Who is Liable for an Intersection Collision in New York?

Intersection collision accidents represent a large percentage of motor vehicle accidents in New York and across the country, due to the very nature of a location where two or more roads cross each other. Because drivers at intersections often are turning left or right and crossing over, the actions of drivers at intersections create a greater opportunity for calamity. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that thirty-five to forty percent of all motor vehicle accidents involve intersections. For more information on who is liable for an intersection collision, please continue reading, then contact one of our experienced Westchester County auto accident attorneys today.

What might cause an intersection collision in New York?

Primarily, actions attributable to negligent drivers not paying sufficient attention are the root causes of the majority of intersection collisions. Negligent drivers may make excuses but the Empire State does not officially recognize any of them in court. That said, common causes of intersection collisions include:

  • Inadequate surveillance, i.e. failing to use one’s senses
  • Making false assumptions about the other drivers’ actions
  • Turning with an obstructed view
  • Making an illegal maneuver
  • Internal distraction
  • Misjudging a gap or other’s speed
  • Faulty traffic control devices
  • Other external factors, such as a mechanical issue with the motor vehicle itself

What types of injuries might one sustain from an intersection collision?

Unfortunately, intersection collisions result in some of the most catastrophic injuries seen in motor vehicle accident cases, especially if the offending vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and contacted another moving vehicle. The very high force of impact in an intersection collision increases the likelihood of serious injuries, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury, including paraplegia or quadriplegia
  • Serious fractures, often to the legs and lower body
  • Death

Who can you hold responsible for an intersection collision in New York?

New York operates under a no-fault car insurance model. Under this model, you typically need to file a claim under your own personal injury protection coverage to receive compensation for medical bills and other financial losses, regardless of who caused the crash. You can step outside of no-fault rules and bring a claim directly against the at-fault driver only if your injury claim meets certain prerequisites, including at least one of the following results of the accident:

  • Significant disfigurement
  • Bone fracture
  • Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system, or
  • Substantially full disability for ninety days

Whether or not you qualify to step outside of New York’s no-fault rules, please speak with one of our skilled Westchester County personal injury attorneys immediately.


Hausman & Pendzick effectively represent victims of negligence in Westchester County and across the state of New York. Contact us today for help.

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