Auto insurance helps provide financial protection and peace-of-mind in the event an individual is injured in a motor vehicle accident or his or her actions result in the injury of another driver, passenger or pedestrian. To help ensure that monthly and annual premiums remain low for all drivers who are covered, insurance companies must do their due diligence to protect against possible fraudulent auto claims.
In New York and Vermont, to prove that an insurer has acted in bad faith, a plaintiff must provide a factual basis for claiming that the insurer did one or more of the following:
There is no upside to two recent commuter rail accidents. There is, however, an important lesson for anyone who can take a moment away from concern for the victims of both crashes to consider the particulars of each accident. So let us compare and contrast the Feb. 3 accident involving an SUV and a Metro North commuter train in Westchester County, New York and the Feb. 24 accident outside of Los Angeles involving a Metrolink commuter train and a heavy-duty pick-up truck.
A week after the crash, investigators have a better understanding of a fatal multi-vehicle accident in Rensselaer. Seven cars were involved, most of them parked; in addition to the woman who died, three people suffered injuries. Their condition has not been disclosed. However, police have said that the woman was about eight months pregnant at the time of the crash. A few days after the accident, CBS 6 News in Albany reported that the baby had died as well.
We have friends who take two weeks off every year to explore the Hudson Valley. They drive (an environmentally friendly hybrid vehicle) the back roads and visit the big estates and the roadside farm stands. This year, they took their young niece and nephew with them, and their experience -- for the most part positive -- reminded us of a few safety rules of the road.
Over the years newspapers in New York State have reported on the state's practice of charging motorists for repairs to guardrails. The stories follow a pattern: There is a one-car accident that results in damage to a guardrail along a state highway. The driver files a police report. Months later, the driver receives a bill from the Department of Transportation for the cost of repairing the guardrail.
We are discussing an appellate court decision from Pennsylvania about dram shop liability. The court declined to find a golf club liable for a patron's drunk driving accident, a ruling that illustrates a strict adherence to the specifics of the dram shop law. Both New York and Pennsylvania only hold the establishment liable if the patron was obviously intoxicated.
The hospitality industry has long complained that dram shop laws go a little too far. These are the state laws that allow third parties like restaurants and bars to be held liable in alcohol-related accidents. The liability is not just for civil damages, either -- in New York, at least, criminal charges are possible, and a conviction could mean suspension or revocation of the establishment's liquor license.
The Memorial Day weekend is over, but the deadliest time of year for teenagers is just beginning. More teens are involved in car accidents between Memorial Day and Labor Day than at any other time of the year. Teens may have more time on their hands, they may have longer daylight hours to take advantage of -- a number of factors likely contribute to the increased risk. In Albany, teens may just be anxious to leave the house after a long winter.
After a long and miserable winter, New York is ready to embrace summer. Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, even if there are a couple more weeks of school. This is the first weekend that many of us can drive around with the windows open without congratulating ourselves for being tough enough to risk frostbite for the sake of a little fresh air.