Kingston, NY Car Accident Lawyer

yonkers NY Injury Attorney

Car crashes, sadly, happen every day in the United States. The sheer number of drivers that take to the road every day almost guarantees multiple collisions per day, sometimes in the thousands. People can get badly hurt in these accidents and require expensive medical care for the foreseeable future – or even for the rest of their lives. This can be very distressing, and many people injured in car accidents will want both financial compensation and justice for what they underwent.

If you were hurt in a motor vehicle collision in or around Kingston, we can help you. Our attorneys know how to navigate car accident cases effectively and have the professionalism and drive to give you a good shot at getting what you need to get back on your feet after a car collision.

For an obligation-free analysis of your claim, call the car accident lawyers from The Martello Law Firm at (914) 685-6950.

What Kinds of Car Accidents Happen in Kingston, NY

A car accident in New York can happen in many different ways. Many factors and circumstances make it so that no two car crashes will be exactly the same. All that said, it may be hard to see why the type of car accident you experienced is at all important to your legal claim. Detailing exactly what kind of car accident you experienced not only helps our car accident lawyers get more information about your claim but also provides crucial details, context, and information to the judge and jury – the parties who will be determining the outcome of your case. The more detail you can give our lawyers about your accident, the better your chances of success are in court.

Head-On Collisions

A Head-on collision occurs when two vehicles moving towards each other collide and crash. One of the most common reasons these accidents happen is when a driver stops paying attention to the road and drives into oncoming traffic. Head-on collisions can result in serious injuries to both parties because the driver’s seat area of each motor vehicle has a high chance of being impacted.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions may sound similar to head-on crashes, but they often happen under different circumstances. These accidents generally happen when one car backs up into another car or a pedestrian or when one driver suddenly hits the brakes or slows down, and a motorist behind them cannot react in time to prevent a collision from happening.


A T-bone accident, sometimes also referred to as a “broadside” collision, is when a car hits another vehicle in the side, creating a “T” shape at the point of impact. T-bone accidents are common at intersections or near driveways and other areas where a driver may not be able to react to a vehicle suddenly crossing their path that they were not prepared for.

Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents refer to incidents where a car tips over onto its side, lands upside down or rolls over multiple times. Such accidents can be extremely dangerous for drivers since there is a very high chance that their head and neck will impact the ground at high speed without a sturdy roll cage or similar safety features. Without a roll cage, these accidents can easily result in death.

Hit-and-Run Accidents

A hit-and-run car accident is any accident in which a motor vehicle hits another car or person and then flees the scene. Committing a hit-and-run is a crime, and there may be a criminal trial prior to any civil car accident lawsuit. Sometimes, this kind of accident can lead to more serious injuries if the driver does not make any effort to stop their vehicle and just plows through the victim. Additionally, it can be somewhat harder to track down information about the liable party because they, by definition, did not stick around after the accident took place.

Causes of Car Collisions in Kingston, NY

Just like there are so many ways that a car crash can play out, there are many potential causes of car crashes. Having our car accident lawyers determine the exact cause of your accident is an important element in a successful claim, as you are only able to collect damages from the parties that factually and legally caused your injuries.

Driver Negligence

Likely, the most common cause of car crashes across the country is driver negligence. In law, negligence means that someone was careless and, as a result, hurt someone else. There are countless ways that drivers can be negligent. Behavior like speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving, and ignoring road signs all directly violate various traffic laws and are considered negligent behavior for the purposes of a car accident lawsuit.

Additionally, if a driver does something that is not directly against the law but is still dangerous or unreasonable, they can be considered negligent. The standard in that situation is determining whether the driver acted like a reasonable person under the circumstances present at the time. Ultimately, that is a question for the jury, but our lawyers will work towards explaining to them that the defendant did not act reasonably.

Some activities that would fall under this type of negligence include mistakes made by an experienced driver. Although it is not illegal to be freshly licensed, an inexperienced driver who makes a mistake is just as negligent as an experienced one who does the same thing.

Aggressive driving is also an example of unreasonableness on the road. True, extremely aggressive driving may rise to the level of violating the law, but conduct below that threshold can still be considered unreasonable in car accident lawsuits.

Products Liability

In other car accidents, sometimes the ultimate cause is the vehicle itself, not the driver’s actions. When a car breaks down or otherwise malfunctions and causes an accident, that car is considered defective. The area of law surrounding defective things like cars is called “product liability.” You can bring a product liability claim against several parties depending on the defect that caused your car accident.

Issues deeply “baked into” a motor vehicle’s design are called design defects. Even a car built exactly to specifications will be dangerous if it has a design defect. These issues may include a gas tank that is likely to explode or autonomous driving software that does not sufficiently prioritize driver safety.

By contrast, manufacturing defects arise from mistakes made somewhere in the process after the initial design. There is no deeply rooted problem but a deviation from the intended product. An example of a manufacturing defect would be a crack in a critical structural component or choosing to use substandard, weaker materials when making the car.

Finally, maintenance or repair defects arise when someone negligently works on a motor vehicle, creating a problem. These defects could include incorrectly installed brakes, faulty transmission wiring, or a misaligned suspension.

For design and manufacturing defects, you may want to sue the company that makes your vehicle, or the factory contracted out to produce it. For repair or maintenance defects, filing your claim against the repair shop that worked on the vehicle in question is likely better.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Yet other accidents are the result of bad road conditions brought about by improper maintenance or neglect. Potholes, broken guardrails, and uncleared debris can result in accidents. For accidents caused by poor road conditions, you should file your claim against the party responsible for repairing the roads. Usually, this is a state or local government entity. There are some different rules that can make it harder to sue those entities, so you should discuss these cases in detail with our car accident lawyers. There are also likely contractors or other intermediary parties you may be able to sue instead of – or alongside – government entities.

Damages from Kingston, NY Car Accident Lawsuits

The objective of any car accident case is to get financial compensation for your injuries. Not only can you get damages based on tangible things like medical bills or damage to your motor vehicle, but you can also get damages for more esoteric things like physical pain, mental anguish, or emotional distress. Finally, in some rare cases, you can seek punitive damages to punish the defendant for particularly bad conduct.

The Serious Injury Threshold in Kingston, NY Car Accident Cases

New York has some legal quirks regarding the damages you can obtain in a car accident lawsuit. ISC Law § 5104 makes it so that the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover is extremely limited unless the plaintiff has suffered “serious injury.” The question arises, then, as to what exactly “serious injury” entails in New York.

Serious injury is defined in New York under ISC Law § 5102(d) as a number of different injuries, including:


Disfigurement is considered a serious injury in New York. Disfigurement does not just refer to nasty scars, as one may first think of. It can also mean losing digits like fingers or toes or suffering injuries requiring skin grafts, which result in an unseemly appearance.


Broken bones are considered serious injuries in New York.

Loss of a Fetus

The loss of a fetus due to an injury meets the serious injury threshold in New York. There are other ways this could happen in a car crash other than the obvious answer of physical trauma. For example, suppose a person pregnant with a fetus becomes extremely stressed and anxious because they were just in a car accident and later has a miscarriage. In that case, that may be considered loss of a fetus under this definition.

Permanent Use/Limitation of Bodily Function

If you lose partial or full use of part of your body, the serious injury threshold will be met. For example, if you lost full range of motion in your arms because of nerve damage, that would meet this definition and be considered a serious injury.

Impairment of Daily Activities

Under this statute, if you suffer injuries that limit you from doing your “usual” daily activities for 90 days or more, that is considered a serious injury. For example, if you are recovering in a hospital bed for more than 90 days, that would be sufficient to meet this threshold.

How Long Do I Have to Pursue My Car Accident Claim in Kingston, NY?

Unlike prosecutors who can work on a rape or murder case for many years or even decades, you do not have a long time to file your car accident lawsuit. This is because there are laws in New York – and indeed in every other state – called statutes of limitation that prevent plaintiffs from filing lawsuits after a certain period of time. Under C.V.P. Law § 214(5), people injured in car accidents in the state of New York have three years to file their claims. Once that statutory period runs out, you cannot have a court hear your case or collect damages.

While three years may seem like a long time, when one considers the amount of work it takes to prepare a claim and the time that needs to be dedicated to recovering from your injuries, this is really no time at all. For that reason, you need to talk to our car accident lawyers as soon as possible so we can file your claim promptly.

Talk with Our Kingston, NY Car Accident Lawyers about Your Case Now

The Martello Law Firm can be contacted at (914) 685-6950 to have our personal injury lawyers review your claim.

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