Car Accident Lawyer


New York – and especially the Big Apple – is one of the worst states for auto accidents. Each year, they claim dozens of lives and impose thousands of injuries on drivers for reasons such as distracted driving, inclement weather, and construction hazards.

New Yorkers may have to live with the unfortunate prevalence of auto accidents, but they don’t have to go through the trying process of filing a lawsuit alone. A car accident lawyer can provide the legal knowledge and assistance you need to see that you get the money and benefits that you are entitled to.

Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. is the right team for your car accident lawsuit, and we have the historical success to prove it. For example, we recently recovered millions and millions of dollars for our clients injured in auto accidents.

We could do the same for you if you give us a call today at 1-800-966-4999. Read on for more information about car accident laws in New York and how personal injury attorneys can assist with your car accident claim.

Car Accidents in New York

New York auto accidents are one of the most common issues in the state. While some counties and cities are worse than others, accidents are a problem statewide.

According to official New York State data, car accidents cause 316 deaths each year on average. Additionally, auto accidents cause nearly 561 hospitalizations and 8455 emergency department visits each year. These include drivers of motor vehicles and passengers or pedestrians.

Auto accidents can happen even to safe drivers. That’s why it’s important to understand your legal options if you’re ever involved in a car accident due to the actions of a negligent driver, bicyclist, or organization.

Causes of Car Accidents

While car accidents are common in New York, they’re caused by many of the issues that lead to collisions nationwide. Some of the most common auto accident causes include:

  • Distracted driving, such as driving while texting
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Inclement weather, such as driving during a rain or snowstorm
  • Road work hazards, which may be caused or left behind by construction companies
  • Unsafe roads or freeway entrances and exits

If you’re involved in an auto accident lawsuit, your attorney will work hard to determine the root cause of your accident. The cause often indicates which party is ultimately responsible for the injuries or damages sustained by the victim(s).

Auto Accident Injuries

Car accident injuries are often severe due to the weight of the vehicles involved. Injuries may also be worse if one or both parties were not wearing seatbelts or if one or both cars were driving at unsafe speeds at the time of impact.

Auto accident injuries can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Bruises
  • Lacerations
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Paralysis or a spinal cord injury

Many of these injuries could incur costly medical bills, leading victims to file lawsuits to recover appropriate compensation.

What To Do if You’re Involved in a New York Auto Accident

New York auto accident law requires anyone involved in a crash to report the incident within a certain amount of time. Furthermore, you and any other drivers involved must stop and remain at the scene to:

  • Exchange insurance information
  • Perform any other actions that may be reasonably necessary

New York law is so strict on this point to prevent hit-and-runs, in which one driver hits another and speeds off to prevent justice.

Therefore, it’s important to never leave an auto accident scene even if you are late for work or have other pressing business. If you leave, you could be charged with a hit-and-run and face additional penalties, including fines, jail time, and even the loss of your driver’s license.

Steps To Follow After an Auto Accident

If you’re involved in an auto accident in New York, follow these steps:

  • Get out of your vehicle and speak to the other driver if neither of you is injured. Both of you should move away from the road to ensure no further injuries will be incurred by passing traffic. 
  • Exchange contact information, such as their first name, last name, and phone number.
  • Call 911 to report the incident to ensure that the incident is documented via police report. Get as much information as you can from the responding officer, including the names, positions, and agencies of any other personnel on the scene. 
  • Contact emergency services right away to ensure no one is seriously injured. The primary goal should be to get any injuries taken care of ASAP, but this step will also prove helpful in documenting any injuries for a potential lawsuit.
  • Take pictures or videos of the accident, the scene, and any injuries. If you are not injured, you can also attempt to collect witness information, such as contact information and statements. 
  • If you are uninjured, write down your eyewitness testimony in the immediate aftermath. This ensures your testimony is as accurate as possible and may help any future lawsuits.

Other Important Steps To Take Following an Auto Accident

In addition to all of these elements, all drivers have to file a report to the DMV within ten days if the property damage to one party exceeds $1000. If your car is totaled, you can be reasonably sure that the damages are more than $1000. That means you need to file a report with the DMV. Otherwise, your license could be suspended.

Once any medical issues are taken care of, the authorities have been contacted, and you and the other party have exchanged information, consider contacting an auto accident attorney ASAP.

Auto accident attorneys can help you determine whether you should file an auto accident lawsuit. Should you choose to do so, they will assist with putting together an airtight case that stands the strongest chance of producing worthwhile compensation for your medical or repair bills.

Do You Need to Contact an Attorney?

In most scenarios, yes.

Car accident attorneys have the skills and legal knowledge necessary to ensure you file everything you need and you don’t face additional fines. In addition, attorneys can help you gather what you need to present a strong car accident case should you choose to make a case against the other party involved.

Your insurance company (or the other driver’s insurance company) may claim the opposite and say you don’t need an auto accident attorney. This is almost always false – it’s usually a tactic to keep the insurance company from having to pay additional costs.

Don’t listen to them. In fact, you shouldn’t even speak to your insurance company until after you have contacted a lawyer, as they can use your words against you to get out of paying what they owe you. Contact trusted car accident attorneys as soon as you’re involved in an auto accident, even if it’s a minor fender bender.

Filing an Auto Accident Lawsuit

It may be wise to file an auto accident lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries, damaged or destroyed property, and other reasons. 

Statute of Limitations

In New York State, auto accident lawsuits are usually subject to a three-year deadline from the date of the accident. For instance, if your crash took place on May 1 of 2021, you would have until May 1 of 2024, to file a lawsuit.

A car accident lawyer can be invaluable by helping you file your lawsuit on time and before the statute of limitations expires.

Determining Negligence

New York is a no-fault car insurance state, which means that auto insurance companies take the brunt of the costs associated with an accident even if one or both drivers are responsible for the collision.

New York law does allow injury claims that meet various prerequisites to overcome this standard. This allows victimized drivers to bring claims directly against an at-fault driver.

Currently, a victim’s legal team must prove that another driver or party was entirely or mostly responsible for the wreck. If the lawsuit is successful, the at-fault party will pay the car accident victim, typically through their insurance provider, to compensate them for medical bills and other costs or losses.

Even uninsured motorists may be on the hook for damages. Don’t assume a lawsuit is pointless if an at-fault driver claims not to have insurance.

Compensation for New York Car Accidents

The medical bills, repair costs, and general losses from auto accidents can be staggering, especially for primary victims. Because these costs can be so high, compensation often ranges into the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars.

Compensation is usually awarded to cover:

  • The cost of past and future medical expenses for injuries directly related to the wreck, including chronic conditions or treatments
  • The cost of damaged or destroyed property, including vehicles, housing, and more
  • Pain and suffering experienced by the victim because of their injuries
  • Loss of companionship if the auto accident resulted in a wrongful death
  • Loss of income if the accident caused a victim to miss work and wages due to their injuries

Motor vehicle accident victims must present the best case possible to receive the maximum compensation. That’s where knowledgeable attorneys like Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. come in.

We will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve, not just the bare minimum. We understand the difficulties inherent in surviving a car wreck, especially if you receive one or more injuries as a result.

When auto accidents result from negligence, poor driving, or criminal actions, we can support you at court and present your case convincingly. We’ve already done the same for dozens of other clients just like yourself – check out our Settlements page to see more.

Choosing the Right Attorney for Your Case

Car accident lawyers are far from alike. Subpar law firms may:

  • Claim a 100% success rate
  • Promise a certain dollar amount of damages
  • Give your case to inexperienced lawyers

The best car accident attorneys will:

  • Help you gather evidence to present an airtight case to your court
  • Support you throughout the legal process
  • Ensure that you file your paperwork on time and correctly
  • Work hard to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries or property damages

Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. uphold each of these duties and more. Beyond that, we treat each of our clients as a trusted, long-term partner. When you receive the legal services of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., you get more than just a team of qualified attorneys: you get legal advisors who will work their hardest for your case no matter the details.

When it comes to securing as much compensation as possible for your auto accident case, don’t settle for subpar legal representation. Call Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. at 1-800-966-4999 and see how an experienced lawyer can help you.


No matter the details of your crash, a car accident lawyer can be of great assistance. With their legal knowledge, your case will stand a greater chance of success, and you may recover more compensation than you would by tackling your case alone.

This is even more true when you hire competent, dedicated legal teams like Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. Not only do we handle auto accident lawsuits, but we can also assist with any other legal cases on your plate. As experienced New York auto accident attorneys, we’re well equipped and ready to assist with your upcoming court case ASAP.

Even better, we offer a free consultation and case evaluation as soon as you contact us with no strings attached. Give us a call at 1-800-966-4999 and find out how Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. can help with your auto accident lawsuit!


New York Car Accident Laws | Nolo

New York DMV | How to file a motorist accident report | New York DMV

Statute of Limitations chart | NY CourtHelp

Yearly Driving Accident Statistics | New York Department of Health

Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.
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