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On April 29, 2012, seven people, three generations of a family, were killed after a SUV veered off the road and plunged 50 feet in New York City’s Bronx Zoo area. It was the second such incident at the site in less than a year. Three of the victims were less than ten years old. In January, a fatal New York auto accident on Long Island claimed the life of award-winning journalist Richard Threlkeld. Six months ago, a car driven by two local teens hit two Chinese students of a Plattsburgh-based school and burst into flames after crashing into an embankment in Peru Township. All the four were killed on the spot. A 15-year-old died and another was seriously injured in an accident in July 2011 involving NBA star Lamar Odom. In July 2009, a horrible accident involving a minivan, a SUV, and a car resulted in the death of eight people, including four children, in Westchester County. The minivan driven by a woman in the wrong direction hit the other two vehicles and burst into flames, killing five of the six occupants.
Auto accidents and related injuries cause the highest number of injury-related deaths and the second highest number of hospitalizations in New York. Traffic accidents in the state result in 0.96 deaths, on an average, per 100 million miles driven. According to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 315,377 New York auto accidents in 2010, resulting in 1,119 deaths. On daily average, 864 auto accidents claim lives of almost three to four New Yorkers every day. These accidents also caused deaths of 646 drivers, 311pedestrians, and 198 passengers. Of the total 187,566 injured, the number of injured drivers was almost double of the hospitalized passengers.
Driver distraction and inattention was the leading cause of New York car accidents, which account for almost 20 percent of crashes. Traffic crashes were second major cause, while speed contributed to 10 percent of the accidents in New York. DUI driving was found to be responsible for just three percent of the accidents in 2010.
Nassau County accounted for 33,486 car accidents, the highest in the state. Suffolk County with 27,428 crashes, and Erie County with 17,389 incidents were at the second and third spot in 2010. A large number of auto accidents were reported in Westchester, Monroe, Onondaga, and Orange counties. About 25 percent of all motor vehicle accidents and 40 percent of related injuries occurred in New York City alone. More than 33 percent of total New York auto accidents were intersection related.
State law allows victims of New York auto accidents to file civil lawsuits seeking punitive damages and compensation for physical, emotional, and property losses. The process involves the following steps:
New York is one of the 12 U.S. states that follows no-fault insurance policy. The state allows a no-fault payment up to $50,000 for each occupant without any deductible or copayments. The payment for monthly lost wages is 80% of gross wages up to a limit of $2,000 per month for three years. The accident victims must file for no-fault insurance within 30 days of the accident.
Injured pedestrian and cyclists get no-fault insurance payments from the insurance company of at-fault drivers. However, there is no New York no-fault insurance coverage for motorcyclists and pillion riders. If you have suffered permanent or serious injuries in an accident caused due to the fault of others, you can seek addition compensation by filing a lawsuit with the help of your New York accident lawyer.
New York was the first state in the United States to put into practice a seat belt law in 1984. The following are the key highlights of New York seat belt law:
In April 2012, a therapist from Staten Island settled her New York auto accident lawsuit for $250,000. She had a fracture in her arm after a car hit her at West Brighton Street crossing in March 2010. In another case a jogger, who suffered fracture and other injuries in a New York auto accident dating back to January 2010, received $100,000 in compensation.
In December 2007, the Suffolk County Supreme Court awarded more than $32 million to a Vietnam veteran. The plaintiff suffered brain and hip injuries after the defendant driving under marijuana influence hit him overstepping police barricades. In October 2007, a Brooklyn court awarded $12 million to an 8-year-old boy injured in a collision between two cars.
A 52-year-old Brooklyn waiter injured in a car collision got $9 million in compensation in May 2006 while a trucking accident victim received $5.5 million. In October 2004, a Nassau jury granted $14 million compensation to a victim of trucking accident. The plaintiff riding on a motorcycle was struck by a truck and had to get her leg amputated below the knee due to the injury sustained in the accident.
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