New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Car Accidents in the Fall and Filing a Personal Injury Suit
Posted on Dec 1, 2017 in Car Accidents
Every year, thousands of traffic accidents occur in the United States, injuring or killing countless victims. According to statistics, 991,045 people were killed and 27,973,050 people were injured in traffic accidents in 2016. The total cost of these accidents during this year was $414,001,135,401. With so many auto accidents occurring each year, it is not a surprise that the number of personal injury lawsuits is on the rise in the US.
Fall is a dangerous time of year for motorists. There are many factors that can cause a crash during this time of the year. Apart from accidents with other vehicles, there can also be collisions with animals that can result in catastrophic harm and injury. If you drive on a regular basis for work or household errands, it is important to make sure that you take extra care while you are on the road to avoid any collision with another vehicle or an animal.
12 Moose/Car Accidents So Far in 2017 in Upstate New York
According to a wildlife biologist, accidents involving moose and motor vehicles in Upstate New York have been quite stable in recent years. The state Department of Environmental Conservation reported that 12 accidents have occurred so far in 2017 across the state – including one in late September in Warren County in which a big bull moose was hit by a tractor trailer.
In 2016, 22 accidents were reported. Fortunately, there were no reports of any driver fatalities in either year.
A regional wildlife biologist for Region 5 of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Paul Jensen said that although there is no proper estimate for the number of moose in New York, many feel that the population of the animal is stable to growing. A joint study between the Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell University, and SUNY ESF using helicopter observations as well as various other techniques put the population of the Adirondack moose at about 400 animals.
Jensen said that of the 12 accidents in 2017, 2 were in Jefferson County, 8 were in the Adirondacks and one each in Schenectady and Columbia counties.
The prime time for moose/motor vehicle accidents is fall. This is the time of the year when they are moving around.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the rut, or breeding season, takes place in late September and early October. During this time, bulls spar with each other, competing with cows, with larger, older bulls often doing the majority of the breeding. During the rut, one bull may breed with 5 or 6 cows. Bulls eat very little during this time, causing them to lose considerable weight. They feed heavily after the rut to prepare for the upcoming winter.
Hitting one of these big animals with a car or truck is a serious matter. Bulls stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh from 600 to 1,200 pounds. Adult cows are smaller, weighing an average of 500 to 800 pounds.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, moose are so tall that in many cases, an automobile passes under body. So when there is a collision, the moose comes into the windshield over the hood and onto the roof. These animals are active from dusk to dawn, when they become difficult to see in the roadway due to their coloration and car headlights are usually unable to reach their eyes. About 1 to 2% of moose/car collisions lead to a human fatality.
The Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Transportation are working together to develop warning methods for motorists driving through moose country. In other states, research has shown that the most common factor that results in moose collisions is vehicle speed. Therefore, the best way to avoid a collision with a moose is to drive at a slow speed, especially from dusk to dawn and this has nothing to do with that ridiculous George Clooney/Tarantino vampire movie.
Factors that can Cause Car Accidents in Fall
Fall is a beautiful time of the year, with trees shedding their leaves and the vibrant colors that come with the season. However, you should note that this is also a time when driving can be a little more difficult. Before driving during this time of the year, it is paramount to make sure that you are safe and avoid accidents. Here is a quick look at some of the factors that can result in car accidents when you are driving during this season:
- Wet Fallen Leaves: Although leaves are part and parcel of the fall season, they can be quite dangerous for motorists when they fall into the road. It often rains during this time of the year and when that rain hits the fallen leaves, it can cause the leaves to become very slippery. You should be extremely careful when you are driving over wet fallen leaves. Try not to brake over wet leaves if possible. Keep in mind that leaves on the road may also hide potholes, road marking, lines, and other hazards that could lead to an accident.
- Irregular Car Inspection: When the leaves begin to change their colors, it is a good time to inspect your car, especially your windshield wipers. Rain does not only make the road more slippery, but it can also make it more difficult for you to see while you are driving. During early fall, you should consider getting your windshield wiper blades replaced. Keeping your windshield clean will also make it easier for you to see in case a lot of glare hits your windshield. This is also a great time to check your car tires’ pressure.
- Failure to Use Headlights: Because days get shorter during fall, your headlights play a major role in keeping you safe on the road. This is why it is necessary to make sure that you always use them. This will help make it easier for you to see people on the road, such as joggers, bicyclists, etc. and also make you more visible to others. Fog is also another problem that comes with fall. Although many drivers think that using high beams in fog is a good way to stay safe while driving, the truth is that this can often cause glare, making it harder to see. Your low beams are more than enough for you to see people on the road and increase your visibility as well.
Evidence for Car Accident Cases
To build the best case for an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, it is crucial that you collect as much information as you can. When you have more documentation to support your claim for damages, you are more likely to obtain a favorable verdict or settlement.
Burden of Proof
After a car accident, the insurance companies know that the burden of proof in obtaining compensation lies with the person who is seeking damages. This means you – the injured party or the plaintiff – bear the burden of establishing that the car accident occurred due to the other driver’s fault and that you suffered injury and damages as a result of the accident.
To meet the burden of proof, you need to substantiate all of your claims with evidence supporting your version of the events that lead up to the car accident as well as your claim for physical injuries and lost wages. There are many forms of evidence, which may include documents such as photographs, medical bills, and records and witness testimony or statements.
Evidence for Car Accident Claims or Lawsuits
Apart from the usual evidence such as medical reports and bills, photographs, etc. and evidence of damage to physical or personal property, there are other types of evidence that you need to gather. This type of information or evidence may be obtained from the party at fault and may be useful evidence if your case goes to court.
One way to obtain information is through using car accident interrogatories. This refers to written questions that the party at fault must answer under oath during a specified period of time. Interrogatories can be used to collect evidence for your personal injury case, such as learning the conduct of the defendant before the accident occurred – was he or she playing distracted by a cell phone? Or was he or she drinking before getting behind the wheel?
You can use a deposition to gather evidence. A deposition is an out-of-court testimony that an individual gives under oath and that a court reporter generally records and transcribes. Depositions may not only provide crucial evidence, but may also be introduced as evidence in court as a means to impeach that witness, which means to lower their credibility in the jury’s eyes. This is done when the testimony that the witness gives differs significantly from the testimony at the deposition.
After a car accident, you should make sure to collect as much information as you can. The more information and documentation you have, the stronger you will make your case and the more likely it is that you can resolve your claim satisfactorily.
Advantages of Settling
In most car accident cases, plaintiffs negotiate and settle before they actually file a personal injury lawsuit. This is due to a number of advantages including:
- You receive compensation faster.
- You do not have to deal with high attorney fees.
- You do not have to appear at a number of court proceedings, such as depositions, hearings, trial, etc.
- You avoid an unpredictable decision that a jury can make.
Before you make a decision to settle before filing a suit, there is one critical question you need to ask yourself: does the risk of losing in court and not receiving any compensation outweigh the difference between the settlement you have offered and your estimate of the value of the accident claim? If you are not confident about the possible outcome of a trial, then you should go ahead and settle before filing.
This is why you want an outstanding law firm on your side like RMFW Law which will be emphasized later.
Car Crash Kills Two Stepbrothers in Upstate New York
According to authorities, a 21-year-old man and his 16-year-old stepbrother were killed in a one-car crash on a road in western New York.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said that a resident of Marion, Taylor Christie was driving in his hometown when he lost control on a rural road, veered from the roadway and crashed onto a tree. Deputies said that Christie and Evan Woodward, his 16-year-old stepbrother, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The accident is still under investigation. The crash came one day after another one-car crash claimed the life of a man in Marion, located about 32 kilometers (20 miles) east of Rochester.
Get Legal Assistance for Your Car Accident Claim or Suit
When you are involved in a car accident that is caused by another party’s negligence, whether it is another driver or construction or road repair company, you should hire a legal pro with experience in car accident cases. Your case might seem simple, but the fact is that no personal injury case truly is. There are many laws and procedures that you need to know about when you are dealing with insurance companies or the other party’s legal defense team.
Keep in mind that the other party’s goal is to make sure that you obtain the least amount of compensation or no compensation at all. You need an attorney who will make sure that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly. With a formidable and dedicated personal injury lawyer by your side, you know that you have a professional who has your best interest in mind and will make sure that he or she does everything possible to make sure that you receive compensation for your injuries and damages.
RMFW Law Rises Above the Fray
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence or recklessness, you should contact a stellar personal injury lawyer Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff, of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280 to find out if you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. You can obtain compensation for damages with our help.
Do not hand over your medical records to the opposing insurance company. They may dangle $22,000 in front of you which may help you replace your car but how about your missed time at work, lost time, medical issues, and so on? You do not even know how badly you are hurt so how can you sign off on this accident? Do not sell yourself short. In a few months or even less we can perhaps get you three times that amount. $66,000, for instance, is worth waiting a couple more months right?
You will not get a second chance here if you take the bait from the insurance company. Call us now! They are not on your side no matter how nice they seem to be.