Drivers are required to comply with dozens of different traffic statutes to legally and safely operate a vehicle on New York roads. A driver must have a license, and they must register the vehicle that they drive with the state and carry insurance. Beyond that, they need to abide by rules regarding how they operate their vehicles in traffic.
Violations of traffic laws are a leading cause of collisions, and some collisions leave people with serious injuries. Thousands of people lose loved ones every year because of preventable collisions. Negligence or a failure to act in a reasonably safe manner given the circumstances is another top contributing factor to major wrecks in New York. What influence can allegations of negligence have on the outcome of a lawsuit following a wreck?
Negligence makes someone financially culpable for a crash
New York rules about traffic safety are very clear about the impact that negligence has on liability. Specifically, the state makes someone who does something negligent personally liable for the consequences of their choices in most cases where other people end up injured or dead.
A driver who does something unsafe, like texting at the wheel, may have to cover the costs generated by any collision that results from their unsafe habits. Car insurance will typically cover at least a portion of the expenses generated by a crash caused by someone’s negligence. However, especially if someone suffers major injuries and cannot work, they may need more compensation than what insurance would provide. They may want to take action against the party at fault for the crash instead of using their own resources to cover their medical expenses or lost wages.
Provided that someone can show that negligence contributed to a crash either by demonstrating that someone violated traffic statutes or did something that the average driver would agree is unsafe, they can potentially seek additional compensation through the civil courts for the full financial impact of the crash. Unsafe behaviors like speeding or failing to use turn signals can lead to credible claims of negligence against a motorist.
Being able to identify negligence can potentially help those who deserve financial support following a car crash and who hope to hold another driver responsible for the wreck that caused their harm.