What Is The Most Common Type Of Automobile Accident?
In Manhattan, we see a lot of different types of situations on a very frequent basis. For example, we see a lot of rear-end collisions at stop lights, and we also see a lot of people getting hit while crossing in the crosswalk in Manhattan. The reason is in a lot of the streets, the cars can make right hand turns while the people are crossing the adjacent street and because of the flow of traffic, drivers almost always try to beat the pedestrians.
We see a lot of pedestrian knockdowns or pedestrians hit by cars, we also see a lot of bicyclists hit by cars or trucks. There are a lot of delivery people in Manhattan riding bicycles and they are always on the street, so we see a lot of cars nicking bicycles or sideswiping bicycles or if they try to take the light, for example, or go through a yellow light, a lot of times they will hit the bicyclists, so we also see a lot of sideswipe accidents in Manhattan.
In Manhattan, given the amount of motorists on the road, you see a lot of different types of accidents. We also see a lot of bus accidents in Manhattan. The buses make turns into or while crossing a crosswalk where people are crossing and a lot of times they can clip somebody as they are walking across. So, those tend to be the most common types of motor vehicle accidents we see in Manhattan.
How Do Fault and No Fault Statutes Apply to Auto Accidents In Manhattan?
A no-fault is a term used to describe the benefits that a person is entitled to after they have been involved with a car accident. For example, under New York’s no-fault laws, an individual is entitled to have their medical bills paid by the insurance carrier for the vehicle they were in and entitled to their no-fault losses. That’s generally what is referred to as no-fault, or in the case of a pedestrian who is crossing a street, they are generally entitled to have their no-fault benefits, which is medical and lost wages paid by the vehicle that hit them.
When we talk about fault for the accident, we’re really talking about who is at fault for causing the accident and who is obligated to compensate the person. So, where a vehicle has been at fault in causing the accident, for example, they either hit a pedestrian at a crosswalk or they blew a red light or they rear-ended somebody, then that’s the vehicle who is at fault.
The courts look to determine who is at fault in an accident to determine if that person is responsible to compensate the other person, not for no-fault benefits, but for pain and suffering damages. So, really, they are two different concepts, which are both involved in motor vehicle accidents.
If The Other Party’s Insurance Alleges That I Am At Fault for The Accident, Is My Case Doomed?
Not necessarily, because these days almost everyone hires a lawyer. It depends on what the evidence shows on who was at fault. In some cases, both parties can be at fault. New York recognizes a comparative fault rule, which means if you’re 50% at fault, then whatever money you are entitled to is reduced by 50%. In other words, 100% of fault out there and you’re entitled to recover the percentage of the other party’s fault. This is in some jurisdictions.
In other jurisdictions they have what’s called contributory negligence, where if you’re contributory negligent or partially at fault, you can’t recover any money. New York is a comparative fault state, which means that even if you’re somewhat at fault or partially at fault, you can still recover. We’ve had cases where we even got — where some of our clients were 90% at fault, but the damages were so large, we were still able to recover the money.
Can Pictures of an Accident Be Used As Evidence In An Auto-Accident Case?
The more evidence you have, the better. Typically, if you’re going to show how the cars were aligned, that helps to show who’s at fault or how cars ended up during the accident. Nowadays, even though people have videos on their iPhones, no one is really recording these things until after an accident happens. So, typically, the video you’re going to get is either right after something happened or a photograph of right after something happened.
The most important photographs are damage photographs, photographs which show that it was a heavy impact and that there was a lot of damage to the vehicle. If there is not really a lot of damage to the vehicle, I don’t really bother taking them because then it gets used against you. The insurance companies will turn around and say, “Look, there wasn’t any damage, you can’t be hurt,” which would be just nonsense, but why give them an arsenal or why give them a weapon to use against you?
However, if you can show where the vehicles ended up without moving the vehicles or if you can show that there has been heavy impact and lots of damage, it’s always worth it to take pictures. The times we’ve gotten video, we’ve been able to get them from either, for example, surveillance cameras on the exterior buildings or from the cameras, a lot of in New York City have them, a lot of the lights have cameras that monitor the intersections. We’ve been able to get those kind of videos pretty frequently.
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