In the past two years, the simple act of driving to the grocery store or walking to your local park has become more dangerous. Statistics from the National Highway Safety Administration show an increase in traffic deaths of 12% in 2021. U.S. roadways have not been this dangerous since the 1940s, and pent-up frustration from the global pandemic is primarily to blame.
No matter the reasoning behind this surge in road deaths, there is no excusable reason for innocent motorists and pedestrians to suffer injury or death. If you or a loved one were injured or killed by a negligent driver in, contact the Syracuse car accident lawyers at Catalano Law.
Our experienced auto accident lawyers can help you get compensation.
The Pandemic’s Negative Effects on Driving
The global pandemic has led to significant social isolation and increased loneliness, aggression, and substance abuse. All three of these have detrimental effects on driving ability. Loneliness is related to decreased quality of sleep. This is bad for motor function and decision-making, which are necessary to drive responsibly and safely.
Social isolation increases instances of aggression. When that aggression becomes road rage, the results can be deadly. Nearly 50% of fatal crashes are due to acts of aggressive driving. Some examples of aggressive driving include speeding, cutting off other cars in traffic, and tailgating.
The social isolation necessary for weathering the pandemic has also resulted in a significant increase in drug abuse. That trend is apparent in the number of drivers under the influence of drugs, including marijuana and opioids. A study in 2020 that almost two-thirds of people involved in injury-causing or fatal car crashes were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Hold At-Fault Drivers Accountable
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, you can pursue damages for your losses. Most drivers need to get compensation from their own insurance after crashes due to New York’s no-fault insurance law, and the amount of compensation available is limited. However, you can go after the at-fault driver for your medical expenses if you suffered a serious injury, such as broken bones, disfigurement, disability, or the loss of an unborn child. With the help of our skilled car accident attorneys, we can help you pursue the full compensation you are owed from the person who hurt you.
What Makes a Driver Negligent?
To prove a driver was negligent and owes you compensation, they must have owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, the breach caused the injury, and the damages cost you money. Aggressive driving, driving under the influence, and driving while tired all qualify as negligent driving.
Duty of care
Cars are dangerous, so when you drive your car, you owe a duty of care to other drivers and pedestrians. This obligation means drivers must follow the laws of the road, such as coming to a complete stop at a stop sign and driving under the speed limit.
Breach of care
Drivers can fail to fulfill their duty of care in multiple ways. Aggressive driving behaviors like speeding or dangerous merging are considered breaches of care.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an immediate breach of care. When drivers are tired, they are also more likely to breach their duty of care by failing to adhere to road rules.
Even if the accident was partly your fault, it’s still worth pursuing legal action. New York is a pure comparative negligence state, so if you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still recover the percentage of compensation for which the other driver is at fault.
For example, if the other driver is 70% responsible for the accident, you can recover 70% of your damages. Your attorney will work on your behalf to minimize how much a court or insurance company finds you at fault so you can get as much compensation as possible.
To earn compensation for an auto accident injury or death, the breach of care must cause injury or death. For instance, if a driver lost control of their vehicle because they were speeding and caused a crash. The people injured in the crash could pursue compensation because the at-fault driver’s speeding caused their injuries.
Any injury or death must cause monetary damages to earn compensation. Financial damages include lost wages, funeral costs, medical bills, and more. You can recover fair compensation for your economic losses after a car crash by working with the right attorney.
When to Contact a Car Accident Attorney
The increase in road deaths due to the consequences of the global pandemic is a painful reality. If you or someone you love are the victims of a car accident because someone else was driving aggressively, tired, drunk, or high, contact one of the car accident attorney at our law firm immediately. An accident attorney can help you file a claim or take civil action after your accident. We fight on behalf of innocent victims against insurance companies who try to reduce or deny claims, so they can receive the compensation they deserve after crashes that weren’t their fault.
The Syracuse car accident attorneys at Catalano Law offer stability, personal care, and relentless advocacy for the unrightfully injured and deceased. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.