What Is A Car Accident Cross-Examination?
There are a lot of different aspects to the litigation process that you will get to experience and understand if you file a personal injury lawsuit. One of the most known aspects of the process is cross-examination. Cross-examination is an opportunity for each attorney to ask questions of the witnesses brought forth by the other side during trial. You see this interaction a lot in both movies and television as these cross-examinations play out into dramatic moments full of surprises. It’s not as dramatic in real life, but can be remarkably revealing.
Cross-examinations begin by asking each witness how they are related to the case. They could be an eyewitness to the scene of the accident, painting the picture of how your injuries occurred. Or they could be an expert witness here to testify on your behalf regarding your medical health and how your injuries affect you now and into the future. With each of these witnesses, the attorneys are using their testimony to present your case and prove their side is right. In car accident cases, attorneys must prove that the fault of the accident and subsequent injury was likely caused by the other driver. By asking each witness questions, we're able to go step-by-step through the accident case, your injuries and how your future will look.
Getting information out of witnesses during a cross-examination can be a difficult task. Most people do not want to admit fault or that they had any part in causing or contributing to your injuries. But as experienced auto accident attorneys in NYC, we're looking to prove your case and do so by asking tough questions that fully cover the extent of your accident. This allows us to probe for the truth in how you were harmed so that you can win your personal injury lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve.
New York Vehicle And Traffic Law And The Traffic Rules Of The City Of New York
Many NYC car accident lawyers are unaware of the applicability and importance of pleading and proving violations of the applicable sections of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. These sections, where applicable, can be powerful evidence of negligence and also be determinative of liability in certain cases. Similarly, for accidents which occur within the boroughs of the City of New York, many attorneys are not even aware of the Traffic Rules of the City of New York and their potential applicability to a given accident. This is why it is so critical to hire attorneys experienced in motor vehicle litigation who have the knowledge and expertise necessary to maximize your recovery.
For example, in cases where an injured person was struck by a left-hand turning vehicle while the injured person was traveling straight and with the right-of-way, there is a specific section of the Vehicle and Traffic Law applicable to such a situation:
Vehicle And Traffic Law §1141:
“The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”
Various other Vehicle and Traffic Law Sections frequently plead in motor vehicle accident cases include:
- VTL 1110 - Obedience to and required traffic-control devices
- VTL 1128 - Driving on roadways laned for traffic
- VTL 1129 - Following too closely
- VTL 1180 - Basic rule and maximum limits
- VTL 1212 - Reckless driving
- VTL 1225-c - Use of mobile telephones
In addition to the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, accidents which occur within New York City may be subject to the Traffic Rules of the City of New York. These rules are promulgated by the New York City Department of Transportation. Their purpose comes directly from the NYC DOT:
"The New York City Traffic Rules comprise Chapter 4 of Title 34 of the Rules of the City of New York. It includes rules on traffic signals; pedestrians; restrictions on turns; speed restrictions; other restrictions on movement; rules for parking, stopping and standing; rules for buses, taxis and for-hire vehicles; truck routes; rules pertaining to parkways and parks; limitations upon dimensions and weight of vehicles; and other information."
NYC car accident lawyers should be familiar with these rules as their violation may constitute some evidence of negligence for an offending driver.
No-Fault Claims And Compensation For Auto Accident Victims
Every car insurance policy in New York State provides a minimum of $50,000 in no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In New York, the car insurance policy that covers the vehicle you are operating, or are a passenger in, provides the no-fault coverage in the event of an accident. Also, if you are a pedestrian injured in a car accident, the insurance policy of the car that struck you is obligated to provide you with no-fault benefits, even if the other vehicle, or the pedestrian, was primarily or even 100% responsible for causing the accident.
No-fault benefits include and provide all necessary medical expenses incurred, including:
- Hospital Bills
- Any Necessary Surgeries
- Nursing Care
- Dental Procedures
- Ambulance Trips
- Prescriptions For Medication
- Prosthetic Devices
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy And Rehabilitation
No-fault benefits cover loss of earnings up to $2,000 per month, and all other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred up to $25 per day, for household help and for transportation to and from medical appointments. In order to be eligible for these benefits, an application must be signed and filed with the appropriate insurance company within 30 days of the accident. A failure to timely file an application may well jeopardize your rights to these benefits. Therefore, it is important that you contact a New York auto accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to under the law.
New York State Requires Individuals To Purchase Liability/Bodily Injury Insurance To Protect Drivers, Passengers, Other Motorists And Pedestrians In The Event Of A Car Accident
Every car insurance policy, as mandated by New York law, provides minimum limits of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in liability or bodily injury coverage. These requirements mean that any individual injured in an accident may collect no more than $25,000 from the insurance carrier of the owner or driver of the car that caused the accident. It also means that the insurance carrier is only obligated to pay up to a total of $50,000 no matter how many people are injured in the accident and have suffered bodily injuries. New York car insurance policies must also provide for a minimum death benefit of $50,000 in the unfortunate event that someone is killed in a car accident. It should also be noted that New York's mandatory insurance amounts differ when it comes to for-hire transportation. Vehicles for-hire, such as a yellow taxi cab, black car, limousine or other livery vehicles, that are licensed to operate in New York City, are required by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to be insured with liability/bodily injury limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
The aforementioned insurance requirements are merely the minimum insurance coverage amounts or limits for liability or bodily injury that New York law requires for privately owned or for-hire automobiles. Many vehicle owners in New York choose to insure their vehicle and themselves with significantly higher liability/bodily injury insurance coverage limits that would be available to compensate someone that is injured in a car accident. Also, most commercial, business and company owned vehicles have insurance policies with liability or bodily injury limits that far exceed the New York State minimums and often provide up to $1 million or more in coverage. As a result, it is extremely important that you contact an NYC car accident lawyer as soon as possible, as they can investigate and determine the type and amount of liability/bodily injury coverage that may be available as compensation for your injuries.