Motor vehicle crashes in New York can be debilitating or even fatal at any speed, although collisions that occur at higher speeds tend to be more dangerous. In most cases of red-light running, the motorist is traveling at a speed at or above the speed limit in order to drive through the intersection quickly. According to a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a total of 939 people were killed in red light accidents in 2017 alone, and about 50% of those people were occupants of other vehicles—the vehicles that did not run the red light. That number represented a 10-year high. Despite the fact that more than 80% of drivers surveyed by AAA said that running a red light is extremely dangerous, about one-third of those same people surveyed reported that they had run a red light at least once within the last 30 days.
If you were injured in a red-light running accident, or if you lost a loved one in a collision, what are your options for filing a car accident lawsuit?
Filing an Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident Caused by a Red-Light Runner
New York is a no-fault state for auto accident purposes. As such, regardless of whether you know with certainty that your car accident injuries were caused by a red-light runner, you will first need to seek compensation by filing an auto insurance claim through your own auto insurer. You will seek compensation to cover your bodily injuries through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. However, New York recognizes that PIP coverage cannot always cover all of a person’s losses when they suffer a serious injury. Accordingly, if you can prove you have met the “serious injury” threshold required by New York law, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
New York law defines a “serious injury” as a:
“[P]ersonal injury which results in death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; a fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent use of a body organ, member, function, or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.”
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Losing a Loved One in a Collision Caused by a Red-Light Runner
Many serious red light accidents result in the death of a vehicle occupant, as the AAA Foundation points out. If you recently lost a loved one in a collision caused by a red-light runner, you could be eligible to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Generally speaking, New York law requires that wrongful death lawsuits be filed within two years from the date of the death. You should get in touch with a New York motor vehicle accident attorney to learn more about filing a claim.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New York
Do you need assistance filing a motor vehicle accident lawsuit or determining your eligibility for filing a claim? One of the experienced New York car accident attorneys at our firm can evaluate your case for you today. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.