The esteemed attorneys of Towey Law, PLLC help those injured by negligent drivers recover the compensation they deserve. We see first-hand how devastating motor vehicle collisions can be, with severe accidents leading to catastrophic injuries with the victims suffering from spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and internal damage.
Our Buffalo car accident lawyers will fight to protect your rights and ensure you have the means to put the pieces of your life back together. To schedule your free case evaluation, call (716) 300-8232.
Why Work With A Buffalo Car Accident Attorney From Towey Law?
Car accident injuries can be devastating. That is why it is important to have a Buffalo personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the aftermath of a traffic collision. At Towey Law, PLLC, some of our legal services include:
- We provide free consultations for all manner of personal injury settlements in the Buffalo area.
- We ensure that our clients always have direct communication with their attorneys.
- We have secured over a million dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients over the years.
Why Hire a Buffalo Car Accident Lawyer for Your Claim?
Car accidents in Buffalo are rarely simple. In many cases, determining fault and assessing injuries can prove very challenging. A skilled car accident lawyer can protect your rights and ensure you receive just compensation by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation
- Gathering critical evidence
- Preparing and filing the extensive paperwork
- Collecting medical records
- Retaining relevant medical experts and investigators
- Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, our talented Buffalo car accident attorneys will aggressively advocate for the verdict you deserve.
Why an Insurance Adjuster May Not Have Your Best Interests in Mind
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Their bottom line will always go before the payout you deserve. Some insurance companies may employ unsavory tactics to minimize your settlement or deny it altogether, including:
- Calling immediately after a car accident before you have had time to assess your injuries or the damage to your property
- Pressuring you into accepting a small payout offer, also known as a quick settlement, may prevent you from recovering the full cost of your medical and other expenses
- Recording your conversation
- Asking seemingly simple questions whose answers may hurt your claim
Retaining representation as soon as possible will help you recover the maximum compensation for your car accident injuries and shield you from any objectionable strategies.
How Common Are Car Accident Injuries?
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with most traffic collisions being preventable and are caused by driver negligence.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the last reporting year;
- Car accident fatalities rose 4.6 percent in the first nine months of a preliminary study.
- There were 42,060 car accident fatalities altogether.
- Vehicle miles traveled decreased by 14.5 percent.
- An estimated 4,795,000 people were injured.
- The NHTSA reports it has seen the highest annual increase in fatalities in 96 years.
If you have suffered a loss from a car accident, please reach out to our Buffalo wrongful death attorneys today.
Common Types of Injuries From Car Accidents
The human body cannot withstand the forces created by the average car accident. These forces can push and pull against a victim in a vehicle impact, flinging drivers and passengers around and causing parts of the body to strike elements inside or outside of the cab. Even with safety features such as seat belts and airbags in place, a car accident can cause catastrophic injuries that remain with the victim for life.
At Towey Law, PLLC, we are passionate about helping clients with all types of car accident injuries recover fair compensation and rebuild their lives. We have what it takes to help you with any of the following injuries:
- Scrapes and cuts. Shattered glass and jagged metal caused by a car accident can result in superficial scrapes and cuts as well as deeper lacerations. This can include severed arteries, nerve damage, injuries that require stitches, injuries that cause permanent scarring or disfigurement, and road rash if a victim gets ejected from a vehicle.
- Soft-tissue injuries. This describes damage to the body’s connective tissues, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Soft-tissue injuries can take many forms, with whiplash being one of the most common. Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck from the rapid back-and-forth motion of the head and neck in a crash.
- Broken bones. The bones of the body can only withstand so much pressure before they bend, crack and break. Bone fractures are painful and can cause serious complications, such as a broken rib puncturing a lung or a crushed limb requiring a medical amputation. Broken ribs and chest injuries are especially common, as a driver may collide with a steering wheel in a wreck.
- Spinal cord injuries. If the spinal cord gets injured in a car accident – such as a spinal concussion, fracture, or severed spine – it can cause irreparable nerve damage or paralysis. This is the loss of function and feeling in the body below the point of injury. Less severe back injuries, such as disk herniation, can still be painful and debilitating.
- Head and brain injuries. If the head or skull slams into something in a car accident or is struck by a flying object, it can cause a traumatic brain injury. Examples of traumatic brain injuries are concussions, bleeding (hemorrhage), and swelling (edema). All brain injuries are serious and can run the risk of permanent brain damage.
- Lower extremity injuries. The lower half of the body, including the legs, knees, and pelvis, can suffer serious injuries in a car crash. These include broken bones and soft-tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains. Lower-body injuries are especially common in motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian collisions.
- Internal injuries. The internal organs are not safe from harm in a car accident. They can move around within the body and collide with other organs or the skeletal system, resulting in organ damage or internal bleeding.
- Wrongful death. If a car accident victim does not survive his or her injuries, it may constitute wrongful death according to New York law. This means that the negligence or fault of another party caused a victim’s fatal injury. In this scenario, surviving family members may be eligible for compensation.
Some injuries are immediately obvious after a vehicle collision. Others may take hours or even days for symptoms to appear. A hemorrhage in the brain, for example, may not escalate to the point of causing noticeable symptoms until several hours after the accident. This is why it is important to always visit a hospital after a car accident, even if you do not think you are injured. A physician can conduct tests and x-rays to detect injuries that have hidden or delayed symptoms. Do not answer any questions about your injuries when speaking to an insurance claims adjuster until you’ve seen a doctor.
What Steps Should You Take After a Car Accident in Buffalo?
Car accidents happen every day, and in the event that one occurs, one of the most important measures you can take for your and your family’s safety is to be prepared. Whether you are involved in a minor car accident or a severe collision, make sure you take the necessary steps to protect yourself:
- Check yourself and assess your injuries. Keep in mind adrenaline can mask initial pain, so be diligent and seek medical attention as soon as it arrives—call 911. If you cannot, ask someone else to call 911.
- If you are able, check on others involved in the accident. Make sure to keep your calm and help others stay calm, especially if anyone has suffered major injuries. Do not move anyone if they may have sustained a back, neck, or other serious injuries. Wait for emergency personnel.
- If the car accident was minor, get to safety. If your car is safe to drive, pull off to the side of the road.
- Exchange information and make sure to include:
- Full names, addresses, and contact numbers
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license and license plate number
- Type, model, and color of the vehicle
- Location of the accident
- Document as much as you can. Take pictures of the car accident at different angles and distances and pay attention to details. Is there paint transfer on your car? What damage has been done to both cars? Also, take a picture of license plates. Talk to witnesses. What did they see?
- When the authorities arrive, be specific and detailed. Also, ask for a copy of the report for your records. It can be very helpful to get the officers’ names and badge numbers when filing a claim.
- Contact a Buffalo car accident attorney BEFORE contacting your insurance company or speaking to an insurance adjuster. You are entitled to legal representation and are not required to speak to anyone without legal counsel. Exercise your rights. Protect your rights. Schedule a free consultation with Towey Law, PLLC, as soon as possible.
What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents in Buffalo?
New York is no stranger to traffic collisions. At Towey Law, PLLC, our motor vehicle collision attorneys will talk to witnesses, investigate the police reports, and gather critical evidence to establish liability.
The most common car accidents in Buffalo typically involve:
- Distracted Driving
- Driving under the influence
- Excessive speeding
- Failure to yield
- Driving recklessly in hazardous conditions
Of course, this is just a brief summary of car accident cases, as anything can result in a crash ranging from a fender-bender to a devastating wreck. Yet, regardless of the cause, it’s crucial that you have a Buffalo car accident lawyer on your side to make sure that you are fairly represented.
What Damages Can a Car Accident Lawyer in Buffalo Help Me Recover?
Car accidents in Buffalo, New York are unique. Every claim is different. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a traffic collision due to a negligent driver, you are entitled to compensation.
Consult one of the dedicated attorneys of Towey Law, PLLC today to see if your claim qualifies for one of the following damages:
- Compensation for all medical expenses related to the accident
- Loss of income if you cannot work
- Loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of consortium damages
- Emotional distress
- Possible punitive damages when certain criteria are met
It is possible to recover both economic (tangible) and noneconomic (intangible) damages in a car accident case in New York. If the defendant is guilty of gross negligence or recklessness, you may also qualify for punitive damages to punish the defendant for his or her wrongful acts.
How Much Is a New York Car Accident Case Worth?
Wanting to know how much a case is worth is a common question. Many crash victims wish to find out if they will receive enough compensation to allow them to pay for their present and ongoing medical expenses, as well as vehicle repairs and the other costs connected to a car accident. This is an important question to ask, as you may end up settling with an insurance company for less than you deserve if you don’t know how much your case is truly worth.
You can start calculating the value of your claim by understanding what New York law says about car accident settlements. New York is a no-fault state, meaning that all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for their own injuries after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. These benefits pay for a policyholder’s medical bills by offering first-party coverage. The required amount of PIP insurance is a minimum of $50,000, but more is available for purchase by a driver, if desired.
You will have at least the $50,000 available on your own policy to pay for your medical bills and lost wages after a New York car accident. If you sustained a “serious injury” under the New York insurance law, you may also be able to use the other driver’s car insurance for additional compensation. This can increase the value of your car accident case. A serious injury is one that results in dismemberment, significant disfigurement, a broken bone, the permanent loss or significant limitation of an important bodily function, the loss of a fetus, or death. If you aren’t sure whether you can file outside of the no-fault system in New York, a lawyer can review your case for you.
Factors That Determine the Amount of a Settlement
There is no such thing as an average car accident settlement, as each case is 100 percent unique. Some victims in New York recover six figures for catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities caused by a car accident, while other cases are worth $10,000 or less for minor damages. This disparity between car accident case values makes it fruitless to try to apply an “average” settlement amount to your case. You will need to consult with an attorney about how much your case is worth for an accurate depiction.
An attorney will look at numerous factors that can affect the amount of your car accident settlement to determine value, such as:
- Injury severity
- How significantly the accident impacted you
- The total amount of medically necessary care
- The number of defendants and who is at fault
- The amount of insurance coverage available
- The comparative negligence defense, if applicable
Calculating the value of your claim typically starts with adding up your economic damages, as these have hard numbers from bills, receipts and paystubs that can make this calculation easier. Don’t forget to add your foreseeable future medical costs and financial losses connected to the accident. Noneconomic damages are more difficult to compute. They are more subjective and decided by a jury.
Although a jury does not have to use this equation (or any equation at all), a common formula used is the Multiplier Method. This equation takes the amount of a victim’s economic damages and multiplies it by a number that is appropriate for the severity of his or her injuries, between 1 and 5. For example, if a victim is awarded $100,000 in economic damages and suffered a severe injury that is given a multiplier of 4, the noneconomic damages awarded would equal $400,000.
Statute of Limitations for Buffalo Car Accidents
If you need to file a personal injury or property damage lawsuit after a car accident in New York, you must do so within a specific timeframe. New York has a law known as the statute of limitations (Consolidated Laws of New York Section 214) that gives crash victims a maximum of three years from the date of the accident to file a civil claim.
If you miss your statute of limitations, the courts will most likely refuse to hear the case. Even if the courts permit you to file a claim after the statute of limitations has expired, the defense will use it as a reason to have the liability claim dismissed. Statutes of limitations are in place to keep the civil justice system just for both parties.
Without a deadline that pressures plaintiffs to file promptly, an accident victim could feasibly wait as long as he or she wanted to bring a claim. This would unfairly leave the possibility of a lawsuit open against the defendant indefinitely, as well as allow the plaintiff to wait until important evidence in the defense’s favor disappeared. For these reasons, the courts in New York strictly enforce the statute of limitations. There are only some scenarios where you can file outside of this deadline.
Situations When the Statutes of Limitations Are Different
Three years is the standard deadline to file a car accident claim in New York. This includes both personal injury claims and cases involving property damage only. The clock generally starts ticking on the date that the car accident takes place. If you aren’t sure of the exact date, reference your police report or medical records to find out. While three years may seem like a long time, it can approach quickly. Taking legal action without delay is the best way to meet your deadline and optimize the strength of your available evidence.
Although it is uncommon, there are some scenarios in which a different statute of limitations is applied to a car accident case in New York:
- Wrongful death. There is a separate statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal car accident. New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Section 5-4.1 states that a plaintiff has two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death claim, not three years from the date of the accident.
- Delayed injury discovery. An exception called the discovery rule can toll, or pause, the statute of limitations until the date that the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered hidden or delayed injuries caused by a car accident.
- An injured minor. If the victim wishing to pursue damages is a child under the age of 18, New York law gives him or her 3 years after the victim turns 18 (the age of 21) to file a car accident lawsuit.
- A claim against the New York government. If the defendant in a car accident case in New York is a government entity, this can significantly shorten the statute of limitations. In New York, a Notice of Claim must be filed with the municipality within just 90 days of the accident.
Don’t wait until the last minute to file your car accident claim in Buffalo – or assume that an extension applies to your case. Contact a car accident attorney right away after your crash to discuss your rights. A lawyer can give you the exact deadline to file your claim, then take over the legal legwork for you to make sure the required forms are filed within your statute of limitations. An attorney will help you resolve your car accident case as efficiently as possible.
Contact the Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers At Towey Law
We believe everyone is entitled to skilled representation. When you are injured by the careless acts of another, our car accident attorneys in Buffalo will aggressively advocate for your best interests while providing you with compassionate and responsive service.
Our success is strongly rooted in the community. Founding Member, Brian Towey, was born and raised in Buffalo. After opening his own practice, he is focused on serving clients with dedication and a commitment to protecting the rights of injured parties.
Schedule a free consultation with Towey Law, PLLC today by clicking here or calling (716) 300-8232.