be at fault. Legal advisors ensure that the correct person or company is held liable for the damages they caused.

They can hire professionals to reenact the accident and uncover crucial evidence that might have been missed and will call in expert witnesses when needed to prove the validity of the case.

File the Claim

The next step is filing the claim within the allotted deadline. An attorney will handle all the paperwork and liaise with the at-fault driver and their lawyer during the discovery phase. They can also advise on how to file a lawsuit for truck accident in New York.

Settlement Negotiations or Representation in Court

Both parties will then meet to negotiate or try to come to an agreement on the settlement amount. However, if the matter cannot be settled amicably or if the other party denies liability, the case can be taken to court, where the personal injury lawyer will represent the claimant.

Evidence to provide how the accident occurred will be presented, and the outcome of the case will be determined by a judge or jury.

Choosing a Legal Representative

Choosing a Legal Representative

Selecting an attorney is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions a claimant can make. This decision will have a direct impact on the outcome of the case, so it's essential that victims not take it lightly. Here are a few qualities that the best personal injury lawyers possess:

  • Experience. It's crucial that the advocate working on the case has many years of experience. This will ensure that they know what they are doing and are able to secure a favorable outcome.

  • Compassion. Dealing with the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can be incredibly stressful, especially when injuries are involved. This is why it's important for victims to choose attorneys who are compassionate and caring.

  • A good track record of success. Another characteristic of an excellent advocate is a history of winning cases. Claimants can look at testimonials and reviews to learn more about the lawyer's reputation and capabilities.

  • Experience with trials. In the event that the case cannot be settled through negotiation, a court appearance will be necessary. This is why it is essential for plaintiffs to ensure that the attorney they choose has experience doing this.

The Law Office of Carl Maltese Is Here to Assist

When disaster strikes and an innocent victim is left with lasting injuries, disfigurement, and disabilities, taking legal action can offer access to compensation that goes beyond the boundaries of insurance coverage.

It allows claimants to obtain recompense for past and future expenses in addition to non-economic damages. However, to ensure the success of the case, injured parties must enlist the help of a reliable and experienced car accident attorney who is well-versed in personal injury law.

The Law Office of Carl Maltese is a trusted team of legal advocates on Long Island, New York. We take great care to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of justice.

Victims can contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of their case.


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