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Causes of Car Accidents in New York

Car accidents in New York can occur due to various factors, each with the potential to cause significant injuries and damages. Common causes include distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving, adverse weather conditions, and driver fatigue. These factors increase the risk of collisions, leading to a range of injuries such as whiplash, fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even fatalities. Additionally, victims may suffer emotional trauma, loss of income, and property damage. If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to contact an experienced New York car accidents lawyer. Navigating the legal complexities of a car accident claim can be challenging, especially when dealing with insurance companies and opposing parties. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, we have a deep understanding of New York law and can provide guidance and advocacy throughout the legal process to help ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for your losses.

Top Causes of Car Accidents

While there are many reasons that car accidents occur, the vast majority are preventable. Most accidents occur because a driver or some other person was negligent. Seven of the most common reasons include:

  • Distracted Driving: One of the leading causes of car accidents in New York is distracted driving. This includes activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-vehicle technologies while behind the wheel. Distractions divert attention from the road, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. In such cases, an experienced New York car accidents lawyer can provide invaluable assistance by navigating the complex legal system, gathering evidence, and advocating for the rights of accident victims to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages caused by a driver who was texting.
  • Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions is another prevalent cause of car accidents. Speeding reduces a driver's ability to react to unexpected situations, increases stopping distance, and amplifies the force of impact in a collision.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances poses a significant danger on New York's roads. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times, impaired judgment, and compromised motor skills, all of which contribute to a higher risk of accidents.
  • Reckless Driving: Engaging in aggressive and reckless driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, or disregarding traffic signals, significantly increases the likelihood of accidents. These behaviors endanger not only the driver but also other road users.
  • Fatigue: Fatigue can impair a driver's ability to concentrate, react quickly, and make sound decisions. Falling asleep at the wheel or experiencing drowsiness while driving can lead to devastating accidents. Commercial truck drivers, shift workers, and individuals with untreated sleep disorders are particularly susceptible to fatigue-related accidents.
  • Weather Conditions: New York experiences various weather conditions throughout the year, including snowstorms, heavy rain, and fog. These adverse weather conditions can reduce visibility, create slippery roads, and make driving more challenging, resulting in an increased risk of accidents.
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Laws: Disregarding traffic laws, such as running red lights, failing to yield, or illegal maneuvers, contributes to a significant number of accidents in New York. Following traffic laws and respecting right-of-way is essential for maintaining order and preventing collisions.
Determining Liability for a Car Accident

Determining liability for a car accident is crucial for establishing who is legally responsible for the damages and injuries resulting from the incident. In New York, liability is determined based on the concept of negligence, which involves assessing the actions and responsibilities of the parties involved. The following are potential parties who may be liable in a car accident in New York:

The driver of a vehicle is often the primary party held responsible for a car accident. If their negligent actions, such as speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, or running a red light, directly contributed to the accident, they may be held liable for the damages and injuries.

However, depending on the cause of the accident, other individuals and entities may be held liable. For example, employers may be liable. If the at-fault driver was operating a vehicle as part of their job duties, their employer may also be held liable under the legal principle of "vicarious liability." This applies when an employee causes an accident while acting within the scope of their employment. Government entities may be liable in certain instances. Poorly designed or maintained roads, inadequate signage, or other infrastructure-related issues can contribute to car accidents. In such cases, the government entity responsible for road maintenance or design may be held liable for the accident.

In certain situations, a defective vehicle or its components may be the cause of the accident. If a defect in the design, manufacturing, or labeling of the vehicle contributed to the accident, the manufacturer may be held liable for the damages.

Determining liability requires a thorough investigation, gathering evidence, and analyzing factors surrounding the accident. If you were injured in a car accident, it is advisable to consult with an experienced car accidents attorney in New York who can assess the specific circumstances of the case and navigate the complex legal process to ensure that liability is properly determined and pursued.

Remember, liability may be shared among multiple parties, and New York follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that the amount of compensation received by a victim may be reduced if they are found partially at fault for the accident.

Damages Available

In New York, car accident victims may be entitled to various types of damages to compensate for their losses. One of the most common types of damages is economic damages. These damages aim to compensate the victim for the tangible financial losses incurred as a result of the accident, including such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages. Another type of damages include non-economic damages. These damages compensate for subjective losses that are more difficult to quantify in monetary terms, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. In rare cases involving extreme recklessness or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages aim to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.

It's important to note that New York follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means that the damages awarded to the injured party may be reduced proportionally if they are found partially at fault for the accident.

Navigating the process of determining and pursuing damages can be complex. Consulting with an experienced car accidents lawyer in New York is crucial to understand your rights, assess the potential damages applicable to your case, and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Car accidents in New York can have devastating consequences, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. Understanding the top causes of accidents and how liability is determined is essential in promoting safer driving practices and seeking justice for victims. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in New York, it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney serving New York. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to seeking legal help after a car accident. Contact us today at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

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