Queens Negligence Car Accident
If a driver operates his or her vehicle recklessly, that driver would have driven negligently. Under New York law reckless driving is defined as driving in a manner that unreasonably endangers others who are on the road. If a driver speeds, fails to stop at a red light or stop sign, makes an illegal lane change, texts, or drives while impaired, then that driver would have driven recklessly and negligently. Thus, whether an accident is caused by speeding, distracted driving, or driving while intoxicated, the reason is the same: negligence. Negligence is the primary cause of vehicle accidents that result in victims suffering serious injuries. For example, a victim of a car accident may suffer a severe blow to the head resulting in a traumatic brain injury such as a serious concussion. In other cases a victim may suffer broken bones or a back or spinal cord injury. These types of injuries involve long recovery times, with the victim being unable to work for weeks or even months. However, under New York law victims of car accidents are allowed to seek compensation from the person whose negligence resulted in the accident. If you are in need of a New York Injury Lawyer because you or a family member were injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another person, it is important to contact an experienced Queens Negligence Car Accident Lawyer who will help ensure that the person responsible for your losses is held accountable through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.Elements of a negligence claim
In order to show that a driver was negligent, you must show the following:
- The defendant had a duty of care. New York law requires drivers to operate their vehicles in a prudent manner in order to avoid putting others at risk. Thus, when a driver gets behind the wheel and drives his or her car, the driver owes you and all other drivers and pedestrians a duty of care.
- The defendant breached his duty of care. In other words, the driver was not careful. To show that the driver was not careful, you must prove that the driver’s behavior was not reasonable. Violating a traffic law is evidence of breaching a duty of case. Thus, if a driver failed to stop at a red light, failed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, or tailgated, then that is evidence that the driver behaved negligently.
- You suffered injuries. In order to have a valid negligence claim following a car accident, you must show that you suffered an injury and that the injury was caused by the accident. For example, Joe spent all day Saturday moving boxes into his new home. In the process he injured his back. On Monday he was in a car accident. If Joe claims that he injured his back in the car accident, he may have problems showing that his injury was caused by the car accident.
- You suffered losses. Just because you were in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to damages. Not only must you have suffered some sort of injury (or property damage), you must be able to prove that you suffered a loss. For example, if you were injured you must show medical records and bills to prove your medical expenses. In addition, if you missed worked while recovering from your injuries, you must show evidence of the wages you lost.
If the negligence of another driver caused the car accident that resulted in your injuries, the types of compensation that you may be able to recover include:
- Medical expenses. The person responsible for the accident that caused your injuries may be required to pay for your medical expenses. This would include medical bills you accumulated prior to filing your claim as well as future medical expenses related to the treatment of your injury.
- Lost wages. Even a relatively minor accident may cause you to miss time at work. The person responsible may be required to pay the wages you lost. If you end up using earned sick days or vacation days, you may be entitled to receive compensation for those days. Furthermore, if as a result of your injury your earning potential declined, you may be able to recover damages for loss of future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering. Another potential source of damages that you may be entitled to receive is pain and suffering. In the context of a personal injury claim, pain and suffering refers to physical pain as well as emotional distress.
- Property damage. The person whose negligence caused the accident may also be responsible for damage to your vehicle or other property.
- Wrongful death. If a loved was killed in the car accident, you may be able to pursue damages through a wrongful death action.
A personal injury lawsuit stemming from a car accident can be complicated, involving complex evidentiary issues related to fault. If you were injured in a car accident, contact an attorney who not only has experience handing car accidents, but is also familiar with the medical issues victims of such accidents experience. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your car accident.