Highway accidents frequently occur at high speeds. Accidents that happen at high speeds are likely to cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries that can allow you to go beyond your own no-fault coverage in New York. Catastrophic injuries may include traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, spinal cord damage, skull fractures, crushing injuries, amputations, broken bones, and more. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP, our New York City highway accident lawyers may be able to help you recover damages if you are injured in a high-speed crash.Holding a Driver Accountable for a Highway Accident
To recover damages for serious injuries in New York, you will need to establish negligence in most cases. Negligence is a theory that requires you to prove that the other driver owed you a duty of care, the other driver breached the duty to use reasonable care, and this breach caused your accident and injuries. The duty to use reasonable care can be breached in many different ways on the highway, including by speeding, tailgating, texting while driving, drunk driving, distracted driving, failing to check blind spots, or weaving. For example, if a driver is texting while driving on the highway, he or she will typically be looking away from the road for as long as it would take to drive the length of a football field. During that window of time, it is entirely possible that there will be situations that require an immediate response from that driver, including a change in the speed of traffic.
Often, defendants raise the plaintiff's comparative negligence when faced with a personal injury lawsuit. A jury faced with a personal injury lawsuit in which comparative negligence is alleged will compare the behavior of the drivers in the situation and calculate their percentages of fault and the damages. The percentages of fault for the accident will be applied to the damages award, such that you can only recover an amount equal to the other party's percentage of fault. For example, if the damages are $200,000, and you are 25% responsible for following too closely, while the other driver is 75% responsible for texting while driving, you will only be able to recover $150,000 from the other driver.
Damages that a highway accident attorney in New York City may be able to recover for you include both economic and noneconomic losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, out of pocket costs (such as the cost of a rental car), pain and suffering, and loss of affection. The amount of these damages will vary depending on the nature and extent of your injuries.
Generally, the more permanent, disabling, or visible that your injuries are, the more likely it is that a jury will find that you suffered significant pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses. However, the individual characteristics of a plaintiff can also affect the damages award. For example, if you had a promising career as an actress, and as a result of a highway accident, you can no longer walk and have a deep, visible scar on your face, you may be able to recover a substantial sum for noneconomic losses with the assistance of a New York City highway accident attorney. By contrast, if you are a reclusive and retired senior citizen, you may not recover as much.
With some New York-specific exceptions, the eggshell skull doctrine requires the defendant to take a plaintiff as they find them. Some plaintiffs may take longer to recover from an injury than other people would, and the doctrine accounts for that. However, in New York, if you have a preexisting condition and are injured, the defendant will only be liable for the additional harm or aggravation caused by the highway accident. And if the defendant is able to show that your preexisting condition was bound to get worse, the damages will be reduced by taking into consideration how much harm would have been suffered even if the defendant had not been negligent.Consult a Dedicated Highway Accident Lawyer in New York City
If you are injured in a highway accident caused by a distracted or reckless driver in New York City, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney. Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP provides effective legal representation in car accident lawsuits. We represent victims in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-682-7409 or complete our online form.