Most of us grew up in an area where some road or intersection was recognized as being exceptionally dangerous, a place where accidents happened all the time.
Whether it’s Bloody Telegraph in southeastern Michigan or Dead Man’s Curve in California, there’s always a place where the most car accidents happen.
A lot of those places are on Long Island.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-451-7900
Route 25 has consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous roads in the tri-state area. Indeed, it has been among the worst in the state since at least 2015. Spanning the length of the Island, Route 25 experiences a large number of motor vehicle fatalities every year.
Southern State Parkway
The Southern State Parkway sees hundreds of traffic accidents every year, and the Department of Transportation concludes that it is one of the most dangerous roads in the state. Twists, turns, and speeding factor in many accidents. Further, the entrance ramps are short and provide little opportunity for drivers to merge onto the Parkway. Frequent flooding leaves pools of water on the road-hazardous in themselves, but they also destroy the roads, making them even more dangerous after the floods subside.
Suffolk County Locations
- Middle Country Road, also known as Route 25, is especially dangerous for pedestrians
- Sunrise Highway
- Route 1
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Nassau County Locations
- Wicks Road in Nassau Jericho Turnpike
- Hempstead Turnpike
- Sunrise Highway
- Merrick Road
Dangerous Long Island Intersections
A 2020 study of the top ten most dangerous intersections in New York State found, incredibly, that five of them were on Long Island. Heavily congested, with long wait times at red lights, those intersections were maddening for drivers. Other studies found seven of the most dangerous intersections in New York State were on the Island. Long Island is dangerous because of heavy traffic resulting from its proximity to the City. It also has more highways and higher speed limits than the City.
Some of the most dangerous intersections are:
- New Hyde Park Road and Northern State Parkway – A confusing intersection where car accidents happen because drivers headed north on New Hyde Park who want to go west on Northern State Parkway must cross traffic and turn left to get to the entrance ramp. The ramp runs right next to an exit ramp, creating the potential for chaos between drivers going on and off the Parkway.
- Roslyn Road and the LIE South Service Road – Roslyn Road joins a suburban triangle of slower roads. Its accidents mostly involve speeding and drinking and happen late at night.
- Old Country Road and Wantagh Parkway – Like the intersection of New Hyde Park and Northern State Parkway, drivers headed east on Old Country Road who want to go south on Wantagh have to turn left at the intersection and cross traffic to get to the parkway entrance ramp. There’s a nearby exit ramp to Wantagh Parkway in the same area, confusing drivers and causing them to collide with one another.
- Hempstead Turnpike and Wantagh Parkway – Many accidents in Long Island happen because drivers get lost and go up exit ramps or the wrong way on one-way streets. A driver trying to go south on Wantagh Parkway after driving east on Hempstead Turnpike has to take Bellmore Road to reach the Parkway’s entrance ramp. Unfortunately, Bellmore Road has a stop sign near the entrance ramp, and accidents occur when a confused or distracted driver turns right instead of left at the stop sign and heads into oncoming traffic.
- Round Swamp Road and Northern State Parkway – The entrance and exit ramps are right next to one another with only a double yellow dividing line. Accidents often occur on and near these ramps because of the significant speed changes here.
Staying Safe on Long Island’s Roads
So, given all of this, how can you keep yourself alive and well on Long Island roads?
Most of the rules are the ones you hear about safe driving in general, but it’s worth repeating them for these really dangerous Long Island roads and intersections.
- Avoid Distracted Driving – Car design today seems to put our focus on anything and everything but operating the 4,000-pound lethal weapon that is the average passenger vehicle. Focus on driving. Put away your phone, don’t send or receive texts, don’t use the lovely little tray desk that someone gave you for your steering wheel, and leave the music and the GPS dials alone.
- Pay Attention to Crosswalks – Long Island experiences a lot of pedestrian fatalities every year. Be careful at crosswalks.
- Don’t Speed – Long Island roads are heavily traveled and often congested. Speeding makes it worse and increases the likelihood of someone getting hit.
- Slow Down for Bus Stops – People are getting on and off those buses and waiting for them. Your car, especially when people step into the street looking for the bus, can save someone’s life.
- Watch the Lanes – Some of the roads have merging lanes, some have left-turn lanes. None have lanes for you to pass on the inside. If you use these lanes, only use them for their intended purposes, and be careful when you change lanes.
What if You Are in an Accident?
You should take certain steps as soon as possible after any motor vehicle accident.
You or someone acting on your behalf should do these as soon as possible after an accident.
- Don’t leave the scene – very few accidents in New York allow you to leave the scene. Stay there, wait for law enforcement, and emergency medical care if you need it.
- Take pictures of the scene and any damage to you or your vehicle – Obviously, this advice assumes you are healthy enough to accomplish this step. If you can’t act because of injuries, either ask someone with you to do it or get someone back to the scene as soon as possible.
- Exchange names, contact information, and insurance information with others in the accident – New York law requires this.
- Try to get names and contact information from potential witnesses – This will be extremely helpful when you or your attorney start negotiating with insurance companies.
- File a Police Report – Even if you think officers filed one, file your own report as soon as you can. New York law allows you ten days to do this.
- File a Claim with Your Insurance Company– Let your insurance company know about the accident as soon as you can. Whether you file a claim with any other company depends on whether your accident meets the requirements for suing under New York’s no-fault auto insurance law. You must have damages above your no-fault coverage or a serious injury – as defined in the law – from the accident.
- Talk to a Lawyer – You or a loved one has suffered injuries. You’re hemorrhaging money, and nothing is coming in because of your injuries. You’re worried about others in the accident and how you’ll pay for all this. You’re also worried if you’ll ever be the same as you were. Let a professional fight with the insurance company’s adjusters and lawyers. A skilled personal injury lawyer knows how to do this and will take the burden off you.
Can You Afford a Lawyer?
The simple answer to this question is yes. Most personal injury cases take place on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fee arrangements mean that you will pay no attorney’s fees unless and until your attorney achieves a successful outcome for your case. A successful outcome means getting a settlement in your favor or a verdict and award in your favor. Once your attorneys achieve that, they will receive a percentage of your settlement to pay for their fees and expenses.
You and the attorney must sign a written contingency fee arrangement. It must specify the fee you will pay and state whether that fee changes at different stages of the case and, if so, how. The agreement must also state when and how payment for case expenses happens and whether you will pay net or gross of the attorney’s fee.
How Long Do You Have to File a Suit?
New York law gives you three years from the date of the accident to file a suit. While this may seem like tons of time, gathering witnesses and evidence can take more time than you expect. It’s better to contact a lawyer sooner and follow their advice about when and if to sue. Keep in mind, wrongful death claims and municipal claims carry much shorter statutes, and can even be as little as 90 days.
What Damages Are Available to You?
Damages in a personal injury lawsuit fall into three general categories. Let’s look at them more closely.
Economic or Special Damages – These are the out-of-pocket losses that you experienced from the account, and that can be easily proven by presenting a paid bill or invoice or a timesheet.
Specifically, they include:
- Lost wages or other income
- Medical and hospital expenses, including drugs, therapy, and rehabilitation costs
- Property damage to your vehicle or otherwise
- Diminished earning capacity from when your injuries make it impossible for you to return to your previous occupation
Non-Economic or General Damages – These damages are more subjective than economic damages and less susceptible to proof. They often involve expert testimony to address what these future costs might be. General damages are only available in New York for a car accident if you suffered a serious injury.
A serious injury includes:
- Dismemberment or significant
- Broken bones
- Loss of a fetus
- Loss of an organ
- Impairment of a body function or system
- An injury that prevents your daily activities for at least 90 days
If you have a serious injury, you can seek General damages, which include
- Emotional distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of activities
You need to calculate your non-economic injuries. Your doctor and medical records can address pain, while your therapist’s records can demonstrate your suffering. You need a car accident lawyer near you to take that information and quantify your damages, rather than accepting the insurance company’s lowball figure.
Punitive Damages – Punitive damages are extremely rare in New York since the law requires behavior heinous enough to constitute intentional misconduct. Nonetheless, if you believe the at-fault driver in your case reaches that shock-the-conscience of the court standard, speak to your attorney about seeking punitive damages. Just don’t be surprised when you are not successful in getting them.
New York does not cap any damages.
How Can a Long Island Car Accident Attorney Help?
As we mentioned above, in one of the hardest and most vulnerable times of your life, do not spend your limited energy fighting insurance company adjusters and lawyers. Insurance companies are not your friends. They make money by paying as few dollars as possible on claims against their policies. And, they know how to make that happen—they work at it every day.
Let an experienced and knowledgeable car accident attorney take this work off your shoulders. You need an advocate, and your lawyer will serve as one. Contact a car accident attorney as soon as you can after the accident for an initial consultation and case evaluation, both usually free. Let them champion your cause.