Roadway collisions are a leading cause of death in the State of New York, and the country as a whole, every year. And while most people refer to these types of collisions as “car accidents,” and the State of New York consistently uses the word “accident” throughout the text of its insurance law, safety advocates are pushing for a change. It’s no accident, critics of the word are claiming, arguing that “crash” is a much more suitable description when it comes to describing a vehicle collision.
According to the New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV), in 2014 as many as 299,452 car accidents occurred in New York state. Approximately 118, 465 of these accidents resulted in injuries, 966 crashes had fatalities, and 180,021 ended in property damage only. With ride-share services such as Uber popping up all over the country, and Manhattan being no exception, on-the-job driver injuries are not uncommon. Accidents involving company cars, trucks and other vehicles – as well as private vehicles being used for job-related purposes – can raise various legal issues as to who is held liable for injuries.
For this reason, it is important to understand who is responsible for damages if you or someone you know has suffered an on-the-job injury. Contact an experienced Brooklyn car accident attorney right away to understand your rights and obligations under the law.
Respondeat superior is a legal term that describes the relationship between employers and their company car driving employees. Latin for “let the master answer”, this term means an employer is legally responsible for its employee’s actions while that employee is acting within the scope of his or her employment. Responsibility of an employer includes paying for property damage and injuries caused by an employee while driving a company car.
Company Vehicle versus Personal Vehicle
When an employee is driving a company car, truck or other motorized vehicle more often than not he or she is acting within the scope of his or her employment and respondeat superior applies. On the other hand, if you are involved in a car accident with your personal vehicle, whether or not vicarious liability (i.e. employer responsibility) may or may not apply depending on the circumstances. Specifically, for vicarious liability to go into effect, the following must be established:
- The employee was acting within his or her scope of employment;
- The employee’s actions were done on the job;
- The employee was doing an activity the employer hired him or her to do; and
- The employer benefited from the activity the employee was doing at the time of the collision.
Put differently, if the accident was caused while the employee was on his or her way to do a service the employer hired the individual to perform, then the employer may also be held liable for the crash. If the accident was caused while the employee was running a personal errand, however, then the employer will not be held responsible for the crash.
Should an employee’s negligence cause another person’s injury or property damage, both the employee and the employer may be held liable (i.e. responsible for paying damages). A third party may include drivers of other cars, passengers in the other car or the company car, as well as bystanders. Generally, an employer’s liability insurance protects the employee by taking responsibility for liability and legal fees (known as “indemnification”) so that the employee will not be held personally liable. Damages involved may include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, as well as lost wages.
An exception to indemnification is when the employee is committing a crime while driving a company vehicle. Should the car accident involve a criminal action, an employer has the right to refuse to indemnify the employee from third-party legal actions.
Brooklyn Car Accident Attorney
Determining whether or not an accident occurred during the scope of employment is a fact-specific inquiry that should be left to a knowledgeable legal professional. An experienced and aggressive car accident attorney can put forth a compelling case to be presented during settlement negotiations or at trial, in order to maximize the damages available. Contact the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum today at (718) 237-5586 for your free, initial case evaluation.
New Yorkers want to get wherever they are going at maximum speed regardless of the risk involved. This is the city where the word “wait” has become an objectionable four letter word. We have more to accomplish in a shorter period of time than any other civilization since the Pharaohs built their pyramids. Make sure to talk to a qualified personal injury attorney in Brooklyn if you have any questions or concerns regarding the accident and next legal steps to take.
However, in our haste to save a minute here or a minute there, we put our lives at risk. A doctor was the third person killed in the beginning of the year on the Upper West Side on 96th Street in Manhattan. The tragedy occurred on Sunday, January 19, 2014. Columbia University Medical Center anesthesiology resident Samantha Lee, 26, was hit by an ambulance‘s mirror in front of her apartment building on 96th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue. Police reported that Lee was crossing the street around the middle of the block at 4:45 AM and was hit by the driver’s side mirror of an ambulance from the St. Luke’s Hospital that was westbound. The physician fell and landed face down on the eastbound lanes. She was subsequently run over by a red 4 Dodge Charger, according to officials. The young woman was declared dead at the scene and neither driver was charged.
New York may have more mass transit options compared to other cities, but particularly in Manhattan, a significant amount of travel is done in the taxicabs that have become synonymous with the City. And while the vast majority of taxi cab travel occurs without incident, some taxi trips can turn tragic. New Yorkers witnessed how grave the damage can be on August 20th, when a taxi jumped a curb and collided with a woman near Rockefeller Center, causing her to lose her left leg. Now, the woman — Sian Green, a 25-year-old visitor from Great Britain, plans to sue the City of New York, alleging the taxi driver should not have been permitted to drive a cab. Auto accidents are nothing new in New York City. However, the incident that caused the accident included a bicycle messenger with a long history of arrests and a taxi driver with several moving violations and an accident on his record. The question that only the courts can decide is: was the City negligent in issuing a taxi license to a driver with a bad safety record? If you find yourself in a situation involving an auto accident, contact a New York accident attorney that will fight to obtain a full and maximum settlement for you.
According to the woman’s attorney, the taxi cab driver at fault in the incident — Mohammed Faysal Himon, 24 — had seven points on his license and demonstrated a failure to keep pedestrians safe. A computer glitch in the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s system apparently allowed Himon to maintain his license, which ended up being a tragic mistake. Himon was driving near Rockefeller Center when he began jockeying for position with a bike messenger. Himon then lost control of the cab, causing it to lurch over the curb and collide violently with Green. In addition to losing her left leg, Green has severe nerve damage in her right leg and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
New York City has long held a reputation as a high crime place. But recent statistics show that violent crimes, specifically murders, are on the decline. According to the Mayor’s Office, the city has seen a 26% decrease in murders from this point last year. Whether you believe these statistics or not , most New Yorkers agree that the number of deaths due to violence has definitely decreased from the mid eighties to the early nineties. There is more that can make a city dangerous than the just the murder rate. Car accidents and traffic fatalities continue to be a scary reality in Brooklyn. In the span of one week in October, six people were killed in traffic accidents in NYC- including a 64 year old man, mowed down by a hit and run driver in Brooklyn. A Brooklyn auto accident attorney can protect you and your family and fight for maximum compensation due to the other person’s negligence.
At 64 years old, the victim was a year away from retiring from his job and enjoying a time of financial stability for himself and his family. With his untimely death, so many questions remain for his surviving family- how will they pay for their mortgage? The funeral? College for their children? In situations like these, the importance of having an experienced attorney on your side to answer your questions and fight for your rights is vital. With the number of traffic fatalities on the rise, knowing your options for an auto accident attorney is important to protecting yourself in the event of an accident. What would happen if you were in an auto accident and couldn’t work or pay your bills? Wouldn’t you want a dedicated, aggressive, attorney to fight for you?
Americans love to drive. Sadly this love of the road ends up with fatal results. Auto accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in adults in 2011. If after an accident, you find yourself wondering why this happened to you; know that 2.5 million Americans are injured in auto accidents every year. Unfortunately while insurance may cover some of the bills caused by a auto accident it may not cover lost wages, all physical therapy and the general disruption to your life. So if you or a loved one have been involved in a serious auto accident, be sure to call the Brooklyn car accident lawyer who is dedicated to aggressively representing your case in court: Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum! Continue reading