Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Spinal CordCar accidents can cause life-changing injuries, or even fatalities, for those involved. The causes of car accidents are highly situational. Sometimes inclement weather can create hazardous road conditions, while at other times the negligence of the driver or other drivers on the road can be the cause of an accident. A recent New York car accident case involving a young Brooklyn woman centered around whether the driver of the vehicle, in which she was the passenger, was negligent when he fell asleep while driving.

As mentioned above, the plaintiff was injured in a 2012 car accident when the driver of the vehicle, a Chevrolet Equinox, fell asleep at the wheel. He swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a mini-van, killing a passenger, an elderly woman. The driver of that vehicle survived the crash.  The plaintiff allegedly suffered severe, lifelong spinal injuries. Her symptoms included losing feeling in her legs. She also requires the use of leg braces for mobility purposes. Moreover, her physicians allegedly advised her that as she progresses in age, her condition will grow worse, and eventually she will completely lose the ability to walk as a result of her injuries. Following the car accident, she was forced to withdraw from college, where she was receiving an Ivy League education, and see a therapist about depression issues.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the driver for falling asleep at the wheel, likely alleging negligence under New York law. Her case went to trial in Manhattan Supreme Court, where a jury of six, following a three-week trial, awarded the plaintiff $71 million in damages for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering, and past pain and suffering.

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A car accident where the car becomes submerged is a nightmare scenario, but it does happen. Drivers in New York or anywhere where there are bodies of water should learn these important safety tips for surviving when a car crashes into water.

According to Popular Mechanics, about 400 Americans drown in their cars each year. Survival experts recommend that when a car goes in the water, the first priority of the passengers should be to get a window open so that they can escape. When a car hits the water, it takes approximately 30 seconds for water to rise to the base of the window. Passengers should try to get the window open in this time frame. If the window is automatic, a passenger can use a hammer or their feet to bash out the window. While it is possible for a person to wait until the car fills with water and the pressure equalizes so it is no longer impossible to open the car door, he or she is much more likely to die before escaping.

Once the window is open, adult passengers should assist children in escaping by guiding them firmly through the incoming flow of water to the window. Everyone should swim out of the car as quickly as possible and wait to call for help until they are safely out of the car. Help will not arrive quickly enough to save anyone from the car and making a call will only waste precious time.

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Each day, thousands of New Yorkers rely on the convenience and freedom of their vehicles to get them safely from one destination to the other. However, drivers cannot enjoy the privilege of driving without being subject to the risks of operating a motor vehicle. In most situations, a thorough investigation has to be completed to determine the cause of an accident.

This was just the case in a recent motor vehicle accident on the George Washington Bridge. According to reports, a full-size SUV was traveling eastbound on the New York side of the bridge. There were five occupants inside of the vehicle, two of which were children. Amidst slowing for traffic, a box truck had come to a complete stop when the SUV plowed into the back of the truck. All five of the SUV’s occupants were transported to a local hospital where a man and young child passed away. The other three occupants received unknown injuries.

As a result of the accident, the upper portion of the roadway remained closed so authorities could complete their investigation into the cause of the accident. The cause is still unknown. The occupants of the box truck were not injured.

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While driving provides a plethora of freedom, independence and convenience for motorists in New York, it brings with it substantial risk. These risks are significantly heightened by factors like fatigue, impairment, distraction or poor vehicle maintenance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents account for 2 million injuries and 32,000 fatalities each year in the United States.

Motorists may also face increased risks of being involved in a car crash depending on the time of year. One report suggests that summertime is one of these periods of heightened risk due to several factors including a number of popular holidays during the warmer months. Because summer nights last longer and holiday gatherings are prevalent, drivers may be more likely to partake of alcohol. In many places, highly celebrated holidays like the 4th of July are practically synonymous with partying and drinking. In fact, the stretch of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered one of the most dangerous periods on the road.

The consumption of prescription drugs is also a contributor to motor vehicle deaths. In fact, in the last decade, drug-related car accidents have nearly doubled. Additionally, because school is no longer in session, the summer months see a substantial increase in the number of teenage drivers on the road, which can also contribute to more car accidents.

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Alcohol intoxication, sleep deprivation and poor weather conditions can all lead to motor vehicle accidents. However, distractions take the eyes of many drivers away from the road and cause a devastating number of wrecks each year. If you drive in New York, or if you ride as a passenger in a motor vehicle, it is important to familiarize yourself with different examples of distracted driving and take steps to eliminate these distractions on the road.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addresses distracted driving on their site and draws attention to some of the main reasons why drivers become distracted. For example, sending and receiving emails or texts while behind the wheel is particularly widespread among those who are in high school. However, cell phones distract drivers of all ages and there are many other distractions that can increase the likelihood of an accident. For example, a driver may be distracted because they are eating, communicating with other people in the car, attempting to turn the radio station or looking for something on the floor.

During 2013, more than 3,100 lost their lives in accidents which involved a driver who was distracted. Moreover, even those who are lucky enough to walk away from a distracted driving wreck may suffer severe injuries and other hardships, such as dealing with their insurance company. If you have been hit by a distracted driver and are trying to recover, you should carefully review any options that are in front of you. Furthermore, careless drivers who upend the lives of others should be held answerable.

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The stress of a car accident can make it difficult to remember the basic steps you should take after the crash. Of course, you probably know that you need to contact the authorities so they can come out to make a report and evaluate the scene. There are also other steps you should take. 

#1: Gather evidence

You should try to get evidence at the crash scene. Snap a few pictures with your phone so that you can show the actual scene if you plan to seek compensation. Take notes about what you see around the scene. Make notes of the weather and any other points that might come into the picture. Writing things down as quickly as possible can help you to accurately remember later. Get the names and contact information for anyone involved in the crash and witnesses. You might not be able to do this if the accident leads to injuries.

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There are many ways accidents can happen on New York roadways. However, one of the most common types of accidents is rear-end collisions. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, rear-end accidents are typically caused by driver inattention. In addition, this type of accident led to more than 1,700 deaths from 2012 to 2014. It is a serious issue that needs a solution.

The NTSB believes that it has found a solution that can help to greatly reduce the number rear-end crashes while also decreasing the severity of them. The answer seems to be collision avoidance systems. These safety systems are installed in vehicles and feature alarms and automatic breaking technology that enables the vehicle to react to a traffic situation and prevent a collision from occurring. They have been shown through studies to be very effective, which has led to numerous recommendations by the NTSB to have them installed as standard equipment on all new vehicles.

Unfortunately, according to USA Today, vehicle manufacturers and the U.S. government have not climbed on board with the NTSB’s push to ensure all vehicles come equipped with collision avoidance systems. Manufacturers cite the fact that consumers should be the ones to choose if such technology is included when they purchase a vehicle. It is currently offered as an upgrade option that adds to the vehicle’s purchase price. The government just has not been able to get the needed support to instigate legislation. The public is not aware of the benefits of these systems and there are no real incentives to mandate they be a requirement for manufacturers.

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Under traditional tort theory, the operator of a vehicle is the primary person responsible for the accident (unless he can overcome the presumption by implicating another party, such as a negligent mechanic). Driverless cars challenge this fundamental aspect of American tort theory and leaves this crucial question, if you are hit who is liable? How do you recover for your injuries? Are you left in legal limbo? This post will go over the answers to those questions.

 

The Department of Transportation recently passed regulations that holds that the computer is the “operator” of the car. That means, even if there is a human operator in a driverless car, the computer is the nominal driver. But does that mean you sue the computer? Is that even possible? No, there is no basis in law for holding a computer responsible for its actions. But it is likely that the court will apply long-standing products liability laws to driverless cars.

Essentially, the manufacturer or designer of the computer would become liable for your injuries. In this scenario, multiple parties are liable for your injuries from the software designers, to the hardware manufacturer and even retailers. While this may sound like a boon to plaintiffs, it also imposes steep challenges. Products liability cases are far more difficult to prove than standard car accident negligence cases.

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Drowsiness is something many might associate with nighttime. So, some might assume that being at risk of drowsy driving is something that mainly happens at night. However, a recent study, by SleepJunkie, indicates that it is actually the morning that sees the most fatalities related to drowsy driving here in the United States.

The study reviewed federal data on drowsy driving crash fatalities to look into what time of day saw the most such deaths. It found that the hour of the day in which drowsy-driving-related fatalities were at their highest levels was the 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. hour. The hours that held the No. 2 and No. 3 spots were also morning hours. In fact, they were the hours on both sides of the 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. hour.

Why do you think the morning sees so many drowsy-driving-related deaths? What do you think are the best ways to stay away from drowsy driving in the morning?

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Given how dangerous drunk driving is, it can be important to look into what groups are engaging in this behavior the most. Understanding what groups drunk driving is most common among can yield important insights regarding what kinds of prevention efforts might be effective.

A recent survey suggests that, among the different age groups, drunk driving is most common among gen-Xers. The survey asked 2,000 Americans various questions about alcohol, including whether they had ever gotten behind the wheel when drunk.

The answers given were broken down in various different ways, including by generation. Gen-Xers (respondents 35 to 51) had the highest rate of admitting to drunk driving, with 43.31 percent of such respondents doing so. Meanwhile, the lowest rate belonged to individuals 70 and over, with only 27.27 percent of individuals in this age group saying they had driven drunk. Baby boomers (respondents 52 to 69) and millennials (respondents under 35) landed in the middle with 39.3 percent and 33.93 percent admitting to drunk driving, respectively.

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