You don’t have to be a native New Yorker to know that car accident are a fact of life in the five boroughs – but you could live here your whole life without knowing just how common they are. Here at Finz & Finz, P.C. we believe that understanding the scope of a problem is a prerequisite to fixing it, which is why we’ve done the hard work to answer the question: just how common are car accidents in New York? Keep reading to learn the answer – and don’t hesitate to contact us today if you’re looking for a tough, experienced car accident lawyer in New York.
New York City Car Accident Statistics
According to City of New York Open Data, thousands of accidents occur in the city every month, resulting in thousands of deaths and even more injuries. In one recent year alone, there were nearly 111,000 crashes throughout the city, injuring 51,770 people and killing 294. That works out to more than 300 crashes, 140 injuries, and nearly a death per day.
- From 2017-2019, more than 200,000 car crashes occurred in the city each year. Starting in 2020, the number of accidents dropped significantly to just over 110,000. This precipitous drop was primarily caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With many people working from home and not commuting into the office, fewer cars were on the roadways, leading to fewer accidents.
- Despite that, the number of fatalities did not decrease. In fact, the number of people killed in New York City car crashes increased each year from 2018 to 2021. Public safety advocates are very concerned about the high number of fatalities so far in 2022. In just three months, 59 people were killed in car accidents throughout the city, a 44 percent increase over the same time period last year and the highest number since 2014.
- Brooklyn led the boroughs in terms of both car crashes and fatalities.
- Driver inattention or distraction is the most common contributing factor to car crashes in New York City. In 2020, one-fourth (28,626) of all crashes were caused primarily by driver inattention or distraction. Other common contributing factors include following too closely, failure to yield, and improper passing or lane usage.
New York State Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics
The car accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. also dug into accident statistics from across New York State. Here are some key points from the data:
- Between 2019 and 2020, the number of crashes also decreased state-wide, mirroring the drop in New York City associated with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- However, the number of fatal accidents increased from 881 in 2019 to 945 in 2020.
- Outside of New York City, municipalities with the high numbers of motor vehicle accidents were Brookhaven, Buffalo, Hempstead, and Rochester.
What to Do After a Car Accident in New York
Finz & Finz, P.C. has represented thousands of New Yorkers who suffered injuries in car accidents that weren’t their fault. We recommend that anyone involved in a car accident take the following steps to protect themselves and their options for pursuing compensation:
- Call the police – In New York, drivers are required by law to report any accident in which a person is injured or killed or property damage exceeds $1,000. The easiest way to do that is to call the police. The responding officer will complete an accident report, which could serve as critical evidence in your case.
- See a medical professional – Even if you feel fine, you should seek medical attention from a professional healthcare provider as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be noticeable initially but could become serious or life-threatening without treatment. For example, internal bleeding is an invisible injury that may not be obvious at first but could result in death. That’s why you should visit a doctor or the emergency room after an accident. What’s more, by seeking medical attention, you create a verifiable record of your injuries and their relationship to the preceding accident.
- Hire an experienced car accident attorney – It can be difficult to file claims and negotiate with insurance companies after an accident, especially if you’re still recovering from your injuries. Furthermore, insurance companies know when you’re vulnerable and may try to leave you with less than you need and deserve. An experienced car accident attorney can handle your claim and advocate for a full and fair settlement for your injuries.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Car Accident in New York?
New York is one of 12 states with a no-fault insurance system. Under a no-fault system, all drivers are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in their auto insurance. When a New Yorker gets injured in an accident, they file a claim with their own insurance company for their medical expenses and other accident-related losses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
That might sound nice, but there are shortcomings to a no-fault insurance system. For example, accident victims cannot recover compensation for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. However, if you suffered what the state considers a “serious injury,” then you may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver through a lawsuit. According to New York law, serious injuries result in:
- Permanent loss of use of body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent limitation of use of body organ or member
- A significant limitation of use of body function or system
- A substantial disability that lasts for 90 days or more
An experienced car accident attorney can help you understand your legal options and pursue the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact Finz & Finz, P.C. Today for Help After a New York Car Accident
Car accidents occur in New York City and State hundreds of times every day. If you suffered an injury in a New York car accident, Finz & Finz, P.C. can help you navigate the confusing no-fault insurance system and pursue the compensation you need to recover. Contact our experienced New York car accident attorneys today at Finz & Finz, P.C. for a free, no-obligation review of your case.