Who can be sued in a car accident case depends on the facts of the case and if you qualify to proceed with a liability case under the requirements of the no-fault laws set for the at New York Insurance (ISC) §5102 When you work with a lawyer in your case, they will take steps to:
- Determine if you can seek a fault-based case
- Identify all potentially liable parties
- Investigate what happened and who was involved
- Assign liability
By assigning liability, you and your attorney can take the next steps to hold the at-fault party or parties responsible for causing your injuries.
Commonly Liable Parties in a New York Traffic Accident
In most car accident cases, it is a driver’s negligent actions that cause the collision. If the victim qualifies to pursue a fault-based claim or lawsuit, this negligent driver is the individual that may be liable. You will file your claim seeking to settle with this negligent driver’s auto liability insurance, or possibly name them as a defendant in your civil lawsuit.
In some cases, the liable party whose insurance will cover the costs of the accident will not be that of the driver who was behind the wheel. This may be the case when the at-fault driver was a trucker, taxicab driver, or another employee who has driving as a part of their job.
In those situations, the primary insurance policy will be that of the negligent driver’s employer, or the owner of the vehicle the driver was driving. In such cases, the employer is also the vehicle owner.
A legal doctrine that assigns liability to the employer often applies in these cases. This doctrine is known as respondeat superior. Under this doctrine, the employer may be vicariously liable for any injuries their employee causes.
This means your insurance claim or lawsuit will seek to hold the company responsible, in addition to the person who was driving. Keep in mind that while the negligent driver is potentially liable, because of the above mentioned, “vicarious liability,” the employer/vehicle owner will typically have much more insurance coverage and much greater assets. As a result, they will generally be the primary focus of any claim or lawsuit.
Other Potentially Liable Parties
In rare cases, parties who can be sued in a car accident case are not limited to individuals or their employers. It is also possible to hold other parties liable for car accident cases based on the circumstances and evidence available. This most commonly occurs when an external factor caused the accident.
For example, imagine the other driver’s brakes fail and cause them to run a stop sign and hit you. If there is no sign of negligent maintenance or an issue that places fault on that driver, a defective vehicle part may be to blame. Both you and the driver of the car with the defective brake could build a case against the brake manufacturer, the garage that installed the brakes, or another party liable for the failure.
It is also possible to build a case for a dangerous road or intersection, failure to maintain a roadway, or other defects if they caused or played a role in your accident. The liable party could be a federal, state, county, or municipal agency. Different rules apply in these cases, but your lawyer will know how to navigate this process.
Representing You in a New York Car Accident Civil Case
When you choose with Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. to pursue a liability claim or lawsuit in your traffic accident case, we will:
- Keep you updated on your case’s progress
- Identify the liable parties
- Communicate with all parties for you
- Gather evidence
- Determine a value for your case
- Fight relentlessly to win the best possible outcome for you
As a part of gathering the necessary evidence and proving your case to the insurance company or judge, we will work with expert witnesses who can offer insight and expertise in your case. This includes medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, economists, and life care planners.
Through a liability insurance claim or personal injury civil action, we will seek the following types of damages:
- Medical treatment costs and related expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished ability to earn
- Loss of services
- Other economic expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Other intangible losses
New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules (CVP) §214, known as the statute of limitations, only gives us a short window to take your case to court. Claims and lawsuits have other critical deadlines too. It is important to keep in mind that evidence such as witness statements and surveillance or dash-cam video should be obtained as soon as possible, as too long a delay could lead to these items becoming unavailable for any one of a variety of reasons. For all these reasons, the sooner you reach out to us the greater our opportunity to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Speak with a Member of Our New York Car Accident Team Today
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will help you assign liability in your New York traffic accident case if you qualify to take legal action. Our team members are passionate advocates for the injured. We offer free case evaluations and will meet with you on Long Island, in any borough of New York City, or elsewhere in the New York metropolitan area.
We also have a multilingual staff if you need to speak with someone in a language you are more comfortable speaking, such as Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, or Kannada. Discuss your car accident and injuries with Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today by calling (516) 932-0400.