New York Automobile Accident Attorney Representing People Injured In A Roadway Accident
If you drive anywhere in New York, it’s no surprise that we have dangerous roads due to a serious road deterioration problem. In fact, potholes and other roadway hazards cost the average NYC driver about $2,300 per year in auto repairs, according to researchers at transportation nonprofit, TRIP. And potholes are just one of the hazards causing damage and injuries. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident caused by damaged roads, Auto Accident Lawyers Brooklyn can help.
Call The Rybak Firm, PLLC., to learn more about your legal options for compensation today: 718-307-5554.
What are some examples of dangerous roads that cause roadway accidents in New York?
Roadway hazards come in a number of forms, from defective design or poor maintenance to problems with signage or lighting issues. Some examples of hazardous roadways include:
- Roads that need repainting (e.g., lines dividing lanes)
- Roads with large, unaddressed potholes
- Areas that need shrubbery or trees trimmed to ensure proper sightless
- Roads that do not drain, leading to standing water
- Roads without guardrails, or with guardrails inadequate for the terrain
- Uneven pavement
Who is liable for roadway accidents on hazardous roadways?
Government entities in New York are largely responsible for the maintenance of state roads. Depending on the road in question, these may be state, county, or city entities. Like most municipalities, these entities receive special protections under the law that protect them from liability claims so long as they perform their duties reasonably. This concept applies to both the entity itself (sovereign immunity) and the individual employee (qualified immunity).
However, New York State also recognizes that injured parties have a right to sue these entities or their employees when they fail to meet the minimum reasonable requirements of designing or maintaining a roadway or city street. This means it is often more difficult to prove negligence in these cases, but it is possible to recover compensation from the government for your injuries.
Is there anything that could bar my right to file a claim?
Three different things might bar your right to file a claim:
Filing Against the Wrong Entity
If you file against the wrong person or entity, the state can dismiss your case with prejudice (i.e., you cannot file another claim on this matter ever again). It is important that you run your case by an experienced Accident Lawyers NY and ensure you are filing with the correct entity.
New York State Pothole Law
Depending on the time of year, if you suffer injury or damage due to a pothole, you may be out of luck. According to Section 58 of State Highway Law, the state is not liable for any pothole damage from November 16 to April 30.
Statute of Limitations
These cases have a much shorter statute of limitations than a typical personal injury case. Under New York law, you have one year and 90 days to file most injury claims against a government office, and some types of claims require earlier filings. For this reason, it is important to discuss your case with knowledgeable New York Personal Injury Attorneys as soon as possible.
What do I need to prove to recover compensation for my injuries?
Because of their special immunity, claims or suits filed against government entities have a higher burden of proof than a typical personal injury case. Proving there was a hazard is not enough. Instead, you need to show that the roadway design was unreasonable and lacked the “adequate study” before building, or that the entity knew about the hazard and had adequate time to rectify the issue before your crash.
Many times, these cases come down to proving how long the hazard threatened motorists’ safety or finding proof that the entity was aware of it. The city’s Pothole Law, for example, requires at least 15 days written notice of a pothole before it is responsible for any damage or injuries caused by hitting the pothole. If you suffer injuries on day 16 and your lawyer uncovers the complaint, the government entity responsible for repairing that road is liable.
There is no question that strong evidence that proves liability and negligence is key in many hazardous roadway cases. Collecting and preserving evidence, enlisting experts to testify, and demonstrating the liable party was aware of the hazard are all important to meeting the high standard of proof in cases against government entities. Often, this evidence includes:
- Photos of the hazard
- Photos from the scene of the accident
- Police reports from the accident
- Previous reports of the hazard
- Expert testimony
- Reports from previous accidents in the same area
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
How can Accident Lawyer Brooklyn NY of The Rybak Firm, PLLC., help me recover compensation for my damages?
Having the right accident lawyer on your side in a case against a public entity can increase your chances of getting the compensation you need to pay for your medical care, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.
If you need a New York City Car Accident Attorney who has the knowledge and resources to litigate a hazardous roadway case in New York State, The Rybak Firm, PLLC can help. Contact us today at (718) 307-5554 to learn more about our services and schedule a free case review.