English English Spanish Spanish

Top Causes of Car Accidents in New York

car crash in new york city

New York City is known for the congestion of cars in and around the city. Because of this, car accidents happen far too often, and they usually result in personal injury or even death. Many of these car accidents occur because of a lack of information and poor driving habits. By understanding the leading causes of car accidents in New York City, you can help spread awareness and lower the number of collisions.

Issues like ignoring traffic signals, speeding, and distractions are all contributors to car accidents. When this happens, you need an NYC car accident lawyer for legal assistance. Here are the top causes of auto accidents in New York City.

If you have been in a car accident and suffered serious injuries, contact The Pagan Law Firm as soon as possible to see if you have a valid claim.

Distracted Driving

According to statistics, New York Law enforcement hands out more than 200,000 tickets a year due to distracted driving. The biggest trend involves drivers using their cell phones while driving. This can include talking on a handheld device or texting while driving. Distracted driving accounts for hundreds of thousands of traffic accidents — 9% of all motor vehicle fatalities.

While mobile phones are one of the biggest causes of distracted driving, they’re not the only ones. Some other examples of distracted driving that can lead to an auto accident include:

  • Paying too much attention to their passengers instead of the road
  •  Adjusting the radio while driving
  •  Eating while driving

Anytime a driver diverts their attention, it distracts them, removing their awareness from the road. Even taking a few seconds to glance at your phone can lead to an auto accident.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to build discipline and only focus on the road while driving. Removing mobile phones from your reach or turning them off can help to avoid distractions. You must keep your attention on the road at all times — especially when other people are inside the vehicle.

Anything you need to do while driving — like eating or texting — can happen later when you’ve stopped. It’s a simple practice, but many people forget or think there’s no consequence. Don’t get into a position where you regret it after a car accident.

Drinking and Driving

Intoxication is another thing that leads to many accidents each year. A person dies every 50 minutes because of an accident caused by a drunk driver somewhere in the world. Drinking impairs your senses, so it’s dangerous to drink and drive. Drivers must have their full attention on the road, but alcohol will keep you groggy, tired, dizzy, and slow.

Even if you think you’re driving well, you’re likely swerving or speeding without noticing. This happens often, as millions get caught each year with some form of intoxication on the road. This increases the risk of harming the driver and everyone in the vehicle. Not only that, but you might hit another car, pedestrian, or establishment without time to react.

The government sets a blood alcohol concentration limit for driving. When a person is at .08 or higher, that means there’s too much alcohol in their system, making it unsafe to drive. More than 2,000 deaths occur in New York annually in car accidents caused by impaired drivers.

Law enforcement can help prevent drunk driving accidents. However, those drinking must also be responsible. Do not drink when you are the designated driver during an event. It’s better to get a taxi or a rideshare than risk yourself and others while driving drunk.


Speeding is one of the most common reasons for car accidents, accounting for a third of all occurrences in America. When you speed up, you’re driving more aggressively, and this affects your ability to control the vehicle. Many people who speed aren’t used to doing it consistently, and there’s a smaller margin for error at high speeds. A mistake can lead to a catastrophic car crash.

Difficulty driving also increases at high speeds because you need more power to stop the vehicle. High speeds can cause impacts that lead to life-changing car accident injuries or even death. 

Some people love to go at higher speeds because there is an adrenaline rush. Others speed because they want to rush to their destination. In any case, increasing your speed is never a good idea. Drivers should move about at a comfortable pace that allows them to react and drive defensively. Aggressive driving can sometimes leave you no room, leading to a car accident — especially in high-traffic areas in New York City.

Bad Weather

A drastic change in weather brings new road conditions that will affect drivers and their cars. Statistics show that periods of rain, snow, and ice also cause an increase in car accident reports across New York City. One of the biggest reasons is that these weather conditions cause wet and slippery roads. There is less friction, meaning vehicles will have a hard time braking and stopping.

Drivers should always check weather conditions before deciding to drive. Storms or heavy snowfall can make it more difficult to control the vehicle. The best solution for bad weather is to stay off the roads. Move your appointments to another day, or don’t use your car to travel.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is classified as a willful disregard for the safety of others while controlling a vehicle. It can happen when you ignore traffic signals or fail to use proper signaling. The courts can also classify it when an intentional move increases the risk of an accident. Some of the most common examples of reckless driving include:

  • Going over the speed limit
  • Ignoring crosswalks and stop signs
  • Ignoring traffic lights and other signals
  •  Impulsively changing lanes and improper car maneuvering

Traffic signs and rules are put in place for the protection of everyone. If a driver ignores these regulations, they risk getting into a car accident. For example, they could hit another pedestrian or speed into another vehicle because they ignored a sign.


Driver fatigue is a common occurrence in the U.S. — one with devastating effects on the road. Because the driver is tired, they have a lower awareness and reaction time to their driving. This is most common for commercial drivers who spend hours or weeks on the road. The impaired judgment may lead them to make driving decisions that put them and others at risk.

Cases like these can be the driver’s or their company’s fault. The driver may be engaging in unsafe or illegal activities that are causing them fatigue. For example, they may be intoxicated. The company may also put them in a situation where they have little time to rest because of deadlines at work, leading them to work straight nights without sleep. Whatever the case may be, fatigue is dangerous and can lead to car accident fatalities.

Drivers should always be wary about their physical condition before driving. They should never force themselves to drive when they know their body might give out on the road. It can lead to car accident injuries, property damage, and more problems.


Tailgating occurs when a driver doesn’t put enough distance between them and the car in front of them. It’s a dangerous way to drive because they have a lower reaction time. If the driver in front of them brakes, it will cause a collision. These accidents often happen with aggressive, angry, or rushing drivers.

One of the best practices for drivers is to ensure they are at a safe distance from the car in front of them. The amount of space they need depends on their speed, weather, visibility, and other vehicles around them. A farther space may be necessary if there are challenging conditions like darkness or rain.

Car accidents are very common in New York City and can result in serious or even fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has been in an accident, call The Pagan Law Firm at 212-967-8202 or fill out our online contact form today. We will fight on your behalf while you recover from your injuries.

What To Do if You Are in a Car Accident?

The first thing you need to prioritize after a car accident is medical attention. When you’ve been in a car accident, avoid moving around too much, as you don’t know what serious injuries you have. Get treatment as soon as possible to prevent further problems and also alleviate some of the pain you’re experiencing.

Other than that, you also want to contact authorities if there aren’t any at the scene yet. Getting the police involved is essential because they’ll document the entire scene and ensure that the surrounding area is safe. They are often responsible for moving vehicles to the side to prevent any further accidents from happening. The police report will be necessary, especially if there are car accident lawsuits after the accident.

If you are able to, get documentation of the accident scene by taking pictures and videos for proof of what happened. This will be vital evidence that you can use in the future. You can also take time to talk to some of the eyewitnesses and get their information. They will become corroborators who can recall the events of the accident when needed.

When it’s possible to get information about others involved in the accident, get it. You’ll want to get as many details as possible, including their names, contact numbers, and license plates. This may be challenging depending on your situation, but look out for the opportunity.

Getting Legal Help

While recovering, the best move is to contact a New York car accident lawyer from Pagan Law Firm. We have decades of experience in dealing with personal injury cases from motor vehicle accidents. Our team has helped thousands get the legal help they needed to pursue their claim and get maximum compensation. NYC car accident attorneys will act as your representative and also communicate with other liaisons on your behalf.

Another thing to remember is to redirect communication from others to your legal team. You don’t want to sign anything or verbally agree to any condition without consulting us first. It’ll prevent you from getting into complicated situations that make it difficult to get the help you need.

The benefit of legal representation is that you can focus on recovery. Your injuries may require further treatment or therapy to recover. Here at The Pagan Law Firm, we will do what’s needed — build a case, file documents, and contact all relevant parties. We’ll communicate with you about our progress and advise you on the best steps to seek compensation.

How Much Compensation Can You Receive?

There are many factors to consider with an injury claim. We can estimate based on the information we know, but it will be up to the courts to make the final decision. Of course, the courts can only make that decision when the case goes to trial. Most New York City car accident issues have settlements before a trial can occur, where both parties can walk away with a resolution. Here are the things to consider when it comes to compensation.

Comparative Negligence

New York has a comparative negligence law, where there is an examination of who is at fault for the accident. When there is undoubtedly proof that only one person is at fault, they must take the full brunt of the claims. On the other hand, you’ll find cases where comparative negligence reduces compensation. If the court finds that you are 15% liable for the accident, your claim gets reduced by 15%.

Medical Treatment

Every cost related to the injury treatment that occurred because of the accident factors into the payment. It’s vital to have a copy of all fees, treatments, and costs to include this part in the settlement. It will include things like:

  • Doctor’s fees
  • Therapy costs
  • Hospital bills
  • Medication
  • Aftercare
  • Consultations

As your experienced car accident attorney, we’ll help you gather the necessary documents to ensure you have a complete record. Our goal is to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Property Damage

Property damage will look into the value of the vehicles and any valuables affected. It will also look at property damage in the area. Things like road signs, buildings, and infrastructure will likely be included in the payment once they determine the case results.

Injury Severity

Aside from the medical bills, the severity of the injury can lead to significant changes to the lifestyle of the accident victims. For example, a permanent injury may cause them to lose a job or change their lifestyle entirely. The court will factor in these costs. Injury severity is a notable factor as it can multiply the settlement, depending on the victim’s suffering.

Other Factors

Several elements may also be part of the decision, depending on the accident and its aftereffects. Car accident victims who may miss work because of their injuries will have their lost wages factored into the compensation. The lost wages computation will look into any time missed and how much time you will miss in the future.

The same is true for any damages that cause them to lose income sources that would’ve been for their livelihoods and family. Pain and suffering is a factor that can drastically change the value of the damages.

Pain and suffering isn’t something you can easily measure because it factors into the victim’s suffering. They have to prove the extent of their suffering through reports, consultations, and other methods. It takes into account the following factors:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental pain
  • Effect on overall health
  • How long the victim will suffer through the condition
  • Doctors’ prognosis
  • Severe injuries
  • And more

Typically, cases will have a 1.5 to 5x multiplier of the damages depending on the extent of pain and suffering. It’s one of the reasons why you see high car accident claims amounts reaching six or seven digits. An experienced car accident lawyer from The Pagan Law Firm will help you further break down the possible claims. Call us today at 212-967-8202.

How To Prove and Win a Car Accident Case

The best method for anyone involved in an NYC car accident is to seek legal help from a personal injury law firm. Here at The Pagan Law Firm, our lawyers will be able to advise you on the next step to take and make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities. You can even get a free consultation with us to determine how much you case is worth.

We also ensure that you have enough time before the statute of limitations, giving us ample space to gather evidence and build a strong case. Going beyond this means that the claim is no longer valid, which is why time is of the essence.

The goal in a case is to prove that there was negligent behavior from the other party to constitute a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if a truck caused an accident, we need evidence linking the accident to the driver or company. We’ll go into records to check the truck’s status, maintenance, and police reports. There may also be criminal record checks, contacting eyewitnesses, and gathering media.

The goal of all of this is to have evidence pointing to negligence. From there, we’ll create a case and communicate with the other party’s insurance company or lawyers. Our advice when dealing with a car accident case is to prevent any contact with any liable parties.

As your lawyers, we’ll defend your rights and ensure that no one can take advantage of your situation. Some defendants or insurance companies will try to make you agree to terms that will only hurt your financial future. They may try to convince you to take a deal with a lower personal injury claim or put the blame on you. We’ll be your advocate and fight for your rights to get you the accident claim you deserve.

Most cases will resolve before things escalate to court. They’ll negotiate a better deal that will benefit you, saving time and granting you more than enough for your recovery. When you or the other party wants to fight the case, we’ll go to court and represent you.

Car accident lawyers are necessary here as you want experts who understand how laws navigate these cases. Our experience means that we’ve encountered all types of accidents. We’ll know what to do when you approach us with your situation. Contact us today, and let us examine your case further.

Contact the Pagan Law Firm Today!

Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident in New York City? Speak with on of our seasoned attorneys to get the legal help you need, as you might be eligible for compensation. The money you get will pay for lost income, medical bills, and any other future medical bills you’ll need as you get back on your feet. We’ll ensure a fair process that makes it possible to get financial compensation after an accident.

Our team is dedicated to providing the best service possible to New York residents. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You’re on the path toward a better financial outcome after your car accident.