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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Types of Car Accident Liability

Car crashes in New York are caused by many different factors, including various forms of driver error. When most people think about causation for a New York motor vehicle collision, they think about mistakes made by a motorist behind the wheel, or different types of careless or reckless behavior. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in a majority of car accidents, the critical cause for the collision is attributed to a negligent driver, and more than 90% of crashes do happen because of driver carelessness or reckless behavior behind the wheel. Yet car accidents can also have other causes, resulting in liability for other parties, such as property owners of the land where the accident occurred or product makers responsible for a vehicle defect. What do you need to know about car accident liability in New York? Our New York car accident lawyers have information to help.

Driver Error and Motor Vehicle Collisions

Most motor vehicle crashes in New York result from driver error, and driver error can take many different forms. Most often, when a motorist’s negligence causes an accident, that motorist was engaged in one of the following types of dangerous driving behaviors:

● Aggressive driving or road rage, which can range from speeding or running a red light to intentionally tailgating another driver with the intention of forcing them into another lane;

● Intoxicated driving, which can include drunk driving or drugged driving;

● Drowsy or fatigued driving, which involves driving any time a motorist is too tired to focus or stay awake behind the wheel; and

● Distracted driving, which can take a wide variety of forms ranging from talking or texting on a hand-held cell phone to getting mentally distracted while driving.

When driver error causes a collision, the injured party in the crash begins the process of seeking compensation by filing a no-fault insurance claim through their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In order for the injured party to sue the at-fault driver, the injured party will need to prove that they have sustained a serious injury that meets New York’s serious injury threshold required to file a lawsuit.

Product Defects and Car Crashes

Product liability, or product defects, can also be the primary reasons for motor vehicle collisions in New York. While the NHTSA attributes only about 2% of all serious accidents to safety defects, it is critical to remember that a product defect that results in a collision could mean that the designer, manufacturer, or retailer of the vehicle is liable for injuries. To find out more about filing a product liability lawsuit after a traffic collision, you should seek advice from one of our car accident lawyers.

Dangerous Property Conditions Can Cause Accidents

Sometimes property owners (or renters) can also be liable for car accident injuries when the injury results from a hazard on the premises. On a public road with an obvious hazard that has gone unrepaired by the city or county, for example, it may be possible to seek compensation by filing a claim against the government. When crashes happen on private property with unrepaired hazards, the private property owner or manager could be responsible for damages resulting from injuries.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New York

If you have questions about liability in a car crash, our New York car accident attorneys can help. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.


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