At Richmond Vona, LLC, our Buffalo car accident attorneys are compassionate and aggressive advocates for injured victims. We have the skills and experience required to handle a full range of motor vehicle accident claims.

If you or your loved one suffered a serious injury in an automobile accident in Western New York, you need to protect your health and your rights by consulting with an experienced Buffalo car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

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“He is a miracle worker. He found someone who knew my Dad who had passed away over 50 years ago. No easy feat. He works very, very hard for his clients. Knowledgeable and kind. I highly recommend him”

Colette M.

Why Do Car Accidents Occur?

While car accidents happen for all kinds of different reasons, they do share an important common characteristic: most crashes could and would have been prevented had proper safety precautions been taken. The overwhelming majority of car accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Some of the leading factors that cause auto accidents include:

Running red lights


Following too closely (tailgating)

Failure to yield the right-of-way

Improper lane changes

Driver fatigue

Distracted driving

Texting while driving and

Drunk driving

Both Keith and John were named to the Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in New York by The National Trial Lawyers.

John was named to the Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in New York by The National Trial Lawyers three consecutive years in a row.

John and Keith were both selected as Upstate New York Rising Stars by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication.

$100M Settlements

Keith has been involved in trial verdicts totaling in excess of $17 million and settlements valued at more than $100 million on behalf of his clients.

United States Marine Corps & Police Officer

Keith has served in the United States Marine Corps and worked as a police officer for the City of Buffalo, where respect and honor are two of the foremost values.

Understanding New York’s No-Fault Insurance Laws

One of the most important things that car accident victims should know when seeking compensation after a crash is that New York is a no-fault car insurance state. As explained by the New York Department of Financial Services, all motorists have a legal responsibility to carry the minimum required amount on auto insurance coverage.

In the event of a minor or moderate crash, New York’s no-fault law requires injured victims to seek financial compensation through their own insurance policy. Specifically, financial compensation for medical expenses may be available through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage or MedPay coverage.

That is not to say that filing a no-fault car accident injury claim is always easy—unfortunately, even your own insurance company may give you a difficult time. If you are struggling to recover full and fair financial compensation through your insurer following an auto accident, our Buffalo car accident lawyers are ready to help you.

When Can You Step Outside of the No-Fault System?

New York’s no-fault laws apply to minor and moderate accidents. After a major crash, you may be eligible to bring a third-party liability claim. If you suffered a serious injury in a crash, you can step outside of the no-fault system and file a lawsuit directly against the negligent defendant. In these cases, injured victims may be eligible to recover financial compensation for the full value of their economic and non-economic damages. Among other things, financial relief may be available for:

  • Medical bills and related expenses
  • Loss of current and future wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring/disfigurement and
  • Permanent disability/impairment

As was mentioned, you can file a fault-based car accident claim in New York if you suffered a serious injury. In order to file such a claim, your physical injury must satisfy the state’s serious injury threshold. Under New York law, the following types of injuries and ailments are considered to be severe enough to warrant stepping outside of the no-fault system:

  • Broken/fractured bones
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent limitation in the use of an organ and
  • Full disability, in excess of 90 days


What is the 90/180 Day Rule?

The 90/180 day rule allows injured car accident victims to step outside of New York’s no-fault insurance system if they suffered a non-permanent injury or impairment that prevents them from engaging in their normal day-to-day activities for at least 90 days, within the 180 day period following the crash.

In other words, injured victims who can present compelling medical evidence that they were prevented from living their normal life for at least three of the first six months after a car accident have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused their crash.

Buffalo Car Accident FAQs

After being involved in a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed with questions and anxiety. Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers concerning car accident claims in Buffalo.

Can I recover damages if I contributed to the accident?

Plaintiffs who contributed in some way to their accident are not out of luck when it comes to collecting compensation. This is because New York adheres to the legal principle of comparative fault, which means that plaintiffs who contributed to their accidents can still recover damages, although the amount of their award will be decreased by a percentage equal to their degree of fault.

How much time do I have to file a car accident claim?

Those who are involved in car accidents usually only have three years from the date of their crash to file a claim in court. Plaintiffs who miss this deadline will almost always have their case dismissed by the New York court system.

What kind of settlement or verdict can I expect for my own car accident claim?

The amount of a car accident settlement or damages award varies depending on the specific facts of a case. However, successful plaintiffs can expect to recover compensation for their past medical expenses, at least a portion of their lost wages, and the cost of repairing or replacing their vehicle.

Auto accident victims should seek financial compensation from those who are accountable. If you or your family member was injured in a car crash, contact our law office for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. With a law office in Buffalo, we represent injured victims throughout Western New York, including in Erie County, Niagara County, Wyoming County, and Genesee County.

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