Night Driving Accidents
Nighttime driving increases the risk of car accidents. Many fatalities occur in night driving accidents. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a night driving accident, you should consult an experienced trial attorney about your options. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse car accident lawyers may be able to represent you.Night Driving Accidents
Many different factors increase the dangers of night driving accidents. In some cases, night driving accidents are the result of severely reduced visibility. However, these accidents can also be the result of a greater likelihood of speeding or drunk driving at night. The increase in traffic during nighttime commuting hours also result in a greater number of serious car accidents.
New York is a no-fault state. This means you must have serious injuries within the meaning of the no-fault law in order to file a lawsuit for damages. If you don’t meet the threshold for serious injuries as defined under the law, you will be limited to the losses authorized by your personal injury protection coverage. No fault benefits cover only certain economic losses.Liability
In order to establish another driver’s liability, you will need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) the other driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care, (2) the other driver departed from that duty, (3) the departure actually and proximately caused you harm, and (4) actual damages. All drivers owe others on the road the duty to use reasonable care while driving. What constitutes reasonable care can vary under the circumstances. What might not be dangerous during the day could be dangerous at night due to the dim lighting. For example, if you were driving at night and the driver in front of you didn’t fix his brake lights and therefore you didn’t know he was coming to a rapid, abrupt stop and you hit his car and suffered serious injuries, the court would like find the driver’s departure from the duty to use reasonable care caused your injuries. For another example, if another driver is weaving on the darkened highway at 100 mph and due to the dark misjudges the distance between himself and you and plows into you at 100 mph, you will likely be able to establish that the other driver’s departure from the duty to use reasonable care caused your injuries.
Sometimes, drivers defend themselves on the grounds that a plaintiff was comparatively negligent. When this defense is raised, the jury will evaluate arguments and evidence of both sides, determine damages, and assign percentages of fault to the parties alleged to be at fault. As a plaintiff, your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if the total damages are $100,000 and you are found to be 50% at fault while the other driver was also 50% at fault, you can recover $50,000 damages from the other driver.
After a complicated night driving accident, it may be important to retain an accident reconstruction expert to determine whether other parties are also to blame for the accident. Other parties that may bear responsibility include other drivers, truck drivers, motorcyclists, property owners, and product manufacturers. For example, if you were invited to drive onto a private rural road that is improperly lit and involves a sudden, unmarked drop off to a lower level and are injured as a result, it may be possible to hold the property owner accountable.Damages
If you meet the threshold for serious injuries and we can establish liability for a night driving accident in a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover both intangible and tangible losses. Tangible losses are concrete losses, often documented, such as medical bills, lost wages, and replacement services. Intangible losses include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment.Consult a Car Accident Attorney in Syracuse
If you were injured in a night driving accident, you should talk to a seasoned lawyer. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent accident victims in Syracuse, Rochester, and other places in Upstate New York, including in Cooperstown, Auburn, Oneida, Canandaigua, Binghamton, Lyons, Wampsville, Oswego, Watertown, Utica, Elmira, Herkimer, Ithaca, and Lowville. Please contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or via our online form.