Another wrong-way accident on one of New York’s highways has resulted in several critical injuries and a traffic backup nightmare. It happened on Nov. 13 at about 4 a.m. on the FDR Drive when a Kia sedan entered the highway going the wrong way. The apparently negligent driver, a 33-year-old female, traveled into an exit ramp at East 34th Street and into oncoming traffic, according to the New York Police Department.
The Kia was heading south on the FDR’s northbound lanes when it collided into two oncoming cars heading north, near 23rd Street, according to the police. The Kia crashed into a Chevrolet Traverse and a Honda Pilot. The drivers of all three vehicles were transported to Bellevue Hospital with what the police described as serious injuries.
A passenger in the Kia was also listed as injured. The FDR was jammed and virtually stalled for hours. The police have not yet reported whether the driver was impaired, and there were no arrests at last report.
There’s not generally much of an issue regarding liability in an accident involving a wrong-way driver. On a busy highway, the traffic moving in the right direction will be unable to adjust or react to such an emergency quickly enough to get out of the way. Furthermore, it is generally true that when a motorist creates an emergency, the victims are not deemed to be able to respond as perfectly as hindsight might indicate is possible.
Under New York law, the injured parties, including the injured passenger, may bring a claim for personal injury damages against the negligent driver. As a general rule, a matter with clear liability like this one will not require litigation and may settle prior to that point. However, insurance companies do at times choose to challenge the extent of a claimant’s injuries and the amount demanded. Where an amount cannot be agreed upon, litigation will be necessary to move the matter forward to an eventual resolution.
Source: NBC New York, “Several Injured in Wrong-Way Crash on FDR: NYPD“, Nov. 13, 2014