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22-year-old male passenger dies in single-vehicle car accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Sunday, February 12th, 2017

In New York and all other jurisdictions, the occurrence of a one-car accident does not rule out that there may be a claim for personal injury or death damages. If the operator of the vehicle in a single-vehicle car accident was negligent, and if there was a passenger who suffered serious personal injury or death, the operator may be liable for damages to the passenger or his/her estate. The negligence of the driver is not passed on to the passenger, and therefore the passenger will almost always be entitled to collect for damages incurred.

In a recent one-car accident, a 22-year-old man died when the vehicle he was riding in left the roadway, struck a utility pole and a house, finally coming to a rest on its roof. The victim had been ejected from the vehicle. The operator was a 21-year-old male of Saugerties, who had been traveling south when his vehicle went off the roadway and into the foregoing series of fatal gyrations, leading to the victim’s death.

The driver was treated for minor injuries and released. The decedent was apparently declared dead at the scene. There is no report of whether the driver was impaired or whether the police examined or tested him for alcohol or drugs.  

However, Saugerties Police are continuing a formal investigation, with the assistance of the New York State Police Accident Reconstruction Team, Forensic Investigation Unit. Various forensic tests will be or have been taken to determine the speed of the vehicle and the trajectory and impact of the decedent’s body. It is usually the case that a car accident under these or similar facts is the result of negligence by the operator. If that is proved to be the case, the decedent’s estate will have a wrongful death civil claim for damages against the driver. In such cases, the existence of criminal responsibility is generally irrelevant because the test in this civil action is simply a test for carelessness under the circumstances. 

Source: hudsonvalleyone.com, “Saugerties man, 22, dies in one-car crash“, Jan. 31, 2017


Car accident leaves off-duty NYPD officer dead, another injured

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, February 10th, 2017

In New York and all other jurisdictions, when a driver loses control of his or her vehicle, it is usually due to negligence. This means that the operator failed to use that degree of due care required under the circumstances. When the operator’s negligence is a material factor in causing a car accident that results in serious injury or death, then the driver will likely be liable to compensate the victim or his/her estate for damages sustained.

Those principles do not change if the operator and the victim are both off-duty New York Police Department law enforcement officers. In a recent one-car accident in Pelham Bay, police reported that the driver of Dodge Durango lost control and ran off the roadway near City Island Road and Park Drive. The driver was a 32-year-old male who was an off-duty NYPD officer.

He was badly injured and rushed to a nearby hospital with leg injuries and burns. By a strange twist of fate, he was pulled from the burning wreck by a group of individuals who were also off-duty NYPD members. They had been traveling by the accident by apparent coincidence.

The man’s passenger, who died in the accident, was a 27-year female rookie off-duty officer, also with the NYPD.  After leaving the roadway, the SUV flipped and burst into flames, while trapping the decedent inside of it. Her badly burned body was later uncovered in the rubble.

Police have not indicated whether there is a suspicion of impairment by the driver in this car accident, or even whether blood was drawn for testing. In this instance, the claim for damages may be made on behalf of the decedent by her estate, generally consisting of her next of kin. In New York, a serious claim like this one requires the experience and in-depth knowledge of a seasoned personal injury attorney.

Source: New York Post, “Off-duty rookie cop was killed in fiery crash“, Tina Moore and Linda Massarella, Feb. 2, 2017


Car accident involving bus injures 2 in New York

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, February 3rd, 2017

No citations have yet been issued in a devastating crash that destroyed a bus in Syracuse on Jan. 19. New York State Police reported the car accident on Interstate 81. Several people sustained minor injuries, while two others were more seriously hurt. Police are still investigating the crash, and accident reconstruction teams are currently attempting to determine what happened. 

According to surveillance footage recovered by police, it appears the driver of a pickup truck was attempting to exit the highway at a high rate of speed when the accident occurred. The driver swerved to avoid traffic that had slowed down on the ramp, causing his vehicle to leave the road. The truck then crossed the grass before launching into the air and smashing into the side of a bus with enough force to lodge the truck in the side of the bus. 

Several people on board the bus at the time reported minor injuries. The truck driver’s wife, who was a passenger in the truck, as well as the bus driver, sustained more serious injuries and were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The exact nature of these injuries was not reported. Police have not filed charges against the truck driver at this time. 

Even if no citations are issued by New York police, this car accident still injured several people. The bus driver is entitled under state law to file a separate personal injury suit against the truck driver in civil court. If negligence or recklessness is proved, compensation for damages may be awarded.

Source: fox13now.com, “Videos show pickup truck smashing through bus in New York“, Jan. 27, 2017


New York cab driver charged in car accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

A pedestrian accident in Midtown has resulted in the arrest of a cab driver, police have reported. New York authorities arrested the 39-year-old cab driver after he apparently struck a woman who was crossing the street. His arrest came as a direct result of a street safety program instituted in New York to help protect pedestrians and other vulnerable people from the consequences of reckless driving, and to avoid a car accident like this one. 

The details of the accident have not been widely disseminated, but it has been confirmed that the 75-year-old pedestrian was crossing Fifth Avenue when the accident took place. The 39-year-old cabbie reportedly struck the woman around 6:30 p.m. He was arrested by police at that time. 

She was rushed to a local hospital with head trauma. It is unknown whether she is expected to survive, but given her advanced age, any injury of this type could have long-term consequences. The man has been charged with failure to yield and exercise due caution. This law is an offshoot of New York’s “Vision Zero” program meant to improve street safety. It is unknown if the man is currently in police custody or if he has been released on bail. 

A New York court will determine the criminal charges regarding this tragic car accident. However, even if he is not convicted, the woman still has legal recourse available to her. She is entitled under state law to file a personal injury lawsuit against him in a civil court. Evidence gathered by the police with respect to the formal charges may be offered in a related civil claim as proof of the cabbie’s negligence and financial responsibility for her injuries. 

Source: New York Daily News, “Cabbie arrested for hitting woman as she crossed NYC street“, Rocco Parascandola, Jan. 23, 2017


Car accident injures teen in New York

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, January 27th, 2017

A 39-year-old man is facing charges after a crash that injured a teenager in Greenpoint, police in Brooklyn have reported. The New York man stands accused of assault and reckless endangerment after a car accident in which his vehicle struck a 14-year-old boy. It is unknown at this time whether he has arranged for legal representation, but he has been released on $3,500 bail.

The accident report confirms that the man was behind the wheel of his SUV the night of Jan. 22, transporting his wife, their two toddler-aged children and the family nanny. It appears the man may have tried to cut off another driver, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The SUV left the road and jumped the curb onto the sidewalk. 

The teenager was walking on the sidewalk at the time and was struck with enough force to throw him approximately 10 feet. The occupants of the vehicle were unharmed, but the boy was rushed to a local hospital with unspecified injuries. Thankfully the teen is expected to survive, but the man who hit him will face serious criminal consequences if he is found guilty.

New York state law requires all drivers to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. If the car accident report is true, it appears the driver may have violated this requirement. Even if he is not found guilty of the charges filed against him pertaining to the car accident, the boy’s family is still entitled to sue for personal injury in civil court. While criminal convictions are not required for a civil suit to be successful, it can be helpful to make use of evidence gathered by police. 

Source: New York Post, “Driver who hit teen had family in car at time of crash“, Priscilla deGregory, Jan. 24, 2017


Car accident under investigation in New York

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Local and state police are in the process of investigating a serious accident in the town of Kendall. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office is working closely with New York State Police to determine the cause of the car accident. Details are limited at this time, but the investigation is well underway. 

According to the report, it appears the driver of a northbound vehicle did not yield the right-of-way to a westbound vehicle at a local intersection, which is marked by stop signs. The resulting collision caused at least one fatality. As of this report, the number of people injured and/or killed in the crash has not been verified, and police are not releasing further information until family members can be notified. 

Police believe foggy conditions could have played a role in the crash, as visibility was reduced in the area at the time of the accident. However, they have not ruled out negligent or reckless driving as possible causes as well. Neither local nor state police have filed any criminal charges at this time. 

New York State Police will continue to support local law enforcement in their investigation into this tragic car accident. If it can be determined that one or both drivers contributed materially to the crash, even taking into consideration inclement weather conditions, it is possible criminal charges will be filed. Separately, the injured parties and the families of the deceased are entitled under state law to file civil lawsuits for personal injury and wrongful death, as appropriate, in civil court against one or both drivers. 

Source: thedailynewsonline.com, “Fatal car accident in Kendall under investigation“, Jan. 22, 2017


New York woman dead in car accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Friday, January 20th, 2017

A woman is tragically dead and five other people have been sent to the hospital following a serious crash on the night of Jan. 12. New York police responded to the car accident that claimed the life of an 18-year-old woman. The investigation is still underway as of this report, with no charges having been filed to date. 

Police in Greece, New York say the accident appears to have been caused by a vehicle crossing the center line. That car collided with another car headed the other direction, causing massive damage to both vehicles. The fatal victim was a front-seat passenger in the car that crossed the line. She was pronounced dead at the scene by arriving medical personnel. 

Three more people in the first vehicle, as well as two from the other vehicle, were all taken to local hospitals. One of the occupants, a 19-year-old man, is in guarded condition, with the other four people suffering from injuries not considered life threatening. Police have yet to comment on the cause of the accident, but have not ruled out reckless driving at this time. 

The New York police investigation will determine whether criminal charges will be filed against the driver who crossed the center line and caused the car accident. If the evidence suggests that driver was negligent, reckless or intoxicated, the family of the deceased woman and all injured parties are entitled under state law to file for wrongful death and/or personal injury, as applicable. Evidence of material contribution to the accident can only help such a civil case succeed. 

Source: theeagle.com, “1 dead, 5 injured in 2-car crash on upstate New York road”, Jan. 13, 2017


New York woman badly injured in car accident

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

A woman police believe was impaired by drugs at the time of a terrifying crash is now in custody, according to local sources. New York authorities arrested a 33-year-old woman after her vehicle crashed into a gas pump, badly injuring the woman using it. The driver was scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 15 for her role in the car accident.

According to the accident report, a 62-year-old woman was filling her vehicle with gasoline at a station on William Floyd Parkway around 11:25 a.m. when the accident occurred. The driver was attempting to navigate a turn into the gas station at a high rate of speed, but missed the turn and lost control of her vehicle. Her car smashed into the pump being used by the older woman. 

The accident victim was badly injured as a result of the collision. Fortunately, she was on the other side of the pump that was struck by the motorist, though was pinned against her vehicle as a result of the accident. She was extricated and rushed to a local hospital with serious injuries. The driver was arrested on the scene under suspicion of being high on drugs, and was taken into New York police custody at that time. 

In car accidents predicated on drug or alcohol intoxication, New York law is harsh on those who choose to drive drunk or stoned. If the woman is found to have been impaired by drugs at the time of this car accident, she could face serious criminal consequences. Separately, the injured woman is entitled under state law to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, citing her negligence as a factor in the crash that injured her. 

Source: New York Post, “Terrifying video shows car smash into woman pumping gas“, Amanda Woods, Jan. 14, 2017


Car accident kills 3 in New York

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Three people are dead after a vehicle believed to have been stolen crashed into a pond in Nassau County. New York police were on the scene of the car accident that claimed the lives of all three occupants of the vehicle. The accident remains under investigation, as it is possible road conditions played a role in the crash. 

Police reports indicate the vehicle was sighted by a state trooper while headed eastbound on Northern State Parkway. The officer said the license plate was tagged as belonging to a vehicle that had been stolen several days prior, so the officer followed the vehicle without activating lights or siren. He radioed for backup from nearby police stations, but it appears the occupants of the stolen vehicle may have noticed his presence. 

The vehicle left the Parkway and accelerated to high speed. It crashed through a fence on Searingtown Road before overturning into a pond. Local fire and police responded to the crash site, but one of the three occupants of the vehicle was already dead. The other two were pronounced dead some time later at a local hospital. 

It may seem unusual for the families of the passengers in this allegedly stolen vehicle to wish to pursue legal action against the driver, but it is perfectly reasonable to assume the passengers were unaware of the vehicle’s stolen status upon entering. In this case, the material responsibility for the car accident falls to the driver. New York law does allow the families of the deceased passengers to file wrongful death suits against his estate, though in this case the rightful owners of the vehicle would not be legally responsible for the car or the fate of its passengers. 

Source: CBS New York, “Three Dead After Reportedly Stolen Car Crashes Into Nassau County Pond“, Jan. 8, 2017


Fatal car accident in New York leaves 1 dead

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, January 12th, 2017

A man is dead and his friend is facing manslaughter charges following a serious crash in the Bronx the night of Jan. 5, according to police. New York authorities arrested the driver of the vehicle involved in the car accident and charged him with impaired driving, manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and other crimes. Three other individuals involved in the crash are still in the hospital. 

According to the accident report, around 9:00 p.m. the sedan carrying a driver and four male passengers crossed into oncoming traffic on Boston Road, striking an oncoming minivan head-on. The force of the impact sent both vehicles careening into a third, unoccupied vehicle. The driver of the minivan managed to escape with minor injuries, but the passengers in the sedan were not so lucky. 

One man, a 21-year-old, was killed. The other passengers in the vehicle were trapped and had to be extricated by arriving medical and emergency personnel, all with serious injuries. The driver, who was believed to be legally drunk, fled the scene on foot but was later caught at the hospital and arrested. It is unknown whether he has retained counsel at this time.

If the driver is found to have been drunk and/or otherwise materially responsible for the fatal car accident that killed his friend, he will likely face jail time. The family of the deceased passenger is entitled under New York law to file a wrongful death suit against him, and the injured parties may also file personal injury suits against him. All such suits are handled in civil court. 

Source: NBC New York, “Friend Charged With Manslaughter After Fatal Bronx Crash: Police“, Rana Novini, Jan. 6, 2017