Road hazards present themselves repeatedly as we drive on highways and other roads. We are expected to respond safely to these hazards and adjust our driving speed and methods appropriately. Unfortunately, driver error does take place, often causing motor vehicle collisions.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a driver’s failure to safely react to road hazards, we can help you seek compensation from the legally responsible party. Contact us today.
Negligence is the legal term for failing to behave as a reasonable person would behave under similar circumstances. In a personal injury lawsuit following a car accident, the plaintiff may pursue a negligence claim against a defendant driver. The plaintiff would be required to prove the existence of a duty of care, a breach of the duty of care, causation, and damages.
Road hazards range in their degree of potential danger from an improperly maintained road to severe rain or snow on the road. When a driver fails to adjust their speed or driving technique to account for a road hazard, their conduct may be negligent. The first element of negligence, the duty of care, imposes an obligation to operate a vehicle safely, avoiding foreseeable harm. A driver’s failure to respond safely to road hazards is an example of a breach of this duty of care.
If a breach of the duty of care directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries, the plaintiff has met the requirements of the causation prong of negligence. Causation is a necessary element of a negligence claim because the defendant cannot be held liable for injuries that were caused by an intervening or interrupting factor. For example, if the defendant driver failed to slow their speed on an icy road, and their vehicle skidded towards the plaintiff’s vehicle but did not collide, there may be a question as to whether the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries if the plaintiff subsequently swerved into a stop sign. If the plaintiff would not have swerved but for the defendant’s skidding, the causation element has been satisfied.
Finally, the plaintiff must provide proof of their injuries and property damage in order to recover compensation. Both economic and non-economic damages may be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit, often including medical bills, lost income, vehicle repairs, and pain and suffering.
In some cases, a defendant driver may not be entirely at fault for a motor vehicle collision. New York follows the comparative fault doctrine, and a plaintiff found partially at fault will still be able to recover damages. These damages will be reduced according to their portion of responsibility for the accident.
Drivers who fail to abide by the rules of the road or pay attention to road hazards should be held legally responsible. Our road hazard accident lawyers in Queens can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
We provide a free consultation and can be reached through our online form or by calling 718-441-5050. The Cassisi Law Firm has helped injured individuals in the Bronx and Brooklyn, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties.