A freeway accident is the polar opposite of a minor parking lot fender-bender. If you’re in a wreck on the JFK, even with modern safety advances in your vehicle, you still run a greater risk of being killed or severely injured than you would in an accident on Northern Boulevard in Queens. And it’s not just the high speeds that pose additional dangers — the large numbers of commercial trucks, seemingly endless construction maintenance zones, and distracted drivers contribute to dangerous accidents on our freeways.
INRIX is a global company which provides authoritative traffic analytics to government agencies and the construction industry in North America and around the world. Not long ago, it compiled a list of the busiest freeways in the U.S. Four New York Metro freeways made the list:
- (No. 1) I-95 & 295, The Cross Bronx Expressway (CBE): the most congested in the country. Drivers waste more than six days being stuck in its lanes every year.
- (3) I-678, The Van Wyck Expressway: Another rough stretch of NYC road, the average speed on Thursdays between 4 and 5 p.m. is just 10 mph.
- (6) I-495, Long Island Expressway (LIE): Commuters using the LIE lose more than 30 minutes each day stuck in traffic.
- (7) I-278, Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE): On a Tuesday evening, commuters take about an hour to go just 10 miles.
And many other local freeways – though not in the top 10 – have more than their share of congestion. Even when there are no apparent problems, with so many vehicles traveling between 45 and 55 miles per hour (or even faster), serious accidents that injure or kill are a given.
We provide legal help for drivers and passengers who have been injured by others in freeway collisions in the five boroughs and Long Island. If you or a family member has been injured in a freeway crash, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. The success of your legal claim depends on the steps taken in the moments after your wreck.
Freeway Accidents at High Speeds
The speeds of traffic freeway prominently contribute to the severity of an accident and resulting devastation. Unlike side street accidents, highway and interstate wrecks usually involve several vehicles. These can add many complicating layers to your accident case. But speed may be only one cause of the wreck on the Rockaway that injured you. Other contributing factors may involve:
- Aggressive driving/road rage
- Driver inattention/distraction
- Tailgating/following at unsafe distances
- Passing too closely
- Unsafe lane changing
- Vehicles on the side of the road
- Debris in the roadway
- A construction zone.
Serious Freeway Accidents Often Produce Brutal Injuries
Injuries after a wreck on a busy freeway like the Van Wyck can run the full spectrum from seemingly minor bumps and bruises to catastrophic injuries, and even death. Depending upon whether or not you and your passengers were buckled-up and protected by a sophisticated airbag safety system can also determine the number and severity of injuries. Often if you’re not protected by passenger restraint and cushioning, multiple, serious injuries occur. Below are some common injuries associated with freeway accidents.
- Broken bones
- Brain and spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Facial injuries
- Soft tissue damage.
Expenses Involved With Freeway Accidents
Depending upon the severity of your BQE crash, you could be facing tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, or more. On top of that, you’re most likely out of work — maybe for months or years. Some injuries require ongoing medical care or multiple corrective surgeries. You may need live-in care or to stay at a hospital or a care facility for an extended period of time. Even with insurance, medical bills can quickly mount, bankrupting some families.
Freeway Accidents with Semi Trucks
A serious accident on the Bronx River Parkway with any 18-wheeler is especially dangerous. Being hit by one of these behemoths, which could weigh up to 80,000 pounds, can obliterate even the stoutest SUV. Even new vehicles with high safety ratings have no chance against a semi. One unique facet of a big rig wreck is the gravity of injuries and increased risk of death. Due to this, truckers – and their employers – must carry higher insurance liability limits. It follows that these accidents are more expensive when it comes to damage claims and injury lawsuits than auto-on-auto wrecks.
What to do after a Freeway Accident on the LIE or Roosevelt Parkway
It is in your best interests to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. Whether you were involved in a semi-truck crash or were struck by a wrong-way drunk driver, the sooner you talk to a lawyer, the better. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a freeway accident on the Cross-Westchester or any New York freeway, contact our New York Interstate Accident Lawyers for a free, no-obligation, consultation.