New York Car Accident Overview, Lawsuits and Lawyers

New York Car Accident Overview, Lawsuits and Lawyers

Aside (perhaps) from California, there is possibly no other state that is more synonymous with America than New York. Of course, those who live outside New York State automatically think of New York City when describing New York. They may reference the Empire State Building, Madison Square Gardens, the Statue of Liberty, and other notable landmarks in describing the Big Apple. New York City is but a small part (geographically speaking) of a much larger state. Toward the west, towns like Albany and Buffalo are quite distinct in feel from the Big Apple, and whereas New York City may be home to Wall Street and a number of financial-sector-related employers, other types of industries thrive outside New York City.

New York City is also synonymous with traffic – lots of vehicles. With a population of over 19 million people (according to census data from 2013), it is essentially a matter of fact that car crashes and collisions will occur. When they do, injury victims may be able to obtain compensation to help them address their economic and nonceconomic losses.

New York Car Accident Statistics

Statistics maintained by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles show just how dangerous driving in New York State can be. In 2014, the Department recorded that 1,026 people were killed and another 160,497 people were injured in car crashes throughout the state. The most dangerous days to be on the road were Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Most interestingly, over 200,000 of the Department’s reported 254,829 crashes (a number that includes crashes that only resulted in property damage) were caused by one or more “human factors” – that is, negligent behavior by one or more individuals. Some examples of these “human factors” includes:

  • Driving while distracted, which can include engaging in a multitude of activities like texting, talking on the phone, checking social media, listening to the radio, carrying on a conversation with someone in the car, applying makeup, and/or eating and drinking;
  • Driving at an unsafe speed, which increases the distance a driver needs to bring his or her care to a safe stop in the event of an emergency or hazard. Disobeying other traffic laws and rules was a factor in a number of traffic collisions in New York;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or some other substance. This impairs the driver’s ability to make sound decisions and increases the amount of time the driver needs to perceive things like sirens, traffic lights, or pedestrians and react properly to them.

It is unfortunate that many of the car accidents in New York state could be prevented if drivers merely made better decisions while driving on the road. Unfortunately, until motorists take safety into their own hands and begin driving less aggressively while paying greater attention to what is going on around them, the number of fatalities and injuries attributable to car accidents will likely continue to grow.

New York is a “No Fault” Insurance State

New York and about 12 other states require drivers to carry what is known as “no fault” insurance. With “no fault” insurance, injured motorists and passengers file claims for compensation with their own insurance companies, regardless of who is at fault for causing the crash. The main advantage to no fault insurance schemes is that claims for compensation may be paid more quickly because the insurance companies do not need to assign fault before paying out compensation. The drawback is that being able to obtain additional compensation through a lawsuit is usually more complicated and more regulated than in other, fault-based states.

In the context of a lawsuit (where one is permitted), injury victims may be able to recover compensation from at-fault drivers even if the victim is to blame for causing the crash in some way. Under the “pure comparative fault” doctrine (which New York has adopted), an injury victim can recover compensation from another driver so long as that other person was at least one percent responsible for causing the crash. The victim’s own compensation would be reduced in proportion with the amount of fault attributable to the victim.

Deadline to File a New York Car Crash Lawsuit

Any lawsuit that can be filed seeking compensation following a car accident must be filed within three years of the date the crash occurred. If a victim seeking compensation fails to do so, then he or she will be precluded from ever filing a lawsuit based upon that specific car crash and the injuries and losses that resulted therefrom.

Stern Law, PLLC Aggressively Fights for Injury Victims

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a car accident, contact attorney Ken Stern and Stern Law, PLLC today to discuss your case. Stern Law, PLLC can be reached at (844) 808-7529.

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