When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New York

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

Bystanders describing the scene of an accident to the police officer

Car accidents are an everyday reality in busy New York City and the surrounding areas. If you experience injury or property damage and another driver was at fault, you need to take action in order to receive the compensation to which you are entitled. The best way to do that is to speak with an experienced New York car accident lawyer.

Who needs a lawyer after a crash?

Not every car crash requires an attorney, but in many cases, it is advisable to at least consult with one to learn about your legal options and see how much your case might be worth.

Speak with an attorney if you have suffered any injuries in the crash or if your property damage is more than minimal. Even if you do not have an obvious injury like a broken bone, it is smart to talk to a lawyer if you have pain afterward. An attorney can speak from professional experience, providing informed analysis of your situation and offering advice on how to proceed.

It is common for certain types of injuries, especially soft tissue injuries or even brain injuries, to worsen and become more apparent over time. Your well-being and your personal injury claim will both be better off with an early evaluation because it not only documents your physical pain but can also improve your prognosis by allowing medical professionals to find and treat issues that could become worse without treatment.

Your New York car accident injury attorney can help guide you through this and other steps to protect your rights.

How an NYC car accident lawyer can increase the compensation you recover

Injured claimants in New York City who have a skilled attorney representing them typically receive higher compensation than those who represent themselves because your lawyer:

  • Knows how to fully value a claim, taking into account long-term losses and flaws in insurance company claim estimation programs
  • Explores theories of liability (and, therefore, avenues of compensation) that non-attorneys often overlook
  • Provides confident advocacy when dealing with other parties’ representatives
  • Handles communications with insurance company representatives and others who may try to distort your statements or unfairly low-ball the value of your claim
  • Carries a professional reputation – insurance companies know which attorneys are willing to bring a case to trial and will play fewer games trying to nickel and dime their clients’ claims

Protect your rights after a crash

If your car crash was just a minor fender bender with no substantial damage and no physical pain, you might not need an attorney to represent you. But if there was anything more than this, you should call the police to report the crash and then seek medical attention. Next, speak with an NYC car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

The attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green proudly serve those in Manhattan and the greater NYC area who have sustained injuries in auto accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green today to arrange a case evaluation. Consultations are always free and confidential.M

Safety Tips for Driving at Night in NYC

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

42nd Street is crowded with the busy night lights of crosstown traffic through Midtown Manhattan in New York City NYC

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 50 percent of traffic accident fatalities for passenger vehicle occupants happen at nighttime. Given the fact that a quarter of all travel occurs during evening hours, the fatality rate for motorists (per mile traveled) is roughly three times greater at night compared to daylight hours.

Nighttime driving is inherently more dangerous, particularly in dense urban areas like New York City where bicyclists and pedestrians can seemingly pop out of nowhere. Driving in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs has its own set of challenges, but there are few things motorists can do to help reduce the risk of getting in a car accident at night.

Safety tips for night driving in NYC

The majority of visitors to New York City rely on public transportation to get around town, and a large percentage of local residents opt to forego personal vehicles entirely. If, however, you are driving after sunset in the city, consider the following tips:

  • Check your headlights – New York City has specific laws regarding use of headlights to combat limited visibility during evening hours. All drivers are required to turn on their headlights 30 minutes after sunset, and if you’re driving into the early morning hours, they must remain on until half an hour before sunrise. It’s a good idea to make sure your headlights (and brake lights) are in working order, and their angle is properly adjusted so as not to blind oncoming drivers.
  • Drive defensively – Be extra cautious behind the wheel once the sun has set, as statistics indicate that risks of drunk driving accidents increase four-fold at night. If you suspect another driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, call 911 and keep your distance.
  • Avoid distractions – Keep your full attention on the road and distractions at bay. Don’t risk your own life and those of others by fiddling with the stereo, texting or eating while driving.
  • Watch for pedestrians – New York City is filled with pedestrians and bikers, so whether you’re at an intersection or a crosswalk, be alert for people and potential jaywalkers.
  • Reduce your speed and increase distance – Slow down and adjust your speed to take into account limited visibility and/or weather conditions like rain, sleet and snow. Avoid tail gaiting, and increase the distance between your own vehicle and that in front to avoid a rear-end collision. You need roughly 200 feet to safely stop if you are traveling at 40 mph.
  • Adjust where you look – The headlights from oncoming vehicles can seriously impair your night vision when directly stared at. Try and avert your gaze downward to the right shoulder as a vehicle passes.
  • Don’t drive when fatigued – Studies have shown that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving, and there are more accidents involving fatigued drivers between midnight and sunrise. Get off the road if you find yourself nodding off, and be on high alert for drowsy drivers, who can veer off course and cause a serious accident.
  • Use high beams correctly – High beams are useful in rural, dark areas and for spotting the reflective eyes of wildlife. However, low beams should be used when you are directly behind another car or within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle.

Car accident attorneys serving New York City

The law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green provide effective legal representation and have the experience and resources to help clients secure just compensation against negligent parties. If you were in a car accident in downtown New York and have questions about your rights, we invite you to reach out for a free case evaluation.

Additional Resources:

  1. NHTSA, Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities by Day and Night – A Contrast https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/810637
  2. IDriveSafely.org, Night Driving Tips: What You Need to Know https://www.idrivesafely.com/defensive-driving/trending/night-driving-tips-what-you-need-know
  3. GEICO, 12 Safety Tips For Driving At Night https://www.geico.com/living/driving/auto/car-safety-insurance/driving-at-night

Can I Get Reimbursed for Damage from a Pothole?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

pothole in road

Those who drive around New York City regularly will not be surprised that potholes cause significant property damage and injuries. In fact, from 2009 to 2015, the city paid drivers $1.5 million in reimbursement for property damage and personal injuries due to potholes. Unfortunately, many more cases of damage and injury go unreimbursed. Here are some things you need to know to get compensation for damage from a pothole.

State and city liability for pothole damage

Whoever owns the road is responsible for keeping it properly maintained. When someone is injured or suffers damage because of a breach of this duty, that owning entity may be legally liable. However, the municipality or state must have had prior notice of the pothole at issue and failed to fix it. For example, for New York City to be responsible for your damages, its Department of Transportation must have written notice of the pothole at least 15 days before your accident.

If the pothole accident occurs on a road for which the state is responsible, and the pothole was weather-related, there is a good chance that the state will not be liable. According to Highway Law §58, the state cannot be held liable for damages suffered due to defects in state highways unless they occur between May 1 and November 15. This effectively eliminates liability for potholes due to winter freeze/thaw cycles.

How to recover compensation for a pothole accident

If you have a strong case for liability and clear evidence of damages, you may file a claim with the responsible entity. However, claims need to be filed in the right place, at the right time, and they are subject to caps.

There is a strict 90-day deadline to file a claim for loss. For a municipal claim, the notice of claim must be delivered to the Comptroller’s Office by one of the accepted methods – via the eClaim system, by personal delivery, or by registered or certified mail. For state claims, requests for reimbursement of property damage of up to $5,000 are filed with the Department of Transportation as a small claim. Claims above $5,000 need to be filed as an action in the Court of Claims. It is strongly advised to have an attorney help you do this.

The fight for compensation through government entities can be an uphill battle. Speak with a car accident lawyer about the possibility of filing a no fault insurance claim if your pothole accident falls outside the scope of city or state liability. Regardless of fault, the policy should provide payment for related economic losses. Be aware that the time to file a claim is limited to only 30 days after the accident.

Get help with your pothole accident claim

Whether the accident occurs in NYC or elsewhere in New York State, a pothole accident claim will be accompanied by strict procedures and deadlines. Take the hassle out of the process by speaking with a municipality lawyer who understands not only the steps involved in a successful claim, but also how to prove liability. The Manhattan pothole accident lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. provide skilled and aggressive representation for those who have suffered loss because of someone else’s negligence. Call today to schedule a free and confidential case review.M

Early Action Can Minimize Pain After a Car Accident

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

Doctor analyzing x-ray screening image in hospital office during medical exam

Auto accidents are an everyday reality in the greater New York City area – within the city alone, there were more than 228,000 car crashes 2018. Not every accident causes personal injuries, but more than 44,000 were reported in 2018.

Sometimes the injuries are immediately obvious, like broken bones, cuts, or paralysis. Other times, the injuries may not be apparent until days or weeks after the accident. In either case, the pain after a car accident may linger far longer than expected. It is important to take these facts into consideration when assessing injuries, and also when negotiating a personal injury settlement.

Assessing injuries after a car accident

Too often, accident victims refuse medical attention at the scene. Sometimes they do not realize they are injured at all, and sometimes they just wrongly assume that the injuries are not that serious. Unfortunately, many injuries can become more obvious later on as pain and inflammation increase.

Waiting to see a doctor can cause a few problems. First, it prevents early treatment that could lessen the pain in the long run. Second, it can give the false impression that the injuries and accompanying pain are exaggerated or otherwise not honest. The best course is to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if it does not seem that bad. It also helps to speak with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and responsibilities going forward.

Common latent injuries

Due to changes in velocity that occur during a crash, even a low-speed impact can cause damage. Often the result is soft tissue injuries – injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, such as sprains and strains. Sometimes these heal on their own. Sometimes they need treatment in order to lessen the severity and duration of suffering.

After car accident, neck pain may indicate a condition like whiplash, which is one of the most common injuries following a rear-end collision. Surprisingly, most cases of whiplash occur in low impact crashes. Whiplash can lead to long-term dizziness, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. Some of these conditions may be improved with physical therapy.

After a car accident, back pain may be a sign of strains or sprains in the spine, herniated discs, or even fractured vertebrae. Many of these injuries can cause serious, even permanent, impairment, yet go undetected for days or weeks after the accident. Seeking medical attention early on can limit the long-term damage.

Settling a car accident claim over lingering pain

Insurance adjusters strive to close files as quickly as possible, limiting the amount their companies pay on claims. If you have been injured and the crash was someone else’s fault, you can bet that the other driver’s insurance company will call quickly and offer you a low amount to settle quickly. Unfortunately, insurance settlements include releases of liability – you cannot go back to ask for more money later if the injury turns out to be more serious.

Before even thinking of entering a settlement, see a doctor and speak with a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will advocate for you to see that any settlement accounts for the costs of treatment and any suffering that your doctors reasonably anticipate in the future.

Speak with a NY car accident attorney

The first days after an accident can impact the coming years of your life. If you have been injured, promptly seek medical care and discuss your situation with a car accident lawyer at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green. From our Manhattan office, we passionately advocate on behalf of injured clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, all 5 boroughs, and Westchester and Long Island. Call today to set up a free, confidential consultation.

5 Ways to Keep Your Teenagers Safe Behind the Wheel

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

teenage girl driver with car keysAccording to statistics from the National Safety Council, half of all adolescents will be involved in a car accident before they finish high school. Getting a driver’s license is a rite a passage for teenagers, but just because they are legally able to get behind the wheel doesn’t mean they are safe drivers. Good driving skills take time, practice and patience to build, but beyond setting a good example, what can you do to keep your kids safe on the road?

The following are steps parents can take to help instill safe driving habits in their teenagers.

Practice, practice and more practice

You can guide your teen to becoming a safer driver by letting him or her practice under your supervision. Aim to spend at least a few hours each week on different types of roads under different traffic conditions. Use this time to teach your teen the essentials of defensive driving. This includes maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front, adjusting driving behavior according to weather conditions and remaining aware of surroundings for the unexpected.

Put the brakes on speeding

An estimated 31 percent of all traffic fatalities involve speeding, and per mile driven, teenagers are nearly three times more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident. Emphasize the dire consequences of excess speed when behind the wheel, explaining that arriving a few minutes early isn’t worth the risk of one’s life.

No cell phone use and no texting

Most teens are glued to their smart phones, and if yours is a voracious texter and talker, it’s time to lay down the law or revoke driving privileges. Texting is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving, and according to a survey published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, a whopping 40 percent of American teenagers admit to texting while driving. Studies have suggested that texting and driving is almost equally as hazardous as drunk driving. Ensure your teen knows that cell phones should only be used when the car is safely stopped in a parking lot.

Monitor performance with driving apps

Your teen may promise to be a distraction-free driver, but if you have doubts there are several apps that track what they do and don’t do while behind the wheel. Some apps monitor acceleration, speed and braking, while others automatically mute text messages and calls until the destination has been reached.

Sign a teen driving contract

Create a driving contract that details baseline rules in addition to penalties for violating those rules and have your teenager sign the contract at the very start. There are several variations of these available for download on the Internet, which cover basics like always wearing a seat belt, never using a cell phone while driving, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Car accident representation in New York and Long Island

If your teenager or a loved one is involved in a crash, an experienced car accident attorney can be an invaluable resource. Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb and Green can help accident victims understand their rights and secure the money damages to which they are entitled. Contact us today to schedule a free case review with car accident lawyers New York and Long Island residents have come to trust.

Additional Resources:

  1. Journal of Adolescent Health, Texting/Emailing While Driving Among High School Students in 35 States https://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(18)30250-7/fulltext
  2. Healthy Children, Behind the Wheel: How to Help Your Teen Become a Safe Driver https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/safety/Pages/Behind-the-Wheel-Helping-Teens-Become-Safe-Drivers.aspx
  3. YourTeenMag, Keeping Your Teen Drivers Safe Behind The Wheel https://yourteenmag.com/teenager-school/teens-high-school/parents-teen-driving/tuesday-tips-better-teen-driver