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Car Accidents

Rochester Car Accident Attorneys

Know Your Rights After an Auto Accident in Rochester, NY

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages. Under New York no-fault insurance rules, you will need to seek compensation from your own insurance company.

It is important to remember that insurance companies are in business for profit and primarily concerned with their own bottom line. Your insurer may try to get you to accept a lowball offer that will not cover the full value of your claim. It is in your best interests to consult with a car accident attorney before accepting an offer.

If you were injured in a serious car crash in Upstate New York, reach out to our Rochester car accident lawyers today to discuss your needs in a free consultation. Call (585) 245-0255 or contact us online.

Understanding New York's No-Fault Insurance Laws

In New York, drivers are required to carry no-fault insurance, or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, as a way to quickly and efficiently handle car accident claims. This means that regardless of who is at fault for the accident, each party's insurance company will cover their individual damages and injuries up to a certain limit.

While this system can streamline the claims process, it also has its drawbacks – particularly for those who have suffered severe injuries or have extensive property damage that exceeds their coverage limits.

Understanding how these no-fault insurance rules function is essential to navigating the aftermath of a car accident in New York, and seeking out the guidance of a Rochester car accident lawyer from Horn Wright, LLP can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Additional Compensation for Severe Injuries

PIP insurance will cover the cost of your accident up to a certain limit. If you suffered severe or even permanent injuries, however, your damages might exceed what your insurance company is willing to pay. In this case, you may need to file a lawsuit against the liable party or parties to recover additional compensation.

In car accident cases, liable parties may include:

  • Another driver who caused the collision
  • Truck drivers and the companies that employ them
  • Manufacturers of defective products
  • Rideshare drivers and companies like Uber or Lyft
  • Bicyclists or pedestrians who caused a crash
  • The driver of your car (if you were a passenger)

Common Causes of Car Accidents in New York

Many car accidents in Upstate New York and across the nation result from human error or negligence.

Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:

  • Distracted driving: Driver distraction is anything that takes the driver’s attention away from operating the vehicle. It may involve texting or talking on the phone, conversations with passengers, eating, drinking, grooming, or even changing the radio station.
  • Speeding: In 2020, 11,258 people were killed in crashes in which speeding was involved, as stated by NHTSA. Speeding puts everyone on the road at risk.
  • DUI: Driving under the influence of alcohol is a leading cause of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Every day, approximately 32 people in the U.S. die in drunk driving crashes, according to the NHTSA.
  • Teen drivers: Immaturity and inexperience can be a dangerous combination. Crash rates of teenage drivers per mile driven are nearly four times those of drivers 20 and older, as stated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  • Tailgating: Many car accidents occur because a driver was following another vehicle too closely. Tailgating can be particularly dangerous at highway speeds.
  • Disregarding traffic signals: Running red lights or stop signs can lead to deadly collisions. Drivers who disregard traffic signals and signs can plow into other vehicles traveling legally through an intersection.
  • Unsafe lane changes: Drivers who weave in and out of traffic at high speeds are a threat to everyone on the road. Reckless lane changes can be particularly dangerous when drivers fail to check their blind spots or pass too closely to another vehicle.
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way: Right-of-way is the right to proceed before another vehicle. It comes into play at four-way stops, crosswalks, traffic circles, yield signs, and when merging onto a freeway. When a driver does not allow a vehicle with the right-of-way to proceed, it can result in a wreck.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit?

The time it takes to settle a car accident lawsuit can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, the willingness of the parties to negotiate, and the court's schedule. Some cases settle relatively quickly, within a few months or less, while others may take much longer, potentially several years.

It's important to note that the settlement timeline can be influenced by:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Conducting investigations
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Engaging in settlement discussions or mediation
  • Potentially proceeding to trial if a settlement cannot be reached

Additionally, the duration of medical treatment and recovery plays a role in the settlement timeline. It is often beneficial to wait until the injured party has reached maximum medical improvement or a stable condition before negotiating a settlement, as it allows for a more accurate assessment of the long-term impact of the injuries and the associated damages.

To get a better estimate of the expected timeline for your specific case, reach out to our car accident attorneys in Rochester. We can evaluate the unique circumstances of your case and provide guidance based on our experience and knowledge of the legal system in NY.

How Common Are Car Accidents?

Unfortunately, car accidents have become a fact of life in the 21st Century. No matter how diligently you drive, there is always the risk of being involved in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence.

  • An estimated 5,215,071 nonfatal traffic crashes occurred on U.S. roads in the most recent year for which statistics are available, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • An estimated 2,282,015 people were injured in these accidents.
  • 38,824 people were killed in traffic crashes nationwide.
  • Speeding and alcohol-impaired driving-related fatalities increased over the previous year.

You Don't Pay Unless We Win Your Case – Call Now

Our Rochester car accident attorneys at Horn Wright, LLP have extensive experience handling car wreck claims. We are your legal allies after a crash. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively pursue the compensation you deserve after a serious car accident caused by someone else’s negligence.

Contact us at (585) 245-0255 to schedule a free consultation and find out what our car accident lawyers in Rochester can do for you.

What Sets Us Apart From The Rest?

Horn Wright, LLP is here to help you get the results you need with a team you can trust.

  • Client-Focused Approach
    We’re a client-centered, results-oriented firm. When you work with us, you can have confidence we’ll put your best interests at the forefront of your case – it’s that simple.
  • Creative & Innovative Solutions

    No two cases are the same, and neither are their solutions. Our attorneys provide creative points of view to yield exemplary results.

  • Experienced Attorneys

    We have a team of trusted and respected attorneys to ensure your case is matched with the best attorney possible.

  • Driven By Justice

    The core of our legal practice is our commitment to obtaining justice for those who have been wronged and need a powerful voice.