Joel J. Turney, LLC

Joel J. Turney, LLC

The firm of Joel J. Turney, LLC represents the interests of persons who have sustained personal injuries as a result of the negligence of others.

Firm Overview

Our firm serves clients in the Counties of Queens, Kings, Bronx, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, Nassau, and Westchester. We also represent clients throughout the State of New York. We will represent you directly or refer you to a local firm in which we have confidence.

Our firm will always recognize the responsibility and privilege of being chosen to handle your particular case and to represent your interests.
Main Office
Main Office
40 Broad St 23rd Floor
New York  NY  10004
  • 212-840-7000/212-964-7556
Auto Accident
When injuries have been sustained in a motor vehicle accident, there are generally four potential claims. No-Fault Claim, Liability Claim - Injury, Uninsured/Supplemental Motorist Claim, and Property Damage Claim.
The first is a No-Fault claim, which must be filed within thirty (30) days from the date of occurrence with the insurance carrier for the vehicle you occupied (if a pedestrian - the vehicle that struck you). If there is any question of coverage for the vehicle you occupied (or in the case of a pedestrian - struck by), then a No-Fault claim should be filed with any vehicle in your household (A household vehicle is defined as any vehicle registered to you or someone you reside with related by blood or marriage). If the vehicle you occupied (or in the case of pedestrian - struck by) is uninsured, and you have no household vehicles, then coverage for the No-Fault claim should be covered by the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (A company that provides coverage to victims of uninsured accidents - where there is no household vehicle).

The second claim is a liability claim for bodily injury. This claim is asserted against the vehicles involved based upon degree of fault. New York State is a pure comparative negligence State. This means that the trier of fact (jury or judge) decides liability based upon relative degree. For example - vehicle #1 may be held 25% and vehicle #2 75% or vehicle #1 maybe found 5% and vehicle #2 95% or vehicle #1 maybe found 100% and vehicle #2 0%. In other words, the total responsibility for the accident must add up to 100%. Under the rules of Joint and Several Liability, a passenger in a vehicle may enter their entire judgment or any portion thereof against the owner and operator of any vehicle involved as long as the particular vehicle is found to be 1% or more at fault. This is often a very critical rule of law when a particular vehicle does not have sufficient insurance coverage to adequately cover the loss.

If you are involved in an accident in which a vehicle involved is uninsured, the bodily injury portion of the claim can be recovered by asserting an Uninsured Motorist Claim. This claim would be asserted against the vehicle you occupied (if that vehicle is uninsured - then a vehicle in your household - see above for definition of a household vehicle - and if there is no household vehicle, then a claim can be made against the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation - an insurance industry safety net).

An Uninsured Motorist Claim also exists in a "hit and run" type of motor vehicle accident - where there has been physical contact with the offending vehicle, and in which the offending vehicle could not be identified. In such a circumstance, the incident must be reported to the police within 24 hours.

If there is a claim for property damage to the vehicle, this can be covered in one of two potential ways.

The first is when one carries collision coverage. This is a first party insurance provision that provides coverage for the damage to the vehicle regardless of who is at fault. This is also commonly known as a full coverage policy. This is collected through the insurance company that insured the vehicle which was damaged. They will pay the cost of repair or the value of the vehicle as it was immediately before the loss, which ever is less. The amount paid is further reduced by the amount of the premium on the policy.

If a vehicle is rendered a total loss, then you generally have the election of keep the vehicle and accept payment less the salvage value, or you may turn the vehicle over to the carrier, and get the full value without a salvage value reduction.
Personal Injury
The Law Office of Joel J. Turney, LLC will also represent your Personal Injury claims.
The degree of fault is only one factor that must be established in the liability bodily injury claim in accidents involving motor vehicles (note that the serious injury requirement does not apply to motorcycles - as drivers or passengers on a motorcycle do not have No-Fault coverage - for more information on motorcycle accidents - see the motorcycle section on the home page). Aside from fault, the claimant must prove a serious injury as defined by the No-Fault law. This is commonly referred to as the "threshold requirement". The term threshold means that only one injury must meet one or more of the categories of a serious injury. If any one injury does, then all the injuries, even the minor ones are compensable under the law.

The various categories are as follows:
1. Fracture;
2. Disfigurement;
3. Permanent impairment;
4. Significant limitation;
5. At least 90 of the first 180 day immediately following the accident unable to carry out in ones usual occupation or avocation;
6. Death;
7. Dismemberment and
8. Loss of a fetus.

Many injuries that may appear at first to be minor, over time turn out to be serious. Please do not draw any conclusions about the relative seriousness of an injury and the legal requirements without consulting with an attorney.
Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is a statutory limitation on the categories of recovery in an actionable event that results in death.
In other words, had the victim of the occurrence survived and had an actionable claim for personal injuries, the same basis for an actionable claim will provide a right to recover under the wrongful death laws, in the event of death.

However, the categories of recovery are limited to fair and adequate compensation for any conscious pain and suffering sustained by the decedent, medical expenses, pecuniary loss (loss of financial support to surviving members who are distributees of the estate) and loss of intellectual, moral guidance, physical training, and assistant to surviving children, as well as funeral and burial lot expenses.

The wrongful death law does not allow recovery for the death itself, nor does it permit recovery for anguish and sorrow suffered by surviving family members as a result of the death.

There have been proposals to change the New York State wrongful death laws to permit recovery for anguish and sorrow. One of the significant reasons for this attempt to change the law is fact that in the event of the wrongful death (with limited or no conscious suffering) of victims who are either children or the elderly (persons who are often not providing any financial support to survivors), the law as it is provides very little room for recovery for what really are extremely significant losses.

In the event that the decedent died without a will, an application must be made to the court to have an administrator appointed to the estate. After the administrator is appointed, the lawsuit can be brought in the name of the administrator on behalf of the estate.

In sum, as long as there would have been a cause of action had the victim survived, the same cause of action (basis for a law suit) exists in the event of death. However, the categories of recovery are limited by the New York State wrongful death laws.

The loss of a spouse, parent or loved one, is the biggest loss one can suffer, a loss that no amount of compensation can replace. The responsibility of representing an estate where a family has sustained the most significant loss one can sustain, is a significant responsibility that is not taken lightly our firm, and we will work hard to obtain the maximum recovery permitted under the law.

Joel J. Turney

Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York - BA 1988
William Mitchell Law School, St. Paul, Minnesota - Juris Doctorate 1996

New York State Trial Lawyers Association
New York County Bar Association

Joel Turney's extensive experience in the field of personal injury law began as a paralegal with the firm of Cardali & Cardali, P.C. in 1990. Upon graduation from law school, he worked for the same firm and was admitted to the New York State Bar in September, 1996. Subsequently he worked as an associate for the firm of Sivin and Miller. He opened his own practice at 170 Broadway in 1999. Realizing the need for expansion and with his commitment to the downtown area after September 11, 2001, he moved his offices to the present renovated location of 30 Vesey Street in November, 2002.

Joel was born in Salem, Massachusetts on April 17, 1965. He spent most of his childhood in Marblehead, Massachusetts. His family moved to Maine in 1976 and he graduated from Kents Hill School in 1983. He has always been extremely competitive earning varsity letters in tennis and skiing in both high school and college. His competitive nature has served him well in the arena of personal injury law. He has never hesitated to pursue litigation when necessary and appropriate, and understands that success is only achieved through hard work and thorough preparation.