After an accident, most people experience a range of emotions which often includes anger. I have seen on many occasions a client so angry about being involved in an accident or a defendant-driver so careless, that my client will say “he must have done it on purpose.” I often tell my clients that I’m not out to prove that the defendant is a bad guy; I’m out to prove that he made a mistake. In the thousands of cases we have successfully litigated, no more than a handful involved intentional acts and most of those that have are assault cases. The fact of the matter is that intentional vehicle collisions are exceedingly rare, usually involve a conspiracy to stage an accident for insurance fraud, and, most importantly, present a serious practical issue: proving your claim and winning your case isn’t worth much if there isn’t a financially responsible party (such as an insurance carrier) prepared to compensate you and insurance policies do not cover intentional acts. Once your head clears after an accident, remember that there is nothing to be gained, and much to lose, if your presumption that the other driver hit you on purpose turns out to be true.
Negligence versus intent
NEW YORK’S HIGHEST COURT DEFINES THE BURDEN OF PROOF BETWEEN THE PARTIES REGARDING A LATE NOTICE OF CLAIM FILING (RESOLVING THE SPLIT OF AUTHORITY AMONG THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENTS).November 3rd, 2017