Why Did It Happen?
Causes of New York Auto Accidents
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reported 294,757 traffic accidents in one recent year. Of those accidents, 1,082 involved fatalities, and 123,296 involved personal injuries. In those accidents, 1,163 persons lost their lives; about one-half of those killed were drivers (612), one-fourth were pedestrians (312). Also, 194 passengers and 45 bicyclists were killed as a result of these accidents, as reported by the New York DMV.
Most New York car accidents occur due to the negligence of one or more drivers. The most common causes of car accidents include:
Driver distraction: In one recent year, more than 3,100 people were killed across the nation in distracted driving crashes. In 2013, driver distraction was a factor in 49,781 accidents in New York, leaving 25,098 persons with injuries and causing 127 fatalities. Teens are especially susceptible to distracted driving, be sure to talk with them about the dangers of distracted driving often.
Texting while driving:
NY bans texting while driving for drivers of all ages. Even so, it’s a common occurrence that leads to hundreds of crashes on New York roads and highways.
This dangerous habit is a real problem in New York’s crowded urban areas. Following too closely led to 43,951 crashes in 2013, resulting in 20,977 injuries and 17 deaths.
In 2013, the latest year for which numbers are available, speeding was a factor in 29,178 crashes, including 12,977 crashes where someone was injured; 352 people were killed in those speeding accidents.
Reckless driving means 5 points on a convicted motorist’s driver’s license. It can mean serious injury or death for someone hit by that motorist.
New York had 8,368 accidents, including 4,248 injury crashes and 358 fatalities caused by drunk driving in 2013, the latest year for which numbers are available from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
Running red lights / stop signs:
New Yorkers were ticketed for disregarding traffic controls in 10,834 crashes in 2013, resulting in 6,835 injuries and 68 fatalities.
This negligent act caused 10,839 accidents, with 1,916 injuries and 11 deaths.
Failure to yield the right-of-way:
Failing to yield caused 40,975 injuries in 2013 and 165 deaths.
Vehicular failures, including defective accelerators, tires and brakes, cause 10,101 accidents, 4,824 injuries and 43 deaths.
5 Steps to Take After a Binghamton Car Accident
Understandably, a car accident leaves those involved shocked and confused, and often injured victims are unsure where to turn for help. It is vitally important that a car accident lawyer gets involved as early as possible to avoid running into trouble later. If you have been involved in an accident, follow these five tips.
Call The Police. Even if the accident appears to be minor, it is very important to call the police immediately. Calling the police documents the incident and memorializes what is said at the time of the accident. Witnesses, drivers and anyone involved in the accident will be interviewed by police, and if they change their statement at a later time, the report can be used as a way to cast doubt on any changes in testimony.
Seek Medical Treatment. It is very important to accept any medical help that arrives on the scene of the accident or to seek medical treatment immediately after the accident to document and evaluate your condition and treat any injuries that you may have sustained. Some injuries may not be visible or obvious to you, and a thorough medical examination is extremely important. Ensure you tell the medical professional that you were involved in a vehicle accident so this is documented.
Do Not Admit Fault. Never discuss the accident with anyone other than the police. Only answer the questions you are asked, and do not volunteer information, especially admitting any type of fault. Due to your state of mind immediately after an accident, it is best to not offer any opinions about who is at fault or who is to blame in an accident.
Take Pictures. If possible, take pictures of the accident including the vehicles, the street or highway where it occurred, and anyone at the scene. If you are unable to take photographs yourself, ask someone else to do it for you. These photographs may prove extremely valuable at a later date in the effort to recover compensation.
Get Contact Information. Make sure you or someone with you gathers all the contact information possible. Take down names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information of those involved in the accident and any witnesses present. Of course, contact your insurance company immediately as well.
After the accident, and as soon as possible, make sure you contact a qualified personal injury lawyer who focuses on car accident cases. New York laws regarding car accidents can be complicated. You deserve to be represented by a true legal professional, who will protect your rights and pursue the level of financial compensation you deserve. Contact Scott C. Gottlieb for a free consultation today. And remember, we never charge a fee to our personal injury clients unless we recover money for them.
New York Car Accident Insurance Settlements
New York State law requires motorists to carry liability insurance of at least $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons, and $10,000 for property damage in any one accident. The state also requires mandatory “no-fault” coverage of $50,000.
New York may be a “no-fault” state, but that does not make getting benefits any easier. Do you know what to do if your expenses exceed the $50,000 available under the no-fault limits? Do you know which parties you can sue if you have serious injuries from your car crash?
The damages should reflect all of your losses, both physically and emotionally. There are two types of losses, termed economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include the costs of medical care and treatment, rehabilitation, transportation, lost wages and all other financial losses. The non-economic damages reflect the degree of pain and suffering, the loss of quality of life, anxiety, depression, loss of consortium and other similar losses. This is a significant portion of the settlement or jury award in most car accident injury cases.
Dealing with an insurance company after you have been involved in an accident is daunting. Unless you are practiced in dealing with adjustors, agents and policy terminology, leave these negotiations to us. We’ll fight to protect your rights under NY insurance laws.
Serious Injury Cases and New York Law
Under New York state law, to recover compensation for non-economic damages it is necessary to meet the legal threshold for “serious injury.” A car accident injury case must meet one of the following criteria:
- Significant disfigurement;
- Loss of a fetus;
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system;
- A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
Wrongful Death in Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
The damages awarded to a spouse or children of a person who died as the result of the acts of a negligent driver can include financial compensation for loss of money to economic dependants; loss of love, society, protection, comfort, companionship and consortium; reasonable funeral expenses; reasonable expenses for medical care and treatment, prior to the death, and compensation for the loss of services, support, inheritance; and loss of nurture, guidance and similar types of losses. Damages also include compensation for the conscious pain and suffering and pre-accident terror of the deceased.
If your loved one died after being involved in a car accident in Binghamton or the surrounding area, we want to help you deal with the legal issues surrounding the death. These are terrible and shocking cases, and the family is thrown into turmoil, suffering extreme emotional devastation. It can be difficult to consider the legal issues, but these are important matters to address early.
Does your case meet the legal criteria?
Our Binghamton car accident attorney can evaluate your personal situation, the level of injuries you have sustained, and how the injuries have impacted your daily life. We call upon various professional resources to assist in this process, including financial experts to provide data in determining the value of the case.
In order to be successful, it may be necessary to seek further proof of liability, and our accident re-construction experts are some of the best in the business. We carefully develop our cases, with extensive supporting documentation and other evidence. After submitting a claim, the auto insurer will likely offer a settlement, which you have the right to accept or refuse. Our lawyer will advise you of your options, and the decision is yours.
Our objective is to help you recover the maximum possible for your injuries under the law. As litigators, we are prepared and confident when we take a serious or catastrophic injury case to trial to seek justice and fair compensation. Read our case results, and talk to us about your case before you make any decisions.
You Have Limited Time to File an Accident Claim in New York
Under state law, you have limited time in which to file a lawsuit in an injury or wrongful death case. In New York, you are allowed three years from the time of the accident in which to file a lawsuit. In the event of a death, the statute of limitations restricts you to two years from the time of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There are longer time limits for some cases involving children and there may be shorter time limits when City, State or other Municipalities are involved. Always check with a lawyer about the Statute of Limitations applicable to your case
To be successful at trial or in pre-trial discussions with the liable party’s lawyers, the case must be well crafted and fully supported by evidence, testimony, witness statements, data from medical professionals and other information.
Obtaining and preserving the critical evidence soon after the accident can be a critical point in the final outcome. We urge you to connect with us at once so we can get to work for you.