New York Car Accident Lawyer

Legally Reviewed By: Michael A. Akselrud

New Yorkers experience 3,000 serious injuries and more than 200 deaths every year because of car crashes. New York City’s Vision Zero is working to make New York City streets safe through enforcement, education, and engineering.

Unfortunately, negligent drivers will still cause accidents. Too often, the injured driver is not the negligent driver but the innocent driver who did nothing wrong.

The New York personal injury attorneys at The Lanier Law Firm are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable. We strive to win the maximum compensation available for car accident victims so they have access to the best medical treatment and a secure financial future.

Dangerous Roads and Intersections in NYC

Traffic accidents are most common in busy areas near on-ramps, off-ramps, and interchanges. The following stretches of NYC roads have the highest crash rates:

3rd Avenue from 7th Street to 52nd Street in Brooklyn and Manhattan

Atlantic Avenue from Rochester Avenue to 85th Street in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens

Bruckner Boulevard from Balcom Avenue to Jackson Avenue in Manhattan and The Bronx

Woodhaven Boulevard from 91st Avenue to Dry Harbor Road in Middle Village and Queens

Northern Boulevard from 70th Street to Main Street in Queens

Flatbush Avenue from Avenue V to Midwood Street in Brooklyn and New York City

South Conduit Avenue from Sutter Avenue to Rockaway Boulevard in Middle Village and Queens

The most dangerous highways in NYC include the Jackie Robinson Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway, and I-95, especially in Washington Heights and the Bronx.

New York State Insurance Requirements

New York drivers are required to carry the following insurance, at a minimum:

  • Basic No-Fault Insurance Policy
    • $50,000 minimum coverage
    • $2,000 death benefit
  • Liability Insurance
    • $25,000 bodily injury per person/$50,000 for multiple persons
    • $50,000 bodily injury resulting in death per person/$100,000 for multiple persons
    • $10,000 property damage
  • Uninsured Motorist – same as liability

Pedestrians and bicyclists can carry no-fault insurance or file against the no-fault policy of a family member in the same household. Motorcyclists are not required to carry no-fault insurance.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in NYC

According to NYPD, the top causes of accidents are:

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in New York

Your early actions in the aftermath of an auto accident are critical to your health and your potential personal injury claim.

  1. Move the car to a safe place out of traffic.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Take pictures and video of the scene, vehicles involved, damage, and skid marks.
  4. Write down what occurred. This will help you capture important details you may not recall later.
  5. Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver.
  6. Obtain the names and contact information of witnesses.
  7. File an MV-104 accident report within 10 days of the incident.
  8. Request a copy of your accident report from the police or the New York Department of Motor Vehicles for a small fee.
  9. Get medical attention even if you do not feel or appear injured. Some spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones may not be immediately apparent.
  10. Contact an NYC car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

What not to do:

  • DO NOT admit fault to anyone.
  • DO NOT leave the scene without first following the above steps.
  • DO NOT speak to the at-fault party’s insurance company or representatives.
  • DO NOT discuss the accident on social media.

Trauma Hospitals in NYC

Trauma hospitals are equipped to handle severe car accident injuries. New York is home to several level I trauma and level II trauma centers.


Bellevue Hospital Center – Adult Level I and II
Mount Sinai Morningside – Adult Level II
New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center – Adult Level I and Pediatric Level II
New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital – Pediatric Level 1
Harlem Hospital Center – Adult and Pediatric Level II


Elmhurst Hospital Center – Adult Level I
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center – Adult Level I
New York-Presbyterian/Queens – Adult Level I


Jacobi Medical Center – Adult Level I and Pediatric Level II
Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center – Adult Level I
St. Barnabas Hospital – Adult Level II


Maimonides Medical Center – Adult Level I and Pediatric Level II
NYC Health and Hospitals – Kings County – Adult Level I
NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn – Adult Level I
Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center – Adult Level II

Staten Island

Richmond University Medical Center – Adult Level I and Pediatric Level II
Staten Island University Hospital North – Adult Level I and Pediatric Level II

Long Island

Cohen Children’s Medical Center – Pediatric Level I

How much is my car accident claim worth?

Every motor vehicle accident is unique. The following factors influence the amount of compensation you can receive:
  • The extent of your injuries
  • The available insurance coverage
  • Who is liable – in addition to the other driver, a vehicle manufacturer, vehicle owner, employer, or premises owner could
  • share liability
  • The financial resources of the liable parties
If insurance is insufficient or the insurance company fails to agree to a reasonable settlement, a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary. The types of financial compensation available include the following:
  • Economic damages: Monetary losses, such as income, property damage and medical expenses
  • Non-economic damages: Non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement and mental anguish
  • Punitive damages: Awarded when the at-fault party acted with malice or blatant recklessness
Damages for catastrophic injuries can be substantial due to the lifetime loss of income and lifetime non-monetary impacts.

What if my family member was killed in a car accident?

In the tragic wrongful death of a loved one, New York §5-4.3 allows immediate family members to recover the following damages:

  • Pecuniary losses – monetary losses that stem from the death, such as lifetime earning potential, the value of homemaker services, and lost inheritance
  • Economic damages – medical bills, funeral and burial expenses
  • Damages that could have been claimed by the decedent had they lived, such as pain and suffering

How long will it take to recover compensation?

The length of time required to settle a claim and collect compensation can be a few weeks to several months or longer. Personal injury cases that settle tend to result in the plaintiff recovering damages more quickly than if they’d gone to court. If the insurance company disputes fault, negotiations may stall, and a trial may be necessary.

What if I am partly to blame for the collision?

New York is a “pure comparative negligence” state, which means you can receive compensation as long as you are less than 100% at fault. However, your compensation will be reduced proportionately.

How much time do I have to file my car accident claim?

You should file claims with your own insurance company within 30 days unless you have a verifiable compelling reason for filing late. The statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is three years. For a wrongful death lawsuit, you have two years to take action.

It is important to involve your personal injury lawyer as early as possible to give them time to investigate the accident and build your case.

a courthouse in new york

Do I need a New York City car accident attorney to help with my car accident case?

The full extent of serious injuries is not always evident immediately following your car accident. Seemingly friendly insurance company representatives may pressure you to accept a lowball settlement prematurely.

They are representing the interests of the insurance company, not yours. When you accept a settlement, you sign away future rights to pursue additional damages. The qualified personal injury attorneys at The Lanier Law Firm will protect your interests and ensure that you receive the compensation you need and deserve.

The Lanier Law Firm has more than 30 years of experience standing up to large companies on behalf of injured individuals. We are skillful negotiators and world-renowned trial lawyers. Our legal team has been recognized for many prestigious honors because of the hard work and personalized service we offer every client.

Our Awards

  • Best Law Firms, Tier 1 Ranking
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Most Impressive Plaintiff Verdict
  • New York Super Lawyers
  • Most Feared Plaintiffs Firm

Our New York law office is located in Midtown Manhattan at:

  • Tower 56
  • 126 East 56th Street 6th Floor New York, NY 10022

You pay nothing until you recover compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

the lanier law firms office in new york

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