Understanding the wide-ranging effects of New York car accidents

Hundreds of thousands of car accidents happen in New York each year.

If you or someone you love has ever been involved in a serious car accident, you know that crashes cause much more than physical injuries and property damage. Car accidents can touch almost every aspect of our lives, and they can happen to us regardless of how careful and attentive we are to our own driving. Still, we can't just accept that they are inevitable and assume that there is nothing we can do but wait until they occur. The laws of New York realize the true impact of motor vehicle accidents, which is why they allow for civil lawsuits designed to compensate innocent victims and hold at-fault drivers responsible.

Surprising facts

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) reports that, in 2013 alone, there were nearly 305,000 car accidents, more than 259,000 of which were serious enough to involve police. Those accidents resulted in nearly 1,200 deaths and more than 169,000 injuries, all of which come at a great cost to the families of those involved and to the state itself.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes cost an average of $1.33 billion in New York each year. This exorbitant number includes a range of different expenses directly related to accidents, including nearly $20 million in medical expenses and more than $1 billion in lost work and productivity. The lion's share of these expenses - 45 percent, representing nearly $600 million - are incurred by young adults between the ages of 20 and 34.

Common causes of accidents

Though no two accidents are exactly alike, there are several common reasons why they happen. For example, the NYSDMV reports that nearly 50,000 of the approximately 305,000 accidents that occurred in 2013 were caused by inattentive drivers. Other commonly reported unsafe driver behaviors and factors seen in crashes include:

  • Following too closely
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Speeding
  • Making unsafe lane changes
  • Being under the influence of alcohol
  • Texting or using a cellphone
  • Driving while fatigued/falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driving aggressively

Regardless of the cause of the car accident, the simple fact remains that if you have been seriously injured in a crash, your whole life will be impacted. You will need medical treatment, including possible surgeries, hospitalization, medication and rehabilitation. You will likely miss time away from work while you recover. You lose out on priceless time with family and friends during your convalescence, and you have the added worry of dealing with repairs to your vehicle. During this stressful time, though, you really only need to focus on your recovery. To have someone else shoulder the burden of the financial and legal issues involved, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the New York City law office of Godosky & Gentile, P.C.

Keywords: car accidents, personal injury, distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, driving while fatigued, auto accident, motor vehicle accident