Highway accidents often occur at high speeds, which means that the injuries victims sustain tend to be fairly serious. After a collision of this nature, you may suffer serious harm aw well as damage to your car. These consequences can be expensive. For certain kinds of injuries you may need surgery or maybe even multiple surgeries. You may not be able to work for a long time, or you may become disabled. The party responsible for your serious injuries following a highway accident should be held accountable. New York is a no fault car insurance state, but after you make a claim against your own personal injury protection coverage, you may need to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover losses for serious injuries. The knowledgeable Syracuse car accident attorneys at our firm can help you determine your legal options.Highway Accidents
When drivers are traveling at high speeds at the time of an accident, any resulting injuries may be catastrophic or even fatal. A rear-ending when the striking car is traveling at 15 miles per hour might result in soft tissue injuries to the people inside the struck vehicle. However, the same rear-ending accident can result in death when it occurs at 65 or more miles per hour.
Usually after a highway accident in New York, you turn to your no-fault insurance first. However, you can sue an at-fault driver if you’ve experienced serious injuries. Often those in highway accidents have suffered forms of harm that count as serious injuries; these can include fractures, permanent restriction on a body member or organ, disfigurement, or full disability for 90 days.
In order to hold someone responsible for your injuries after a highway accident, you’ll need to show by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of care, (2) breach of duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The duty of care depends on the situation. A driver can breach the duty of care on the highway through speeding, weaving, tailgating, driving recklessly, texting while driving, distracted driving, drinking and driving, failing to obey signs, failure to yield, and aggressive driving.Comparative Negligence
Often defendants in car accident cases raise comparative negligence as a defense. This means they argue that you are partly or fully to blame for the highway accident. When comparative negligence is alleged, the jury will look at the full situation and try to figure out who was to blame. It will also determine damages. The jury will assign fault and your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the defendant is 60% at fault for traveling at an excessive speed and you are 40% at fault for failing to repair both brake lights, such that the defendant rear-ended you and you wound up with serious injuries and $100,000 in damages, you could recover $60,000 from the defendant, but would be responsible for $40,000 yourself. New York follows a pure comparative negligence rule, which means you can recover even if you are the one who is more at fault for the accident, but your damages are still reduced by your percentage of fault.Statute of Limitations
You have a short window of time within which to file suit following a car accident. In New York you have three years from the date you were injured in a highway or other vehicle accident to file your personal injury lawsuit against the party or parties responsible. It’s wise to consult an attorney right away if you are considering legal action, because if you wait too long you could be barred from recovering damages at all.Damages
You may be able to recover compensatory damages if you can establish liability. Compensatory damages are those that put you back in the position you would have been in had the accident not occurred.Consult an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Syracuse
If you have suffered serious injuries in a highway accident in or around Syracuse and the accident was someone else’s fault, a skillful trial lawyer can assess whether you have a viable basis to sue for damages. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano handles personal injury lawsuits in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in places such as Ithaca, Binghamton, Cooperstown, Auburn, Canandaigua, Lyons, Elmira, Herkimer, Utica, Oneida, Wampsville, Oswego, Watertown, and Lowville. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.