Car Accident Attorney in Syracuse, New York
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Accident Information System, 1,513 people were injured and 10 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Syracuse, New York in 2019. Being involved in an auto accident can be scary. If you or a family member suffered injuries in a car accident caused by another party, you are within your rights to seek compensation for your injuries.
Nichols Law Offices, PLLC, is dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to car accident victims and their families. As your legal counsel, the firm will review and investigate every aspect of your situation and determine your best options. Attorney Craig Nichols and his legal staff will fight on your behalf to help you pursue rightful compensation for your injuries, damages, or loss.
Nichols Law Offices, PLLC proudly serves clients in Syracuse, New York, and the surrounding communities of Rome, Watertown, Fort Drum, Utica, and throughout Jefferson County.
Car Accident Liability in New York
New York is a "no-fault" state. Under this type of system, people injured in a traffic accident will turn to their auto insurance provider to file injury claims to recover compensation for medical expenses and other financial losses related to the accident, notwithstanding who was responsible. In certain situations, however, the injured victim may be allowed to file third-party insurance claims or lawsuits in civil court against the other driver.
To be eligible, your injuries must meet New York's "serious injury" threshold. This requires you to have experienced significant disfigurement, bone fracture, permanent or significant limitation of use of an organ, or full disability for at least 90 days. You can also file a claim for vehicle damage against the at-fault party.
Insurance Requirements in New York
New York drivers are required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage of:
$25,000 for bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 for bodily injury to two or more persons per accident
$10,000 for property damage per accident
$50,000 in no-fault coverage or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Uninsured motorist coverage
State Laws Addressing Claims
The following New York state laws address the time limit for filing claims or the amount of damages that may be recovered:
Statute of Limitations
According to New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 214(5), an action to recover damages for a personal injury must be commenced within three years from the date when the accident occurred.
New York follows a "pure comparative negligence" rule. According to New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 1411, in an action to recover damages for personal injury, the contributory negligence of one party shall not bar their ability to pursue damages. However, the total compensation they may recover will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
As an example, if a total compensation of $50,000 was awarded by the judge against the at-fault party but you were found to be 40% liable for the accident, your total compensation will be reduced by 40%. You will only be able to recover 60% of the $50,000 ($30,000). You are still allowed to pursue compensation even if you were found to be 99% responsible for the accident.
Wrongful Death Claims in New York
Wrongful death is a death that occurred as a result of the negligence or actions of another party. According to New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Code Part 4, in order to establish a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove these five elements:
A death occurred
The defendant's wrongful actions caused the death
The decedent could have pursued injury claims in court if they were still alive
The decedent's surviving loved ones suffered a loss due to the death
The estate can recover damages
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under New York law, the following people can file a wrongful death claim:
The decedent’s spouse, children, or parent
A personal representative of the decedent’s estate
A wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date when the death occurred.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Dealing with the ramifications of a car accident can be painful and difficult. If the accident results in severe injuries, it can affect you financially, physically, and emotionally. You don't have to go through alone. When you're hurt in an auto accident, hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is the first step to protect your rights and seek fair financial compensation.
Nichols Law Offices, PLLC, is committed to handling personal injury cases and protecting the rights of car accident victims. As your legal counsel, the firm can:
Fight compassionately to represent your best interests
Review every detail of your situation
Carry out a comprehensive investigation into the accident
Gather all relevant information, evidence, and documentation
Interview witnesses, review testimonies, and compile accident reports
Seek to prove fault and establish liability
Help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance provider
Handle all negotiations and communications on your behalf while you recover
File a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, when necessary
Car Accidents Attorney
Serving Syracuse, New York
If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident, contact Nichols Law Offices, PLLC, today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. Attorney Craig Nichols will fight to protect your rights and help you pursue fair financial compensation. Nichols Law Offices, PLLC proudly serves clients across Syracuse, Rome, Watertown, Fort Drum, Utica, and throughout Jefferson County, New York.