New York Car Accident Attorneys Thinking Outside the Box

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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An auto accident – is an auto accident – is an auto accident, right? Wrong. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. While some attorneys only look at traditional forms of recovery, others consistently think outside of the box to obtain the maximum recovery amounts for their clients.

New York Auto accidents & product liability

How does product liability factor into an auto accident case? According to Ira Slavit, a New York attorney in practice for over 20 years whose firm concentrates its practice in personal injury matters and medical malpractice litigation, that’s always a consideration and it’s important to look at all areas of injury and recovery. He explained:

There may be instances where there’s a secondary collision between the occupant and the inside of the vehicle that may cause additional injuries because of something malfunctioning or maybe something in the design that was defective. Some component inside the vehicle could have been designed in a way that if the occupant was propelled against it, then they’re at greater risk of sustaining injury.

Crashworthiness is also a term that you often hear in the sense of a product liability case where you may have to pursue a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle because of an injury that’s enhanced because of the design of a car.

Looking at all possible defendants

There could be other types of defendants besides product manufacturers, according to Slavit, such as a municipality that might be a defendant because it didn’t maintain the roadway properly or because there are construction materials on a roadway that didn’t belong there. In addition, he says that a public utility, like Con Edison, that may have had equipment on the road that contributed to the accident could also be a defendant. He provided the following example from his practice:

We had a case of improper maintenance where a tree fell across a parkway. We had an expert arborist go out immediately to inspect the scene and determine that the tree had been dead for quite some time. Anybody who was properly trained and properly inspecting these trees on behalf of the state would have recognized that and had the tree taken down so that it wouldn’t fall and land on top of a car, which is what happened.

This is actually an excellent example of why it’s important to contact an attorney right away. In the case of the tree falling onto the parkway, we had the arborist immediately go to the scene. The tree trunk was still there and he was able to make his analysis that way. However, if we hadn’t been contacted by the client until sometime later, it might have been too late for the expert to go and look at the scene. So, sometimes it’s a matter of contacting an attorney so that proper steps can be taken, whether it’s an expert, photographs or some other kind of investigation, to preserve evidence while it’s still in the condition it was in at the time of the accident.

If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident in New York, contact an experienced New York auto accident lawyer to discuss your situation confidentially.

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