Albany Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are serious, dangerous, and scary events that happen far too frequently. It is statistically likely that, if you were involved in a car accident, it was caused by one driver’s negligent behavior behind the wheel, such as tailgating, not using turn signals, texting while driving, speeding, or driving under the influence.
In these situations, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for causing the accident, but only if you can demonstrate that you suffered serious injury. Otherwise, you may be left having to make do with what you can get from your own insurance company.
At The Carrion Law Firm, our seasoned Albany car accident lawyers are dedicated to getting you the compensation that you deserve. When you call us at our offices today at (718) 841-0083, you can obtain a first-time case assessment for no additional charge.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Albany
Crashes occur for a variety of reasons. Across all of these causes, however, most are the result of human error. Negligent and reckless driving can put anyone on the road in serious danger. Below are some of the most common forms of driver fault in causing car accidents.
Drivers are obligated by New York traffic code to retain a safe distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them. This should be enough space to allow the driver to adjust course or stop if necessary. Unfortunately, many people choose to ignore this guidance, which is the cause of many rear-end collisions. In almost all cases of rear-end crash, the driver of the rear vehicle is to blame.
Failure to Use Turn Signals
A driver’s failure to use turn signals or hazard lights is the exception that proves the rule of rear-end liability mentioned above. If a driver intends to turn, pull over, or stop, there is little way that drivers in the area will be able to tell without the use of turn lights. This is one of very few limited examples where the forward driver in a rear-end collision will be at-fault.
It is important that all drivers keep their eyes on the road at all times. Dangers on the road can arise in less than a second. A driver that takes their eyes off the road to text, read emails, or make some other use of their smart phone deprives themselves of the necessary time to react and avoid a dangerous collision. Not only is texting while driving a crime in Albany, but it is also evidence of fault for causing a car accident.
Speed limits exist for a reason. They inform the driver that is not familiar with the area that they are in how fast they can reasonably go while retaining the ability to react to turns or changes in traffic pattern. A driver that travels above the speed limit not only reduces their reaction time, but amplifies the potential harm that an accident could cause.
Albany gets a substantial amount of inclement weather every year. However, just because the roads are icy does not mean that every driver has an excuse. It is every driver’s responsibility to adjust their driving practices when operating during inclement weather conditions or while there are hazardous road conditions that could hinder braking ability or cause hydroplaning.
Though it may be apparent that a driver who is intoxicated while on the road is nearly always the at-fault party in causing an accident, it still bears mentioning, as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is the leading cause of fatal accidents above any other negligent driving practice throughout the country. If the other driver caused your accident while drunk or high behind the wheel, you could seek additional punitive damages, which might not be available in other cases.
Determining if You Can Sue for an Albany Car Accident
The first step in identifying your path to recovery is determining who was at fault for causing the accident and why. But before you proceed directly to filing a lawsuit, you should take note of New York’s no-fault insurance laws.
Essentially, New York makes a car accident injury victim’s own insurance coverage their primary and exclusive method of recourse for obtaining compensation after an accident. In other words, most accident injury victims must go through their own insurer rather than filing a lawsuit, even if another driver was to blame.
However, this does not apply if the victim suffered “serious” injuries in the accident. Every injury is different, but New York provides particular laws about what situations meet the threshold to step outside the no-fault insurance period.
Generally, a serious injury will partially or fully disable a victim for at least 90 days. This 90-day period must occur within the 180 days that immediately follow the accident. Many common examples of injuries that will be considered “serious” include significant disfigurements, loss of limb or bodily function, and limitations to bodily systems, among other significant losses.
We recommend that you reach out to an Albany car accident attorney for an assessment of whether the injuries you sustained open the door to filing a lawsuit, as this can be a much better path to recovery. While recovering compensation from an insurance claim is generally easier to do (as you do not have to prove fault), you are bound by your insurance policy’s coverage limits. If successful in an insurance claim, you still will not be able to recover on any theories other than medical expenses and lost income, even though there are many other ways that your injuries could affect you.
Learn More About Your Albany Car Accident Recovery During Your First Call to The Carrion Law Firm
When you call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083, our dedicated Albany car accident lawyers can provide you with a free case assessment for your first call.