Speeding harms everybody who is out on the road, whether they are pedestrians or in a vehicle. Speed limits are put in place to protect those who are on the road, but unfortunately speeding has led to serious injuries and even death for numerous Syracuse area residents. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a speeding accident caused by someone else, an experienced Syracuse car accident attorney can help you assess your legal options.Speeding Accidents
Speeding is aggressive and sometimes it’s a response to congestion, running late, or being anonymous on the road. There are enormous risks to speeding: a driver is more likely to lose control of the car, needs more time to stop after noticing that stopping is necessary, the force of a crash is more severe resulting in greater injuries, and the equipment intended to protect passengers and the driver is less effective.
Generally, if you get into an accident with a speeding driver in New York, you’ll need to first file a claim with your own no-fault insurance. If your injuries are serious and permanent, you can sue for damages. Serious and permanent injuries can include substantial disfigurement, permanent impairment of a limb or organ, broken bones, substantial restrictions on a body function or system, or substantively full disability for 90 days.Suing for Negligence
If you were seriously injured in an accident caused by someone who was speeding, you may be able to recover damages by establishing his or her negligence. Assuming you met the threshold for serious injuries to sue an at-fault driver rather than turn to the no-fault system, you would need to show it’s more likely than not: (1) you were owed a duty of care, (2) breach of the duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. Speeding is usually a breach of the duty of care, but you will also need to show a causal link between the other driver or drivers’ speeding and the injuries you suffered.
The defendant or defendants may raise comparative negligence as an affirmative defense. This means that the jury would consider whether you were partially or fully to blame for the accident and any damages awarded would be reduced by your proportion of fault. New York follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. For example, if the defendant was speeding and you were texting while driving, you may both be assigned a percentage of fault by the jury. If the jury assigns the defendant 60% of the fault and you 40% of the fault and the damages are $100,000, you can recover $60,000, but you will be responsible for the $40,000 that represents the proportion that is your fault for the accident.
Sometimes there are multiple defendants or “joint tortfeasors” at fault for a speeding accident or who contribute to a speeding accident. In New York, joint tortfeasors can be held jointly and severally liable, meaning that any one of them can be responsible for all the damages even if they weren’t wholly or solely at fault. However, a joint tortfeasor who is 50% or less at fault will only be severally liable for the claimant’s noneconomic losses.Damages
If you can establish liability in a lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are intended to make you whole. They can include both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are concrete losses that can easily be quantified. Often they’re documented damages. They can include medical bills, out-of-pocket costs, replacement services, and lost wages. Noneconomic losses are intangible losses that can vary dramatically depending on how a lawyer presents your case and your testimony. They can include loss of enjoyment of life, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.Experienced Syracuse Attorneys for Car Accident Victims
The lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent speeding accident victims who have been injured or lost loved ones in Syracuse. We also represent clients in Rochester, Elmira, Auburn, Binghamton, Ithaca, Herkimer, Delhi, Oneida, Lowville, Watertown, Oswego, Utica, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Cooperstown, and Lyons. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form to learn more.