Thanksgiving provides a time for family, thankfulness, and celebrations. While this time of year brings happiness and joy to families throughout New York and the U.S., the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving through the Sunday night after Thanksgiving constitutes one of the motorists’ deadliest times of the year. Approximately 25,000 people suffer injuries in auto collisions during this period with 125-200 more dying in fatal crashes. Out-of-state accident victims visiting our state for Thanksgiving face challenges that make it advisable to contact an experienced New York auto accident lawyer. While dealing with a car accident always comes with hardships, individuals face more difficulties when they suffer an injury while vacationing in another state. A New York personal injury lawyer can help you with both legal issues and logistical matters in pursuing your legal claim for monetary compensation.
Two legal issues the attorney can assist with include but are not limited to the following:
Where to File the Lawsuit
While pursuing the lawsuit in your state might be the most convenient, this option generally will not be available. For example, you might be driving from your home in California when your vehicle is hit on the streets of New York by a driver who lives in Florida. While this scenario would allow you to file in New York, the site of the accident, or Florida, the state where the defendant resides, subject to certain exceptions, you could not file in California even if the other driver was at fault. Despite these broad generalizations based on a simple example, the decision about where the lawsuit can be filed could be much more complicated. When a business is a defendant, such as a corporation that employs a negligent driver, the options on where to file become even more complicated. An experienced car accident lawyer can evaluate your situation and determine the best state to file your claim.
Which State’s Law Applies (Choice of Law)
If both drivers in an accident reside in different states with the accident occurring in a third state, a determination must be made about which state’s law will apply. This determination could significantly impact the outcome of a car accident lawsuit. For example, the statute of limits in states can differ, so accident victims need to consult with an out-of-state attorney to determine relevant deadlines for pursuing their claim. Further, states have different laws that impact the outcome of an auto accident injury lawsuit. For example, state law differs on the resolution of a case when both parties share some degree of fault for a car accident that causes injuries. Under New York’s comparative negligence law, a plaintiff (the party seeking compensation for injuries) can pursue a personal injury claim despite partial fault for causing his or her injuries. However, the amount of any recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff. If the injured party’s share of fault amounted to 30 percent, the plaintiff’s recovery would be reduced by this amount. In other words, a plaintiff who suffered $200,000 in damages would receive only $140,000 after a 30 percent reduction.
These are only two reasons to hire an out-of-state attorney when you are injured in an auto collision during a visit to New York. One of our New York Car Accident Lawyers can assist you with determining the value of your claim, liability issues, and the practical challenges of pursuing a claim in a distant state.
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Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by dangerous drivers. For your free consultation, contact our Car Accident Law Firm today via live chat or call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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