Blog Banner

Nearly 60,000 accidents and 500 fatalities happen each year in garages and parking lots as per data collected by the National Safety Council. Cars and other vehicles have blind spots which can make bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and other automobiles almost invisible to a careless driver that forgot to check their immediate surroundings before backing up.

Understanding Backover Accidents

Backover accidents take place when a truck, car or SUV strikes a non-occupant such as a bicyclist, pedestrian or another car while backing up. Almost 60% backover accidents involve vans, trucks, SUVs and other large sized vehicles with significant blind spots or large areas immediately behind the vehicle which is unseen by the driver.

The primary concern for a new driver is to check their surroundings. Unfortunately, as we get older we become overconfident in our driving abilities and fail to check blind spots or surroundings adequately.

There are more than 18,000 backover accidents resulting in injuries each year as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Out of these, nearly 3,000 result in incapacitating injuries. Children below the age of 5 are at a particular risk of not being seen by drivers owing to their small stature.

New York Drivers’ Duty While Backing Up

Backing up accidents can cause severe injuries and even death. This is especially true when the person injured is a bicyclist, unprotected pedestrian or a motorcyclist. Owing to the serious nature of these accidents, Section 1211 of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law requires that no driver will back their vehicle without checking their surrounding and establishing that their movement does not interfere with traffic.

It constitutes to negligence when a driver fails to adequately check their surroundings before backing up. This means that drivers in a backover accident can be held legally liable for all damages and injuries as a direct result of the accident if they failed to ensure that the path was clear.

You may be entitled to recover compensation if you or a loved one was injured by a truck, car or SUV that backed into you.

Backing Up Accident Causes

The primary cause of backover accidents is a driver not seeing the other person because they are essentially in the blind spot. This refers to the area right behind the vehicle which is unseen by the driver through the back window, rearview mirrors or side mirrors.

Large vehicles like vans and SUVs tend to have larger blind spots. This necessitates drivers to be extra cautious when driving in reverse. Backup cameras are certainly helpful. But, the drivers still need to carefully ensure that the path is clear for them to safely reverse.

Another cause of backing up accidents is failure to ensure that no one is moving behind the vehicle. This is quite common in parking lots which see a lot of pedestrian traffic walking directly in the path of drivers who are backing up. 

Drivers must make it a habit to carefully look in all directions before hitting reverse. They should never rush into backing up. Instead, should move cautiously and slowly to prevent an accident.

On an average 18,000 injuries and 290 deaths occur each year in the country because of backover accidents as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Most victims are under 5 years old or above 70 years of age. Majority of backover accidents take place in residential driveways and parking lots. Additionally, bicyclists and pedestrians are the most frequent backover accidents victims.

Backover Accidents Cause Crippling Injuries in Children

Unfortunately, most drivers that hit a child while backing up barely realize they have struck someone. Majority of children that get hit are generally not tall or bulky enough for drivers to see in the rear view or side mirrors. The child falls after being struck and the automobile continues to move.

Children that get knocked to the cement or asphalt suffer deadly and debilitating head injuries and fractures. Many even get dragged by the car if a piece of their clothing or body part gets caught in some part of the vehicle.

Children can easily get crushed and rolled over by the vehicle if it moves after striking them. The sad part is that most parents and their relatives cannot recover from the guilt consuming them for the rest of their lives.

How can Backover Accidents Be Prevented?

Backing up car accidents usually occur in residential areas and parking lots where children and adults walk close to the back of a vehicle. They are almost always preventable and failure to do so can result in serious and fatal injuries. Everyone has a part in preventing and reducing backover accidents. This includes the driver, car manufacturer, government, and people using the sidewalks and roads.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made it mandatory for all new vehicles to be equipped with a rearview video system (RVS) and other life-saving technologies.

Backover accidents, in addition to driver assistance technology, can also be prevented by the following:

  • Driver caution: It is imperative that drivers always look behind them, check their mirrors, and pay special attention to blind spots before backing up. Reversing slowly and being cautious can go a long way in reducing the chance of hitting someone or something.
  • Bicyclist and pedestrian precaution: Bicyclists and pedestrians should be aware of where they are heading. They should look out for cars and drivers that may not be able to see them. This is especially important when approaching a steep incline, in a residential area, and while on the roadway. It is always better to be cautious than erroneously assume that the other driver will see you. This is true even when you have the right of way.
  • Children education: Because children are at a particularly high risk of being injured in backover accidents, it is imperative that they be taught good practices. Accidents involving children can be prevented by teaching them not to play around cars. However, educating children can only go so far. Adults should keep an eye on their children when they are playing in the yard or near other cars. They should also hold their hands when walking in a parking lot.
  • Driver assistance tech: A lot of accidents can be prevented with the help of backup sensors and mirrors. Using these safety devices in combination with adequate awareness of surroundings and driver caution can help prevent backover accidents.

Prevention of Backing Out Accidents with Driver Assistance Technology

The number of backover accidents can be greatly reduced with the help of driver assistance technology because they allow drivers to be better aware of their surroundings. Few technologies can even sound an alarm or a warning so as to avoid accidents. All new vehicles are mandated to come with such devices for increased road safety.

Technology that aids drivers to avoid backing out accidents includes:

  • Rear Automatic Braking: These systems help engage the automobile’s brakes to avoid colliding with another person, object, or animal behind the vehicle.
  • Backup Camera/Rearview Video System: These provide drivers with a clear rear view of the vehicle. It is easy to see a person, object, or animal behind the vehicle.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert: This system sounds an alarm to warn the driver when it senses a potential collision with any object or car that doesn’t fall within the view of the backup camera.

It is important to understand that having just driver assistance technology is not enough and you cannot replace it for driver caution. Even if your car is equipped with all these technologies, you still need to check your surroundings and be careful of all blind spots prior to backing up. The few extra seconds it takes to do this could be the difference between life and death.

You may be entitled to compensation if you or your loved one suffered injuries because a driver did not exercise caution while backing out.

Consult With an Experienced Backover Accident Attorney Today

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP in New York we have the experience of representing victims of a broad range of accidents, including bus, truck, car, and motorcycle crash. Our dedicated litigators are aware that when it comes to backover accidents, there are a multitude of sensitive and devastating factors that need to be addressed. Sadly, most victims that fall prey to these tragic accidents are small children.

All our backing up accident lawyers have required experience and background to successfully prosecute your case from the start through the matter’s conclusion, whether it is arbitration, mediation, settlement or verdict.

Additional court proceeding called ‘infant compromise’ is initiated when the victim of a backing up accident is a child. This requires a certain level of preparation to increase the likelihood of the Judge approving settlement if the case gets resolved without going to trial. The attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP have resolved a wide variety of such lawsuits over the years.

Give us a call today at (800) 660-2264 for a free consultation with one of our esteemed and qualified attorneys.

Distracted driving due to cell phone use while behind the wheel is a major cause behind many car accidents in New York. Since 2009, accidents related to texting and cell phone use in New York have risen by a whopping 86% according to comprehensive analyses by TrafficTickets.com based on the DMV data.

In 2009 alone, 650 accidents were recorded in New York where a driver was found texting or using a cell phone while driving. By 2018, that number had already increased by 86% to 1,212. Out of these accidents, 924 were caused solely because of cell phone use while driving.

There can be a number of distractions resulting from cell phone use during driving. These can include:

  • Talking on or listening to cell phones
  • Texting while driving
  • Using apps and social media while driving, especially in the case of teenage drivers

Drivers below 20 comprise the most sizable percentage of those involved in distracted driving accidents in New York. Attending to a call or sending a text might take very little time. However, during that time, the risk of an accident becomes exponentially larger. In fact, during just 5 seconds spent texting, a car traveling at 55 mph can traverse the length of an entire football field without any driver input.

The use of Bluetooth hands-free devices that prevent handheld cellphone use while driving has been on the rise. However, despite enabling drivers to keep their eyes on the road, these devices are still not fully effective. Talking on the phone using such a device might not cause a physical distraction but still be responsible for a mental one.

Similar danger can result from smartwatch use, especially because most modern smartwatches have texting and calling capabilities. The temptation of looking at their wrists in order to check notifications can increase the risk of drivers manifold. This can be a distraction that significantly increases the chance of injury for the drivers and others on the road.

Using a cell phone while driving can put many lives at risk. Drivers who commit this offense can be held liable for accidents and injuries that occur as a result of this activity.

Cell Phone and Bluetooth Device Laws During Driving in New York

Several state governments have put measures in place to curb cell phone use while driving, especially keeping in mind the consistent rise in car accidents in the United States due to distracted driving. Private employers and other concerned parties have also taken steps to reduce the risk of accidents by banning cell phone use during driving on the clock.

There are appropriate provisions in New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law that aim to prevent traffic accidents caused due to the use of cell phones, PDAs, laptops, smartwatches, pagers, and other similar devices. The laws clearly state that: “No individual must operate an automobile while using a portable electronic device while the motor vehicle is in motion.”

The prohibited activities include:

  • Holding an electronic device
  • Reading, browsing, saving, sending, accessing, composing, retrieving, or transmitting electronic data like webpages, text messages, and emails
  • Capturing, viewing, or transmitting images
  • Playing mobile games

Any violation of this law can put two points on the license and driving record of the concerned driver and bring a fine of up to $250.

Federal Texting Ban for Bus and Truck Drivers

Since the 26th of January 2010, people driving commercial vehicles in the United States have been completely banned from using hand-held cell phones and texting during driving. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the definition of a commercial vehicle includes these criteria:

  • Vehicles weighing 10,001 pounds or more
  • Vehicles used or designed to carry nine or more people, driver included, in return for compensation
  • Vehicles used or designed to carry 16 or more people, driver included, without compensation
  • Vehicles transporting hazardous materials

These restrictions were directly ordered by the DOT and are applicable for bus drivers and truckers across the whole country. Violation of this federal ban can result in fines up to $2,750.

Cell Phone Use during Driving Can Be Responsible for Car Accidents

When one party sues another for damages caused by a car accident, the person initiating the lawsuit requires to prove beyond doubt that the other involved driver was responsible for causing the accident due to careless driving.

In a number of recent cases, plaintiffs have argued that the other driver was negligent and legally liable for their accident and injuries because of the use of an electronic device before or during the collision. Many courts have agreed with this argument.

In some other cases, the injured plaintiffs have also been found to have contributed to the car accident due to their own cell phone use.

There can be many examples of distracted and careless driving due to cell phone use, including:

  • Driving with just one hand on the wheel.
  • Taking eyes away from the road to handle a cell phone, send a text message, or dial a phone number.
  • Inability to pay adequate attention to surrounding traffic dangers due to distractions brought about by cell phone use (this can also include distractions caused by the cell phone use of a passenger).
  • Getting distracted due to a cell phone conversation, including one using a hands-free device (studies indicate that involvement in any kind of conversation, especially one that is emotionally charged, can cause driver distraction and result in careless driving).

Regarding Employees Conducting Business on Cell Phones

If an employee was busy in a call or text message related to work during an accident, their employer can be held legally responsible.

In such cases, the injured party is more likely to bring a lawsuit against the employer rather than the employee due to the notion that the employer would have more financial resources to pay damages or settlements. This is the main reason why more and more employers completely ban employees from using electronic devices and phones, both issued by work or personally owned, during driving.

Cell Phone Use by Children: Are Parents Responsible?

In many cases in recent years, a common argument by the plaintiffs has been that parents should be legally liable for car accidents caused by cell phone use by their children. In these cases, a minor child would be using a cell phone during driving that has been provided to them by their parents. While the law on this is still unclear, parents should definitely avoid encouraging their children to use their cell phones during driving.

It is also important to keep in mind that many states have specific cell phone laws for novice drivers and teenagers. In these states, there can be more stringent restrictions for teenagers than adults when it comes to cell phone use behind the wheel.

Important Points about Insurance

Insurance companies have started to sit up and take notice of the close connection between car accidents and cell phone use. Several car insurance websites provide warnings regarding the dangers involved in distracted driving. If you are ticketed for cell phone use while driving or for causing a car accident due to cell phone use, it is highly likely that your insurance premiums would rise steeply. The best strategy to avoid this is to completely eliminate the chance of accidents by removing driver distractions.

Important Steps in Building Your Case

Here are some of the important steps that competent personal injury attorneys in New York at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP will usually suggest to clients:

  1. Subpoena the other driver in order to obtain their cell phone records. These can be instrumental in proving that the driver was using their phone during the accident.
  2. Conduct witness interviews to determine if anyone observed the driver prior to the crash. If eyewitness accounts show that the driver was looking down, it can point to cell phone use.
  3. Ask for video footage from security cameras in the area.
  4. Subpoena the motor vehicle record of the other driver to find out if they have a prior history of unsafe driver behavior or traffic accidents.
  5. Properly examine the vehicle of the other driver to reconstruct what might have happened. For example, if you find food on the floor, it might be possible that the driver was eating during the accident.
  6. Question the other driver under oath during a deposition.

Hiring the Best New York Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys

If you have suffered financial, physical, and emotional trauma due to a car accident caused by a negligent driver who was using a cell phone, we at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP can help you build a strong case and push for compensation. Our skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys in New York will help you collect evidence that determines liability and helps settle your claim for the maximum amount possible. You can get in touch with us for a consultation using our online contact form or by calling us at (800) 660-2264.

Occupant ejection accidents involve a driver or passenger getting completely or partially propelled from their car during a collision. Injuries resulting from accidents that involve occupant ejection can be extremely severe and even fatal. This is due to the sheer force of being thrown out from the vehicle and making contact with the ground, hard objects, or other vehicles. For ejected occupants in rollover collisions, the mortality rate is five times as much as other occupants.

Injuries Resulting from Occupant Ejection Car Accidents

According to the Insurance Information Institute, among all the car crashes occurring in 2017, 83% of the people who got ejected from their cars were killed. This high fatality rate is due to a combination of factors, including the initial impact post ejection and also any later impact with nearby objects and other vehicles.

Some of the common injuries that can happen due to ejection from a vehicle include:

  • Blunt force trauma to the head
  • Fractures
  • Brain trauma and concussions
  • Injuries to the face and cranium
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Lacerations
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Road rash and resultant scarring
  • Serious disfigurement
  • Partial or total paralysis
  • Death

The medical costs that can come with these severe injuries can be very high and can include expenses for procedures like surgeries, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and counseling. Even if the victims of these accidents find themselves able to get back to work after recovery, there can often be chronic pain and an inability to take part in recreational activities. Damaged cognitive abilities, depression, personality and mood changes, and relationship breakdowns can easily result from brain injuries.

Different Types of Occupant Ejection Car Accidents

By and large, occupant ejection car accidents can be classified into two distinct categories:

  • Partial Ejections: These happen when an occupant is about to be thrown from their vehicle but becomes trapped or restricted somehow. This results in a part of their body exiting the vehicle while the rest remains inside.
  • Complete Ejections: These happen when an occupant is completely propelled from their vehicle. This entails a secondary point of contact after the propulsion with the ground, objects outside the vehicle, or other vehicles.

What Causes Occupant Ejection Car Accidents?

In order to avoid being ejected from their vehicles, people can adopt several precautions. One of the time-tested ways to avoid ejection is to wear a seat belt every time you get into a car.

A technical report published in 2009 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) outlined important data analysis on fatal car accidents over a period of five years and established the important risk factors that contributed to accidents involving occupant ejection. According to this report, the factors that most commonly contribute to occupant ejection car accidents include:

1. Failure To Wear a Seat Belt – The chances of being ejected from your vehicle can increase exponentially if you fail to wear your seat belt. The NHTSA report provides a clear contrast where only 2% of vehicle occupants with seat belts on faced ejection from their vehicles while a staggering 35.3% of those not wearing seatbelts were ejected. The risk of experiencing fatal or incapacitating injuries can also decrease substantially with seat belt use. This is borne out by the report which shows that 80% of all car applicants wearing seat belts escaped without injuries.

2. Driving Speed – An important factor in occupant ejection collisions is driving speed. According to the NHTSA report, only 9.6% of car occupants faced ejection at a speed limit of 40 mph or higher whereas 18.6% were ejected at speed limits of 60 mph or higher. The rates reached a whopping high of 23.5% in areas without statutory speed limits.

3. Vehicle Age – Occupant ejection rates are usually higher in older vehicles according to the NHTSA report. While the ejection rate for SUVs manufactured in 2005 was only 9.9%, the rate for SUVs built from 1989 to 1998 ranged between 21% and 24%.

4. Vehicle Type – NHTSA reports indicate that vehicle type has an important role in occupant ejection. Ejection rates are 29% for passenger cars, 32.4% for vans, 38.4% for pickup trucks, and 49.2% for SUVs, making them the most susceptible.

5. Point of Impact – The point of impact can determine the likelihood of occupant ejection. In the report, while ejection rates varied from 9.8% to 14.1% in all other collisions, rollover crashes seem to be the most dangerous with ejection rates of 42.9%.

6. Door Latch Defects – Being surrounded by the body of a truck or car can provide a false sense of security to many people. In reality, these vehicle bodies are definitely not foolproof. This was significantly demonstrated when 300,000 models of the Ford Focus were recalled in 2005 due to defective door latches. A defective door latch can cause the door to open at the most inopportune moments including during a car accident. This can contribute significantly to occupant ejection.

7. Weak Side Window Glass It can be extremely important to prevent windshields from shattering during an accident, something that most car manufacturers emphasize on. However, the same standards sometimes do not apply to the safety glass on the side windows in many vehicle models. These windows lack the strength to keep vehicle occupants inside the car and can shatter on impact, thereby aiding occupant ejection.

Who is to Blame for Occupant Ejection Car Accidents?

To make a valid personal injury claim relating to occupant ejection car accidents, the injured party needs to establish that:

  • The accident resulted from the recklessness or negligence of another party
  • The accident caused quantifiable losses and injuries

Veteran personal injury attorneys experienced in car accidents involving occupant ejection, like those working at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP in New York can help you with investigating the accident and collecting evidence against the responsible parties. Your attorney would interview witnesses and work with medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and forensic experts to collect all the important data relevant to building a strong case.

Regarding Manufacturing Defects

A major contributing factor for occupant ejection accidents can be vehicle manufacturing defects. The most common ones include:

  • Weak side window glass
  • Malfunctioning door latch
  • Malfunctioning seat belts

It is the duty of car manufacturers to conduct safety trials and crash tests before selling and distributing their vehicles. However, manufacturers often market vehicles that have good safety specifications on paper but do not provide adequate protection in real-life accident scenarios.

If this is what caused your accident, you do not need to prove negligence on the part of the vehicle manufacturer. You can seek damages just by proving beyond doubt that the accident resulted on account of the manufacturing defect. Of course, you would need the services of an aggressive attorney who would push for just compensation on your behalf.

Hiring the Right Attorney to Prosecute an Accident Involving Occupant Ejection

It can be expensive and complicated to deal with the injuries sustained from an occupant ejection car accident. It can also be challenging to determine the responsibility for the accident and this is where the skills of a seasoned personal injury attorney specializing in these cases can come in really handy. For you to be able to build a strong case, fault can be determined through a number of factors, including:

  • Ascertaining whether the airbags worked properly or were defective
  • Determining how the actions of other drivers in the vicinity contributed to the accident
  • Determining whether the ejected occupant was wearing a seat belt and if it had malfunctioned
  • Determining whether the driver was distracted or impaired during the accident
  • Ascertaining whether the vehicle tires blew out, shred, or failed prior to the accident

To be eligible to receive financial compensation, the accident victim will require a strong claim against the insurance company either for settling out of court or choosing to file a suit to have the case heard at trial. Witnesses would need to be contacted, medical records would need to be examined, road conditions would need to be evaluated, and the involved vehicle would need to be tested thoroughly. Once concrete responsibility has been established by the attorney, the appropriate documentation can be turned over to the insurance company for financial compensation.

The injury victim can expect to recover financial compensation that is substantial enough to cover every expense relating to the accident including current and future medical costs, rehabilitation costs, compensation for lost wages due to missed work, and appropriate compensation for the pain, suffering, and mental trauma caused by the accident.

Getting Help from Competent Vehicle Ejection Attorneys in New York

Having skilled and experienced attorneys on your side can definitely help you build a strong case after an occupant ejection accident. We at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP are committed to working on your behalf to give you the best chance of getting back to normal life after an accident with a well-deserved financial compensation. Start a consultation with us by filling out our online contact form or call us directly at (800) 660-2264.

Side-impact, broadside or ‘T-bone’ accidents are the result of vehicles crashing head-on into the side of other vehicles, generally at an angle of 90-degrees. This causes the namesake T-shape accident. Side-impact car accidents are the cause of 10,000 deaths in the United States each year. This accounts for one-fourth of the total traffic fatalities in a given year in the country. Hundreds of these accident victims get severely injured.

There are several ways in which T-bone accidents take place. However, the most common is when drivers due to some reason fail to yield while crossing intersections and ram into each other. Side-impact accidents can cause more grievous injuries as compared to rear end collisions. In some cases, they are known to be more dangerous than head-on collisions.

The reason these types of crashes are so dangerous is because there are not many safety features on the side of a vehicle. This makes occupants vulnerable to death or catastrophic injuries when hit from the side. However, there are a few newer car models that come equipped with side airbags. Unfortunately, these airbags are not enough to withstand the deadly force of another car on their own. Also, majority of cars do not have side airbags at all. This means the occupants are at the mercy of the car door’s strength.

Safety Risks Associated with Side-impact Collisions

At least 496,000 people were injured and 6,354 died in 2017 because of side-impact collisions in the country according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Traffic Safety Facts Annual Report. This data claimed broadside accidents to be the leading cause of motor vehicle accident deaths.

These facts may be unpleasant, but they do make sense, especially when you consider the greater risk of fatality in side-impact collision. As per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which is responsible for conducting vehicular safety tests, it is important to protect occupants in a vehicle from T-bone crashes because the crumple space between the car and the occupant on the side is considerably less as compared to the rear or front of the vehicle.

Additionally, most cars do not have as many safety features as necessary to maintain the safety of occupants during T-bone accidents. Since 1998, federal law requires all vehicles to have frontal airbags. On the contrary, side airbags are relatively new and not mandated. While side airbags are now a standard in most new vehicles, it is not a guarantee that your car is equipped with it, especially if you drive an older model.

In any case, side airbags are not nearly sufficient enough to protect a vehicle’s occupants from accidents, even if they may be considered standard. According to an IIHS report about side-impact crash testing, automobiles need to combine side airbag protection with a strong structure to reduce the risk of injury to driver and passengers.

Broadside car accidents are known to cause devastating damage and injuries because a vehicle’s side offers next to no protection to those inside. The front of an oncoming vehicle is far more powerful as compared to the side of a car into which it rams. In addition, the odds of being struck by a large vehicle are more with the many trucks, vans, and SUVs on the road. This presents a truly greater danger to drivers of smaller vehicles.

Liability in Side-impact Collisions

Liability in a side-impact crash may seem straightforward. Obviously, the person that crashed into you is at fault. However, side-impact accidents can be complicated and that is usually not the case. New York follows comparative negligence law, which may require you to share liability for the crash, even though it was your automobile that got struck.

Few factors that exacerbate this complication are as follows:

  • Defective parts: It is possible that the car that hit you did not jump a red light due to negligent or reckless driving. It is possible that the driver attempted to stop but the brakes were not working as they should have. It is also possible that the driver failed to see you because your headlights were not working. Defective automobile can easily complicate liability since there are parties other than the driver that can be at fault for the crash.
  • Poorly maintained roads: The entity responsible for road maintenance can be at fault when the accident occurs because of the road condition, such as the tire was caught in a pothole, the car slipped on a patch of black ice, or any other reason.
  • Right of way/ traffic signals: The right of way is a strongly contested topic during accident liability discussions. Both parties feel they had the legal right of way. It can be difficult to prove fault when you claim the light was green or a protected green for your side of the traffic with the other driver arguing the light was green for them. Liability may not be clear if there is no evidence supporting the claims, such as proof of the traffic light's cycles or traffic camera footage.
  • Accident timing: It is possible for you to get T-boned by another motorist as they made a sharp turn. You may staunchly hold that you could not have prevented the accident since they suddenly cut in front of you while making the turn. It could be difficult to prove the at-fault party in such a situation.

Common Side-impact Accident Injuries

T-bone or broadside collisions can result in more serious injuries as compared to similar crashes in other parts of the car. When an automobile strikes the rear or the front of another vehicle, there is a large margin of crumple zone. The vehicle’s boot space, hatchback engine compartment and bed create a significant buffer zone. However, this buffer or crumple zone is really small on the side of a vehicle. Often, the space is no more than the width of the car door.

Occupants of side-impact accidents are at a higher risk of injury even with the addition of side airbags in vehicles. These are a few common injuries that can be caused in a side-impact crash:

1. Hip and Leg Injuries

Hip and leg injuries are common when the impact is at the bottom of the car’s door or close to it. As the car caves or bends under impact from the side crash, flying debris and force of the accident can cause penetrating injuries, lacerations, and broken bones. Crash injuries may occur in a severe accident causing significant damage to nerves, soft tissues, muscles and bones.

2. Abdominal and Chest Injuries

Center of the body can suffer significant damage in a side-impact crash because of relatively little protection. Injuries in the form of crushed ribs, broken bones, organ damage, such as heart, kidneys, liver, and punctured lungs can occur. Spleen injury is also fairly common in T-bone accidents and can have serious consequences.

3. Shoulder and Arm Injuries

Injuries to arms and shoulders are similar to the injuries that could affect the hips or legs. This includes dislocated joints, broken bones and crush injuries. Flying glass and other debris may cause severe lacerations on the arms. It is possible for the arm to get trapped, crushed, or pinned in some car body part as well.

4. Neck and Head Injuries

Whiplash during side-impact accidents is fairly common. Force of a side impact can cause the head and neck to painfully whip sideways, causing a serious neck sprain. Traumatic brain injury or a concussion may occur if the head collides with the car frame or door and suffers a blow. Cuts and lacerations on the head, face and neck may cause immediate injuries and lifelong scarring. It may also result in the loss of some organ, like ears or eyes.

5. Psychological Injuries

It is normal to experience traumatic responses after a traumatic experience. They are part of your self-defense mechanism and are your brain’s attempt to ensure that you survive the life-threatening episode. Unfortunately, the brain may not be able to return to equilibrium once the physical danger has passed. Symptoms of post-traumatic disorder, such as nightmares, flashbacks, depression, insomnia, mood swings, and anxiety are real medical conditions. Often, they can be treated with some help.

Find Experts to File Your Side-impact Accident Lawsuit

You have a greater chance of protecting yourself and your rights after a T-bone accident with the help of a personal injury attorney. Retain the services of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP if you or a loved one has been injured in a side-impact collision. Our dedicated and experienced lawyers can help you understand your options better, know your rights, and advise on the best possible way to attain justice. We like to help our clients acquire the most compensation for their accident injuries at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. Our competent side-impact accident attorneys will assist you with your claim right away. It’s vital that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Book a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys by calling at (800) 660-2264.

Sideswiping accidents typically occur when a car driver makes a mistake in judging the distance between their car and other cars on the road or suddenly swerves into an adjacent lane. This can cause severe injuries and even result in death of someone. The Insurance Information Institute reported 940 fatal sideswipe accidents in 2016 alone, according to a study by the Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Understanding Sideswipe Car Accidents

According to the National Safety Commission (NSC), a sideswipe accident takes place when two vehicles traveling parallel to each other converge and collide.

In most cases, this happens as a consequence of:

  • Wandering from a lane due to distracted driving
  • Failing to properly merge or safely change lanes
  • Wavering from a lane due to impaired driving brought on by alcohol or drug use
  • Overcorrecting when confronted by a road hazard
  • Incorrectly judging the distance between vehicles

Sideswiping accidents are common and can occur anywhere at any moment. Every year, 242,000 such accidents happen in the United States, causing an average of 27,000 injuries and 2,500 deaths, according to the NSC.

Ascertaining Liability in a Sideswipe Accident

According to the Consolidated Vehicle and Traffic Law of New York, “A motor vehicle must be driven as far as possible entirely within a single lane and must not move from the lane until the driver has first determined that such movement can be safely made.”

This means that car drivers in New York are obligated to keep to their lanes unless they can practically deem it safe to change lanes. Drivers can change lanes dangerously either by accident or on purpose, because of factors like distractions, fatigue, and blind spots.

No matter what the reason may be, the driver who breaks from their lane would most likely be responsible for the sideswipe and would be liable for any resultant collision and damage. Due to the negligence of the driver, their insurance company may also be liable to reimburse ensuing costs and medical bills.

Have you or someone you care about faced a severe injury or death due to a sideswipe collision resulting from the negligence of another driver? If yes, you may have a strong case for compensation to cover your damages occurring from physical and mental trauma, lost wages, and medical bills.

Causes of Sideswipe Accidents in New York

While sideswipe accidents in New York can happen due to a variety of reasons, some of the most common factors include:

  • Drivers who fail to look and check the opposite lane before changing lanes
  • Aggressive swerving between lanes, which can be dangerous to motorists and pedestrians alike
  • Drivers not being able to properly merge while entering highways or interstates
  • Distractions like looking at an accident nearby and taking eyes off the road
  • Driver fatigue brought on by unreasonably long periods of driving
  • Impaired driving brought on by the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Quick swerving to avoid another vehicle
  • Swerving to avoid a pothole
  • Mechanical failures in the steering mechanism of the car
  • Distractions due to texting or talking on the phone while driving
  • Eating during driving
  • Swerving to avoid objects or debris on the road

Sideswipe Accidents: Who is at Fault?

Determining fault in a sideswipe accident can be a complicated process. Some of the key factors may include the location of the vehicle within the road lines, their direction of travel, and where they end up on the road.

Statements from the involved drivers and nearby witnesses can be used to determine fault. If one driver was keeping to their lane while the other was crossing a lane divider or central lane, the latter would be held responsible for causing the accident.

In New York, liability is apportioned under the comparative fault statute. This can make each party partially liable for the accident. If you were 50% to blame for the accident, the chance to collect damages can disappear completely. If your fault is ascertained to be less than 50%, the degree to which the court decides you are at fault would proportionally reduce your damages.

For example, you are awarded $100,000 in damages in a sideswipe accident injury case. If the court decides that you are 30% responsible for the accident, your damages will decrease by 30% and you will end up receiving $70,000 as actual compensation for your personal injuries.

Commonly Occurring Injuries

A wide range of injuries, from minor to severe, can result from sideswipe accidents. These can include:

  • Back pain
  • Fractures
  • Neck and back injuries, including those involving paralysis
  • Brain trauma like concussions
  • Severed limbs
  • Death

While people do not usually die in sideswipe accidents, more than 32,000 people die annually in the United States due to car accidents. If you or someone you care about has fallen victim to a sideswipe collision, you would require skilled and experienced legal representation to navigate the process of personal injury claims.

What You Can Do After a Sideswipe Accident

These five steps can get you started:

  1. Immediately place a call to emergency services. Even if you seem unaffected by the accident, the details need to be properly documented. The police officers on the scene would interview you, other drivers involved in the accidents, and witnesses and bystanders. These details would then be mentioned in the police report.
  • Another way you can reliably document the accident is by taking detailed photos. Getting photos of the scene of the accident would help your attorney reconstruct the events that led to the accident. The photos can also help your case in court and help you out with the insurance companies.
  • It is important to seek medical evaluation in haste. As soon as you can after the accident, you should get yourself thoroughly checked by a medical professional. Even if you do not feel pain or see visual cues for damage, there might be internal injuries. A doctor can help ascertain the nature and extent of your injuries and this documented evidence can come in handy while seeking compensation.
  • You need to understand that insurance companies prioritize profits and not helping injured people. For this reason, always divert any attempted communication from insurance companies to your attorney. Even an absent-minded admission of fault can harm your case. Engage a personal injury lawyer immediately after the accident to handle communications with insurance companies.
  • To know if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim, appoint a veteran car accident attorney. A law firm experienced with auto accidents, like Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP,can provide important insight regarding how much compensation you can seek and how you can go about recovering it. You should not be obligated to pay the costs arising from your injuries if you have no fault in the accident. A reputed personal injury lawyer can help you maximize your compensation.

Damages that You Can Fight For

The first thing you should focus on if you or someone you care about has been injured in a sideswipe accident is recovery. It is a good idea to delegate the legal complexities and the search for just compensation to a reliable and aggressive attorney.

If you choose to work with us in these trying times, we can help you with:

  • All present and future medical bills
  • Costs related to rehabilitation
  • Compensation for lost wages now and in future
  • Damages related to pain, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages

A lot of times, clients do not realize the financial liability that even minor injuries can bring. Medical bills can quickly pile up and the insurance company representing the other involved party can use your need for quick money nefariously and lowball you with a settlement offer that would be unlikely to cover your medical expenses.

While your settlement might come in handy at present, it might not be enough to cover future costs. We, at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP can advise you regarding the right settlement offer to sign using our vast experience dealing with similar cases.

Benefit from Our Skills and Expertise

There can be severe consequences resulting from sideswipe accidents, especially if the vehicles involved are at high speeds. New York law gives you the ability to seek compensation from the party responsible for causing you injury from a sideswiping collision.

If you or someone you care about has sustained an injury in a sideswipe collision, the best foot forward would be to get in touch with a skilled and experienced lawyer who is well-versed in the legal nuances of personal injury cases and the medical issues resulting from car accidents.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, we rely on a deep understanding of these nuances to help you obtain maximum compensation and the promise of a new life if you are a sideswipe accident victims in New York. Until we help you get the compensation you deserve, you do not need to pay us anything. You can schedule your appointment with our dedicated personal injury attorneys by using our online contact form or calling us at (800) 660-2264.

NEW YORK CITY LAW OFFICE

122 E. 42nd Street Suite 3800
New York, NY 10168

Tel: (800) 660-2264

MAP »

QUEENS LAW OFFICE

8900 Sutphin Blvd Suite 501
Queens, NY 11435

Tel: (718) 399-3100

*By Appointment Only

MAP »

BRONX LAW OFFICE

220-226 E 161st Street
The Bronx, NY 10451

Tel: (212) 344-1000

*By Appointment Only

MAP »