Whether you are planning to take a road trip with your family during one of the upcoming holidays or you are planning to host others at your house, it is important to understand the serious risks of car accidents and injuries during the holidays. From Thanksgiving through to the New Year, hundreds of Americans are killed in motor vehicle collisions every year and thousands more sustain serious injuries. The following are five things to know about holiday traffic collisions and seeking financial compensation for your losses.
1. Thanksgiving and New Years are Particularly Deadly Holidays
Thanksgiving is among the deadliest holidays when it comes to driving. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), anywhere from 374 to 463 people will sustain fatal injuries in Thanksgiving accidents each year, and more than 40,000 people will suffer non-fatal injuries. Accordingly, it is critical to consider the risks of driving during the holiday and to take steps to avoid a serious collision.
Some of those accidents result from more drivers being on the roads with increased rates of distracted, aggressive, and drowsy driving, while others are linked to increased alcohol use and drunk driving crashes.
2. You can Take Steps to Avoid a Car Accident During the Holiday Season
While you may not be able to prevent any and all motor vehicle collisions, you can take steps to help avoid a collision. The NSC recommends getting enough sleep before you drive, ensuring that you have had your vehicle serviced before getting on the road, and avoiding alcohol or cell phone use if you are going to be driving.
3. Car Crashes May Occur This Year Despite the Pandemic
Although the overall rate of vehicle traffic has declined in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should not assume that driving during the holiday season will be safer than in years past. To be sure, despite the fact that traffic has lessened, the rate of deadly collisions has actually increased due to aggressive driving.
4. You Will Need to Seek Compensation Through Your PIP Coverage Unless You can Show that You Have Sustained a Serious Injury Under New York Law
Since New York is a no-fault state, you will typically only be able to seek compensation through your PIP coverage unless you can meet the “serious injury” threshold required by New York law to file a lawsuit.
5. Lawsuits Must be Filed Within a Short Period of Time
If you do meet the serious injury threshold and are able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver who is responsible for a holiday car accident, you will need to act quickly. Under New York law, most car accident lawsuit claims must be filed within three years from the date of the collision. Although three years might seem like a long enough period of time that you do not need to file your lawsuit immediately, it is critical to remember that evidence can be lost and you could ultimately lose your claim if you do not move forward with your lawsuit in a timely manner. If you fail to file a lawsuit within three years, your claim will be time-barred.
You Should Seek Advice from a New York Auto Accident Lawyer
No matter how your auto accident injuries occurred during the holiday season, you should have an experienced New York auto accident attorney on your side who can represent you throughout this complex process. From filing an auto insurance claim to representing your interests in a car accident lawsuit, our firm is here to assist you. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.