Car Accident Lawyers in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, NY

Thousands of people are involved in injury-related motor vehicle accidents every year, as drivers, passengers, and/or pedestrians. If you are injured in an automobile accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. If you are seriously injured, you need an attorney who will protect your rights throughout the entire post-accident process. Insurance companies do not always have your best interest in mind. The qualified attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC handle all types of motor vehicle accident cases, including driver and passenger injury cases, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.

Car Accident Lawyers in Buffalo, NY Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC

At Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, you will work with experienced attorneys and a dedicated staff who will acquire all of the necessary evidence and information needed to pursue your case. If you are seriously injured in a car accident caused by the carelessness of another person, we will provide you with the representation you need.

What to do after an auto accident:

  1. Immediately following your automobile accident, whether you are a pedestrian who was hit by a car, a bicyclist, driver and/or passenger involved in an auto accident, you should contact the police.
  2. If you have been injured, you should contact appropriate medical personnel immediately.
  3. DO NOT sign any agreement, admit to fault or provide any statements to an insurance adjustor who may show up at the accident scene. The time period immediately following an accident leaves victims vulnerable, and during this time, victims are likely to provide inaccurate statements due to injury, confusion or stress that the accident has caused.
  4. Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. It is very important that you do this so that your insurance company can begin to pay any bills related to the accident. Failure to file a report with your insurance company could mean a loss of claim money related to your accident.
  5. Complete all New York State no-fault paperwork.
  6. Contact us.

In Erie and Monroe Counties, car accidents are the top reason for injury-related deaths. In Onondaga County, car accidents are the fourth leading cause of accidental deaths.

The deaths and injuries that result from car accidents are often preventable. According to the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver errors cause nearly 95% of car accidents.

Car Accident Statistics in Western New York

Buffalo sees over 400 injuries and four deaths every month due to car crashes. Rochester car crashes cause about 330 injuries and four deaths every month. Car accidents in Syracuse cause about 150 injuries and two deaths every month.

Car accidents result in over $30 million in emergency room charges every year. The typical emergency room visit costs car accident victims nearly $2,000. The average cost of a hospital stay for a car accident victim is over $40,000.

Approximately 30% of hospitalized car accident victims in Erie County are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. This results in an average hospital stay of seven days.

Causes of Car Accidents in New York

Like most places in the U.S., car accidents in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse usually result from driver errors. Some common driver errors include recognition errors, decision errors, performance errors and non-performance errors.

Recognition Errors

Recognition errors occur when a driver fails to recognize a traffic situation. These errors result from distractions, inattention, and improper lookout. Recognition errors account for over 40% of car accidents.

Decision Errors

Decision errors occur when a driver understands the traffic situation, but makes the wrong decision. Decision errors can arise from many circumstances, including:

  • Misjudging an approaching car’s speed
  • Misinterpreting another driver’s intentions
  • Incorrectly estimating the distance between the vehicle and an obstacle
  • Misunderstanding the effects of road conditions
  • Misreading road curves
  • Overestimating the driver’s abilities

Decision errors cause over 30% of car accidents.

Performance Errors

Performance errors occur when the driver understands what to do, but doesn’t do it. Common performance errors include:

  • Overcompensating after an error
  • Over-steering a turn
  • Under-steering a turn
  • Failing to brake hard enough
  • Braking too hard

Performance errors account for over 10% of accidents.

Non-Performance Errors

Non-performance errors occur when the driver cannot drive. Non-performance errors commonly arise from intoxicated, drowsy, or medically incapacitated drivers.

Non-performance errors lead to about 7% of accidents.

Getting Compensation for Car Accident Injuries in New York

New York’s follows a “no-fault” car insurance system. Under New York’s no-fault law, compensation is provided to people injured in car accidents up to the statutory maximum payment amount.  New York requires all vehicle owners to carry auto insurance with personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

Injured parties are entitled to no-fault benefits regardless of who is at fault. This means that you can receive PIP no-fault benefits whether you caused the accident, someone else caused the accident, or the accident happened outside of anyone’s control. However, PIP coverage only pays for the first $50,000 in bodily injury damages

Filing a Lawsuit After a New York Car Accident

In order to succeed in pursuing a claim for personal injuries as a result of a car accident in New York State, you must meet what is known as the “serious injury threshold.”

The following injuries satisfy New York’s Serious Injury Threshold:

  • Death;
  • Dismemberment;
  • Significant Disfigurement;
  • Loss of Fetus;
  • Fracture;
  • Significant Disfigurement;
  • Inability to perform daily tasks for at least 90 out of the 180 days following the accident.

New York’s No-Fault System was created to eliminate claims that do not fall under the above description. No-Fault restricts recovery for Motor Vehicle Accidents to major significant injuries. If you are seriously injured, you need an attorney who understands the intricacies of New York State’s no-fault system and serious injury threshold, and who will fight to protect your rights throughout the entire post-accident process.

Damages in Car Accident Cases:

Medical Expenses

Your damages can include all past and future medical costs for:

  • Treatment
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Medication

Proving past medical expenses will usually require copies of your medical bills. Proving future expenses will often require written or oral testimony from your doctor about your ongoing medical treatment.

Also, note that damages can include costs for mental health treatment and medication. If you suffer mental or emotional issues as a result of your accident, you can claim the damages associated with them.

Some common mental and emotional problems that arise after a car accident include:

  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Memory problems
  • Cognitive problems
  • Emotional problems
  • Compulsive or impulsive behaviors
  • Substance abuse disorders

If you can establish a causal link between your mental or emotional issues and your accident, you can include the cost of treatment with your damages.

Lost Income

After an injury from a car accident, you will probably miss some work. Hospitalization, treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy might require you to take time off. Your doctor might also recommend light duty or reduced hours while you recover from your injuries.

Car Accident Lawyers in Buffalo, NY Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC

As a result of your altered work schedule, you may lose significant income. Your damages include compensation for the wages or salary lost. You might even claim commissions, business revenue, and bonuses if you can link their loss to your injuries.

Your damages also include your future lost income and diminished earning capacity. If your medical treatment will require you to have surgery in the future, you can claim the income you will lose for the time you will miss.

If you need to change jobs or quit working due to your injuries, you can include your diminished earning capacity with your damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages include compensation for all the ways your injuries diminished your quality of life. Under New York law, you can seek non-economic damages after a car accident if you suffered a serious injury including:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Loss of a fetus;
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • Non-permanent injury or impairment that prevents you from your daily activities for at least 90 out of the 180 days following the accident

If you suffer any of these injuries, you can seek non-economic damages, including:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental suffering and anguish
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of activities
  • Loss of sexual relations

The Role of Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident, please call the experienced attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC today. Car accident claims require skill and experience, and at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC you will work with experienced attorneys and a dedicated staff. Contact us today for a free and confidential evaluation, and let us help guide you through this difficult time.

Recent Review

There are surely many excellent, smart, and hard-working attorneys and John Comerford and Zach Woods rank as those. What sets John and Zach apart from those other excellent, smart, and hard-working attorneys are two factors. The first factor is passion. They truly care about what they do and they truly are in it to help people. The money they make (which is substantial) is a result of that passion and not the root of what drives them. The second factor is, for lack of a better phrase, simply “customer service.” If you call or email John or Zach, they will either pick up right away or, if they are busy, they respond quickly that “hey, we will get right back to you.” And then they get actually back to you. So if you have suffered a substantial, life-changing, catastrophic injury, the burden of that injury is enough. You shouldn’t also contend with passionless and aloof attorneys – and that is why you should choose John and Zach. – Justin C.