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Dealing with the fallout of a car accident in Westchester can cause serious physical, emotional, and financial problems for victims. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence or recklessness, however, you may have the opportunity to pursue legal options for recovery that can make your life after the accident a little easier.
Car accident injury victims can file personal injury lawsuits against the party responsible for causing the accident. Negligent driving can manifest itself in a number of ways, including swerving, tailgating, and texting while driving. You should be aware that liable drivers will likely try to argue that you were also negligent in causing your injuries. You should also know that you only have three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit.
Car accident lawsuits can be complex but acting on your legal rights may be the best and only way to get the compensation that you deserve. Talk to one of the experienced Westchester car accident lawyers at The Martello Law Firm if you believe another driver was at fault for causing your injuries. To schedule, today, call us at (646) 396-0236.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Westchester, NY
To win your car accident injury lawsuit, you will have to show that the other driver was at fault for causing the accident. Typically, the best way to show this is by proving that the other driver was negligent or reckless behind the wheel. Below are some of the most common examples of negligent or reckless driving that lead to liability for an accident.
Texting While Driving
This first common cause should come as no surprise. Using a phone while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions there is on the road. Drivers who text behind the wheel are likely to experience loss of focus and have decreases in peripheral vision. Even when stopped, focusing on a cell phone can cause drivers to believe that a light has changed from red to green and accelerate into a busy intersection or across a pedestrian crossing.
Swerving and Rapid Lane Changes
New York traffic can make drivers act irrationally. This includes the tendency to switch lanes frequently in hopes that they find the faster path. Most accidents occur at speeds of less than 15 miles per hour. This tends to happen because drivers who are stuck in traffic are frustrated and take unnecessary risk. Switching lanes quickly can create danger for cars in other lanes, especially if the driver fails to use a turn signal.
Tailgating is also common in high traffic situations but can also come into play on long stretches of open highway. It is a driver’s responsibility to leave enough room between their car and the car in front of them to allow for a safe and controlled stop. Failure to do this creates a high probability of a rear-end collision. In almost every rear-end collision, the driver of the rear car is found to be at fault.
If you can prove that the other driver was traveling at excessive speed at the time of the accident, it is typically very easy to prove that they were negligent. Speed limits are put in place for a reason. The faster a car is traveling, the less time that the driver (or other drivers around them) have to react to changing circumstances on the road.
DUIs and DWIs are not only evidence of fault in a car accident lawsuit, but they are also serious crimes. If your accident was caused by another driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be able to win additional punitive damages on top of the compensation for your harms. Speak to your Westchester car accident lawyers today to determine whether the other driver’s conduct may call for punitive damages in your lawsuit.
Comparative Negligence for Car Accidents in Westchester, New York
New York is one of a handful of states that employ a “pure comparative negligence theory.” This concept allows for the liability of one party to be reduced proportionally, based on the negligence of the other party. For instance, if the defendant proves that the plaintiff was 20% responsible for the accident through their own negligent behavior behind the wheel, the plaintiff will only be able to recover 80% of the damages they claim in the lawsuit.
If the plaintiff’s comparative negligence level rises above 50%, they will be unable to recover damages for their injuries from the defendant. Therefore, it is likely that the defendant in your case will attempt to prove that you were also negligent in an attempt to reduce or escape liability. Common arguments might include that the victim failed to use a turn signal or that they were also speeding at the time of the accident. Comparative negligence arguments are particularly common when more than two cars are involved in the same accident.
Our Westchester car accident attorneys are aware of the common defensive arguments about comparative negligence and can help you prepare your case against them to maximize your potential recovery.
Statute of Limitations for a Westchester Car Accident Injury Lawsuit
In New York, the statute of limitations for car accident injury cases runs for three years from when you were injured. In other words, you only have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit with the appropriate court. If you miss the three-year deadline, the judge will likely dismiss your suit before you get the chance to argue your case, so it is critical that you act fast and contact one of our Westchester car accident lawyers as soon as possible.
Call The Martello Law Firm to Hear More About Your Potential Car Accident Injury Lawsuit
At The Martello Law Firm, we believe that every car accident injury victim deserves to know about their ability to recover through a lawsuit. To hear more about your case from one of our dedicated Westchester car accident attorneys, call us today at (646) 396-0236.