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Recovering Damages in New York Even if the Driver Who Hit You Wasn’t Speeding, Drunk, Distracted or Drowsy
March 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP
Recovering Damages in New York Even if the Driver Who Hit You Wasn’t Speeding, Drunk, Distracted or Drowsy

Sometimes, the explanation – and blame – for an accident can be fairly clear. Perhaps the driver who hit you was intoxicated, was asleep, was texting or otherwise distracted by a phone, was speeding or violated the rules of the road. Other times, though, none of those things are true about the accident that injured you. Just because your accident’s facts fit into the latter category, that does not automatically mean, however, that you cannot pursue the driver who hit you successfully. There may still be other valid bases for finding that driver negligent and getting the compensation you need. For skillful advice about how to handle your accident case, be sure to obtain representation for an experienced New York injury attorney.

In February, a tragic accident involving a well-known figure in New York sports made headlines, including a report by ESPN. A long-time college basketball coach was driving along an interstate highway late one night when he struck a man who was in the road on foot. The impact inflicted fatal injuries upon the man.

At the conclusion of the police’s investigation into the accident, authorities decided that the state would bring no criminal charges against the coach. The coach was not speeding and was not driving recklessly. Additionally, he was very helpful and cooperative at the scene, including submitting to a blood-alcohol content analysis that yielded a result of 0.00, a report stated.

This can happen in many accidents. It is quite possible to have an accident where no one was speeding, no one was asleep at the wheel, no one was intoxicated and no one was texting while driving. However, it is entirely possible to have an accident where all of the above facts were true and still have that same accident be the basis for a successful civil lawsuit in New York. New York law has various different bases upon which a driver can be found negligent in civil court, which means that that driver may owe you compensation for your damages. The law says that every driver on the road has a duty to other drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians to “see what should be seen” and to “exercise reasonable care” to avoid an accident under the circumstances that existed at that time.

So, what does that mean for you? It means that you can possibly succeed and get a judgment of liability against a driver in your negligence case even though the driver whom you sued wasn’t speeding, wasn’t drunk, wasn’t drowsy and wasn’t texting at the time of the accident. Perhaps you have proof that, even though the driver was traveling at or below the posted speed limit, poor road or visibility conditions (snow, ice rain or fog) made the defendant’s speed too fast for the circumstances.

Alternately, maybe the weather and road conditions were quite good; but that could still be part of your case. Perhaps you were struck while walking on a road in the daylight (or at night while wearing light or reflective clothing) in clear conditions on a road that was neither hilly nor curvy. All of that could go toward building a case that the driver who hit you failed to “see what should be seen.” Proving that could yield a judgment of negligence and an award of damages to you.

When you’ve been hurt in an accident, the experienced Queens injury attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman are here to help. Our team has been aiding injured drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians for four decades. To put our knowledge and skill to work for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified attorneys. Contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through