Various reports from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH shows that car accidents cause the second-most common injury among New York residents. Traffic accidents cause more injuries and deaths, leading to a high number of hospitalizations and a high number of visits to the emergency department. More than 1,900 New York residents die each year from fatal injuries caused by traffic accidents. Among them are many pedestrians (over 300), drivers and passengers (over 290), motorcyclists (over 100), bicyclists (over 30), and many unspecified persons.
Concerning hospitalizations from traffic-related injuries, more than 12,000 New Yorkers become patients each year, with the most significant number of drivers and passengers (6000+) as victims. Many pedestrians (3000+) and motorcyclists (1500+) make up most of the victims. More than 136,000 New York State Residents are reportedly treated and released from an emergency department each year due to traffic-related injuries, with the occupants making up the highest number of patients.
The Most Prevalent Car Crash Injuries in New York
Accidents have various types and levels of impact on drivers, passengers, and beyond. For vehicle occupants, some of the most common injuries among victims of a car crash in New York are bone-related, internal, and psychological injuries. Referencing the data by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), some of the frequently occurring injuries are:
Bone Injuries: Neck, Knee, Back, Hip, Wrist, and other forms of broken bones in the body.
Broken Bones: A common, severe, and long-term type of injury sustained from car accidents in New York. It results from the strain against the seatbelt, blunt force trauma, and the crush between the car components and the surrounding environment. The arms and legs are often broken as they are least protected during a crash.
Whiplash/ Neck injuries: This is another common injury from accidents in New York. Upon impact, the head is forced to bend and thrash around differently, causing muscles and ligaments to tear along the neck.
Back or Spine Injuries: The back muscles are often torn, and victims experience dislocated discs due to the jolt to the body during the crash. This is because the spine experiences severe strain and stress.
Knee Injuries: This is a common injury found among drivers and front-side passengers who are slammed into the dashboard, glove box, or steering wheel, causing severe injuries to the surrounding bones, ligaments, and the knee’s patella.
Hip Injuries: The Hip bone gets injured when the victims are hit from the side of the car during a crash, especially in a T-bone or side-swiping accident. Often, the upper body is thrashed and bends to one side, causing dislocation or ruptured areas of the hip.
Accidents from Head-on collisions also result in hip injuries. In this case, the victim’s weight suddenly shifts forward, putting a strain on the lower part of the seat belt across the lap, causing severe hip injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries: Although not typically life-threatening, soft tissue injuries which affect the eyes, mouth, skin, and other soft tissue are among the most painful and long-term injuries obtained from traffic accidents in New York.
Stomach Injuries: The injuries to the stomach are caused by the seatbelt. They are mostly experienced as internal bleeding in the gut. They are not easily detected because the pain from these can be delayed for an extended period.
Nerve Damage: When the deep tissues are affected by blunt force trauma during an accident, the nerves can be damaged by debris, or exposed components, leading to partial or total loss of function in affected areas, either temporarily or permanently.
Chest Pain: Chest pains indicate many injuries following the car crash. The injuries are in the form of panic or heart attacks, rib cage or abdominal bruises, or more. These pains can also be delayed and arise afterward, depending on the type of injury causing the pain.
Emotional Suffering: Some emotional pain caused by traffic accidents result in anger, depression, and fear. Mood changes indicate traumatic brain trauma injuries from a car accident.
Psychological Trauma: Psychological trauma often occurs among the survivors of car accidents, and it is not related to the accident’s severity. Victims often develop post-traumatic stress and other forms of association between driving and pain, fear, and sadness.
What Causes Car Accidents in New York?
Several factors lead to a car accident. However, in New York, car crashes are linked to two significant factors, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Drowsy Driving.
Driving While Intoxicated
Drunk driving is a significant offense among New York drivers, and many accidents have been attributed to drunk driving. In 2018, official data from New York State government reported that over 8,900 casualties were linked to alcohol intake. The amount of alcoholic content in a driver’s blood impairs the ability to stay alert, focused, and attentive while driving. In New York State, the blood alcohol percentage (BAC) allowed is up to 0.18% while going, which is the equivalent of one drink. Anything above that number attracts a fine of over $1000, a one-year jail sentence, or license revocation in some instances. This is ultimately one of the leading causes of pedestrian injuries in New York.
In 2018, New York State Traffic Safety Statistical Repository (TSSR) reported that over 4,000 drivers fell asleep behind the wheel, especially in late-night crashes. It is considered even more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Some of the effects of drowsy driving are impaired decision-making, slow reactionary time, and lowered attention to other road users. Hence driving becomes a danger to both self and other road users.
Settling Car Accident Injuries in New York
It is common practice for cases relating to a car accident to be settled in New York without trial. Many insurance companies will offer to resolve accident cases quickly. These settlements are much smaller than the amount a victim can receive post legal representation and compensation in court. Some typical settlements determined by courts include car repair costs, medical bills (past and future), lost wages, and time away from work.
However, suppose there is no injury from the collision. In that case, New York Law will not allow the victim to file a lawsuit against another person, even if the victim’s car was damaged. In delayed injuries, the victim can file a lawsuit for delayed damages even if they have passed the standard limit established by the statute of limitations but with a solid legal representation. Different car accidents create higher risks of sustaining specific injuries and can be used to determine the person at fault during a collision.
Suppose you’re being sued after a car accident. In that case, you need the services of an effective defense attorney who will help you build a solid chance to prove that you were at minimal fault for the accident. In such cases, the experienced Personal Injury Law Firm of Figeroux & Associates can also help you prevent the issue from reaching the payout stage. Call us at 855-768-8845 or schedule an appointment at www.askthelawyer.us.