What you do after a car accident which is not your fault can have a significant impact on your potential insurance claim or lawsuit.
First of all, you must focus on your own health and safety. Get the medical care you need, undergo treatment, and follow your doctors’ orders.
You may have a short time to notify your insurance company about your accident. Most insurers require their policyholders to notify them as soon as possible.
You should also retain any evidence you have from the accident, as well as documentation of your injuries.
You may also want to consider working with a personal injury lawyer, who may be able to help you file a no-fault insurance claim or take other fault-based legal action in your case.
Filing Your No-Fault Insurance Claim
Drivers in New York are required to have $50,000 in no-fault coverage available to them. This coverage is also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). After an accident, driver’s may turn to their own PIP insurance to cover:
- Medical treatment and care
- Lost wages
- Other injury-related expenses
PIP is a common way that accident victims pursue compensation to pay their medical bills and make ends meet until they can return to work after an accident. However, certain circumstances may allow victims to pursue compensation via other methods, including cases where their damages exceed the limits of their PIP policy.
Qualifying to Take Fault-Based Action in Your Case
If you need to pursue additional damages above and beyond your PIP policy, you may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault motorist.
You may qualify to hold the other driver responsible if you can prove their negligence and demonstrate liability, and you meet the criteria to pursue this type of claim. According to the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), this includes:
- Losses that exceed the $50,000 limit of your PIP policy
- Injuries that New York law deems “serious”
A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you understand if you qualify to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver in your accident. If so, your lawyer may be able to manage this process on your behalf.
Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Case
If you meet the criteria to take legal action against the at-fault driver, you may be able to recover compensation through an auto liability insurance claim. It may be possible to file this type of claim and negotiate a fair settlement agreement with the responsible party’s insurance company. If not, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against them and take your case to trial, where a judge may make a ruling on your case.
Depending on your injuries and the nature of your accident, the recoverable damages in a personal injury lawsuit may include:
- Current and future treatment and medical expenses, as well as ongoing care costs stemming from your accident injuries
- Lost income and related benefits
- Diminished ability to earn a living
- Property damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
Under New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214, accident victims in New York generally have a three-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Failure to act within this time frame could mean that your lawsuit is dismissed, and you are unable to recover compensation.
Let Our Traffic Accident Team Members Review Your Case for Free
At Morelli Law Firm, we represent car accident victims and help them pursue compensation following a collision. We serve victims of accidents that occurred in:
- New York City
- Long Island
- New York State up to Albany
- Northern New Jersey
Our firm may be able to handle all of the legal work in your case, from filing your PIP claim to handling a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
For a free, no-obligation consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800. We can discuss your injuries, your collision, and what you may be able to do after a car accident which was not your fault.
Morelli Law Firm offers representation on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payments required. In this arrangement, our clients do not pay us attorney fees unless and until they recover compensation via a court award or settlement offer.