Head-on crashes are some of the most dangerous types of collisions that occur on New York roadways. They often occur at high speeds when motorists are intoxicated or drowsy, and they frequently involve drivers traveling the wrong way down a road or the wrong way on an exit ramp. In many cases, wrong-way crashes result from an intoxicated or fatigued driver crossing over a median and causing a wrong-way crash in which one or more vehicles traveling the right way on the road are severely or fatally injured. It is important to understand how head-on collision lawsuits work in New York.
You Will Start the Process by Filing a PIP Auto Insurance Claim
As with other types of car accidents in New York, most head-on collision claims will start with an auto insurance claim through your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Since New York is a no-fault state, claims for compensation must start with a PIP claim. However, as we will explain below, most injury victims in head-on collisions can be eligible to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Head-On Collisions Frequently Result in Serious and Deadly Injuries
Head-on collisions often, tragically, result in severe and deadly injuries. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), head-on crashes represent only a small fraction of all motor vehicle accidents, but they account for more than 10% of all fatal collisions.
Given the severity of most head-on collisions, it is likely that you will meet the “serious injury threshold” required under New York’s no-fault auto insurance law to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You should have an experienced auto accident lawyer assess your case to determine whether you have met the serious injury threshold such that you can file a lawsuit against the negligent or reckless motorist who caused the head-on crash.
Personal Injury Lawsuits and Wrongful Death Claims
As we discussed above, head-on collisions often result in severe and life-threatening injuries. If a person survives a head-on collision, they are often eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit because they can show that they meet the serious injury threshold required by New York law. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that many motor vehicle occupants do not survive devastating head-on collisions. In these circumstances, the option for seeking compensation is often to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Under New York’s wrongful death statute, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate must be the party who files a wrongful death lawsuit. In filing this type of claim, the personal representative of the deceased (also known as the executor of the estate) can seek damages on behalf of surviving family members.
Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were seriously injured in a head-on collision in New York, or if you lost a loved one in a dangerous head-on crash, it is important to get in touch with an experienced New York car accident attorney to find out more about filing a claim for compensation through which you can also hold the at-fault driver accountable. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC, today for more information about car accident lawsuits in New York.