If you were injured in a car accident with a hit-and-run, uninsured, or underinsured driver, you can sue your own insurance for pain and suffering, along with your other injury-related damages.
In New York, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is a mandatory auto insurance policy all registered vehicle owners must have, according to the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). If you are injured in a car accident, you must seek coverage through your own PIP coverage first.
If you pursue financial compensation through your own insurance company, PIP coverage will cover your expenses and losses up to $50,000 for vehicle occupants injured in the accident. If your PIP coverage is exhausted, you may be able to file a lawsuit for additional economic and noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering if your injuries are defined as severe. Your lawyer may help you explore your compensation options and assign a financial value to your pain and suffering.
How the State of New York Defines Serious Injuries
Not every injured person is entitled to pain and suffering damages after an accident. If you want to receive financial compensation for your pain and suffering, the state of New York must classify your injuries as serious. According to the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), serious injuries are defined in the state’s insurance laws and may include:
- Limited use of a bodily function or system
- Permanent limitation of an organ or member
- Permanent loss of use of an organ, member, or bodily function or system
- Loss of a fetus
Any injury you sustain in an accident that prevents you from enjoying your typical activities for three to six months might also be considered a serious injury.
You can discuss the physical impact of your injuries and any limitations they impose on your personal, social, and professional life with your health care team and your legal team. Your lawyer may use your medical records and bills to prove your injuries were diagnosed as severe and argue that you are owed financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
Additional Recoverable Damages After an Accident
After being injured in an accident, pain and suffering is only one part of your compensation claim or lawsuit. The at-fault party may be held responsible for multiple damages you experienced as a result of their negligence. You may be able to seek financial recovery of the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Current and future medical care
- Current and future lost wages
- Property damage or destruction
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Mental and emotional distress
Keep careful track of your expenses and losses after the accident. Your lawyer may help ensure your financial damages are accurately calculated and that your case is filed on time.
You Must Comply with the Statute of Limitations
If you decide to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, New York’s statute of limitations may affect how long you have to file your lawsuit. According to the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214, you generally have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to meet the state’s filing deadline:
- You might be prevented from filing your lawsuit at all
- Your lawsuit may get dismissed without being heard
- The at-fault party cannot be legally compelled to compensate you
- The full financial impact of the accident becomes your responsibility
You can avoid the costly and frustrating consequences created by noncompliance with the statute of limitations. With sufficient notice, our client care team may file your case in time to abide by the statute of limitations so that your lawsuit can move forward.
Let the Morelli Law Firm Help You Explore Your Range of Recoverable Damages
Being injured in an accident can be stressful, especially if you are trying to cover your losses when an uninsured driver cannot. Our team may help you sue your own insurance for pain and suffering and your additional injury-related expenses and losses.
Our personal injury team may help you fight for financial compensation to cover your damages. We might also be able to help you tap into the benefits of your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Contact the personal injury team at the Morelli Law Firm by calling (212) 751-9800 today.