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NYC Car Accident Attorney

Slawomir Platta, Esq. Founding Partner

You could be entitled to compensation if you are in a car accident in New York City. Those responsible for your crash could be on the hook for the cost of your medical treatment, lost income and the suffering you’ve experienced.

A Platta Law Firm’s New York car accident lawyer will fight to maximize your financial award. It is wrong for you to suffer both physically and financially for another’s mistake. We’ll deal with your insurance company and file a claim for your financial losses. Don’t go it alone; contact us as soon as possible and let us help you.

Table of Contents

Why Call The Platta Law Firm

Our firm has award-winning New York car accident attorneys with a reputation for successfully concluding the most challenging personal injury cases in New York. Our fierce litigators go head-to-head with tough insurance companies and well-funded defendants every day – and win big for clients like you. Put yourself in the best position to win your auto accident claim. Call our law office in New York City at (212) 514-5100 to get started with a free case evaluation. Our team is standing by to answer 24/7/365.

Why You Should Hire an NYC Car Accident Lawyer

It makes sense to hire a personal injury attorney after getting into a car accident. Some frequently cited reasons are:

  • Hiring a lawyer makes you more likely to win your injury case.
  • Hiring a lawyer levels the playing field against tricky insurance companies.
  • You’re likely to get up to 3.5 times more than those who handle claims independently.

It’s not just about hiring an attorney – it’s about retaining the car accident lawyer in New York City who’s best suited to handle your case. That is why we offer a free case review to our clients.

NYC Car Accident Statistics (Updated for 2022)

More than eight million people call New York City home; it’s no surprise that NYC has the worst traffic congestion in the world. According to NYPD crash data, there were 7,818 collisions citywide in 2022.

Where in NYC Did These Accidents Happen?

The accidents happened in the five boroughs as follows:

More than 40% of all traffic accidents in NYC result in an injury or death. Traffic accidents citywide involved 15,060 motorists, 1,183 passengers, 783 pedestrians and 383 bicyclists. Of these, 3,391 sustained injuries and 25 died.

Dangerous Intersections in NYC

According to the police department in NYC, accidents often happen in intersections. These are areas where motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and others converge, making them complex and often unsafe. A few of the dangerous intersections follow:

  • Rockaway Boulevard and Brookville Boulevard
  • Flatbush Avenue and Grand Army Plaza
  • Bruckner Boulevard and East 138th Street
  • Flatbush Avenue and Tillary Street

Approximately 40 to 50 percent of all accidents happen in intersections. The crashes are often due to running a red light and causing a T-bone collision. Pedestrian injuries and deaths are high in intersections, despite the use of crosswalks.

What Causes Most Car Accidents in New York City?

Almost anything can contribute to a car wreck in New York City. However, some common driver errors are:

Distracted Driving

Texting and driving, tuning the radio, or looking at GPS devices are all driver distractions. This behavior is dangerous in a congested city like New York. In 2022, driver distraction contributed to a minimum of 2,189 collisions.


Drivers follow another vehicle too closely if they are in a rush or eager to beat a red light.  Tailgating is incredibly dangerous and was a factor in at least 604 wrecks in 2022. This risky behavior leads to rear-end collisions, the most common type of nationwide accident.

Failure to Yield the Right of Way

Motorists entering a road or highway must yield to those already traveling in the lane and who have the right-of-way. In 2022, failure to yield was a factor in 697 car accidents (where police recorded crash characteristics). Failure to yield frequently happens in an intersection, when entering a highway or exiting a driveway.


Speeding increases the risk of accidents – particularly fatal crashes. According to the NYPD, there were a minimum of 313 speed-related accidents in 2022. The biggest problem with speeding drivers is losing control of their vehicles. Your NYC car accident lawyer will investigate the crash to see if speeding was involved.

Drugs and Alcohol

In New York, impaired driving is a factor in too many traffic accidents. Car accident statistics reveal that drugs and alcohol were relevant in crashes citywide.

Other Leading Causes of Car Accidents in New York

  • Unsafe lane changes: This is common with aggressive and drunk driving.
  • Road rage: A frequent problem since 2020; it may reflect driver frustrations.
  • Unsafe turns: This distorts traffic flow and leads to significantly more accidents.
  • Passenger distraction: Talking to passengers is a frequent cause of traffic collisions.
  • Road defects: Potholes and other roadway design and safety issues can lead to an accident.
  • Inexperienced drivers: Younger drivers are more apt to experience severe or fatal crashes.
  • Fatigued driving: Closing your eyes for 5 seconds is equivalent to going through a football field at 50 mph.
  • Limited visibility: Failure to trim trees and bushes and creating other problems with visibility can lead to a lawsuit against the city agency in charge of road maintenance. The time to file this claim is shorter than in other personal injury lawsuits.
  • Vehicle malfunction or defect: A car accident lawyer in NYC can address defects and malfunctions that cause a traffic accident. A product liability lawsuit claim against the manufacturer is possible if an accident occurs.

Our legal team will carefully review your crash from every possible angle to identify precisely why it happened. The more we understand about the cause(s), the better situated we’ll be to pursue damages from all liable parties.

How Much Money Can I Win if I File a Car Accident Claim?

When another person’s negligence causes injuries, you might wonder what your car accident case is worth. In truth, every situation is different – so the value of every case differs. Some of the most critical factors that affect the value of your auto accident claim include:

  • What are your current medical bills?
  • Did you take steps to lessen your injuries such as wearing a seat belt?
  • What types of damages/injuries did you suffer in the crash?
  • How much income have you lost because of the collision?
  • What are the projected costs of medical care in the future?
  • How has the trauma of being involved in a wreck affected you?
  • Are you being blamed by insurance companies or other parties?
  • Will your lack of ability to work and earn an income be long-term?
  • Are you expected to recover fully, or will you have a permanent disability?

Fatal and Serious Injuries Bring Higher Damages

Here’s a general rule of thumb: your case will typically be worth more when your injuries are severe. The average comprehensive cost of a car accident in 2019 was:

  • $155,000 for victims with possible injuries
  • If no injury is visible, $51,000 is the average cost
  • $1,219,000 when a victim sustained a disabling injury
  • $336,000 for crash victims who suffered evident injuries
  • For fatal accidents, the average cost was roughly $11,148,000

The type of injury affects the cost of medical treatment, loss of income and pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your car accident case could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

What Damages Are Available if a Negligent Driver Injures Me in NYC?

The first type is objectively verifiable and efficiently determined using tabulation records. These include:

  • Lost Wages: If you cannot work after the car accident, you can lose the wages you usually receive. When this happens, your NYC car accident lawyer can calculate the financial damages you need to compensate for the lost wages. Lost wages can also include commissions, expected bonuses and other job perks.
  • Lost Earning Capacity: In some cases, the wage earner loses their potential to earn an income. By this method, it is possible to calculate the financial loss a young person may experience over their lifetime. Since their earned wages may be less because they are just beginning their work history, this allows them to receive fair compensation. It is also relevant when an injured person must take a lower-paying job due to their injuries. The difference in wages or fees you received before and after the accident is considered and added to the recoverable damages.
  • Medical Expenses: Medical care costs vary depending on the injury’s seriousness. However, medical expenses can be high and paying out-of-pocket for emergency care and hospital bills is difficult. Medical expenses include transport to the hospital, doctor’s fees, hospital costs, medication, rehabilitation services, and modifying the home to accommodate disabilities. In addition, the claim covers the cost of traveling to and from doctors’ appointments.
  • Disability: When an injured person can’t work, they may receive the wages they would’ve earned until retirement. This is different from lost earning capacity and is calculable from the wages before the accident.

Pain and Suffering

New York Car Accident Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are not directly verifiable and differ from case to case. Rather, they deal with  emotional distress, anxiety, fear of going out and driving and post-traumatic stress disorder. The presence of these fears and feelings lessen a person’s  quality of life.

Additionally,  a  spouse who loses spousal benefits may join the lawsuit with a loss of consortium claim.

How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?

There are several methods used to calculate pain and suffering. The most common is adding all the economic damages and multiplying them by a factor ranging from 1.5 to five. With this method, the multiplier increases according to the severity of the injury. There are other ways of calculating the loss associated with pain and suffering. Your New York car accident lawyer can explain the method they use.

Questions When Calculating Pain and Suffering

  • How long will it take the plaintiff to recover?
  • Will the plaintiff’s injuries affect their life expectancy?
  • Did the collision cause a loss of sexual function or desire?
  • Has the injured person lost their relationships with others?
  • Did the damages the person suffered affect their daily life?
  • Did the accident cause the victim to have anxiety or depression?

Punitive Damages Filed by a Car Accident Attorney

The court may award punitive damages for egregious negligence. These damages intend to punish the wrongdoer. The court or jury decides on the amount of punitive damages, which are usually much higher than compensatory ones.

Do You Need a Police Report to File a Lawsuit?

A police report is an essential piece of evidence and can be helpful when filing a lawsuit. However, even in its absence, you can still file. Your personal injury lawyer will review the police report for mistakes. Since this report is part of insurance company negotiations and court proceedings, a mistake can be detrimental to your case’s outcome.

What Happens if I Share Responsibility for a Car Accident in New York in a Comparative Fault Incident?

Sharing some of the responsibility for a motor vehicle accident won’t prevent you from recovering compensation. Fault won’t even be a factor when you file a claim to recover benefits from your insurance provider. New York has no-fault insurance laws, meaning you must seek benefits from your insurer first, regardless of who caused the accident. However, sharing fault will impact your ability to recover compensation from a negligent third party (or their insurance company).

Under New York’s pure comparative fault system, your damages are less and directly proportional to your share of the blame. An example is when an injured person is not wearing a seat belt. Ejection due to lack of a seatbelt causes additional injuries, and the associated damages are subtractable from the money the plaintiff (injured party) receives.

Blame Is Often Rampant After an NYC Car Accident

Expect others to try to blame you. Fighting back prevents the compensation you deserve from disappearing. The Platta Law Firm will be ready for the allegations made by others. We use sound methods to document fault and keep you from falsely being a scapegoat.

How Does New York’s No-Fault Insurance Law Affect my Right to File a Lawsuit?

Under New York’s no-fault rule, your insurance benefits will be your primary source of compensation after an accident. You must purchase and carry a certain level of coverage before you can legally operate your vehicle in the state. Also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), its minimum coverage requirements include:

  • Property damage: $10,000 (per accident)
  • Death: $50,000 (per person); $100,000 (per accident)
  • Bodily injury: $25,000 (per person); $50,000 (per accident)

PIP benefits cover drivers, passengers and pedestrians. After a crash, PIP benefits will take care of:

  • Medical bills
  • $25 per day or necessary and reasonable expenses
  • 80 percent of your lost wages (up to $2,000 for three years)
  • What Happens if You Exhaust Your Insurance Benefits but Still Have Accident-Related Costs?

You can file a lawsuit against a negligent third party (or their insurer) if you have a severe injury. A serious trauma or threshold injury is defined as one that results in death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, fracture, loss of the use of an organ or system function or another catastrophic injury.

By filing a lawsuit, you open up the opportunity to recover compensation that reflects the actual costs and suffering you’ve experienced. The ability to file a lawsuit occurs when the policy payout is less than the compensation you need.

Don’t Underestimate the Seriousness of Your Car Accident Injury

Any collision – even one that occurs at speeds as low as 10 mph – can cause serious injuries. Of course, the higher the rate of speed, the more catastrophic the resulting injuries tend to be. The Platta Law Firm can help you seek maximum damages for all car crash injuries. Contact our NYC car accident lawyers for help if you’ve been in a wreck and suffered:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Neck, chest, spinal cord, knee, shoulder or back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Paraplegia and quadriplegia
  • Partial or complete amputation
  • Burns
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Internal organ damage or bleeding

We consult with medical experts and talk to your treating physician to determine the the extent of damage and your prognosis. These determinants will help ensure that you obtain the damages you need. Remember, it is safer to overestimate than underestimate your injuries.

Fatal Car Accidents

Following a fatal car accident in New York, surviving family members may have the right to file a wrongful death action. Our attorneys will be there to help you navigate this difficult time. The family could receive damages that cover the cost of funeral and burial expenses, loss of support and the need to hire others to perform jobs the decedent did such as child rearing or income taxes. While no amount of financial recovery can ease the grief you feel after the loss of a loved one, it will help you to face the future without undue stress.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident in New York City?

The actions you take after a crash are crucial to your safety and the outcome of your claim if you file against the defendant. Some are listed below:

  • Call 911 to report the accident.
  • Get somewhere safe but stay near the scene (leaving can be considered a hit and run).
  • Seek medical attention as soon as you can.
  • Write down the names and numbers of any witnesses.
  • Take pictures of the scene, property damage and injuries.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers.
  • Decline to provide a recorded statement to an insurance provider.
  • Resist the urge to accept an insurance company’s first settlement offer.
  • Alert other drivers so that they’ll know to slow down when approaching.
  • Direct all conversations and communications to your NYC car accident lawyer.

The Platta Law Firm will be there to answer your call after a wreck in New York City. Call our law office at (212) 514-5100 to get started with a free consultation immediately.

Why Do Clients Hire an NYC Car Accident Lawyer?

New Yorkers found that if they or a loved one suffers injuries, The Platta Law Firm should be one of the first calls they make after a motor vehicle accident. The reasons for this are:

  • You pay nothing unless we win.
  • Our client satisfaction is second to none.
  • We’ve helped injury victims and families in NYC win $150 million+.
  • Collectively, our attorneys have more than 130 years of experience.
  • Unlike some law firms, our team genuinely cares about every client we represent.
  • We have received multiple awards and we’re members of prestigious organizations that attest to our diligence, legal knowledge and compassion. We’re honored to be among the few who achieve this recognition.

Most Common Collisions a Car Accident Lawyer Handles

  • Rear End Collisions: This type of crash is the most common and can cause cervical strain, also known as whiplash. The symptoms of whiplash due to a rear-end collision can sometimes last up to 24 months.
  • Head on Collisions: This is often the result of drunk driving. The fatality rate is very high.
  • Sideswipe Accidents: A sideswipe crash occurs when the sides of two vehicles hit each other. This accident often happens when one car tries to change lanes without looking.
  • T-Bone Accidents: This type of collision frequently happens at an intersection when a driver races through a traffic light that is about to change and hits a vehicle traveling perpendicular to them. The impact can cause a femur fracture to the driver traveling legally through the intersection.
  • Rollover Accidents: Crashes in this category are common among SUVs, light trucks and other vehicles with a high center of gravity. In some rollovers, the roof infrastructure does not support the car’s weight and a crush injury ensues. Crush injuries cause serious trauma since the survivability space is greatly diminished. It is possible to sue the manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit.
  • Hit and Run Accidents: Fleeing the scene of an accident is against the law. Your NYC car accident lawyer can use investigative techniques to help apprehend the at-fault driver.
  • Intersection Accidents: 40% of all severe collisions happen where traffic from all directions converges.
  • Parking Lot Accidents: Often, a driver backs out of a parking space without looking. Pedestrians, especially small children and other vehicles are hit, causing serious injuries and death.
  • Uber and Lyft Accidents: Uber or Lyft collisions are complex and may involve multiple insurance policies. The companies carry substantial insurance.
  • Accidents Involving Uninsured or Underinsured drivers: It is best to obtain an add-on policy that covers uninsured or underinsured drivers. This policy helps even if the owner or someone in the immediate family is hurt when walking, riding a bicycle or driving. Usage will not increase premiums.

Car Accidents With Various Vehicles

  • Car and Truck Accidents: These accidents usually turn out badly for the occupants of a passenger vehicle.
  • Car and Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than other motorists. Drivers often say they did not see the motorcyclist.
  • Car and Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrians are the most vulnerable of all. The accidents occur anywhere statistically, but drunk or distracted drivers can also hit them in a crosswalk.
  • Single Vehicle Accidents: These are very common and are often the result of distracted or impaired driving. However, mechanical failure or an auto defect may be responsible. Your NYC car accident lawyer may address these accidents with a product liability lawsuit.
  • Car and Bicycle Accidents: Dooring is a common incident and badly injures many bicycle riders. It occurs when a motorist parked parallel to the street does not look before opening their car door as a cyclist is passing.
  • Multiple Vehicle Accidents: They are common on the highways, and often fatal. One of the chief problems is that vehicles are hit numerous times, but airbags only inflate once.

When Do I File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in NYC?


The typical statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in New York is three years. If you lose a family member in a fatal crash, you’ll have just two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against negligent parties. The best way to protect yourself  is by calling The Platta Law Firm for help as soon as you can after an accident. Let a New York City car accident lawyer at our firm give your case the prompt attention it deserves. There are times when the statute of limitations can be different. For instance:

  • Cases involving the government are subject to special rules and procedures. You’ll have just 90 days to file a notice of claim with the city or state of New York.
  • An extension is possible in some cases. For instance, if a victim is a minor at the time of the accident, it is impossible to find the defendant or if the injury’s symptoms are not present immediately. Tolling is the process of extending the deadline, which simply pauses the statute of limitations until the case can move forward.

Take action ASAP. Once the deadline passes, you’ll lose the right to file a lawsuit for the money you deserve.

What Does it Cost to Hire an NYC Car Accident Lawyer?

It doesn’t cost anything initially. That’s because personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Your NYC car accident attorney will only get paid if your case resolves successfully in your favor. No win, no fee. That’s a promise.

NYC Car Accident Attorney Costs in Car Crash Cases

Typically, a car accident attorney’s fee in New York City is between 33 percent and 40 percent of the recovered money. Calculating percentages can occur before or after case-related expenses (e.g., administrative costs, expert fees) are deducted. Always speak to your lawyer about their cost structure and what you can expect. At The Platta Law Firm, we’re committed to transparency at every stage of the attorney-client relationship. We’ll discuss our fees with you in detail and answer any questions. Don’t hesitate to call our law office in Manhattan right now to learn more.

What Are the Biggest Mistakes You Can Make After a New York City Car Accident?

Some mistakes made after a car accident in NYC impact your case negatively. They include accepting a low-ball offer and signing documents too soon or allowing insurers to record your conversation without the advice of an attorney. Other things you should not do are leaving the scene of the accident and failing to notify police if more than $1,000 in property damage occurred or if someone was seriously hurt.

In conversations with insurers or other people involved in the accident, be aware of what you say, even in innocent discussions. For instance, saying you are sorry the accident happened may be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt.

Not visiting with a doctor or going to the ER for evaluation is another mistake many people make. This is because initially you may not experience symptoms. Lack of symptoms can occur because of the excess adrenaline you produce after an accident. It can also be linked to delayed symptoms that crop up with some injuries such as whiplash, which can take 72 hours to appear. Whatever the reason, it can lead to false assumptions about the severity of your injuries.

How Long Does it Take to Be Compensated in a Car Accident in New York City?

The time for receiving compensation varies from case to case. The seriousness of your injuries, whether it was a multiple-vehicle crash and the cooperation of the insurer all affect the timeline. The skill of your NYC car accident attorney is another consideration. The insurance company may try to take advantage of your financial situation after an accident and bank on your accepting less than you need.

Once you do that, they will ask you to sign a waiver that prevents you from trying to file a subsequent claim for the same accident even if you need medical treatment. Taking your time, although hard to do when you are not working, may be beneficial since it is the best way to ensure coverage of all your medical expenses and other losses.

Do All Car Accidents Go to Trial?

No, the majority do not. Most of the time your lawyer can negotiate a viable settlement. At The Platta Law Firm, our lawyers are as adept at the negotiation table as they are in the courtroom. However, the matter will go to court if the insurer fails to provide an offer covering their client’s damages.

How an NYC Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Your attorney will investigate the accident site to procure the evidence needed to file a claim. Without this evidence, the case will not be viable. Aside from gathering evidence at the site such as paint smears in a hit-and-run crash, they interview witnesses. The investigative team will also obtain traffic light surveillance videos as well as those from nearby businesses. If the owner of the video is reluctant to hand it over, your attorney can file a subpoena.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Respected Car Accident Attorney in New York City

Were you recently involved in a car accident in New York City? Did the crash happen because of someone else’s negligence? Speak with a qualified NYC car accident lawyer at The Platta Law Firm for immediate assistance. You may have the right to recover compensation. Our law office fights to maximize your financial recovery for medical expenses, income loss and pain and suffering.

Put 130+ years of experience in your corner. Benefit from a legal team that’s won tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Call our law office at (212) 514-5100, or contact us online to arrange your free consultation. We’re standing by to answer 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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"I had a terrible motor vehicle accident when another driver hit me from the side. My chest and neck were in agonizing pain. The other driver’s insurance company made me feel guilty for the accident but thats when Mr. Platta stepped in and fought on my behalf. Incredible attorneys and the whole staff was a pleasure to work with.

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42 Broadway Suite 1927
New York, NY 10004
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Tel: (212) 514-5100
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Midtown Office
119 E 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
Get Directions
Tel: (212) 514-5100
Fax: (212) 514-9300
Financial District Office
42 Broadway, Suite 1927
New York, NY 10004

Midtown Office
119 E 38th Street
New York, NY 10016

Tel: (212) 514-5100  |  Fax: (212) 514-9300
Financial District Office
42 Broadway Suite 1927
New York, NY 10004

Midtown Office
119 E 38th Street
New York, NY 10016

Tel:  (212) 514-5100
Fax: (212) 514-9300
Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended for informational purposes only. This website contains details on legal issues, but this does not constitute legal advice.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended for informational purposes only. This website contains details on legal issues, but this does not constitute legal advice.
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© 2023  The Platta Law Firm.
All Rights Reserved.