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What steps do I take if I was a passenger in a car and it was that drivers fault?

Buffalo, NY |

I am a caregiver for this gentleman, to assist around the house etc. He asked me to accompany him to his yearly appointment. He has hand controls in the vehicle because he is in a wheel chair.
We were on our way back on the highway, Traffic was smooth, and then we came up to stop and go traffic. However, the gentleman that I was with didn't stop. He slammed into the first vehicle and then he put the gas on and slammed into another vehicle and then he put it into reverse and we slammed into the guardrail. I am extremely lucky to be alive. But... I have had a major headache since (4 days ago was the accident) I am extremely sore in my upper back and neck. Went to see the doctor and she started me on something for the headaches and muscle relaxants. What do I do??

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Attorney answers 14


It was smart to go to the doctor. You should consult with a New York personal injury attorney to determine the next steps.


Since you had injuries you may want to consult with a local injury attorney. You can find them on Avvo, your local bar association, or by searching on the web. They can evaluate your claim and there is no cost for a consultation with attorneys that practice in this field.


Are you covered by workers compensation? That is the first thing to figure out. Contact a lawyer asap. If you are not covered by workers compensation you need to submit a no-fault insurance claim to his auto insurance carrier within 30 days of the accident to get your medical bills and any lost wages paid.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 17 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Contact a local area personal injury attorney. Most provide a free initial consultation. Sorry to hear about the accident and your injuries. Best of luck.

Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


Rothstein laid it out well


Consult with a local experienced personal injury attorney ASAP


Interview and then retain a personal injury/worker'sCompensation compensation attorney. Do this ASAP. Make sure you report the incident to your driver's insurance company and establish a claim number. Your medical bills will be paid by the driver's insurance co. Try not to give a statement to anyone until you have counsel to work with you.


Definitely you should speak with a NY personal injury attorney right away. They will be able to evaluate your case. Since a few cars were involved it might be useful for you to obtain the police report on the accident.


It is important that you meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your community to go over your rights and explain how your medical bills will be paid. Hopefully, your injuries will resolve uneventfully, but you will need to be seen by a physician or chiropractor who regularly treats car accident victims and is aware of what needs to be documented in such cases.

There should be no cost for you to meet with an attorney to go over your case. Use the Avvo find a lawyer function to locate the right attorney for you.

Good Luck and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. The answer given is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for contacting an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction and obtaining legal advice from such an attorney.


You should consult a personal injury lawyer in your area and pursue medical treatment to determine the severity of your injuries.


You need to consult with a personal injury lawyer. Continue to treat with your doctor. Good Luck!


You should make an appointment with an injury attorney in your area right away.
There are strict deadlines for filing either (1) a worker's compensation claim and/or (2) a no-fault claim. The paper work for both should be submitted no more than thirty (30) days from the date of the accident. Time is of the essence. Best of luck!

I am not familiar with you or the facts of your claim as alleged. Thus, the foregoing is not legal advice and in no way constitutes the formation of an attorney-client relationship.


1) Apply for Workers Compensation (if available); I am not clear as to whether you are self employed or his direct employee, but either you would have to apply though your own Workers Comp coverage or that of your employer.

2) Depending on whether he is youu employer or not, you may or may not be able to start a lawsuit for pain and suffering and economic loss.



This advice is not intended to create an attorney / client relationship, rather it is mere general advice. An attorney should always be contacted and legal matters should be discussed with a licensed attorney before taking any legal action, including a divorce.


There are issues with workers compensation as well as a potential personal injury lawsuit. Depending on who was your actual employer at the time of the accident will affect whether you can file a workers compensation claim. Depending on the severity of the injury will determine whether you will have a viable personal injury lawsuit.

Michael Rose
Hach & Rose

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