Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of car accidents. According to an analysis conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions make up nearly one third of all traffic accidents reported in the United States.
If you or your loved one was hurt in a rear-end crash, you need to know how to protect your rights. In this article, our Buffalo car accident attorneys provide an overview of rear-end collision liability in New York.
New York Has a No-Fault Auto Accident Law
As a starting point, it is important to understand that New York has a no fault insurance law. The New York State Department of Financial Services clearly states that every motorist is required to purchase basic no fault coverage. Also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), this type of insurance coverage will pay out promptly regardless of who was at fault for an accident.
What does this mean for rear-end collisions? It means that your own insurance policy will cover your damages if you suffered mild or moderate injury in a wreck. With minor and moderate accidents, your only claim is most likely against your no fault policy—regardless of who was to blame for the accident.
Serious Rear-End Collisions: You Can Step Outside of the No Fault System
In New York, people who suffered serious injuries can go around the no fault system. For the purposes of stepping outside of the no fault system, it does not matter what type of car accident you were involved in. Instead, the key issue is the extent of injuries suffered by each party. If you or your family member suffered a serious injury in a rear-end crash, you can step outside of the no fault insurance system and file a claim directly against the negligent driver.
When you bring a fault-based rear-end collision claim in New York, liability is based on negligence. The defendant who caused your serious injury through recklessness or carelessness can be held legally responsible for your damages. In most rear-end collisions, the at fault driver is the rear driver. In many cases, these wrecks occur because of tailgating, speeding, distracted driving, or some other type of negligent operation. That being said, there are some exceptions. The front driver may sometimes bear partial or total liability for a rear-end crash. All serious accidents should always be investigated by an experienced attorney.
Our Buffalo, NY Car Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help
At Richmond Vona, LLC, our top-rated New York auto accident attorneys have the skills and experience to handle the full rear-end collisions claims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a rear-end crash, we are ready to help. For a free, no obligation case evaluation, please call us today. With an office in Buffalo, we represent car accident victims throughout Western New York, including in Erie County, Greene County, and Niagara County.