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Who Is Responsible If I Crash Due to Icy Road Conditions?

driving in snow, blizzardNews headlines throughout the country, including New York, have been blazing with news of record cold temperatures. In mid-winter, it’s not uncommon to feel cold blasts, of course, but this winter has been one for the history books.

With cold weather, of course, comes snow and ice. Driving on ice and snow can be dangerous. It can cause vehicles to skid – into other vehicles, objects (retaining walls, posts, trees), into pedestrians, and off the road. Any of these accidents can cause injuries or even be fatal.

If you or a loved one has been in a crash caused by icy road conditions, it’s normal to wonder who is responsible.

Liability will depend on various factors

There’s no one answer. It depends on how each party was driving, what you crashed into, and multiple other factors.

Say, for instance, that another driver, approaching from the opposite direction on a roadway, goes into a skid and crashes into your car. Perhaps the skid was caused by the driver going too fast, braking improperly, or even having worn tires. Perhaps the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol. If that’s the case, the other driver may be responsible.

But there are multiple factors that might have caused the accident, including the possibility of mechanical malfunction in the vehicle that was out of the driver’s control. While drivers may be responsible for a crash if they disobey laws and rules of the road, such as going too fast or drinking to excess, assessment of responsibility in each case would require a thorough investigation into what caused the crash.

Or, say you were driving on an icy highway, skidded, and the car went into a ditch, injuring you and the passengers. Government authorities are responsible for keeping roads as safe as possible. That’s why we see snow plows and sanders out shortly after a major storm.

But all drivers should be aware that sanding and plowing don’t necessarily keep a road safe in periods of cold weather. If water forms and then temperatures drop, the road may re-ice. The same is true of individual driveways to a home or business parking lots. Drivers who don’t take account of conditions may themselves be responsible for a crash.

But the law says, to be negligent, responsible parties need to have known that a situation was dangerous, had time to make it safe, and failed to do so. If re-icing has occurred after an initial shoveling or sanding, these parties may argue that you failed to drive safely given the conditions.

The key to driving safely in icy conditions is to drive very slowly. If you skid, don’t panic. Don’t pump the brakes or go to the parking brake. Steer slowly in the direction you want to go. If icy and snowy conditions are forecast, the safest bet may be to stay at home.

Car accident attorneys New York residents trust

If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision this winter, Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can help.

Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and potential next steps. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a consultation with an experienced New York car accident lawyer today. We serve all of Long Island and the greater NYC metro area.

Additional Resources on winter driving

1. AAA. Winter Driving Tips. https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/.
2. National Safety Council. Be Prepared for Winter Driving. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter/driving.

 

A Pothole Damaged My Car. How Do I File a Claim?

A road damaged by rain,snow, or the freeze/thaw cycle that is in need of maintenance.Reckless, drunk, and distracted drivers cause thousands upon thousands of deaths and injuries every year, not to mention property damage. But there’s another hazard on the roadways: Potholes. Potholes can severely damage your vehicle, causing everything from punctured tires to engine damage. They can also damage your suspension system, exhaust system, steering system, wheel rims, shocks, and struts.

Since it isn’t your responsibility to fill in the potholes on city streets or highways, why should you have to pay for the damage? And what happens when a pothole is deep enough that hitting it causes you to lose control of your car and crash?

Document the damage right away

Whether your car crashed after hitting a pothole or not, you should thoroughly document the scene and the damage. If you didn’t crash, you should pull over as soon as possible. Take plenty of pictures of the pothole, the section of roadway where it’s located, and the damage to your vehicle. Get close-up shots of your vehicular damage as well as distance shots.

When taking pictures of the pothole, you should try to find an object for reference. For example, you could put your shoe or hairbrush next to the pothole so the picture reveals the general size of the defect. Remember to write down the name of the street and the nearest cross-street.

Report the incident

Before you can file a claim for compensation, you’ll need to report the offending pothole to the appropriate municipal body. This might be the borough council or another municipal organization, depending on exactly where you were when the incident happened. If you intend to submit a claim for reimbursement, you’ll need to provide copies of all car repair estimates and invoices. Keep the originals for your own records.

Disputing a denied claim

There is a good chance that your claim for reimbursement will be denied. The entity responsible for repairing that particular section of road might claim that it wasn’t their fault because they were unaware the pothole existed. If this happens, your best course of action is to consult a car accident lawyer. The lawyer can request the road inspection reports. It may come to light that either the entity failed to conduct road inspections as required, or that the pothole was indeed discovered earlier, but left unfixed.

Filing a car insurance claim

If reimbursement isn’t forthcoming from the city or borough council, and the damage to your car was extensive, your other option is to file a claim with your insurance company. Pothole damage is considered a one-car accident. Give it some thought before deciding whether it’s worth it to file a claim. Your insurance premiums could go up at your next renewal. It’s also possible that your deductible is more than the cost to repair your car out of pocket.

Get the legal advocacy services you need in NYC

The Long Island car accident lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can help you get your life back on track after a crash. Our personal injury team is experienced at handling all types of car accident claims involving severe and catastrophic injuries, property damage, and vehicle total loss. Call our law firm in New York City at 1.800.469.7429 to get your case reviewed and find out about your legal options.

Additional resources on car safety

  1. Popular Mechanics, How Badly Can Potholes Damage Your Car? https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a9993/how-badly-can-potholes-damage-your-car-16326605/
  2. Allstate, Does Car Insurance Cover Pothole Damage? https://www.allstate.com/tr/car-insurance/is-pothole-damage-covered.aspx

How Long Should I Stay Out of Work After a Car Accident?

On top of the pain and cost of medical bills, many injury victims face an indirect loss – the inability to work after the accident. In some cases this is very temporary, and in others it is long-term or permanent. While there are no hard and fast rules on how long you should stay out of work after a car accident, here are some considerations.

Lost wages may be recoverable in New York but the amount may vary

Negligence laws recognize the rights of those injured by someone else’s negligence to be “made whole”, or receive the compensation necessary to put them in the situation they would be in if the accident had not occurred. However, the New York no-fault system of insurance modifies this a bit in the case of car accidents.

If your injury does not meet the threshold for a serious injury, you must recover from your own no-fault insurance policy. No-fault lost wage coverage will help when your injury interferes with your ability to work, but it does not provide complete compensation. Instead, no-fault insurance will only pay 80% of your lost wages, up to $2,000 per month. As a bonus, though, these payments are not taxed.

If your injury does meet the threshold of a serious injury, you may recover the rest of your lost wages from the at-fault party. Whether or not you believe you meet the “serious injury” threshold, speak with a NYC personal injury lawyer to understand your options.

Procedures for making a claim for lost wages

Under the no-fault claim system, there are multiple steps to follow to receive lost income. First, it is necessary to apply for state disability benefits through your employer. If you have not been employed long enough to qualify, you may need to apply through a past employer. This will only reimburse half your pay, up to $170 per week; the rest of the 80% comes from your no-fault insurance carrier.

In order to keep receiving no-fault payments, you need to continuously provide the carrier with 30-day updates from your doctor confirming your disability. If your employer is reimbursing your time off, you will not qualify for no-fault payments. If you have suffered a serious injury then you may seek the balance of your lost wages from the other driver’s bodily injury insurance.

How soon should you return to work?

You may feel rushed to get back to work, but visit a doctor first. If the accident is recent, it is possible that your injury is more severe than initially appears; pain and swelling often intensify over the first several days of an accident. A professional medical assessment is important to avoid aggravating an injury in these situations.

If you do take time off, returning to work too soon could lead to re-starting the lost wage claim if you are not truly recovered and need to go back on leave. So no matter what the situation, it is wise to see a doctor before returning to work.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash in New York, call to speak with the Long Island car accident lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye. We are seasoned personal injury lawyers who fight for full compensation. Our initial confidential consultation is free. Call today to find out more about your legal options.

Additional Resources:

  1. New York State Department of Financial Services, OGC Op. No. 09-05-04, https://www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/ogco2009/rg090504.htm
  2. New York State Department of Financial Services, Consumer Frequently Asked Questions, https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/faqs/faqs_nofault.htm

What To Do When Your Auto Insurer Totals Your Car

A wrecked car lays in wait after a vicious car accident. Rescue workers linger in the background.Close Up of a Broken Car WindshieldIf you are in an accident in New York state, insurance companies will reimburse you for repair, as long as the repair costs are under what the insurers deem the fair market value of the car. But if estimated repairs are close to or over the fair market value, insurance companies declare the car a total loss.

The owner of the car is reimbursed for the fair market value. The insurance company usually physically takes possession of the car.

If You Don’t Want It Totaled, Negotiate…

But what if your car has been declared a total loss and you don’t want to total it? The car may have value to you, after all.

Fair market value, generally arrived at by reviewing the Kelley Blue Book value, reflects the resale value of an owner wants to sell it. If a car is older, and not able to fetch much at resale, it may be declared a total loss even if the damage is not extensive. Cars can have sentimental value. You may still be paying a loan on a totaled car, or need it for work or other purposes.

If you are in a scenario where you don’t want your car totaled, call the insurance company to negotiate. If there is a specific reason you want or need to keep the car, tell them clearly what the reason is.

If you have reason to believe it is worth more than fair market value, tell them so. Tell them why, and be prepared to provide evidence of its worth, either through an independent appraiser or other outside valuation method. In other words, a claim of more value can’t rest solely on the opinion of the owner.

Be aware, though, that insurance companies are within their rights to total a car. Kelley Blue Book value is a widely accepted guide to the fair market value of a vehicle, so you will likely need another widely accepted and trusted source to prevail with the insurance company. Insurers often sell a totaled car to recoup as much of its own losses on the accident as possible.

…or Consult an Attorney

If the damage to your car was caused by an accident, and the accident was caused by another party, you can also pursue a legal claim for the value of your car, or the value of a car repair.

Although New York is a no-fault state for medical claims resulting from an accident, it is not a no-fault state for car repair purposes. “No-fault” means that insurance companies reimburse accident victims for damages done from an accident, regardless of who was at fault. But that does not apply to car damage is New York state.

For a legal case to be successful, another driver or other entity needs to have caused the accident, or to have been the primary cause. If, for example, a driver ran a stop sign and ran into your vehicle, a legal case could be brought against the driver seeking damages for the damage to your car.

Experienced New York City & Long Island Car Accident Attorneys

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned car accident attorneys in New York state. We can help in any vehicle accident. We will fight for a decent and just settlement.

Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and what next steps could be. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with a seasoned New York City and Long Island car accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources:

  1. Kelley Blue Book. https://www.kbb.com/.
  2. When does an insurance company total a car? Autoinsurance.org. https://www.autoinsurance.org/when-does-an-insurance-company-total-a-car/

New Year’s Eve Among the Worst Holidays for Drunk Driving

With New Year’s Eve just days away, it’s the perfect time to brush up on precautions that are especially important around the holiday season. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of vehicle accidents involving alcohol spike dramatically between Christmas and New Year’s Day. And while seasonal binge drinking is a popular way to celebrate with friends and family, New Year’s isn’t – statistically speaking – the most dangerous day to drive in New York.

Fatal drunk driving accidents, according to national reports, escalate over the major long holiday weekends, when hoards of tired and impaired drivers hit the roads.

Worst holidays for drunk drivers

Numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that Memorial Day Weekend is the most dangerous time to be on the road. According to statistics, more than 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents during the Memorial Day holidays involve drunk or impaired drivers.

The other major summer holidays are not far behind. Labor Day weekend averages nearly 310 fatalities followed by the Fourth of July.

Thanksgiving has been one of the deadliest holidays in terms of drunk driving fatalities. The spike in accident rates is not surprising considering this is one of the biggest travel days of the year.

Alcohol-related crashes tend to increase between the afternoon of Christmas Eve and the evening of Christmas Day. However, these rates tend to drop when Christmas falls on a weekday, as it did this year.

New Year’s Eve is synonymous with epic parties that rage into the morning hours. Unfortunately, this holiday is marred by the effects of excess alcohol consumption and bad decision making. Every year on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, countless lives are claimed because of a drunk or impaired driver.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Despite national campaigns advocating for road safety on this alcohol-fueled holiday, many people make the mistake of driving home after a few too many drinks – with tragic consequences. In New York, law enforcement will continue increase patrols and check points as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, NY police will be on the lookout for drunk, distracted and impaired drivers through Tuesday, January 1st. Last year’s campaign resulted in 650 DWI arrests for driving while intoxicated.

One of the easiest ways to stay safe on New Year’s Eve is to stay off the roads completely. However, if you’re planning on enjoying a few cocktails, plan ahead with these tips.

  • Don’t let anyone who appears impaired or drunk get behind the wheel
  • Always have a designated driver who will remain sober
  • Wear your seat belt
  • Arrange to use public transportation or a ridesharing service
  • Report suspicious driving activity to 911 immediately
  • Download the SaferRide app, which lets you share your location with friends when you need a pick up
  • Make prior arrangements to spend the night at a nearby hotel

Here at Edelman, Krasin and Jaye, we hope that you and your loved ones ring in a happy and safe New Year. If you are involved in an accident, we provide compassionate, client-focused personal injury representation.

We advocate for clients in Suffolk and Nassau Counties, and provide confidential case reviews free of charge. If you need expert legal guidance, call 1-800-469-7429 to speak with a New York City & Long Island car accident lawyer.

Additional Resources:

  1. American Safety Council, The Six Most Dangerous Holidays to be on the Road https://blog.americansafetycouncil.com/six-most-dangerous-holidays-to-be-on-the-road-2/
  2. NJ Herald, NY state’s anti-DWI campaign to continue into New Year’s Day https://www.njherald.com/article/20181227/AP/312279993#

3 Tips for Staying Safe on the Roads During the Holidays

driving in snow, blizzardDuring the holiday season, many people take to the road. Whether you’re literally going over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house, driving to the mall for last-minute shopping, or going to see extended family in another state, it’s very important to stay safe as you drive.

The Holidays Are Dangerous on the Roads

Why? Because the holidays, in addition to being wonderful times for get-togethers, are dangerous. Roughly 1,200 people die each year in car accidents between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day every year.

The holidays themselves are deadly. On Christmas Day itself, 273 people died in car accidents in 2015 (the last year for which statistics are available), versus 355 fatalities on New Year’s Day.

More than half of all these fatalities stem from driving while impaired by alcohol.

How can you make this holiday season safer while on the road? Here’s 3 tips.

1. Don’t drink and drive

From office parties to special holiday dinners, the holiday season is filled with more occasions than usual to drink. Eggnog on Christmas Eve and champagne on New Year’s Eve are traditions for many people.

But the safest driving rule of all is simple: if you’re drinking, don’t drive. Designate a person who will agree to not drink as the driver. Call a car service. Sleep over on the sofa. If you’ve been drinking at all, don’t get behind the wheel of a car. Not even to drive a few miles. Deaths and injuries all too frequently occur close to home.

2. Obey the speed limit

The holidays are time-pressured as well as festive. You may be rushing to get last-minute presents or driving quickly to get between houses on Christmas or New Year’s, when many people have dinner at one house and dessert at another. Don’t drive over the speed limit.

In fact, if the roads are snowy or icy, drive only at the speed it is safe – which might be under the posted speed. Accidents happen when people rush and there are many cars on the roads, both of which are true during the holiday season.

3. Prepare an emergency kit

Many accidents occur in the winter because of snowy or icy roads. If you spin off the roads due to conditions like this, the safest thing to do is have an emergency kit. In it should be emergency flares, bandages, some nonperishable food, and a warm wool blanket, at a minimum. A first aid kit is also advisable. If you must flag down passing motorists or wait for the police, be prepared.

Also, although of course you are not going to use your phone while driving, you will need it in case of an accident. Make sure you have a phone charger for your car and never leave the house without your phone being fully charged. It stays turned off and put away unless you need it for an emergency, though – because distracted driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned attorneys who fight for maximum compensation on behalf of clients who were hurt in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and what next steps could be. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with a seasoned New York City and Long Island car accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources:

  1. Drinking and Driving Rises During Holidays. Addiction Intervention. https://www.addiction-intervention.com/current-events/drunk-driving-current-events/drinking-driving-holidays/.
  2. National Safety Council. Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter/holiday.

How To Make Sure Your Limousine Ride Is Safe

Riding in a limousine is always a special occasion. Whether it’s taking you to the prom, to a wedding, or to a New Year’s Eve party, a limo will always make its occupants feel like royalty. Unfortunately, a glamorous occasion can quickly turn to tragedy. No vehicle is immune to traffic accidents, and limos are no exception.

In October 2018, a large group of family and friends were headed to a 30th birthday celebration when the limo they were riding in crashed near Schoharie, NY. All 17 passengers and the driver were killed, along with two pedestrians.

The limo crash was one of the deadliest transportation accidents in recent memory in the U.S., and it might have been prevented. Investigators determined that the limo involved had repeatedly had its insurance canceled, and had allegedly failed multiple inspections.

Verify credentials and insurance

Before signing a contract with a limo company, you should always request proof of insurance. If you’re making the arrangements well in advance of your trip, you should check again that the insurance is still valid before you set foot in the limo. Ensure that the document you’re looking at covers the specific limo you’ll be riding it.

You should also request to see the driver’s license. In many states, drivers of limousines need a special license. In New York, limousine drivers must obtain a class E driver’s license. And for drivers that operate in New York City, additional documentation may be required through the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). During the investigation into the deadly limo crash near Schoharie, it was determined that the driver lacked the proper licensing to operate the vehicle.

Check for DOT inspections

Vehicles that can carry more than nine (paying) passengers are legally required to be certified by the Department of Transportation. They must undergo an intensive inspection every six months. Additionally, they must pass a less formal inspection in between rigorous inspections. Riders should always request proof that the limo has passed the most recent DOT inspection.

Talk to the driver

Just like other drivers, limo drivers may make poor decisions. You should have a brief conversation with the driver before climbing into a limo. While you chat, consider whether the driver looks or acts impaired. Do you smell alcohol? Does the driver’s eyes look bloodshot? Does the driver yawn frequently? These are all red flags that should tell you to skip the limo ride.

Steps to take after a motor vehicle accident

After any crash, the most important things to do first are to make sure everyone is okay, and to call for emergency assistance. A crash can leave you feeling shaken, and you may need some time to gather your emotions. But it’s best not to wait too long to contact a personal injury lawyer. There will be medical bills to pay and property damage to deal with, and a lawyer can provide legal guidance you can rely on.

After a crash in Long Island or the New York City area, you and your family can turn to the veteran car accident lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye. With more than 25 years of experience in and out of the courtroom, our law firm can maximize your chances of a favorable settlement or jury award.

Call us today at 1.800.469.7429 to request a free confidential consultation.

Additional Resources:

  1. CNN, The limo that crashed and killed 20 people failed inspection. And the driver wasn’t properly licensed. https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/08/us/new-york-limo-crash/index.html
  2. NPR, Fatal N.Y. Limo Crash Raises Safety Questions About ‘Frankenstein’ Vehicles, https://www.npr.org/2018/10/08/655674840/fatal-n-y-limo-crash-raises-safety-questions-about-frankenstein-vehicles

DWI Arrests Higher in Suffolk County than Nassau County

The latest statistics indicate that the number of driving while intoxicated (DWI) felonies in Long Island’s Suffolk County is double that of neighboring Nassau County. The recent data is a continuation of a two-decade trend, in which Suffolk County has led Nassau County in DWIs. Until roughly 1970, Nassau County had more DWIs.

It’s important to note, though, that DWI convictions have been rising steadily in both counties for nearly 50 years.

The Reasons for DWIs

There are a number of reasons that DWI rates in both counties are rising and that Suffolk outpaces Nassau County. Both counties have seen a population expansion since 1970, when the data began to be tracked. Some of the increase is due simply to more people driving.

Laws against drinking and driving have become much stricter in the period as well. Specific programs aimed at eliminated drinking and driving have been in place since the 1980s. Leandra’s Law, passed 9 years ago, made operating a vehicle while under the influence while having a passenger 15 years of age or younger an automatic felony in New York state.

But perhaps the most significant explanation is the relative lack of public transportation options. New York City residents, for example, have multiple ways to catch a ride – train, bus, subway, and taxis/car service. Nassau and Suffolk are suburban, and parts of both of them are rural – with Suffolk in the lead here as well – with few options other than driving.

Why Do Drunk Drivers Get Behind the Wheel?

A national survey conducted in 2016 found that the top 3 reasons drivers got in their vehicles after drinking were the following.

  1. 43.7% believed they were okay to drive.
  2. 12.6% said they weren’t very far away.
  3. 10.9% believed they could drive carefully.

Call a Long Island DWI Crash Lawyer at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye

Drivers who believe they are okay to drive or can drive a short distance while intoxicated are all too frequent on Long Island roads. Sadly, they can be killed while thinking this – and they can kill or injure other people.

The holiday season, with its frequent parties and celebrations, can be an especially common time for DWIs to occur. Never drink and drive. Go with a designated driver who doesn’t drink, or call a taxi.

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a DWI in the 5 boroughs of NYC or on Long Island, Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can help. We are veteran attorneys experienced in cases involving drunk driving.

Your initial consultation with us is free and comes with no obligation. We charge no fees unless we win your case. Call today to speak with a seasoned New York City and Long Island DWI accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources:

  1. State of New York. Adult Arrests by County: Beginning 1970. https://data.ny.gov/Public-Safety/Adult-Arrests-by-County-Beginning-1970/rikd-mt35.
  2.  Suffolk leads Nassau in DWI felonies. Long Island Report. April 25, 2017. https://longislandreport.org/news/suffolk-leads-nassau-in-dwi-felonies/24435

Recent School Bus Accident Tragedies: What We Can Do To Prevent Them

Front closeup view of a yellow school busUsually, children on a school bus are safer than children in cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that they are 70 times more safe traveling to school in a school bus rather than a car.

But a recent rash of tragic accidents in Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky have indicated how potentially at risk children riding the bus or walking near school bus stops can be. It’s time for all motorists to focus on how these tragedies – all entirely preventable – can be avoided.

Use Caution Around School Buses and School Crossings

Most importantly, drivers need to use the utmost caution whenever they are around school buses, school crossings, and schools themselves. This applies to not only areas where you can see a bus, crosswalk, or school, but in the neighborhoods. If a school bus has recently discharged passengers, they will be walking home; alert motorists should keep on the alert for children walking.

Drive slowly. Children walking to or from a bus may be walking, assembling in a group for the bus, or playing. They may dart into the street in play, or may suddenly run for the bus. Drive at a rate where you can always stop safely.

Obey the school bus laws in your state. In New York, that means stopping when a school bus flashes its red lights. Your car needs to be a minimum of 20 feet from the bus when you stop. Note that you must stop not only if you’re on the same side of the bus, but if you’re on the opposite side. This applies to all roadways in New York State.

Obey the flashing lights and stop-arms on school buses. The latter are the arms that come out with stop signs on them. Flashing yellow lights mean that the bus intends to stop and will be loading or unloading children. Slow down and be able to stop. Flashing red lights and stop arms mean that the bus has stopped and children are entering or exiting the bus. You must stop. Do not put your car in motion again until the lights are off, the stop arm is back in a nonvisible position, and the bus starts moving.

If You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer in Long Island

Any vehicle accident has the potential to be a tragedy, but none more so than a preventable accident that takes the lives of children.

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are experienced attorneys who will fight for justice if your loved ones have been injured or killed in an school bus accident in Long Island or New York City.

Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and what next steps could be. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with a seasoned New York City and Long Island bus accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources:

  1. New York State DMV. About the DMV. Chapter 6: Passing. https://dmv.ny.gov/about-dmv/chapter-6-passing
  2. U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA. NHTSA Urges Motorists to Drive Safely Near School Zones and Bus Stops. November 2, 2018. https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-urges-motorists-drive-safely-near-school-zones-and-bus-stops
  3. U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA. School Bus Safety. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-bus-safety

Traffic Fatalities Increase with Ridesharing

uber lyft

The increased presence of ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft are increasing traffic fatalities where the apps are used by as much as 2% to 3%, according to a recent study put out by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. The fatalities are rising both for occupants of the cars and for pedestrians.

A Large Rise in Rideshare Traffic Leads to More Deaths

It is often assumed that ridesharing won’t increase accidents, the authors observe, because people think that ridesharing simply replaces a driver of a personal car with the driver of the Uber or Lyft. In fact, Ubers and Lyft increase the number of cars on the road. Another study this summer, for example, found that ridesharing increased driving on city streets a whopping 180%.

The increase in driving occurs for a number of reasons. People who previously used public transportation such as buses or trains may be taking advantage of the increased convenience and reasonable cost of ridesharing. It’s also possible that people who previously walked or biked are using Lyft or Uber, at least occasionally. Finally, Lyft and Uber may provide a car service for people who previously didn’t use a car at all.

Driver patterns also contribute. Ridesharing drivers need to take their cars to places most advantageous to pick up fares or where they are summoned after completing one ride, adding to the number of miles they spend on the road.

The study also noted that ridesharing increases congestion. The end result seems to be that more cars on the road and more congestion equals more serious accidents.

The increase in fatal accidents was concentrated in larger cities, and in poorer cities as measured by per-capital income.

The authors note that traffic fatalities had been decreasing over the past 20 years, until roughly 2010. Since then, unfortunately, traffic deaths have been rising again. Ridesharing, of course, starting with Uber, began in approximately 2010. While it’s too soon to know whether ridesharing is a cause of the climb in traffic deaths at that time, or whether there are unrelated causal factors, further study likely needs to be done.

What Is the Solution?

Unfortunately, there is no one solution to increasing traffic deaths and driving due to ridesharing. It appears, though, that if people are using ridesharing rather than public transportation, they might be safer in public transportation.

Longer term, lawmakers may want to regulate the number of ridesharing vehicles on the road, or regulate their use on certain high-traffic arterials, as the increase in traffic and congestion they are causing is translating to rising deaths across the country.

Who Can File an Uber Accident Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one has been in an accident with either Uber or Lyft, Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can help. We are experienced in NYC and Long Island Uber lawsuits. We will fight for maximum compensation.

Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and what the next steps could be. Call today for a free case review with a seasoned New York City and Long Island Uber accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources:

  1. Barrios, John M., et al. “The Cost of Convenience: Ridesharing and Traffic Fatalities.” Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, University of Chicago Booth School of Business. New Working Paper Series No. 27. October 2018. https://research.chicagobooth.edu/-/media/research/stigler/pdfs/workingpapers/27thecostofconvenience.pdf?la=en&hash=A15B1513F98D7A17B9E37F78DD2EBDC4C6338BFA
  2. Pyzyk, Katie. “Report: Ride-sharing increases, not reduces, traffic.” Smart Cities Dive. July 27, 2018. https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/report-ride-sharing-increases-not-reduces-traffic/528659/