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How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

Bystanders and drivers describing the scene of an accident to the police officerIf you or a loved one has been in a car accident, it’s important to know how fault is determined in New York state. Fault, or degree of negligence, is often important in bringing claims against a person who has harmed you, a friend, or family member, or damaged your property.

New York Is a No-Fault State

New York is what is known as a no-fault state. That means, for most injuries and damage, the costs will be paid by your own insurance company. Say, for example, that you are in a car accident in which your ankle is sprained and your car severely damaged. The car that hit you went through a red light and hit your vehicle in the intersection.

Even though the other driver might be clearly at fault for going through a red light, any medical treatment for your ankle and repair of your vehicle will be paid by your insurance company, not by the other driver’s insurance company or a suit brought against the other driver. That is what “no-fault” means. Insurance companies generally handle injuries and damages in car accidents without regard to who was at fault.

Drivers in our state are required to buy insurance in order to register their cars and get state license plates.

Can a Claim Be Brought Against a Negligent Party?

However, there are certain injuries in which New York state law allows injured parties to bring either personal injury claims or insurance liability suits in court against a party or parties accused of being negligent.

The injuries include:

  • Fracture of a bone
  • Disfigurement that is significant
  • Limitation of use of a body organ or limb that is permanent
  • Limitation of a body function or system that is significant
  • Substantial full disability for 90 days

These claims have a statute of limitations. They must be brought within 3 years of the date the accident occurred.

Comparative Negligence and How It Works

New York is a comparative negligence state. This means that any claims granted by a jury may be reduced if the court determines that the injured party was also partly at fault.

If, for example, a car couldn’t stop fast enough to avoid hitting the plaintiff’s car in the rear bumper after a sudden stop, a jury may find that driver negligent, as drivers should leave sufficient space to stop at all times. But if testimony indicates that the injured party was also driving over the speed limit and that contributed to the necessity of a sudden stop, the jury may find that the injured party contributed to the crash.

Any award in comparative negligence cases is reduced by the percentage the plaintiff is found at fault. If a jury awarded the injured party $20,000 in the above case, for example, and he or she was found to be 20% at fault, the total award will be reduced 20%, so that amount received will be ultimately $16,000.

New York City and Long Island Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, Edelman, Krasin & Jaye’s experienced lawyers can help. Our initial consultation is free, and we work on a contingent fee basis — which means you pay us nothing unless we win your case.

Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with a seasoned New York City and Long Island car accident lawyer today.

More information on establishing fault in a car accident claim:

  1. New York State Department of Financial Services. Automobile Owners Resource Center.
  2. New York State Department of Financial Services. Consumer Frequently Asked Questions. No-Fault Insurance.

What Are the Permanent Effects of Whiplash in an Auto Accident?

Whiplash is the term commonly used to describe pain, stiffness, or an injury caused by people being moved rapidly back and forth in an auto accident. The term arose because bodies moving in a car as a result of a vehicle crash jerk back and forth, like a whip does when it’s cracking.

This can arise most commonly from the vehicle being rear-ended, where the body moves forward and then back. But it can also happen if a car is hit in front, when the body moves backward and then forward.

Whiplash Injuries

To consider whether whiplash has long-term effects, let’s look first at its initial effects.

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered in auto accidents. However, it is difficult to diagnose, because the damage is often done to soft tissues and does not show up on x-rays. Muscle strain, muscle tears, nerve damage, and damage to ligaments, tendons, and discs are all soft tissue injuries.

If an auto accident has broken your arm or sprained your ankle, you will have a clear diagnosis. But whiplash, though its effects may be painful and debilitating, has no similar clear diagnostic tool.

As a result, whiplash is often diagnosed from symptoms.

Whiplash symptoms can include the following:

  • Pain or weakness in arm
  • Pain in back
  • Pain and stiffness in neck area
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Visual impairments, such as dizziness
  • Sleep impairment
  • Anxiety

Long-Term Whiplash Injuries

The majority of whiplash symptoms resolve within a month or so. But some people suffer long-term damage. A Danish study, for example, found that people with stiffness or reduced movement in their neck were at relatively high risk for their symptoms to linger for a year.

Herniated disks caused by whiplash can also need long-term care.

Chronic headaches, chronic pain, fatigue, lower back pain and even memory problems can be caused by whiplash and last a significant period of time.

Because whiplash has such a range of symptoms and is relatively complicated to diagnose, it is important to seek medical attention after an auto accident, whether there are visible injuries or not. If you want to seek damages from a negligent party for medical care, lost wages, or physical therapy, it will be necessary to have evidence that a court will find persuasive. A doctor’s examination can provide evidence.

Contact a Whiplash Injury Lawyer for a Free Legal Consultation

If you or a loved one is suffering from symptoms of whiplash after an accident, call Edelman, Krasin & Jaye. We have had years of experience litigating vehicle collisions in New York state.

Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and possible next steps. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with an experienced New York City and Long Island auto accident lawyer today.

Additional resources on long-term effects of whiplash after a car accident:

  1. Wang, Jeffrey C. SpineUniverse. Spotlight on Back Pain. “Long-term Effects of Whiplash.”
  2. Brain and Nervous System. News. “Whiplash: Predicting Long-Term Problems.”

What Can I Do If I’m Hit by a Driver With No Insurance?

Two Drivers Arguing After Traffic Accident It can happen in an instant. Your car is totaled and your leg is broken in several places. You may be in a cast for months.

What if the other driver has no insurance?

Fourteen Percent of Drivers Have No Insurance

If you feel quite secure because you’re thinking that states require drivers to have car insurance, think again. Not every state does require it. If the driver next to you is from one of the states that don’t, they might not be insured.

It’s surprisingly common to drive without insurance. Across the country, an estimated 14% of drivers don’t. Even when a state mandates insurance coverage before registering a car, some drivers drop coverage once their car is registered.

If you also feel secure because you’re aware that New York is a “no-fault” auto insurance state, think again. No-fault generally means that everyone in a car with New York state insurance is covered by their own insurance. Therefore, even if the other driver caused the accident, your car insurance pays for your medical bills and any other damages from a car accident.

Under the no-fault system, which New Jersey also has, it might seem unimportant whether the other driver has insurance or not.

Exceptions to No-Fault Law

But wait. New York State law provides for exceptions to the no-fault rule. In these exceptions, injured motorists are allowed to bring suit against a driver who caused the accident, either by filing a liability insurance claim or bringing a personal injury suit. You can do this if a negligent driver caused you to have:

  • A broken bone
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or limb
  • Significant limitation of a body function or system
  • Substantially full disability for 90 days

In New Jersey, you can sue the other driver for similar serious injuries, including:

  • Loss of a body part
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Significant scarring
  • A fracture that is displaced
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent injury (not expected to heal)
  • Death

Both New York and New Jersey law also provide for comparative fault. So if a car accident case goes to trial and a jury finds that you were 20% responsible and the other driver 80% responsible, the other driver has to pay 80% of your claim.

So what do you do in those cases if the other driver has no insurance?

While it is possible to sue for personal injury, in many cases the other driver will not have assets significant enough cover an injury.

Purchase Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

One option is to purchase uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage. Most insurance companies are required to offer this as an option.

In New York, motorists must have uninsured motorist coverage as part of their policy. They can buy underinsured motorist coverage as a supplement to a standard policy.

When You Need a Lawyer

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have decades of experience litigating car accidents and insurance payments in New York state. We can assist you in any accident. Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and possible next steps. Call today for a free consultation with an experienced New York City and Long Island car accident lawyer.

More information on what to do if you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver in New York:

  1. Brinson, Linda C. “What Happens If You’re in An Accident With An Uninsured Driver?” How Stuff Works.
  2. State of New Jersey. Department of Banking and Insurance. What You Should Know About…Filing an Uninsured/Underinsusred Motorist Property Damage Claim.
  3. New York State. Department of Financial Services. Consumer Frequently Asked Questions. Auto Insurance.

Top 5 Reasons You Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident

Femal Accident Victim Waits Outside of Her CarAuto accidents – from head-on crashes to minor fender benders — are often frightening, stressful and confusing.  Even if the damages were minimal and liability seems clear-cut, it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney about your rights, especially if you or the other party suffered serious injury.

Keep in mind that reputable car accident lawyers operate on a contingent-fee basis, so there is no risk or upfront monetary commitment as they only get paid when you do. If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision, here are five reasons you should schedule a legal evaluation as soon as possible.

Expert legal advice

An experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in car accident litigation can offer valuable guidance when it comes to New York’s No-fault laws and filing a claim against your own policy versus bringing a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney will recommend the best strategy for achieving compensation based on the unique circumstances of your case, helping you every step of the way until final resolution.

Fight for maximum compensation

Insurance adjustors are not your friends, and they rarely have your best interests in mind. Instead, they will try and keep settlements to a minimum, which can have disastrous consequences when hospital bills pile up. By having a veteran legal advocate in your corner, you have someone who is willing to fight for every dime owed, and who can properly evaluate your present and future damages.

Establish liability

You were rear-ended by a teenager who was texting while driving so you assume it’s an open-and-shut case. Proving who is to blame can be much more complicated than it seems. Witnesses may give different stories, or a police report may suggest you are partly responsible for the crash. This is where an established law firm can really assist by conducting a thorough investigation into the accident. Your attorney’s private investigator or accident reconstructionist may turn up a piece of evidence that bolsters your claim for damages.

Time limits to sue

Under New York law, drivers, passengers and pedestrians who are injured in vehicle accidents have a limited time frame in which to sue for damages. Your lawyer will ensure that all documents – from medical records and depositions to police reports — are submitted in a timely fashion. If you do not file within this period, you forfeit your ability to file suit forever.

Familiar with No-Fault laws

Although New York’s No-Fault system was intended to streamline the payment of insurance crash benefits, there is a lot of red tape to deal with. The failure to comply with one stipulation can destroy your rights to collect reparations. A skilled attorney is well-versed in these regulations and insurance tactics used to deny claims, and will be prepared to fight for proper compensation and the best settlement possible.

New York car accident lawyers 

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are dedicated car accident attorneys in New York, with an impressive track record of verdicts and settlements. Since 1952, we have successfully advocated for clients in Long Island and throughout the metropolitan NYC area. Don’t settle for less than you really deserve — schedule a free case review today by calling 800.469.7429.

Additional “Reasons to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer” Resources: 

  1. DMV, When to Hire a Personal Attorney
  2. LifeHack, 10 Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
  3., Understanding No Fault Laws in New York

Study Shows Uptick in Fatal Car Accidents Related to Opioid Use

car after head on collisionOpioid addiction and misuse has been deemed a national crisis, with the economic burden on the U.S. estimated at more than 78 billion dollars. Nearly 100 Americans overdose on prescription narcotics every day, and a recent study indicates that fatal opioid-related car accidents in our nation are on the rise.

The study was published in the May 4 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, raising concern about the alarming rate of deadly crashes involving drivers taking narcotic painkillers. According to researchers, the prevalence of prescription opioids detected in fatally injured motorists increased from 1.0 percent in 1995 to 7.2 percent in 2015 – a whopping seven-fold increase.

Traffic safety study on narcotic painkillers

The researchers evaluated data from Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems from Hawaii, California, New Hampshire, Illinois, West Virginia and Rhode Island, concluding more attention must be focused on the dangerous effects of increased prescription opioid use.

The study encompassed toxicological tests from 37,000 fatally injured drivers (taken within 60 minutes of the accident). The findings showed that opioid prevalence was higher in female compared to male drivers, and that 30 percent of those killed had elevated blood alcohol concentrations at the time of the crash.

The opioid crisis

Opioids are a class of medication that help relieve and reduce pain. Available in tablets, pills and liquid, they include codeine, fentanyl, Percodan, Tramadol, Oxycodone, opium, heroin and other morphine-derivatives. Continued use of narcotic painkillers –even those available by prescription — can lead to physical dependence, or addiction. Statistics show that opioid prescriptions in the United States have spiked dramatically in the past two decades.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse attributes this trend due to misinformation presented by pharmaceutical companies, who assured medical practitioners that patients could not become addicted to prescription opioids.

By 2015, more than 33,000 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to opioid overdose, including prescription narcotics. Authorities say that millions of Americans now suffer from opioid addiction and narcotic abuse disorders. Over the past two decades, opioid overdose deaths increased by 137 percent.

President Donald Trump just last month declared the opioid crisis a “national emergency,” saying “we’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis.”

Opioids – both prescription and illegal – have a strong depressant effect. These powerful narcotics lead to drowsiness, and can seriously slow reflexes and reaction times, impairing one’s ability to drive safely.

The opioid epidemic is a significant contributing factor to the uptick in traffic fatalities.  If you or someone you care about is injured in an accident caused by a drugged driver, the law affords remedies for seeking financial restitution. For skilled legal advocacy in New York, contact the law firm of Edeleman, Krasin and Jaye.

We are a client-focused firm, and fight aggressively for maximum compensation. To set up a free case review with a Long Island car accident lawyer that gets results, please call 800.469.7429.

Additional Resources on “Opioid Use and Car Accidents”

  1. American Journal of Public Health, Trends in Prescription Opioids Detected in Fatally Injured Drivers in 6 US States: 1995–2015
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Opioid Crisis
  3. NBC News, Trump Declares Opioid Crisis National Emergency

When Is a Vehicle Considered Totaled?

A wrecked car lays in wait after a vicious car accident. Rescue workers linger in the background.Close Up of a Broken Car WindshieldYou may have heard friends lamenting that their car was totaled. This can be a perplexing term, especially since occasions in which a car is referred to as “totaled” can range from major damage to dents or other damage that may not look that serious to the naked eye.

Insurance companies determine whether a vehicle is a total loss

So, let’s back up a minute. The term “totaled” actually derives from insurance companies. They review the amount it would cost to repair a vehicle after an accident. They will also likely consider whether repairs will allow the vehicle to pass inspection when any repairs are completed. They also consider age and other factors.

Accidents that may look relatively minor from the outside may jeopardize a vehicle’s ability to respond efficiently and consistently. Why? More and more, cars run with highly sophisticated computer equipment and within computer networks. Repairs to these are not just cosmetic. They may be very expensive to repair and may not ensure that the vehicle can pass state inspection and safety laws. If it can’t, of course, it will not be legal to drive the vehicle.

The insurance companies make an estimate of the car’s actual cash value (ACV). Essentially, that’s the amount you would receive for the vehicle were you to try and sell it to someone yourself. These values can be found on reputable sites such as Kelly Blue Book.

Then, they divide that figure by the estimated repair cost. If the cost to repair is more than the ACV, or above a threshold they have determined, the insurance will officially declare your car a total loss. You must relinquish your title and ownership.

Some states require insurers to declare a car a total loss if the damage is severe or meets certain regulations.

Common use of the term “totaled”

Some people may use the term “totaled” to refer to damage that doesn’t meet the insurance companies definition of total loss, but that will cost the vehicle owner so much to repair that, once age and safety factors are added in, it may be more cost-effective for the owner to get rid of the vehicle and purchase a newer one.

Take a situation where an individual has a $2,000 deductible on an older car, for example. It will cost the owner $2,000 before the insurance will reimburse for repairs. If the car is more than 10 years old, it may be worth less than $2,000. It is not worth it to the owner to have it repaired. The owner may use the term “totaled” even if the insurance company doesn’t officially call it a total loss.

Can your vehicle be safely repaired?

If you have been in an automobile accident that caused severe damage to your vehicle, safety is key. If the vehicle cannot be repaired safely, it is a danger to you and other drivers whether it is officially totaled or not.

The efficiency and balance of cars may be damaged by collisions. Remember that repairs are not only about restoring the look of the car. More seriously, they are about whether its safe and effective functioning can be restored.

Need an experienced car accident lawyer on Long Island?

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have years of experiences litigating vehicle collisions and insurance payments in New York State. We can assist you in any accident. Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and possible next steps. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with an experienced New York City and Long Island car accident lawyer today.

More on what to do with your totaled car:

  1. Bonner, Marianne. “When Is Your Vehicle a Total Loss?” The Balance. November 2, 2015.
  2. Kelley Blue Book. “What Is a Totaled Car?”

New York Considers “Textalyzer” Bill to Cut Down on Distracted Driving

teens driving while textingThe New York legislature is currently considering a bill that would allow police to scan motorists’ cell phones in the wake of an accident to see whether they were driving distractedly. It would allow law enforcement to use a device to access cell phone data. The device can pinpoint whether a driver was texting or talking on the phone at a certain time. It can also show whether any apps were in use.

The device, which is not currently approved for police force use, has been dubbed a “textalyzer” because, like a breathalyzer to detect alcohol on a driver’s breath, it provides a method to ascertain whether drivers in an accident or driving unsafely were breaking the law. Use of a cell phone while driving is illegal in New York State.

New York’s law applies not only to texting and talking, but other potential cell phone uses while driving, such as taking pictures or playing digital games.

Distracted driving was responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,500 people on the nation’s roads during 2015. Texting and talking on cell phones while driving is a leading cause of distracted driving.

The proposed bill is also similar to a breathalyzer because refusal to submit to a data scan of one’s phone would also carry legal penalties, just as refusal to take a breathalyzer does.

Textalyzer opponents cite privacy concerns

While proponents of the bill argue that the textalyzer would make the nation’s roads safer, the bill has also generated some debate. Opponents cite concerns that the device would give police too much access to a citizen’s data, including information that might indicate law-breaking, but be completely unrelated to the incident that caused police to run a scan. They also argue that cell phone records can currently be obtained through other methods, such as a warrant or court order.

Proponents of the bill counter that existing legal methods of garnering cell phone data are time-consuming and cumbersome. The use of a textalyzer, they believe, would both enhance safety and serve as a deterrent to distracted driving.

The bill is currently pending in the New York legislature.

If you need a car accident lawyer

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have years of experience litigating vehicle collisions in New York state. We can help you in any accident. But because distracted driving law is complicated, it is prudent to consult a lawyer if you or a loved one believe distracted driving is at issue. We will fight for a fair and just settlement.

Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and what the 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 “textalyzer law” resources:

  1. King, Dan. “New York ‘Textalyzer’ Bill Threatens Privacy Under the Guise of Safety.” Observer, July 13, 2017.
  2. National Safety Council. Top Things Drivers are Doing That Threaten Traffic Safety.
  3. New York State. Distracted Driving, Talking, & Texting.

ER Doctors Are Treating Increasing Numbers of Cycling Injuries

bicycle car accidentThe number of emergency room visits due to bicycle-related injuries has risen sharply in recent years, according to researchers. American and Australian researchers collaborated on this injury study that was recently published in Injury Prevention, a medical journal. The alarming findings of this study throw into sharp relief the critical importance of wearing safety gear, most notably, helmets.

Bicycle-car accidents: a look at the numbers

The researchers used data available from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. The data reflected injuries that were reported from 1997 through 2013. Separate, but related data were collected from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and its Injury Cost Model. Cross-referencing these data revealed that, from 1997 to 2013, there were 3.8 million non-fatal injuries caused during cycling. These were sustained during 9,839 bicycle accidents. These statistics only reflect bicycle accidents involving adults, not children. Head trauma was an injury of particular concern.

For the second component of their study, the researchers used the Injury Cost Model to determine that the non-fatal bicycle accident injuries during this time period cost approximately $209 billion. Another $28 billion in costs was attributed to bicycle accidents that resulted in death.

Separate evidence substantiates this survey. Earlier in 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report that indicated that the second quarter of 2016 marked a continuous increase in fatalities over the previous seven consecutive quarters.

The risks of head trauma in bicycle accidents

Bicycle crashes can result in a varied range of injuries, including facial trauma, avulsed teeth, broken bones, lacerations, and road rash. One of the most serious injuries common among cyclists is head trauma. All of these injuries are more likely and can be more severe when a bicycle accident involves an impact by a car or truck.

Traumatic brain injuries are particularly troubling because of the potential for long-term or lifelong complications. Head trauma can lead to seizures, reduced mobility, cerebrospinal fluid buildup, paralysis, cognitive deficits, personality changes, and degenerative brain diseases.

One of the most effective ways to save lives and prevent or minimize head trauma among cyclists is the consistent use of properly fitted helmets. Research indicates that cyclists are nearly 60% more likely to live through head trauma if they were wearing a bicycle helmet at the time. The National Trauma Data Bank, a service of the American College of Surgeons, collected the records of 6,267 patients who reported brain trauma from bicycle crashes. The bicyclists who were wearing helmets had a 58% reduced risk of being diagnosed with a severe, life-altering traumatic brain injury. They were also 59% more likely to live.

Legal advocacy for injured cyclists

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have earned a sterling reputation for effective and compassionate legal representation during the 60-plus years we’ve been serving families on Long Island. We understand the challenges personal injury victims face when trying to get their lives back on track despite substantial medical debt. Our Long Island bicycle and car accident lawyers are readily accessible to answer your questions about your case. Call today to request an initial case review.

Additional “bicycle-car accident lawsuit” resources:

  1. Injury Prevention, Estimated total costs from non-fatal and fatal bicycle crashes in the USA: 1997–2013,
  2. Reuters, Helmets prevent severe head injuries in bike accidents,

Drugged Driving a Threat on Nationʹs Roads

drugged driving, driving while under the influence of drugsWhile most people are aware of the effects of alcohol on driving and public safety, drugged driving attracts less attention. Drunk driving is increasingly seen as socially unacceptable and is dropping partly as a result, but there is no comparable stigma against drugged driving. Drugged driving is believed to be increasing.

Drugged driving is a threat on the nationʹs roads. Of fatally injured drivers given a test, 43% had drugs in their system, a higher rate than tested drivers who had alcohol in their system.

Twenty-two percent of all tested drivers have drugs in their system on the weekends or at night.

Drugs than can impair driving

Accidents involving driving while under the influence of drugs contain complicated issues for several reasons.

The first is the categories of drugs that may impair driving. Drivers can take prescribed drugs that are perfectly legal, but still be impaired while driving and at risk to themselves and others.

Drivers can use over-the-counter medications that are perfectly legal and still be impaired while driving.

In addition, of course, there are the categories of illegal drugs, such as narcotics, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. Some drugs, like marijuana, are legal in some states and illegal in others, or legal under circumstances such as a medical prescription, and illegal under other circumstances.

Finally, substances such as paint or glue, if inhaled, can cause a drug-like reaction but are not technically drugs. They can cause driver impairment.

The second is the sheer number of drugs. It is estimated that there are 430 drugs or metabolites of drugs maintained in the national highway safety fatality database that can cause impairment.

Third, while laws generally separate alcohol and drugs in charging drivers with impairment, many national organizations charged with highway safety classify drugs as any substance that can impair driving. Under this definition, alcohol is a drug.

Under New York state law, a charge can be brought against a driver impaired by drugs, a driver impaired by alcohol, both drugs and alcohol, or multiple drugs. The charges are:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by a Single Drug other than Alcohol (DWAI/Drug)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol (DWAI/Combination)

Increase in marijuana-related crashes?

Marijuana use is now legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Last month, West Virginia became the latest state to approve medical marijuana use, under a law that goes into effect in 2019.

While there are no conclusive data yet, it is possible that the rise in legalization and decriminalization may lead to more widespread usage, and therefore more accidents.

In one study of fatally injured drivers, 57% were tested for drugs. Of that 57% sector, more than 35% had marijuana in their system. Thirty-four percent had another drug in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System list, a national database, in their system.

If you need the advice of an attorney

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are veteran attorneys experienced in both laws against driving while impaired by drugs and driving while impaired with alcohol. Because drugged driving situations are complicated, it is best to consult a lawyer if you or a loved one believe it is an issue in your accident. We will fight for a fair and just settlement.

An initial legal consultation is complimentary. We will give you expert advice about your case and what the next steps could be. Call today for a free consultation with a seasoned New York City and Long Island car accident lawyer today.

Additional “drug impaired driving” resources:

  1. GHSA, Drug Impaired Driving: A Guide for States,
  2. GHSA, Drug-Impaired Driving: A Guide for States, 2017 Update,
  3. DMV,

Number of Car Crashes Rising at Rate Not Seen in 50 Years

The number of car crashes in the United States is rising at the fastest clip in 50 years, according to a spokesperson for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), who spoke at a National Transportation Safety Board meeting in late April.

PCI noted that the number of car crashes rose 14% in 2014, while severe car accidents rose more than 12%. Pedestrian fatalities climbed even more in the same period, by 22%.

The blame was placed squarely on distracted driving. The spokesperson noted that smartphone ownership has doubled over the past five years, and that InsurTech, an insurance technology concern, has reported that Netflix and YouTube are two of the 10 most frequently used apps on smartphones while people are driving.

Concerns about distracted driving stemming from smartphone use has been on the rise for nearly a decade. Many states have enacted laws against it, New York among them.

In New York state, it is against the law to drive and hold a portable electronic device such as a smartphone. This is true whether you are viewing apps, texting, e-mailing, playing games, viewing images, or talking on the phone. Violations are punishable with fines and points assessed on a driver’s license.

The PIA’s assessment is not universally shared, however. A spokesperson for the Consumer Federation of America was quoted in Bloomberg BNA as blaming the rise in accidents on an economy reviving from the Great Recession, which has give people more disposable income to spend on gas and driving.

New York No-Fault Laws

New York is a no-fault state when it comes to any vehicle collision. Any medical claim, under no-fault, it generally paid by your insurance no matter who was at fault for the accident.

However, New York state does allow accident victims to step outside of no-fault if the accident has caused certain injuries or conditions. In these cases, victims could bring a suit for damages on the basis of personal injury law or liability.

The injuries and conditions are:

  1. Disfigurement that is significant
  2. Broken bone(s)
  3. An injury to a body organ or limb that resulted in permanent limitation of use
  4. An injury to a body function or system that resulted in significant limitation
  5. An injury that caused substantially full disability for 90 days

Car accident lawyers in Long Island

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned attorneys in vehicle crash laws in New York state. We can help in any vehicle accident. But because distracted driving law is complicated, it is prudent to consult a lawyer if you or a loved one believe distracted driving is at issue. 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 Long Island car accident lawyer today.

Additional “Traffic Safety” Resources:

  1. National Safety Council, Top Things Drivers are Doing That Threaten Safety