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What Are the Odds of Dying in a Car Crash in New York?

Posted in Car Accidents on June 28, 2021

According to Injury Facts from the National Safety Council, your odds of dying in a car crash is 1 in 107. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists have lower odds of dying in car crashes. Yet, they still have a higher risk of dying in crashes than railway passengers or airline passengers.

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, 881 people died in traffic crashes in New York in 2019. Another 121,068 people were injured in these accidents.

Of course, your odds of dying in a car accident depend on numerous factors, including how often you ride in a car or other motor vehicle.

Wrongful Death Claims and Car Accidents in New York

When someone causes the death of another person through negligence or intentional acts, the deceased’s family members may have a wrongful death claim. However, the deceased person must have had an “actionable claim” had they lived in order for the family to have a wrongful death claim.

An actionable claim in a car accident case would be a claim for injuries and damages caused by the crash. The victim would have needed to prove that the other driver caused the crash. Therefore, the surviving family members must prove that the other driver caused the car accident AND the car accident was the direct and proximate cause of their loved one’s death.

Unlike other states, wrongful death actions fall under the New York Estates, Powers, and Trust Laws (EPTL) instead of civil laws. Therefore, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file the wrongful death lawsuit.

What Damages Can the Estate Recover for a Wrongful Death Claim?

The estate can recover financial losses sustained by the family because of the wrongful death. Those damages include:

  • Fair and reasonable funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of income
  • Parental care
  • Household services

The family members are not permitted to recover compensation for the pain, suffering, and grief caused by the wrongful death.

The personal representative may file a survivorship action in addition to a wrongful death lawsuit. The survival action seeks damages for the pain and suffering the decedent experienced before dying. Compensation is not available if the person died instantly and was not aware of the pain and suffering.

Who Receives Compensation for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit is paid to the deceased’s beneficiaries. These funds are not subject to the claims against the estate.

However, proceeds from a survivorship action are subject to claims against the person’s estate. The family may or may not receive the money from a survivorship action if legal claims are filed against the estate.

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New York?

Yes, the New York statutes place a two-year deadline on wrongful death claims. The time for filing the wrongful death claim begins on the day the person dies, whether that is on the day of the car accident or a later date.

However, the statute of limitations for a survivorship claim can be longer. The deadline to file a survivorship claim is one year from the person’s death or three years from the accident date, whichever date is longer.

Car accidents are not the only cause of wrongful death. Many incidents can result in a wrongful death claim, including slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, product liability claims, and assaults.

If your loved one was killed in an accident or because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, seek help from a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.

Injuries Caused by Car Accidents in New York

In addition to the deaths caused by car crashes, thousands of people are injured each year in car accidents. Injuries can range from mild to traumatic.

Common injuries sustained in car wrecks include:

Accident victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Compensation may include money for their financial or economic damages, such as loss of income, medical bills, and personal care. They may also receive compensation for their pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.

If you are unsure what to do after a car accident in New York City, a car accident lawyer can help. An attorney analyzes your case and provides you with an assessment of your claim. They explain your legal rights and the steps you can take to recover money after a car crash in New York.