Car accidents are a serious matter in the bustling city of New York, affecting hundreds of people every day. Not only can they lead to devastating injuries or even fatalities, but they can also result in extensive property damage, significant emotional distress, and intense legal battles. Read on as we answer one of the most common questions among New Yorkers: What is the common cause of car crashes?
But not every car accident is the same. Rather, they come in many different types, the specifics of which – such as the angle of collision, the location of the incident, and the conditions of the road – can play a vital role in those legal battles. These factors can help a skilled personal injury lawyer determine the cause of the accident, assign liability, and effectively advocate for the injured party’s rights.
With that in mind, let’s look at the ten most common types of car accidents and how they occur.
Understanding the Types of Car Accidents
The circumstances and dynamics of a car accident can greatly influence the determination of liability. Understanding these differences can provide valuable insights into how a personal injury case might unfold. Let’s take a closer look at the most common types of car accidents in New York:
- Head-on Collisions: This is when the fronts of two vehicles collide. These are often severe accidents due to the combined speed of both vehicles. Liability is usually determined by which driver crossed into oncoming traffic or who was driving the wrong way.
- Hit and Run Accidents: This is when a driver hits another car, a pedestrian, or a cyclist and leaves the scene without identifying themselves or helping the injured. The fleeing driver, if identified, is typically held liable.
- Intersection Accidents: These accidents occur when cars coming from different directions collide in an intersection. The assignment of liability can depend on factors such as failure to yield, running a red light, or not obeying traffic signs.
- Multi-Vehicle Pile-ups: These are complex accidents involving multiple vehicles, often on highways. Determining liability can be challenging due to the number of parties involved and the sequence of events leading to the pile-up.
- Parking Lot Accidents: These accidents happen in parking lots, and they can involve moving cars, parked cars, or pedestrians. The determination of fault usually hinges on right-of-way rules in the parking lot and the behavior of drivers and pedestrians.
- Rear-end Collisions: This is when a vehicle hits the one in front of it. Typically, the driver of the car that hits the other from behind is considered to be at fault, as they may have been following too closely or not paying attention. However, there are exceptions, such as when the front car reverses suddenly.
- Rollover Accidents: This is when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. Rollovers can occur due to driver behavior, vehicle type, or road conditions. A thorough investigation is necessary to establish liability.
- Sideswipes: Occurring when two parallel cars touch sides, sideswipes often happen when drivers change lanes without checking their blind spots or when they fail to signal properly. Liability typically falls on the driver who moved into the other’s lane.
- Single-Vehicle Crashes: A crash of this type involves only one vehicle that may hit a pedestrian, cyclist, object, or animal, or roll over. Liability can depend on a number of factors, such as driver behavior, road conditions, vehicle malfunctions, or even actions taken by pedestrians or other road users.
- T-bone or Side-impact Collisions: Often occurring at intersections, these collisions happen when the front of one vehicle hits the side of another. Determining liability can be complex, as it often depends on right-of-way rules, traffic signals, or signs at the time of the accident.
New York’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
Under New York’s no-fault law, every motor vehicle owner is required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their auto insurance. In the event of a car accident, the injured parties file a claim with their own insurance company for compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. This applies to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike, as long as the accident occurred in New York and involved a vehicle covered by no-fault insurance.
It’s also important to note that the no-fault law does not apply to motorcycle riders in New York. Furthermore, accidents involving vehicles registered out of state, or accidents occurring out of state, can present complex legal scenarios where the no-fault law may not apply.
While the no-fault law aims to streamline compensation and minimize legal disputes, it doesn’t cover everything, such as pain and suffering. However, those who suffer “serious” injuries under the New York Insurance Law can step outside the no-fault system and file insurance claims or lawsuits against at-fault parties. Serious injuries may include dismemberment, significant disfigurement, loss of a fetus, and permanent loss of use of a body organ, function, or system.
In these circumstances, the type of car accident can play a crucial role in pointing to who could be at fault and, therefore, liable for covering the injured parties’ losses.
Compensation After Car Accidents in New York
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, the financial burden can often be as overwhelming as the physical and emotional toll. However, compensation from insurance claims or lawsuits can help cover these costs. If you’re entitled to step outside of New York’s no-fault insurance laws, you could be entitled to compensation for your:
- Emotional distress
- Medical expense
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Rehabilitation costs
The types and amounts of compensation can vary significantly based on the specifics of the accident, the severity of the injuries, and the insurance policies involved. Always consult with a personal injury attorney to understand what types of compensation might be available in your situation.
Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer Today
An experienced New York car accident lawyer with Finz & Finz, P.C. is standing by to review the type of accident that injured you and determine whether you could be owed compensation. Reach out to us today at (855) TOP-FIRM for a free, no-obligation consultation, and learn more about your options.