Middletown is a busy community that boasts views of the Shawangunk Mountains while remaining within the New York Metropolitan area. Each day, busy roadways are filled with commuters driving into New York City or rushing to catch the train. The mountain views lure visitors who navigate unfamiliar roads and increase traffic. The less-maintained back roads are often filled with full-time residents, cyclists and pedestrians enjoying the area’s shopping centers.
Considering the area’s local traffic, commuters, and tourists, it’s not unlikely for a car accident to occur. Many roads cannot handle the volume of traffic. Knowing what to expect after a car crash can help residents of Middletown achieve the quickest physical and economic recovery.
Middletown Car Crash Statistics and Common Contributing Factors
- 505 motor vehicle crashes occurred
- 160 people were injured or killed
- 388 reports of property damage
At the end of the day, motor vehicle traffic injuries are the leading cause for injury-related death for all Orange County residents. Car accidents and traffic injuries can happen for various reasons, such as environmental factors like rain or snow. However, many car crashes occur due to human error and preventable causes.
Data from the last three years (2017-2019) reveals the types of accidents that are shown to be most harmful to Middletown residents. The following items are crash-contributing factors associated with the highest number of personal injuries:
- Driver Inattention/Distraction: 370 cases of driver inattention/distraction caused 109 personal injuries
- Failure to Yield Right-of-Way: 348 cases of failure to yield right-of-way caused 133 personal injuries
- Following Too Closely: 173 cases of following too closely caused 57 personal injuries
No matter how an accident occurs, a victim should never be left to pay for someone else’s negligence. However, the reason for a car accident can contribute to the complexity and litigation of a personal injury claim.
Dangerous Areas for Driving in Middletown, New York
Orange County in general can be hazardous for pedestrians and drivers. Middletown is a busy city with major state highways running through and around it. Driving should always be done with caution, but some roads require extra discretion. Devastating accidents have taken place on these busy roads:
- Miracle Mile: New York State Route 17M and New York State Route 211 are busy highways that run parallel to one another through Middletown. The famed “Miracle Mile” commercial shopping strip that attracts most of the city’s visitors (including the Galleria at Crystal Run) is located along Route 211 and can be expected to be heavily trafficked at most times.
- Major Intersections and Tractor-Trailers: New York State Route 17 is a major state highway that intersects with Interstate 84. Major highways mean all types of vehicles are on the road, including large commercial trucks transporting goods.
Both routes are extremely busy and have been the location for serious accidents that shut down entire highways. Two tragic accidents involving large eighteen-wheeler trucks occurred on Middletown roads:
- On I-84, a tractor-trailer struck a car that had run out of gas in the driving lane at 4:00 a.m. The car was stopped for just three minutes on the darkened highway before the truck slammed into it, killing two women and a child. When possible, always safely relocate behind a guardrail or off the road if your vehicle breaks down in the driving lane.
- On Route 17, a tractor-trailer overturned and spilled a large amount of gravel, later causing a crash across the lane of opposing traffic. There were serious injuries, with at least one victim airlifted to the nearest hospital.
Wet Leaves: More Dangerous Than Ice
Residents of Middletown should be aware of the dangers of driving on wet leaves. Water sits on top of a leaf’s waxy coating. This creates a film much like the slipperiness of ice, resulting in loss of wheel traction. The difference is that ice is attached to pavement, while leaves have a slippery surface on both sides.
The Hudson Valley is known for its beautiful foliage. For the safety of everyone, all residents should SLOW DOWN when they see wet leaves. Drive on wet leaves as you would on snowy and icy roads.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Middletown, NY
Car accidents can result in tragic injuries for anyone involved. Possible injuries from car accidents in areas like Middletown include:
- Broken bones
- Muscle and ligament damage
- Skin and tissue lacerations from glass and debris
- Injuries and bruises from airbags
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Anyone involved in a car accident, who is able, should follow these 6 steps to ensure safety and legal protection:
- If able to, move to a safe location outside the flow of traffic. Call 911 and request a police officer and an ambulance. Receive medical attention, even if no injuries are apparent.
- Remain calm when reporting the accident. IN ANY CASE, do not admit fault when stating facts. Later, even a simple apology can be used against a victim as an admission of guilt.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, including surrounding area (road conditions, environmental factors, etc.)
- Obtain any witness statements and contact information.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Retain all documentation of all medical care received for injuries sustained from the accident. This will be critical evidence for attorneys to use when building a claim for compensation.
Car Accident Settlements in Middletown, New York
Physical injuries from a car accident can be devastating enough before the added stress of medical bills. Car accidents can cause lasting disability or pain that prevents people from returning to work. The monetary damages that victims suffer can quickly pile up. Any Middletown car accident lawsuit should be initiated as soon as possible to best fight for max compensation.
New York’s statute of limitations for car accidents and personal injury is three years. This means a victim has three years from the date of the accident to take legal action. Once a personal injury claim is filed, an experienced New York car accident attorney can help recover damages such as:
- The cost of medical services/hospitalization from injury
- Any future medical treatments
- Loss of income from missed work and loss of future income
- Non-financial damages such as pain and suffering for physical and mental trauma
- Payment for property damage, such as a motor vehicle
- Wrongful death
How Much to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement in Middletown, NY
The average settlement for a car accident in Middletown is comparable to anywhere else in the New York Metropolitan area. In any case, determining a fair settlement amount depends on the severity of injuries and damage, and how much each party is determined to be at fault.
New York’s no-fault insurance law requires all drivers to possess a minimum insurance coverage of $50,000. This policy is meant to ensure that most injuries are paid for swiftly after an accident, no matter what. This policy is strictly for personal injury protection and does not cover property damage or other non-financial losses. Sometimes this policy is enough to cover the cost of injuries, but in many cases it is not.
Suffering a serious injury (TBI, significant disfigurement, permanent disability, etc.), or when the financial burden exceeds $50,000, permits victims the legal right to file a bodily injury liability claim against an at-fault driver. In other words, only permanent injury cases can recover more than $50,000.
Below are some recently-reported examples from Verdict Search’s summary of New York auto accident settlements. (These cases are for informational purposes only and are not a guarantee of what any case might be worth.)
- The victim claimed he was negligently struck by the defendant’s vehicle as a pedestrian. He suffered serious and permanent injuries. The parties settled the case in Bronx County for $325,000.
- A taxi was rear-ended by a minivan at an intersection in Brooklyn. The victim broke his nose and suffered back, neck and shoulder injuries. He had surgery to repair his nose and attended 20 physical therapy sessions. The passenger of the taxi claimed both the driver of the taxi and driver of the van were negligent. The damages amounted to $75,000.
- While making a left turn on a green arrow, the victim was hit in the side/rear. The victim alleged the defendant ran a red light. The injured suffered multiple disc herniations and nerve damage to their spine. The injuries required extensive therapy and eventual surgery, and the victim claimed to continue experiencing pain that limited their physical activities. They were awarded $1.1 million in damages.
Each victim’s case is unique and will have different factors to determine fair compensation. It can be extremely difficult to estimate the settlement amount for an injury without an expert car accident attorney.
Car Accident Attorney in Middletown, New York
The Middletown car accident lawyers of Sobo & Sobo have been serving the people of Middletown and surrounding areas in the greater Hudson Valley for over 50 years. Good representation is required to navigate the complex nature of personal injury claims. Sobo & Sobo attorneys are well-prepared to handle a wide variety of car, truck or motorcycle accidents, fighting for maximum compensation every step of the way.
Offices are conveniently located in Middletown, Newburgh, New York City, Spring Valley, Poughkeepsie and Monticello. Contact online today or call 855-GOT-SOBO today to start fighting for the compensation you deserve.