Car accident laws are a set of legal rules and regulations that govern the rights and obligations of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved in a motor vehicle accident. These laws vary depending on the jurisdiction but typically cover issues such as:
- Liability: determining who is at fault for the accident and therefore responsible for damages.
- Insurance requirements: laws that mandate the types and amounts of insurance that drivers must carry.
- Reporting requirements: laws that require drivers to report accidents to the authorities or to their insurance company.
- Statute of limitations: the time period during which a victim can file a lawsuit or claim for damages.
- Damages: laws that determine what types of damages are available to victims, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Criminal charges: laws that govern when a driver can be charged with a crime, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
It is important to note that car accident laws can be complex and vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of the accident and the jurisdiction in which it occurred. If you are involved in a car accident, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury law to help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.
What are some New York car accident laws?
New York car accident laws are laws specific to the state of New York that govern the rights and responsibilities of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved in a motor vehicle accident. Some key New York car accident laws include:
In a no-fault insurance state, drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If you are injured in a car accident, you will file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. This means that your own insurance company will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages, up to the limits of your policy, regardless of whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
However, there are some limitations to the no-fault system. In New York, no-fault insurance only covers economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. If you have suffered non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress, you may need to file a separate lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover those damages.
In addition, there are certain thresholds that must be met in order to win a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Generally, in New York, in order to win a case against the at-fault driver you have to prove you suffered a “serious injury,” which is defined as an injury that meets one of several criteria, such as a fracture, disfigurement, or permanent loss of use of a body part.
No-fault insurance is designed to provide a quicker and more efficient way for injured parties to receive compensation for their economic losses, without the need for a lengthy legal battle to determine fault.
Comparative negligence, also known as comparative fault, is a legal concept that comes into play when determining who is responsible for an accident and how damages should be allocated among the parties involved. In New York, the fault for an accident can be divided among the parties involved based on their degree of responsibility.
Under New York’s comparative negligence law, if multiple parties are found to be at fault for an accident, the damages awarded to each party will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
Comparative negligence can be applied to a wide range of accident scenarios, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and construction injury cases. The concept is designed to ensure that each party is held accountable for their share of responsibility for an accident and that damages are allocated fairly based on each party’s degree of fault. It is extremely important to note that the comparative negligence concept can be complex, and determining fault in an accident can be a challenging process.
Statute of limitations
A statute of limitations is a time limit that sets the maximum amount of time a person has to file a legal claim or lawsuit. In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from car accidents is three years from the date of the accident. This means that if you are injured in a car accident in New York, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.
It is important to understand that the statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and if you miss this deadline, you may be barred from pursuing a legal claim or lawsuit. Therefore, if you are considering pursuing legal action for injuries sustained in a car accident, it is important to act promptly and consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
If you are unsure about your legal rights or the deadlines that apply to your case, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process.
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver hits another vehicle, pedestrian, or property, and then leaves the scene without stopping to provide their information or render aid. In New York, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident without stopping to provide your information or render aid, regardless of whether or not you were at fault for the accident. If you are involved in an accident in New York, you are required to stop and provide your name, address, and insurance information to the other parties involved, as well as to the police if they arrive at the scene.
If a driver fails to stop and provide their information or render aid after an accident, they can face serious legal consequences. In New York, leaving the scene of an accident that causes property damage is considered a traffic infraction, while leaving the scene of an accident that causes injury or death is considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in New York, it is important to report the accident to the police as soon as possible. The police can investigate the accident and attempt to identify the driver who fled the scene. If the driver is identified, they can be held accountable for their actions and you may be able to pursue legal action to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. If the driver who caused the hit-and-run accident is not identified, you may still be able to recover compensation through your own insurance company. In New York, all drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which can provide coverage in the event of a hit-and-run accident or an accident with an uninsured driver.
Cell phone use
In New York, it is illegal to use a handheld electronic device while driving, which includes talking on a cell phone, texting, emailing, browsing the internet, or using any other electronic device. This law is commonly known as the “texting while driving” law, but it actually applies to any use of a handheld electronic device while driving, even if it’s just to make a phone call.
The law is designed to reduce distracted driving, which is a leading cause of car accidents in New York and across the United States. Distracted driving can be caused by a variety of factors, including cell phone use, eating or drinking while driving, grooming, or interacting with passengers. If you are involved in a car accident in New York and the other driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident, this may be evidence of negligence on their part. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you investigate the circumstances of the accident and determine whether cell phone use played a role in the crash.
Child safety is a crucial aspect of car accidents because children are among the most vulnerable passengers in a vehicle. In New York, there are specific laws and guidelines that apply to child safety in cars to help reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities.
Here are some key points to keep in mind regarding child safety in cars:
- Car seats: New York law requires that children under the age of four rides in a car seat that is properly installed and secured in the back seat of the vehicle. Children between the ages of four and eight must ride in a booster seat and children who are at least eight years old or who are taller than 4 feet 9 inches can ride in a regular seatbelt.
- Rear-facing car seats: It is recommended that children ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the age of two or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
- Seatbelt use: All passengers in a vehicle are required to wear a seatbelt in New York, regardless of their age. Children who have outgrown their car seats or booster seats must use a regular seatbelt that fits properly.
- Airbags: Children who are under the age of 13 should not ride in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with a passenger-side airbag, as the airbag can cause serious injuries in the event of an accident.
- Check for recalls: It is important to check for any recalls on car seats and booster seats and make sure they are properly installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
In addition to following these guidelines, it is important to always be aware of your child’s safety in the car and take precautions to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident. For example, you can make sure that heavy items are properly secured in the vehicle to prevent them from becoming projectiles in the event of a crash. If you are involved in a car accident in New York and your child is injured, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
It is important to note that these are just a few of the key New York car accident laws, and the specific circumstances of an accident can affect how these laws are applied. If you are involved in a car accident in New York, contact Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.
Note: This page was written with the assistance of artificial intelligence software, but was reviewed for accuracy and approved by attorney Steven Miller, Esq.