New York City has paid more than $550 million since 2013 to victims of car accidents caused by reckless employees of five key city agencies. According to an investigative report by Streetsblog, the grand total over a six-year period is $557,994,577 in claim settlements against the Departments of Sanitation, Police, Fire, Transportation and Parks. That amount is roughly the equivalent of the entire annual budget for the Department for the Aging, with enough funds left over to run the entire Queens Public Library system, Streetsblog reports.
Car Accidents Top Personal Injury Settlements
The city has paid out about $84.5 million to settle vehicle crashes on an annual basis. Claims the city pays out each year for crashes caused by city employees is money the city could be spending on schools or parks, said council member Brad Lander. City taxpayers spend roughly $1 billion a year to settle all claims against the city including police brutality, civil rights violations, slip-and-fall lawsuits, discrimination settlements, medical errors and other claims.
However, car accidents are the single biggest segment of settlements when it comes to personal injury cases against the city. About 19 percent of all personal injury settlements were the result of car accidents, even more than police wrongdoing or civil rights violations.
City workers across all agencies get into about 6,000 car accidents each year as they operate city-owned vehicles, according to the Mayor’s Management Report. There are about 30,000 vehicles in the city fleet. City officials also pointed out that drivers of city vehicles should lead by example, especially under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, which ambitiously aims to eliminate all traffic accident fatalities. Officials said these types of crashes caused by the reckless actions of city employees across various departments are entirely preventable.
Common Causes of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving, commonly known as “aggressive driving,” is one of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States. In 2015, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported that lawmakers in 15 states have addressed reckless driving and that 11 states have passed laws defining actions that amount to reckless driving. Here are some of the factors that amount to aggressive or reckless driving:
• Speeding: This is not just exceeding the speed limit, but driving at speeds that are unsafe given traffic, roadway and weather conditions.
• Unsafe lane changes: Making lane changes without taking one’s surroundings into consideration is extremely risky and has the potential to cause major injury car accidents.
• Running red lights or stop signs: New York laws require motorists to come to a full stop at stop signs and red lights. Failure to do so can result in street intersection collisions.
• Following too closely: This is an extremely dangerous practice that may result in rear-end collisions.
• Failure to yield: Not yielding the right of way to vehicles that have the right of way can result in horrific accidents.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 49 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com