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New York City Common Injuries in Car Accidents

New York City’s streets are famously congested.

Drivers here spend an average of 54.2 hours stuck in traffic every year. And when they’re not locked in a bottleneck, New York’s motorists can play fast and loose with driving laws and common sense.

New York Car, Truck & Mass Transit Accidents

According to the New York Police Department, 60% of the City’s motor vehicle collisions are caused in part by negligent driving behaviors. Driver inattention, right-of-way violations, and following too closely are particularly prevalent.

In such a chaotic environment, it’s no surprise that New York’s residents own fewer cars than those of any other major American city. But even the “safest” forms of public transportation can be affected by operator negligence, with devastating results. You can learn more about negligence, and whether this crucial legal theory applies to your own accident, here.

Were you injured in a car, truck, subway or bus accident? You may deserve compensation.

On this page, you can find more information on the most common types of car accidents, along with simple answers to your pressing questions.

Pedestrian Accidents

The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 80,000 pedestrians were injured, or killed, in traffic collisions in 2012 alone. In 2013, New York City’s street saw a confirmed 16,432 such pedestrian accidents, a staggering 20% of the nation’s total.

Common Pedestrian Injuries

Without the protection of a steel cage, air bags or seat belts, pedestrians are often left severely injured, even after relatively “minor” crashes from which drivers and passengers walk away unscathed. Intersections are particularly dangerous, accounting for one out of every three pedestrian accidents.

According to a study by researchers at the University of California Irvine, pedestrians struck by drivers disproportionately suffer from:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Knee Fracture
  • Spine Dislocation

Any one of these injuries can lead to long-term disability. But more often than not, pedestrians are left facing multiple sources of pain and mounting medical expenses.

Find more information on common car crash injuries here.

Hit & Run Collisions

The National Center for Statistics and Analysis reports that nearly 20% of all pedestrian fatalities are the result of hit-and-run accidents.

When drivers flee the scene, in blatant disregard of New York State law, they leave injured pedestrians to pick up the pieces. And without a driver’s insurance company to pursue, hope of fair compensation may seem out of reach. You can find answers to common insurance claims questions here.

In this situation, it is essential to hire an aggressive attorney. You still have rights, but only the most thorough investigation can ensure that they are respected.

An experienced attorney can:

  • thoroughly review police reports
  • seek out and question witnesses
  • reinvestigate the accident scene

in support of your insurance claim. If the driver can be identified, you may be able to secure compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

Can I File A Lawsuit?

Many vehicle accidents in New York involve driver negligence. If you were struck by a car in New York, it is possible that a driver’s negligence, at the least, contributed to your injuries.

Contact the personal injury lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. immediately to discuss your case in a free consultation.

SUV Rollover

At last count, one out of every four vehicles driving America’s roads was a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).

With high centers of gravity, and narrow wheel bases, SUVs are extremely prone to rollover. In fact, out of an estimated 10,000 annual rollover fatalities, a full 43% involve drivers and passengers in SUVs.

Despite the tragically high incidence of rollover accidents, Congress has yet to address the problem with any pertinent industry regulation. Instead, consumers are left to the whims of auto manufacturers.

Collapsed Roof Injuries

Many SUV manufacturers compromise on head room and the strength of their vehicles’ roofs. During a rollover, these “compromises” can become deadly. As structural supports give way, passengers are crushed by their car’s collapsing roof.

Without a doubt, this fact explains why serious injury is 36% more likely in a rollover than any other type of accident. It also explains the incredibly high proportion of crashes that result in head and neck injuries.

And while the government has instituted a “roof-crush” rule, in which vehicles are to be tested for roof integrity, the test is only performed on stationary vehicles. Moreover, weight is applied “gently” to the car’s roof. Obviously, this test is far from the reality of actual rollovers, the majority of which occur at speeds over 55 miles per hour.

Tragically, rollover accidents are far more likely to result in death than any other accident type. And with the vast majority being single-vehicle crashes, it can be hard for victims or their survivors to imagine that they deserve compensation. In short, many people blame themselves for the crash.

Can I Sue An Auto Manufacturer?

But in most cases, they shouldn’t. Auto manufacturers bear a crucial responsibility to the American public, and it should be simple: design and produce safe vehicles. But defective designs and manufacturing errors are rampant within the auto industry.

After a thorough investigation, our personal injury attorneys will be able to determine whether or not your rollover crash was the result of a defect and file a product liability lawsuit on your behalf.

When car companies fail to protect consumers, trading the lives and livelihoods of real people for greater profits, they must be held accountable.

Truck Accidents

Collisions involving large trucks are generally more serious, and cause more severe injuries, than those involving passenger vehicles. According to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), 104,000 people were injured, and 3,921 killed, in truck crashes in 2012.

And while truck operators drive in the relative security of their cabs, light vehicle drivers below are far from protected. Out of 2012’s fatal crashes, only 18% resulted in the death of a truck driver. A tragic 73% of these accidents ended in the deaths of other drivers.

Out of America’s more than 10 million registered trucks, about 1% will be involved in a collision that causes personal injury every year. While that percentage may be low, it represents approximately 80,802 trucks.

Why Are Large Trucks So Dangerous?

Large truck accidents are not troubling simply because they disproportionately occur at high speeds, or because these trucks bear so much crushing weight. In fact, large trucks are inadvertently designed to cause more serious crashes than passenger vehicles.

Many accidents are compounded by a truck’s long cargo bed. During a fishtail, this bed can twist perpendicular to the highway, effectively creating a roadblock. With their route suddenly blocked, other vehicles have little choice but stop dangerously themselves, or crash directly into the truck’s cargo.

With such long beds, it’s a tragic but common result: large trucks are far more likely to initiate multiple-vehicle accidents than any other type of car. A staggering 81% of all fatal crashes involving trucks are multi-car pileups, compared to (a still shocking) 58% of fatal passenger vehicle collisions.

Did Truck Driver Negligence Cause Your Accident?

Because their very employment depends on transporting goods over the State’s highways and streets, truck drivers are held to a litany of stringent regulations. These laws are imposed by both the federal and New York governments, and many truck accidents are the result of brazen legal violations.

But more often than not, fatigue is at the root of large truck crashes. In 2003, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) actually increased the amount of consecutive hours truck drivers were allowed to drive: from 10 to 11. In addition, the FMCSA decreased the amount of time-off drivers were required to take before their next shift.

And while the FMCSA recognizes that adults require at least seven hours of sleep to wake fully recharged, studies have found that truckers only receive an average of six.

As you might expect, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that truck drivers who spend more than eight hours behind the wheel are twice as likely to be involved in an accident than those who rest at periodic intervals.

Can I File A Truck Accident Lawsuit?

If you have suffered serious injury in a truck crash, it is very unlikely that even the most generous insurance payout will cover your medical expenses. And with truck driver negligence, along with potential vehicle defects, always a possibility, you should consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney. To find more information on how a lawyer can help in your case, visit our Car Accident FAQ.

Mass Transit

With one of the world’s most developed public transportation systems, it’s no surprise that most New Yorkers use buses and subways to get around.

Only 4.9% of the nation’s population uses public transportation regularly. But a full 55% of New York’s commuters enjoy the benefits of our extensive mass transit system. This difference is especially acute in Brooklyn, where more than 60% of residents ride subways and buses.

While public transportation accidents are less likely to occur than passenger vehicle crashes, they can prove particularly devastating. Unfortunately, because most of the City’s mass transit is government-owned, there are significant barriers blocking personal injury victims from pursuing fair compensation.

If you were injured in a subway, train or bus accident, you’ll need aggressive legal representation to ensure that your rights are respected, and your demands are heard. With over 80 combined years of successful trial experience, the personal injury lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. offer just that: dependable knowledge and proven results working for you.

New York City Buses

New York’s residents are served by a total of 5,632 buses, all of which are operated by the MTA Bus Company. And while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is tight-lipped about accidents involving their vehicles, data released by the NYPD is revealing.

The average month in 2014 saw about 616 bus crashes.

MTA bus crashes are usually high-profile. The sheer size of a bus, compared to the width of a city street, means that most accidents involving buses not only injure passengers, but pedestrians and other motorists as well.

Like long-haul truckers, bus drivers work long hours. Fatigue and other forms of driver inattention are common causes of bus crashes.


According to the Transportation Research Institute, motorcoaches (or “inter-city buses”) are almost twice as likely to be involved in a crash than any other type of bus. And due to their length, coaches owned by companies like Greyhound and Peter Pan, are more likely to cause multi-car pileups than passenger vehicles.

In one recent crash, a Megabus driver lost control on a highway slick with ice. The vehicle tipped onto its side and 26 passengers were rushed to the hospital with injuries. Charter motorcoaches, those for hire, have “significantly higher odds of driver error.”

In many cases, motorcoach companies can be held partially responsible for the negligent actions of their employees. After a recent crash, a bus company in Utah was successfully sued for hiring an inexperienced, unqualified driver.


In 2013, 151 people were struck by MTA subway trains, a 7% increase over the previous year. 53 New Yorkers suffered fatal injuries.

Subway accidents may not be common, but their effects are almost always devastating. Many crashes take the form of “derailments,” in which a car completely jumps its track.

Despite the severity of these crashes, the MTA continues to employ a “reactive” approach – only addressing safety concerns after crashes have occurred.

Commuter Trains

Metro-North and the Long Island Railroad see few accidents. But when they do, derailments are catastrophic.

In 2014, the National Transportation Board (NTB) investigated five separate Metro-North derailments. In the most devastating, four passengers were killed, and more than 70 were severely injured.

The cause? The train’s engineer, suffering from an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea, had fallen asleep at his controls. Further, the MTA had failed to install “positive train control,” a technology that can automatically stop a train when it exceeds a speed limit. With its operator asleep, and no safety mechanism in place, the train took a curve at 82 miles per hour. The speed limit was 30.

In each of the accidents, the NTB found the railroad itself at fault. Even so, victims are left facing difficult odds in pursuing a governmental agency for fair compensation.

If you were injured in a commuter rail accident, seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.

Contact New York City’s Leading Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as the result of a car accident, you’ll need excellent legal counsel to secure maximum compensation.

At Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C., that’s all we do. With our aggressive representation and unmatched trial experience, you’re in good hands. Whether you’re standing up to an insurance company, or seeking justice in court, our personal injury attorneys will be by your side.

Contact our car accident team at 212-285-3300, or fill out our contact form. Schedule a free consultation and you’ll speak with an experienced lawyer at no cost. And with no obligation, you have nothing to lose. Learn more about your rights and legal options today.


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