Manhattan, and all of New York City, have some of the most congested streets in the country. There are signs and lights at every crosswalk intended to direct all types of traffic and keep everyone as safe as possible.
But in such a small city lives a large number of people trying to get somewhere all the time. From pedestrians to couriers on bicycles, passenger vehicles and big trucks, Manhattan’s roads are busy and congested nearly anytime.
Investigation And Accident Evidence
An intersection accident can be particularly difficult to unravel. Evidence from the accident site is the first place to start. This can include:
- Material evidence, such as:
- Vehicular damage
- Tire marks
- Debris, such as fragments from the vehicles or surrounding structures
- Damage to structures and other things in the surrounding area (i.e., traffic light poles)
- The police report on the accident
- Video from dashcams and surveillance cameras in the area
- Cell phone records from the driver listed at fault
- Hospital and other records that show a link between the accident and your injuries
An accident attorney needs to gather this information as well as speak with you about the circumstances of the accident in order to build a complete defense for your case.
Who Is At Fault?
Determining who exactly is at fault will depend on a number of factors, including the type of accident. It can be a simple matter of examining evidence, or it may take a more thorough investigation.
Intersection accidents generally occur in one of three ways:
- A driver runs a stop sign and/or red light. In many cases, this can result in what’s called a “T-Bone crash.” That is, one driver is hit in the driver’s or passenger’s side door by someone who drives straight into the side of the other vehicle. Because there is less protection on the sides of cars, these types of crashes can result in severe injuries as well as fatalities.
- Inattentive left-hand turns. A driver who makes a left turn without exercising caution at a busy intersection runs an increased risk of an accident Turning without the proper right-of-way can lead to crashes, including head-on and T-bone collisions, as well as motorcycle crashes.
- Rear-end accidents. When a driver is legally stopped at an intersection at a sign, light, or by a traffic officer, the drivers behind them have a duty to pay attention and stop. When another driver fails to pay attention, a rear-end crash can lead to injuries such as concussions and whiplash. When one driver is traveling at a higher speed and hits the stopped car, more serious injuries can result.
Accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists also frequently occur at intersections.
An accident attorney will focus on all these things in the investigation, and work to determine the best course of action.
New York is a state that has a comparative fault rule. That is, the contribution of each party is taken into consideration when seeking the person who is at fault.
This means that more than one party could be at fault for the accident, and the responsibility will be assigned accordingly. The fault for the accident could be down to one person at 100%, split 50/50, 60/40, or however, the amount of fault is ultimately determined.
For instance, someone who isn’t paying attention and rear-ends or “T-Bones” in another vehicle may initially look to be 100% at fault. But if the car that’s “T-Boned” in an intersection was found to have run a stop sign or red light, the fault may not be 100%, since the car that was hit was also in the wrong.
On the other hand, a driver who opens up a door in the direct path of a bicyclist who doesn’t have time to stop may be assigned complete responsibility. This accident, known as “dooring,” usually finds that the driver is 100% at fault.
After An Intersection Accident, Call The Family-Owned Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier Today
We offer free consultations for any kind of accident. You can talk to someone today at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier by calling (212) 777-9400 or use our website contact form. As a family-owned NYC personal injury law firm, we have over 26 years of experience helping injured people after a devastating accident. We offer a contingency fee arrangement that means we won’t get paid until you do, whether we settle your case out of court or litigate it in court.