How Is Fault Determined After a Car Accident in New York?
After a car accident in New York, fault can be determined using evidence. There are several types of evidence our lawyers can use to prove that another driver caused your accident. We may reference physical evidence from the accident scene, photos and videos you captured, and witness testimony.
You don’t need to collect evidence on your own. A New York car accident lawyer from our team is prepared to investigate your case to determine fault.
Determining Fault With Car Accident Evidence
If you suffer an injury in a car accident, you may want to file a lawsuit against whoever caused the accident. In doing so, you would first have to be sure of the at-fault party’s identity and how their actions led to your injuries. This requires an investigation.
Multiple parties may investigate a car accident, including:
Your insurance company
The at-fault party’s insurance company
Your personal injury lawyer
The at-fault party’s lawyer
Each interested party will look for evidence such as the following:
Audiovisual footage: Surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, and other video sources could show how the accident happened in real time.
Statements from involved parties: Both you and the other driver will likely have to answer questions about the accident.
Witness statements: If anyone else was there when the accident happened, we may want to track them down and ask them to explain what they saw.
Photographs: Any photos you or a witness took could shed light on the accident’s true cause.
The police report: It is the responding officer’s job to document information at the accident scene. Their final report can help the department and other investigators determine fault.
Accident Reconstruction May Help Determine Fault
An accident reconstructionist is an independent party who specializes in determining exactly how a traffic accident happened. Their perspective may be useful if:
The events of the accident are unclear, or there is disagreement over what occurred.
Eyewitnesses or video footage are unreliable or nonexistent.
The accident was very complicated (e.g., it involved multiple vehicles).
Accident reconstruction can be used as evidence to support your case.
You Can File a Lawsuit for Compensation Once the Fault Is Determined
After your legal team proves that another party is at fault for your car accident in New York, you may decide to file a lawsuit. If you sue the at-fault party, you may be able to recover damages such as:
Past and future pain and suffering
Past and future medical expenses
Past and future lost income
However, you have a limited amount of time to file your lawsuit. According to CPLR § 214, you generally have three years to file a lawsuit after an accident. That’s why it’s important to start your case immediately. This will give your legal team time to collect evidence, speak to accident witnesses, and submit your case before time runs out.
Who Could Be at Fault for a New York Car Accident?
Determining fault after a car accident isn’t always a straightforward process. Some cases may involve more than one at-fault party, making things even more complicated.
Depending on the details of your case, the at-fault party may be:
A drunk or drowsy driver
A distracted driver
An auto parts manufacturer
The person responsible for your car’s maintenance
The government entity responsible for road maintenance
Once we prove who caused your accident, our team can explain your options for seeking compensation.
Don’t Admit Fault or Accuse Another Party of Fault After an Accident
After an accident, you should generally refrain from speaking about what happened until you’ve consulted a lawyer. Even if you believe another party is at fault, you should not point fingers at the accident scene. You should also avoid accepting blame for the crash.
You should answer any questions the police officer asks you when they arrive at the scene. It may also be helpful to collect the names and contact information of witnesses and anyone else involved in the accident. Beyond this, it may be in your best interest to leave the rest to your attorney. Our team can communicate with involved parties for you. This way, your words won’t get taken out of context.
Let Us Determine the Fault After Your Car Accident in New York
For more information on how fault is determined after a car accident in New York, call Shulman & Hill at 866.880.0645 today. We can work diligently to prove what happened.
We offer free consultations and do not charge any upfront fees.
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