Since New York is a no-fault state, drivers involved in car accidents generally seek compensation from their insurance policies. That being said, there are some exceptions that allow certain policyholders to seek damages via a personal injury lawsuit.
Depending on your injuries and insurance policy limits, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit against the party who caused the accident. Whether your best course of action is to submit a civil suit or file an insurance claim, the team at Morelli Law can help you make smart legal decisions throughout the process.
Parties Who Can File a Lawsuit in New York State
In no-fault states like New York, accident victims aren’t usually allowed to take legal action against other parties involved in a collision. However, certain circumstances may make you eligible to file a lawsuit against another driver.
For instance, you can file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver if the collision caused you to take on economic losses that exceed your insurance policy’s limits. Car accident victims can also submit a suit for non-economic damages like pain and suffering if their injuries are severe.
NY ISC § 5102(d) defines the following conditions as “severe injuries”:
- Notable disfigurement
- Bone fractures
- Impairment or loss of a body organ
- Limitation to the normal functioning of a body part, organ, or system
- Injuries that result in the loss of life
Damages You Can Get From an Insurance Claim in a No-Fault State Like New York
In no-fault states like New York, accident victims pursue compensation through their own personal injury protection (PIP) policies. New York requires drivers to carry a minimum of $50,000 in PIP coverage, but they can choose to carry more.
If you’ve been injured in an auto collision, there are several damages you can receive from a PIP insurance claim. Depending on the impact that the crash has had on your financial status and physical health, you may be eligible to receive the following damages:
A PIP insurance policy will likely cover all of your current and ongoing medical expenses after an accident. If your PIP claim is successful, you could receive compensation for any of the following medical costs:
- Treatment and surgery costs
- Dental care costs
- Hospital bills
- Physical therapy expenses
- Cost of ambulance transportation to the hospital
Remember to save all your medical bills and other treatment-related documents after a collision. You can use these records to prove to your insurer that your injuries are legitimate and that you need compensation to help you on your road to physical recovery.
Many car and truck accident victims must take time off work to heal from their injuries. Depending on the severity of your injury, you could be out of work for weeks or months. Fortunately, your PIP insurance plan can cover some of your lost wages.
A successful PIP insurance claim in the state of New York can replace up to 80 percent of your lost wages per month. If your injuries are so debilitating that you cannot perform household tasks and chores, you may also receive an extra $25 daily.
If a driver with a PIP insurance plan suffers fatal injuries in an accident, their estate can receive up to $2,000. This money can be put towards the decedent’s funeral and burial. If your loved one was killed in an incident caused by another person’s negligence, you might be entitled to file a wrongful death claim as well.
A New York Attorney Can Help With Your No-Fault Insurance Claim
While New York’s no-fault laws require that you file an insurance claim with your own provider, you might still need an attorney to get the compensation you’re owed. Filing a claim can be a difficult process, especially for someone who’s recovering from an injury.
Luckily, a lawyer can assist you with every aspect of your claim. They’ll make sure the following steps are completed so you have the best chance possible of receiving a settlement:
Your attorney can gather evidence like your medical bills and treatment records to prove to insurers that you are injured and require compensation for medical care. Your lawyer can also use your prior paychecks to show your insurance company how much you’re owed for lost wages.
File Your Claim on Time
Once your attorney has collected the necessary evidence, they’ll have to submit it to the insurance company on time. According to New York state’s Department of Financial Services, they’ll have 45 days from your first day of medical treatment to submit your medical documentation.
If you’re also filing for lost wages, you’ll have 90 days to submit documentation proving your income loss. Providing your insurer with the correct documents in a timely manner is critical to your claim’s success. Your attorney can work quickly to prepare and file your claim, so you can focus on resting and recovering from your injury.
Negotiate With Insurers
Once your claim has been filed, insurers may contact you for additional information or a settlement offer. Your lawyer can handle all communications with the insurer and ensure that their offer is large enough to cover your expenses. If the insurance provider fails to offer enough compensation, your attorney can negotiate an appropriate amount.
Contact an Attorney in New York Today
Navigating the claims process after a serious accident can be confusing and frustrating. You’ll want to hire a car accident lawyer if you’re recovering from an auto accident injury. Doing so can dramatically increase your chances of receiving a high insurance payout.
The team at Morelli Law would be happy to meet with you via a free consultation to discuss your case. If one of our attorneys agrees to help you with your claim, they’ll work hard to secure your compensation and make themselves available to answer any questions you have about New York state’s no-fault laws. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.