For over 40 years, the lawyers at Jaroslawicz & Jaros have successfully brought hundreds of motor vehicle negligence cases involving serious personal injuries suffered by drivers, passengers and pedestrians. We have handled cases involving a wide variety of motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, forklifts, snowmobiles and all other types of motorized vehicles.
The firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros has successfully litigated cases at all levels of the State and Federal courts for injuries caused by the negligent use of motor vehicles.
Learn More About Your Rights
You should be aware that if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you have two different sets of rights:
You have the right to receive no-fault benefits to pay for your medical bills and lost earnings as well as a separate right to sue for your pain and suffering, if you have suffered a serious or permanent injury.
The reason it is called “no-fault" is because when you are hurt in a motor vehicle accident it does not matter even if you were 100 percent at fault; it does not matter if you were the driver or passenger, or if you were a pedestrian. So long as you were injured by a motor vehicle in New York, and if it is not a motorcycle and you are not drunk or on illegal drugs, you are entitled to receive your no-fault benefits.
However, in New York, if you wish to bring a lawsuit to be compensated for your pain and suffering, you may only do so if you have suffered a serious or permanent injury, as those terms are defined by the New York No-Fault statute.
Once you consult with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney and it is determined that your injuries are serious enough to permit you to bring a lawsuit to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, then each case is fact-specific, and how much you recover will depend on three factors:
What is the total amount of insurance coverage available?
How much insurance does the other car’s driver have? Do you have what is called “underinsurance" on your own insurance policy? The most you can recover, regardless of the severity of your injuries, is the total amount of the available insurance coverage that was in effect at the time of the accident. Your attorney will try to find out how much insurance is available from the other side’s insurance as well as possibly from your own policy.
We represented the family of a victim of a car accident in which our client unfortunately died from the impact. The driver and owner of the other car only had a $100,000 policy and everyone believed that was all our client could possibly recover despite the extent of his damages. We opted to attend the Motor Vehicle hearing, which is a hearing held for every motor vehicle accident that results in a death, and we discovered that the other driver was running some errands for his boss while he was on his way home from his place of employment.
Since the other driver was technically “working”, while running the errands for his boss, we were able to also bring suit against his employer. His employer had a $1 million insurance policy which we were then able to recover. This is an example of why experience and diligence matter.
What is the liability? In other words, who was at fault for the accident?
New York is a “comparative negligence” State. This means that if you were struck in the rear by another vehicle, while you were simply stopped at a red light, it is clear that you did nothing wrong and that the other driver is 100% responsible and you therefore will recover 100% of your damages.
If, however, it is an intersection collision, and each driver then claims to have had the green light in their favor, then some percentage of the negligence may be assigned to you as well as to the other driver. If there are “issues” with regard to the question of liability the courts, insurance companies, and the attorneys will assign a percentage of fault to each party. Perhaps the other side is the negligent party and is 90% at-fault and you are only 10% at-fault. Whatever injury award you ultimately receive will be reduced by only the 10% that you were determined to be negligent.
Similarly, if your damages are valued at $100,000 and if you are found to be 50% at fault for the accident then you will receive only $50,000.
During the settlement process or trial, obviously, the defense will try to argue that your percentage of the fault, or negligence, should be a large percentage, while your lawyer will try to argue to keep it as low as possible.
Regarding the extent of your injuries, how badly were you hurt, what is your age, and is it considered to be a permanent injury?
If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for both your past and future damages, including:
- Medical costs
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning ability
- Pain and suffering
All of these factors have to be taken into account and dealt with by your attorney in trying to maximize your recovery. That is why this type of personal injury litigation often requires that experts be retained to properly support the case, including possibly experts to prove liability, who would be persons with expertise in accident reconstruction, as well as doctors such as orthopedists, neurologists, radiologists, pain management and rehabilitation experts who can explain the extent and severity of the injuries to the court and jury.
Some Of Our Past Motor Vehicle Accident Verdicts and Settlements
- $8.3 Million settlement for a young woman who was a passenger and suffered a serious head injury in a two-car intersection collision.
- $6 Million verdict for a young man who suffered a leg injury when the driver of the car he was a passenger in lost control and hit a tree.
- $4.75 Million settlement for a woman who was struck by a car while crossing the street and suffered a head injury.
- $2.9 Million settlement for a young woman who suffered injuries when her car turned over in a car accident.
- $2.85 Million verdict for a woman who injured her neck and back in a car accident.
- $2.7 Million settlement for a young man who sustained a head injury in a car accident.
- $2.05 Million verdict in motor vehicle accident for a fractured leg and multiple surgeries.
- $2 Million settlement for a woman who injured her neck and back in a car accident.
- $1.5 Million settlement for a man who was hit by a bus while crossing the street and suffered an ankle injury.
- $1.2 Million settlement for a young woman who suffered head injuries while standing waiting to cross the street and was struck by a truck.
- $1.2 Million settlement for the estate of a motorcycle driver who was fatally injured in an intersection collision with a private ambulance that was responding to a call.
- $1.2 Million settlement for a young man who suffered a leg injury in an accident while riding his motorcycle.
Our Successes Have Helped Shape the Law In New York
David Jaroslawicz, of Jaroslawicz & Jaros, wrote the brief and argued before the highest court in the state of New York — the New York Court of Appeals — that helped define and develop the law in the case of Flynn v. Manhattan & Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, Court of Appeals of New York, 61 N.Y.2d 769; 461 N.E.2d 291; 473 N.Y.S.2d 154.
The court found that the injured party had established a prima facie case of negligence against the bus owner in a personal injury action and that there was evidence from which the jury could have concluded that the bus owner was negligent in failing to equip the bus with a side mirror.
Jaroslawicz & Jaros was successful in settling a case for $1.2 Million on behalf of a young lady who was injured by a tractor-trailer in the case of Kruger v. Salem Leasing Corp., 90 CV 0049, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York; Decided, January 14, 1992; The court found that summary judgment was precluded in a personal injury action because a genuine issue was raised as to whether the tractor-trailer driver acted reasonably when he drove the tractor-trailer knowing that the throttle spring had not been replaced.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and think you may have a case, it is important for you to retain a law firm that has the experience in the field, as well as the financial ability to retain the proper experts to both consult with and to testify on your behalf should your case proceed to trial.
If you or a loved one has had a car, truck, bus or any other motor vehicle-related accident that has resulted in a serious physical injury and are in need of legal assistance, call Jaroslawicz & Jaros in New York.