Category: Motor Vehicle Accidents

Injured in an accident? We can help. From car accidents, workers’ comp claims, construction accidents to medical malpractice and police misconduct, we have you covered. Check out our blog for helpful tips and examples of claims, including many related to motor vehicle accidents.

lawyer discussing client personal injury case with staff

Buckle Up NY, It’s the Law! Car Accident Lawyers

Not wearing your seat belt in the state of New York became a primary offense as of November 1st, 2020. The law requires that all drivers, all front seat passengers, and all back seat passengers 16 years of age or older wear a seat belt or use a child restraint device, including passengers of ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Prior to this legislation, passengers aged 16 and older were only required to wear a seat belt in the front passenger seat next to the driver.

The legislation that was signed into law is S.4336/A.6163.

Drivers and passengers 18 or older will be charged with a seat belt violation, ticketed and fined $50 if they – or any passenger in the car – are not properly strapped in.

The law was sponsored by Senator David Carlucci, who recently went on record saying “The simple fact is that seat belts save lives and prevent tragedies. It does not matter your age or where you sit in the vehicle. We want to raise awareness about the new law, and make sure people buckle up”.

This NY law requires the use of safety belts for all drivers and passengers 16 and over in all motorized vehicles, except for bus passengers and those in emergency vehicles.

The Importance of Wearing a Seat Belt

Seat belts save lives, but only if worn correctly every time you are in a motor vehicle. In a crash, your seat belt keeps you:

  • From being ejected from the vehicle.
  • From being thrown against the window, windshield, other passengers or the steering wheel.

Many adults have a misconception that not wearing a set belt in the back seat is safer than wearing one. In studies of injuries sustained in car crashes, AAA Northeast found that a rear seat passenger who is not wearing a seat belt is:

  • Twice as likely to be killed.
  • Eight times more likely to be seriously injured.
  • Two times more likely to kill a front seat occupant by becoming a human projectile.

Wear your lap belt around your hips and wear your shoulder belt across your chest. Remember that the seat belt will not work if it is tucked behind you, and airbags aren’t a substitute for seat belts.

Deaths from Car Accidents on the Streets of NY

According to the NY Governor’s office, about 30 percent of highway deaths in New York are occupants who are not wearing a seat belt. In 2018, the state reported 1,033 fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents. That means hundreds of people who died on New York roads had the option to wear a seat belt but didn’t. Men were more than twice as likely to be killed in a crash not wearing a seat belt than females.

From his office in Albany, NY the NY Governor had this to say about the new law: “We’ve known for decades that seat belts save lives and with this measure we are further strengthening our laws and helping to prevent needless tragedies. It was under my father’s leadership that New York became the first state in the country to pass a seat belt law, and the nation followed his lead. Now we are building upon this legacy and helping to create a safer and stronger Empire State for all.”

Every time you get in a vehicle, no matter where you are sitting, buckle up. It reduces your risk of being injured or killed in a crash by almost 50 percent.

The NYPD and law enforcement across the state participate in the national enforcement campaign, “Click it or Ticket,” to encourage safety belt use.

Next time you’re in a car, make sure everyone is buckled up.

Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

Should you have the misfortune of being involved in a car accident on the streets of New York, you have a right to claim for your pain and suffering, including medical bills because of the negligence of another driver. Hiring a lawyer for your car accident case is a must. Contact the New York car accident law firm of Daniella Levi & Associates now for a free consultation to discuss your matter and get started with your recovery.

lawyer and paralegal discussing an NY vehicle accident case

When to Hire a Lawyer in a Car Accident

Potential clients often ask us whether they should hire a lawyer for their car accident case. They have concerns such as:

  • They feel as though they were hurt, but not too badly.
  • Their car was damaged, but not too badly.
  • They have insurance, but they don’t want to use it because of fear their premiums will go up.
  • They are scared to go into a courtroom and go to trial because of some type of stage fear and missing time at work.
  • Lawyers seem expensive.

How can someone decide whether to hire a lawyer with all of these factors hanging over their head in the thought process?

Obviously we are lawyers, so our answer is going to be that you should always hire a lawyer if you were in a car accident, no matter how minor. However, this answer will be geared more towards minor car accidents where an injury did occur.

How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?

Let’s start with the “expense” of hiring a lawyer. In fact, it costs you nothing to hire a lawyer in New York to take on your car accident case. We work on all of our accident cases on a contingency basis. That means that our clients don’t ever pay us a dime. We only get paid if and when we recover for our clients. If we do not recover for our clients, we never get paid. The money that we spend on prosecuting the case is only reimbursed to us if we recover for our clients.

My Injuries Are Minor

Regarding injuries, if you are injured in a car accident case, initially you probably have no idea as to the extent of your injury. Sometimes, the most minor fender benders can cause catastrophic injuries where the symptoms do not show for days or weeks after the accident. By hiring a lawyer, we’ll make sure that you are properly checked-out for all of your injuries to ensure that your medical needs will be met.

Repairs to my Vehicle

Your car should be repaired and you should be made whole. If the accident wasn’t your fault, why should you incur the expense of repairing it? When car accidents happen, someone has to foot the bill for the repairs to your vehicle. By hiring a qualified lawyer, your bills will get paid on your case and your car will be repaired. If you go at it alone, you will foot the bill for the car accident, or at least the deductible, and you may have to take your car to your insurance company’s mechanic.

Increase in Car Insurance Premiums

If you are not at fault in the car accident, your premiums will not go up. I often hear people complain that they are scared to have a case regarding a car accident because they are worried their premiums will go up. Not only is this position a complete myth, it’s illegal and in bad faith for an insurance company to raise your rates if you are not at fault in a car accident.

Taking a Case to Trial

Lastly, going to trial. At the New York car accident law firm of Daniella Levi & Associates, we have lawyers that often go to trial. However, most minor car accident cases settle because the lawyers on the defense side understand that we will go to trial on our clients’ cases no matter how big or small. Accordingly, in a small car accident case, the chance of going to trial is less than 5%–not much of a risk. Even if your case does go to trial, our seasoned team of trial lawyers will prepare you for court and dissipate all of your fears.

In conclusion, hiring a lawyer in your car accident case is a must. Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your matter and get started with your recovery.

For all correspondence, please use the Queens office address.

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