Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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Although New York is a “no fault” state for the purposes of automobile accident liability, this does not mean that a negligent driver can never be held accountable for the injuries of a person hurt in a crash. To the contrary, if someone sustains serious injuries in a New York car accident, he or she may be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver for damages such as lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Even if the no-fault threshold is not met, the injured person may have other options, including a claim against his or her own insurance company or, possibly, a claim against his or her employer’s disability insurance company.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appellate court case, the plaintiff was a woman who brought suit against the defendant insurance company in the Supreme Court of Greene County, New York, seeking no-fault lost wage benefits. The plaintiff had been involved in a 2013 car accident that left her unable to work for an unspecified amount of time. She took a leave of absence from her employment and received short-term disability benefits from her employer’s insurer. However, the plaintiff was later terminated from her employment due to her alleged failure to comply with her employer’s leave of absence guidelines.

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In a Syracuse automobile accident lawsuit, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the driver against whom a claim is filed was negligent in some manner.

In order to prove negligence, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant breached a duty of care that was owed to him or her and that the plaintiff was damaged as a proximate result.

If the plaintiff is unable to make a prima facie showing of negligence, it is likely that the defendant driver will file a motion for summary judgment. Unless there are genuine issues of material fact to be resolved at trial, the court may rule that the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

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In a Syracuse personal injury lawsuit based on a theory of negligence, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. This means that he or she must be able to provide evidence sufficient to convince the jury, by a preponderance of the evidence, to the existence of each and every element of his or her case.

The elements of negligence include duty, breach of duty, damages, and causation.

If the plaintiff’s evidence fails as to any one of these elements, he or she cannot recover money damages against the defendant. Continue reading

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In a Rochester or Syracuse rear-end collision, there is a presumption that the person driving the automobile that ran into the back of the other was a fault in the accident. While there are some circumstances in which the defendant in such a case may be able to avoid liability, the burden is on him or her to prove that there was some reason – other than his or her negligence – for the collision.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who filed suit against the defendants, the owner and the operator of a certain automobile, seeking compensation for injuries she allegedly suffered in a rear-end collision. The defendants sought summary judgment, averring that the plaintiff had not sustained a “serious injury” as that term is defined under New York Insurance Law § 5102(d) (including the categories of significant limitation of use, permanent consequential limitations of use, and 90/180 days). The plaintiff also sought summary judgment, asking the court to rule in her favor both the issue of serious injury and negligence.

The Supreme Court of Niagara County partially granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiff’s cross motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff sought review from the intermediate appellate court.

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Sometimes, a Syracuse automobile accident case seems very simple at first. If one driver runs a stop sign and causes an accident, that driver – and only that driver – is at fault, right?

Unfortunately, things are not always as they seem, especially when it comes to motor vehicle accident litigation. This is especially true when it comes to multi-car accidents and the resolution of issues pertaining to comparative negligence.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiffs were two individuals who were injured in a multi-vehicle crash. They filed separate lawsuits naming several other drivers as defendants. One driver (and his father, who owned the vehicle he was driving when the accident occurred) filed motions for summary judgment in the plaintiffs’ respective cases. As grounds, they averred that they could not be held liable for the plaintiffs’ damages because the defendant driver had the right-of-way at the time of the accident. According to the defendants’ view of the case, the conduct of another driver, who allegedly ran a stop sign, was the sole proximate cause of the accident.

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Timeliness is very important in a New York automobile accident case. If a claim is not filed within the statute of limitations, there is a strong likelihood that it will be dismissed by the court on procedural grounds.

However, there are a few – a very few – exceptions to this general principle. One of these exceptions is based on a doctrine known as “relation back,” under which a late-filed claim can be “dated” as if it were filed earlier. However, this doctrine only applies to claims relating to a lawsuit that has already been timely filed.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the New York Court of Appeals was called upon to consider the various issues arising in three consolidated actions filed as a result of multi-vehicle accident that occurred in 2011. The accident happened when a vehicle (in which several employees of a certain business were riding) stalled on a bridge. That car was struck from behind by a second car, which was then hit by a third car. One of the passengers in the first car died from injuries suffered in the wreck.

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No matter how careful you are and how much protective gear you have on when you ride your bicycle, a negligent motorist can hit you at any time. If this has happened to you or someone you know, you need to seek the help of a skilled Syracuse personal injury lawyer who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the devastating impact that a bicycle accident can have on the victim and his or her family.

Law enforcement are investigating a hit-and-run accident that took place in Brooklyn and left a bicyclist dead recently. The 21-year-old victim was riding in a bike lane parallel to a truck as both approached the road. The truck allegedly made a right turn and hit the bicyclist, dragging the bicyclist for several feet before driving off. The victim was on an electronic bike and was wearing a helmet at the time of the wreck. Tragically, he was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. Police are still looking for the truck and have mentioned that the truck driver may not have known that he hit the cyclist.

Liability for Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents can leave individuals seriously injured, in some cases, even restricting their mobility permanently or causing death. If you have been in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to sue the at-fault party. Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances. The behavior typically consists of actions but can also involve omissions, namely when a person fails to act when they have a duty to do so. To establish negligence, the party filing the lawsuit has the burden of proving the following: the defendant owed the bicyclist a duty of care; the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the bicyclist; and the defendant’s breach was the direct cause of the bicycle accident and the bicyclist’s resulting harm.

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Limousine accidents can result in catastrophic, even deadly injuries. If you or somebody you know was hurt in a limousine accident caused by carelessness or negligence, we believe we can help. Our trustworthy Syracuse personal injury attorneys will thoroughly investigate the crash and hold the responsible parties accountable. We know this process sounds daunting but you can trust that we will take care of each and every legal matter in your case so you can focus on your recovery.

Earlier this month, twenty people were killed following a limousine crash in Schoharie, New York. The limousine was headed to a birthday party when it failed to stop at an intersection and struck a parked vehicle. All seventeen passengers in the limo as well as the limo driver died instantly. In addition, two pedestrians near the unoccupied parked car were killed. There are still many unanswered questions about the cause of the crash. One thing is clear, however, the limousine had recently failed state inspection and was not supposed to be on the road at the time of the accident. In addition, the limo driver did not have the appropriate commercial driver’s license to be driving the limousine. As the investigation continues, these factors will undoubtedly be relevant.

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Environmental concerns and high gas prices make electric cars a desirable option. It is no wonder electric cars are becoming more and more popular in New York and across the United States. If you have been injured in an accident involving an electric car, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. Our Syracuse auto accident attorneys will examine the facts of your case and help you explore your legal options.

Tesla Model 3 Earns a Perfect Safety Rating

The Tesla Model 3 earned a perfect 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) assessment. The rear-wheel drive version of the car got perfect marks for front and side impact protection and rollover prevention. NHTSA also noted that the vehicle comes with a full suite of electronic safety aids, including crash warning, automatic emergency brakes and land departure warning, though none of these features were used during the crash tests. The Model 3 follows in the footsteps of the Tesla’s Model S and Model X, both of which also received five-star ratings in the past.

Liability for Electric Car Accidents 

With innovations made by companies like Tesla, we are seeing a rapid rise in the number of electric cars on the road. Many of these vehicles have self-driving features that can be very appealing, but, because they are so new, they can also have glitches that can lead to a serious accident. Of course, pinpointing the cause of an accident can be complicated.

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If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the Syracuse car accident attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can help. With years of experience representing New York clients in their personal injury claims, we can help you as well. Auto accident cases can quickly get complicated, and having the right attorney on your side can make all of the difference in your case.

An average of 10 people were killed each day between Memorial Day and Labor Day in crashes involving teen drivers last year, according to the AAA. Known as the so-called “100 Deadliest Days” of the year for driving, the time span between Memorial Day and Labor Day seems to show a 14 percent increase in deadly accidents involving at least one teenage driver as compared to the rest of the year. There is a 22 percent increase in the average number of nighttime crashes involving teen drivers during the same time frame when compared to the rest of the year. Under New York law, teenagers with a learner’s permit or junior license are not legally allowed to drive unsupervised from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. In addition, junior license holders cannot have more than one unrelated passenger under the age of 21.

Teens are not the only ones who see spikes in accidents around this time. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Labor Day averaged 308 fatalities per year over 2011 to 2015. Sadly, the stretch between Washington, D.C. and New York has the highest incidence of deadly accidents on any given holiday weekend.

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