Automobile accidents happen every single day in New York and every other state. The vast majority of these events are unplanned, but according to a recently published article, staged auto collisions are on the rise in states that have no-fault insurance laws. Anyone who finds him or herself a victim of such a car accident may be entitled to seek compensation for any losses suffered.
In early August, Governor Cuomo signed a measure — named Alice’s Law — that makes committing a staged car accident a Class E felony. This means that anyone found guilty of doing this will face a number of severe consequences such as incarceration and fines — among others. The law also makes it possible to charge a person responsible for such an event with a Class D felony if anyone suffers injuries in the collision. Lawmakers believe that this law is long overdue, as up until this point, there has been no specific law that addresses this issue.
Alice’s Law is named after a woman who died in a crash while en route to visit some family members. It turned out the collision was caused by a person who was hoping to achieve a cash settlement from insurance following the event. This individual may not have intended to kill anyone, but his or her intention to commit insurance fraud proved more important than the victim’s safety.
Those who believe that they or their loved ones are the victims of staged motor vehicle accidents may file legal claims in a New York civil court against those responsible for their losses in an effort to seek monetary relief. Through careful investigation, it can be determined if a car accident was planned in an attempt to exploit the state’s no-fault insurance law. If compelling evidence exists that documents this, the court may award the victim or — in the event of fatality — his or her surviving family members monetary damages for all losses deemed legally recoverable.