New York Car Accident Laws

A Brief Guide on Car Accident Laws in New York

Known for its busy streets, yellow cabs, and impatient drivers, New York car accidents are a daily occurrence. So, if you or your vehicle sustained damage in a car crash, it is important to know how to report the incident and what are the important car accident laws in New York.


Important Car Accident State Laws in New York

Whether you have been injured or your vehicle was damaged in any kind of traffic accident in New York, you would rightfully want to know your options for getting compensation for your losses. In simple terms, you need to be mindful of a few laws:

You have three years to file a car accident lawsuit in the civil court system of New York

New York has a pure comparative fault rule which lets you get financial compensation even when the claimant was mostly or partly at fault for the accident


Statute of Limitations in New York Car Accident Lawsuits

According to the New York court system, you have three years to file a lawsuit, starting from the car accident date. There are certain exceptions that may extend the deadline, but you will have to check with a lawyer whether you are eligible for it.


Comparative Negligence

In case the other driver was entirely at fault for the accident, their insurance would compensate for any losses, medical bills, and lost wages you suffered. If you were partially at fault, however, you would be subjected to the pure comparative fault rule. According to it, the jury has to calculate the percentage of fault that belongs to each driver/party and the dollar amount of the plaintiff’s damages.

Under the pure comparative fault rule, the plaintiff’s damage compensation is calculated by subtracting the percentage of fault. This rule applies even if you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. In other words, even if the jury decides you are 80 percent at fault, you will technically still be entitled to 20 percent of your total damages.


Reporting a Car Accident in New York

Under New York laws, you are required to report a car accident if any of the involved parties have incurred more than $1,000 in property damage. All drivers must file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident form no more than ten days after the accident with the DMV. If anyone was injured in the accident, you must immediately call the police.

When looking for reliable legal help for your car accident case in New York, let Legal Chiefs help. Browse through our network and find the right attorney for your situation!


Find An Auto Accident Attorney In Your Area Now Without Leaving The Comfort Of Your Home



Auto Accident FAQ

Your first and foremost action following an accident is to stay calm, check if you or anyone else involved has been injured, and call the police. Get the name and contact information of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses of the event. To document the damage, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries. It’s important not to admit liability until you hire an attorney because they will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the driver at fault.
Right after a car accident, you may feel fine, but injuries can surface days, weeks, and even months later. That’s why it’s good to see a doctor even if you don’t believe you were injured in the accident. Your doctor can recognize issues or injuries that won’t immediately become apparent to you and alert you to warning signs of injuries that may arise due to the accident. If you fail to treat your injuries within a certain period of time, you may forfeit your right to get reimbursement for future medical costs. The general rule is not to settle auto accident claims without having been examined by a medical professional.
In most cases, you won’t have to go to court. The majority of auto accident claims are resolved outside of court after negotiating the terms with the insurer. Most insurance companies generally try to settle claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible, so it’s wise to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to taking pictures of the accident scene and taking the contact information of the involved parties and witnesses, your detailed explanation of how the accident happened is also necessary to file a claim. Law enforcement reports of the accident will also serve as crucial evidence in your claim.
Many factors determine the driver at fault in an auto accident case. Do not accept any part of the blame until the investigation has concluded. Even if the investigation finds that you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to receive compensation. There are cases when the victim also shares part of the blame for an accident. If, for example, you were driving five to ten mph over the speed limit when the accident happened, this would have limited your reaction time, and you could likely be considered a negligent driver even if you weren’t the one to cause the crash. Different states have different ways of settling auto accident claims where more than one driver is at fault. So it’s best to check the specific laws in your state (or the state where the accident took place) or discuss the matter with your auto accident injury lawyer.
It happens surprisingly often that people get into an auto accident where the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance. In these situations, it’s wise to have an auto insurance policy that comes with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. That way, if you get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you will still be able to file your claim under the UM coverage you have with your own insurance company. Your insurer will then process the claim following the same process as it would for an opposing insurer. The only difference is that the claim will be against your UM coverage and not against another driver. Likewise, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident where the responsible driver fled the scene before you could take their information, you can again seek compensation from your UM coverage.
Suppose you suffered injuries after an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence. In that case, there are two main types of damages that you may seek compensation for: compensatory (a.k.a. monetary) and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages in a personal injury claim, and they often include: ● Current and future medical bills ● Property damage ● Emotional duress ● Lost wages ● Loss of enjoyment of life ● Loss of future earnings potential On the other hand, punitive damages are much rarer, but they can occur in situations where the vehicle manufacturer is to blame.