Car Accident Lawyers in Syracuse, NY
When you are injured in a car accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The days and weeks after the collision may be overwhelming and filled with uncertainty. At King Law, our Syracuse car accident lawyers are well-versed in handling even the most challenging cases. We have decades of collective legal experience and have a reputation for dedicated advocacy.
Our legal team knows the legal landscape and processes in Syracuse. We are local attorneys who are unafraid to take cases to trial to get our clients the outcome they deserve. We know the effective legal strategies that have consistently led to favorable outcomes for our clients throughout Syracuse, and we will not give up. If you are injured in a car accident, we are here to help you navigate the claims process and fight to protect your rights.
Table of Contents:
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident in Syracuse, NY?
While many people assume that car accidents are straightforward, the reality is that they often involve complex insurance negotiations and disputed liability. Without the help of an attorney, many injured parties end up settling their cases for less than they are worth.
Reasons to Get a Lawyer After Your Accident:
- Liability is or will be disputed.
- You had serious injuries or a large amount of damages.
- You are struggling to prove your injuries.
- You have a pre-existing injury that was exacerbated by the accident.
- You were partially to blame for the accident.
- The insurance company is offering you a low settlement offer.
- Your insurance claim was denied.
Retaining legal counsel can help ensure that all avenues are explored and that the settlement you are being offered is the best possible outcome in the case.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
Car accident lawyers are more than just legal representatives. They are generally involved in every aspect of the process, providing assistance with claim building, negotiating settlements, evidence gathering, and more.
A car accident lawyer may:
- Assist a car accident victim in building a claim.
- Help to secure compensation for damages caused by other drivers.
- Offers guidance to help you understand car accident laws and rights.
- Target financial compensation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
- Calculate accurate estimates of total damages for the claim.
- Evaluate the full extent of damages, including current and future impacts.
- Conduct an investigation into who or what caused the accident, possibly recreating accident scenes.
- Gather relevant information, including subpoenaing evidence and witnesses.
- Collaborate with outside experts, including medical professionals.
- Negotiate for a fair settlement.
- Files a lawsuit, if necessary.
- Represent clients in court for full compensation recovery.
Few people are prepared for being in an accident with injuries. A Syracuse car accident lawyer can help ensure you receive the outcome you deserve, including compensation for all of your accident-related losses.
When To Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident
It is strongly recommended that you secure legal representation immediately after your accident. Hiring a lawyer early in the process can help to maximize your legal options and calculate your damages. A lawyer will also be better able to ensure you file a claim within the statute of limitations and have all settlement opportunities available for review.
In some cases, you may be unable to contact an attorney due to incapacitation. A loved one can consult with an attorney on your behalf to ensure that you have the representation you need throughout the claims process. Early retention of a lawyer allows you to focus on your recovery while they work on your case.
Statute of Limitations in New York
According to CVP Law § 214(5), an injured party has up to three years from the date of the car accident to file an action to recover damages for personal injury. While this may seem like a long amount of time, lawsuits need extensive preparation. Retaining an attorney early helps to avoid missing any deadlines.
Under limited circumstances, it is possible to toll the statute of limitations, such as when the defendant is out of jurisdiction (CVP Law § 207). Additionally, a minor or a person with a mental disability has up to three years after their disability ends to file a claim, but not more than ten years past the date of the accident. (CVP Law § 208)
Types of Car Accidents in Syracuse, NY
In Syracuse, NY, car accidents range in severity from minor fender benders to potentially deadly head-on impacts. Serious accidents can occur on any roadway, including those located in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
Types of car accidents in Syracuse, NY:
- Help to secure compensation for damages caused by other drivers.
- Single-car accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Side-swiping car accidents
- Head-on collisions
Several factors may influence the type of accident, including the vehicle model, driver impairment, road conditions, and whether the vehicles are at an intersection. In general, head-on and side-impact collisions are the most dangerous, resulting in serious injuries or death.
Most Common Car Accident Injuries in Syracuse, NY
Car accident injuries can be minor to catastrophic, affecting a person’s quality of life. Even if you are unsure about the extent of your injuries, it is strongly recommended that you seek medical attention immediately and consult with an attorney. Car accident injuries may have long-term physical and psychological effects on a person.
Types of car accident injuries:
- Bruising: Bruising may seem minor, but it may be an indication of a more severe issue like internal bleeding or brain injury.
- Scars and Disfigurement: Scars and disfigurement may require surgeries. These injuries frequently cause depression and anxiety. They may also limit a person’s movement or mobility.
- Broken Bones: Bone fractures are one of the most common types of injuries after a car accident. They may be classified as displaced, non-displaced, closed, open, stress, and partial fractures.
- Facial Injuries: The impact of a car accident can cause bone fractures, lacerations, eye injuries, soft tissue injuries, burns, deformities, and tooth loss.
- Neck Injuries: Neck injuries may include whiplash and other soft tissue injuries.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is characterized by neck pain, stiffness, and other symptoms like irritability and memory issues.
- Loss of Limbs: The loss of a limb can lead to the need for prostheses and long-term rehabilitation.
- Wrist & Hand Injuries: A wrist or hand injury may require surgery and result in a loss of function.
- Leg & Foot Injuries: Leg and foot injuries are common in drivers and can involve breaks or dislocations.
- Brain Injuries: Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) can have long-term impacts or lead to death.
After a car accident, the body may be in shock and may not be able to determine the severity of the harm. Some injuries, like TBIs, may not be immediately apparent but have severe long-term effects. Many injuries require immediate medical attention, surgery, and prolonged recovery.
How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury in New York?
You have up to three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault party. However, you may only have six months to file a cause of action against a government agency such as a municipality. If a loved one is killed, you have two years from the date of the person’s death to file a lawsuit based on wrongful death.
Because New York follows a no-fault insurance system, you may be able to file a claim for benefits against your own insurance company regardless of who caused the accident. No-fault benefits are generally limited to $50,000 and must be filed within 30 days of the accident. No-fault benefits generally cover your medical bills, lost wages, and reasonable accident-related losses.
A lawsuit may be barred if it is filed after the statute of limitations. There are only limited exceptions to the statute of limitations, including an extension for minors that begins on the minor’s 18th birthday. Additionally, the statute may be tolled if the person has a disability or the defendant leaves New York.
Car Accident Lawyer Costs and Fees in Syracuse, NY
Under most circumstances, a lawyer’s fee in a personal injury case in New York is typically one-third (33.33%) of the recovery. However, attorneys generally work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only earn a fee if money is recovered on your behalf.
Expenses are usually advanced by the lawyer and cover costs related to the investigation, hiring experts, court fees, and more. Expenses are repaid at the conclusion of the case and vary significantly depending on the complexity and duration of the case.
There are two payment options available to car accident victims. The first is a percentage of net recovery, meaning that expenses are deducted first, then a one-third fee is taken from the remainder. If the case is lost, you may be billed for expenses.
The second option is a percentage of the total recovery. The one-third fee is taken from the total recovery, and expenses are deducted from your share. If the case is lost, there is no risk of billing.
Car Accident Lawsuit Process and Timeline in Syracuse, NY
If you are involved in a car accident in Syracuse, NY, it is imperative to work as quickly as possible. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages.
First, you will want to report the accident to the police and to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Reporting is required if the accident involves injury, death, or significant property damage. You must file an official accident report within 10 days of the incident to the DMV.
Next, you need to seek medical attention. Failure to get your injuries diagnosed and treated could negatively impact your case.
Finally, you will want to consult with an attorney to determine your legal options. The length of time it takes to finalize your claim will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, whether liability is disputed, and whether the insurance company is willing to negotiate for a fair and full settlement.
Accepting a Settlement Offer
Many car accident claims can be settled out of court through negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This option can save time and money. However, accepting a settlement will waive your legal rights to pursue further damages. It is essential to have an experienced attorney review your settlement offer to ensure it reflects the true value of your case
Car Accident Evidence to Support Your Case
Evidence often proves critical in car accident cases. Evidence, such as photos, videos, and other witness statements can help prove liability, support your version of the incident, or verify your injuries.
Types of evidence in a car accident case:
- Police accident reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Videos of the accident or aftermath
- Photographs from the accident scene
- Surveys of the accident scene
- Documentation of vehicle damage
- Breath tests or toxicology reports (if applicable)
- Contributions from accident reconstructionists and medical experts
- Medical records related to serious injuries
- Medical bills and car repair estimates
- Other documents detailing accident-related expenses and losses
The attorney you hire can help facilitate evidence gathering and will build your case. It is imperative to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who brings knowledge and resources to help you prove your case.
Average Car Accident Settlement in Syracuse, NY
The amount that a car accident case will settle for depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the injuries and whether the injured party was partially responsible for the collision. At King Law, our lawyers have successfully recovered multiple six-figure settlements for our clients, including $250,000 on behalf of a woman who sustained a serious neck injury.
Average Car Accident Settlement by Injury Type
The nature and severity of a person’s injuries are one of the primary influencers in a car accident case. Many six-figure settlements are the result of serious injuries.
King Law car accident settlements include:
- $250,000 on behalf of a client who suffered serious neck injuries.
- $112,500 on behalf of a rear-end collision victim who sustained neck injuries.
- $105,000 on behalf of a client who sustained back and knee injuries.
- $100,000 on behalf of a client who broke their leg in a head-on collision.
To determine the value of your case, it is important to consult with an attorney.
Contact a Syracuse Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident, you need to speak with an attorney. At King Law, our Syracuse car accident lawyers know the law and can help you get the recovery you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.