Tailgating is defined as one vehicle following another too closely to give ample time for stopping without the risk of a collision, but who determines how close is too close? You may have similar questions if a driver who you believe was engaging in tailgating hit you in New York City, New York.
A New York tailgating accident lawyer can help answer your legal questions and may be able to help you successfully secure compensation you may be entitled to for your medical expenses and other losses. Review your options with a car accident lawyer in NYC from Morelli Law Firm by calling (212) 751-9800.
Review the Legal Definition of Tailgating
If you are operating a motor vehicle in New York, you must maintain a distance from other vehicles that is “reasonable and prudent” according to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 25 § 1129. When deciding on this distance, you must consider:
- The speed of other vehicles
- The amount of traffic on the highway
- The condition of the highway
The state of New York does not provide a specific distance that you must keep between vehicles while driving in this legal code, however the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) says you should leave at least two seconds of braking distance between you and another driver when in good conditions. In poor weather or when driving by large trucks, you should leave three or four seconds of space.
Even if another driver was maintaining this distance, they may still wind up following you too closely and causing an accident. Because the distance between vehicles to avoid tailgating is not clearly defined by New York state law, all drivers must remain aware of the position of their vehicles.
Drivers who follow you too closely and cause an accident may be required to compensate you for your losses. They may also face criminal charges in the state of New York. An experienced personal injury attorney in NYC can help you determine your options
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Possible Injuries Associated with Tailgating Accidents
Tailgating accidents may occur if one driver slams into the back of another driver’s vehicle. These accidents could throw you forward against your seatbelt and may cause a driver’s head to snap forward and back, which could lead to whiplash injuries.
Other brain, neck, and spine injuries may also occur if you are rear-ended by another driver. Your injuries could be more severe if another driver pushes you into on-coming traffic. Some possible injuries in these circumstances include broken bones, cuts, abrasions, or even internal injuries.
Seek immediate medical attention if you believe you were hurt in a tailgating accident in New York, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses in this situation. However, a New York tailgating lawyer may need to demonstrate that your injuries were caused by the accident. This could be easier to accomplish if you have medical records showing that received prompt care.
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Possible Causes of New York Tailgating Accidents
There are a number of reasons tailgating accidents may occur in the New York area. For instance, some drivers end up rear-ending other vehicles because they are not paying attention. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers may become distracted if they are:
- Using a mobile device to talk or text
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Talking to passengers in their vehicle
- Reaching for something loose in the vehicle
- Adjusting the radio or looking for directions
If a driver takes their eyes off the road, they may end up drifting too close to another vehicle. Then, if that vehicle in front of them stops suddenly or changes speed, they may be more likely to cause a rear-end accident.
However, tailgating could also be the result of driving in an aggressive or reckless way. Drivers engaging in road rage may tailgate other drivers in an attempt to intimidate them into moving out of the way. Regardless of the reasons another driver may have tailgated you, consider getting legal help by calling (212) 751-9800. The team from Morelli Law Firm can help investigate your case.
Potential Compensation for Tailgating Accidents in New York
If a tailgating driver struck you, they may be legally required to cover some of your expenses. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages at work if you must take time off to recover.
You may also be entitled to compensation for the damage to your vehicle caused by the collision, or for your pain, suffering, and mental anguish. In some cases, your vehicle could be totaled after a tailgating driver in New York strikes you.
Note that, in some cases, you may need to rely on your own no-fault car insurance in New York. There are minimum auto insurance requirements set in place by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). However, you may be entitled to seek compensation directly from the driver responsible for your accident if you experienced a serious injury, such as a broken bone, as a result of the collision.
A New York tailgating lawyer can help you start the process by filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. A lawyer may also advise you to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you in some circumstances.
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Speak to a New York Tailgating Lawyer
Reach out to Morelli Law Firm if you were hit by another driver who was tailgating you in New York. A New York tailgating lawyer can help you take steps to receive the compensation you may be entitled to for your losses. The team from Morelli Law Firm offers free initial consultations, so call us at (212) 751-9800.