Two men, a 42-year-old from Sidney Center, New York, and a 49-year-old from Queens, New York, were killed when their cars crashed head-on in the Hudson Valley. According to police, the Sidney Center man drove his minivan into the opposite lane of traffic on Route 6 recently, causing the deadly car accident. After the collision, police say the other man's car ignited. Both men died at the scene. A full investigation into the accident is ongoing.
Car accidents are a common reason for a personal injury claim. For a personal injury claim to succeed, an injured party must prove that the other party was negligent. Negligence is the failure to exercise the care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the same situation. Intent is irrelevant and is not required to succeed with a personal injury claim.
The type and amount of compensation awarded to a personal injury victim in New York is dependent on the severity of that person's injuries and whether that person contributed to the cause of the accident. New York uses a system of comparative negligence that apportions blame between the parties in an accident.
In cases such as this where a car accident results in death such as the tragic accident highlighted above, the victim's surviving family members may be entitled to compensation by bringing a wrongful death claim. Similar to a personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim may be brought regardless of whether the person responsible for the fatal injury intended to cause it.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "2 men die in fiery collision on upstate NY road," June 26, 2012