In the aftermath of an automobile accident in New York, you or a loved one may have a lot of questions. How do you plan on covering repair costs? What would you do to make up for lost wages from time away from work and medical costs?
While many car accident cases are settled long before the thought of going to court, in some instances, a trial is necessary. If a settlement cannot be reached, a New York car accident case may go to trial. When is the right time to go to trial?
We will dive deeper into this question, but the answer can be dependent on your circumstances. Consulting with a New York car accident lawyer will give you a better idea of how strong your case is and its chances in the event of a trial.
No-Fault Insurance in New York
No-fault insurance is the system in place for New York. This means if you are hurt in a car accident, your own insurer will pay for your medical bills and other damages first, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. The premise behind no-fault insurance laws is to reduce the volume of litigation in the court system. Basically, no matter who is at fault, there are no lawsuits filed because coverage is automatically available to you.
However, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a claim against the motorist who caused the accident and win compensation for your losses from their insurance company. This could potentially turn into a lawsuit if both sides cannot come to an agreement.
What If My Insurance Doesn’t Cover All My Expenses?
When involved in a car accident, your collision insurance should pay for repairs to your vehicle. Your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is there to help you out if you're injured in an accident, covering medical expenses and lost wages. When there is a severe injury, there are times when your personal PIP coverage might not be sufficient to cover everything. Your insurer could also decline your claim or offer you a significantly reduced settlement.
If the other driver is at-fault, you may have the option to file a lawsuit against his insurance to seek further compensation.
If you've been in a car accident and your insurance doesn't cover everything, a New York car accident can help you fight for fair compensation.
When The Other Driver Is At-Fault
Even though New York follows the "no-fault" insurance system, who is at fault can still play a role in car accident cases. The other driver's insurance may be liable for your losses if their client was driving negligently and was at-fault for the accident. Acts of negligence could be that the driver was speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or being distracted by their phone, for example.
Insurance Denies Claim Or Offers Much Less in Settlement
Don't rush into accepting the insurance company's first settlement offer. Accident victims are often put under unnecessary pressure by insurance adjusters to accept an early settlement. It's important to understand that once you accept a settlement, you cannot ask for further compensation later if you discover your losses are more than expected.
The bottom-line is that you should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer and discussing your accident.
Lawsuit Limitations and the Serious Injury Threshold
In New York, if your auto insurance policy has a "limitation on lawsuits" clause, you can only submit a claim outside of the no-fault system if you suffer from one or more specific types of injuries. These injuries would be considered "serious" and include, but not limited to:
- Loss of a limb or dismemberment
- Disfigurement or scaring
- Fractures bones
- Permanent injury
Family members injured in the accident are subject to the same restrictions. If you have selected "no limitation on lawsuit," you may sue the negligent driver for any injury, not just those in the above list.
In New York: When Does a Car Accident Case Go to Trial?
There is usually a settlement reached in car accident cases before they go to trial. Trials are more likely to occur in more complex cases, where serious injuries are involved or several parties are at-fault.
However likely it is that the case will end in a settlement rather than a trial, many injured victims will hire car accident lawyers like Brandon J. Broderick to advocate on their behalf during settlement talks.
Need a New York Car Accident Lawyer?
Without legal representation, it can be challenging to determine whether or not your claim is viable and can obtain adequate compensation following a car accident. There are cases where an unnamed third party could be liable, even partially, such as the manufacturer of your brakes, if they were faulty. There may be legal options to explore, but it's smart to consult with an experienced New York car accident lawyer.
Client satisfaction, understanding, and success are the three pillars upon which Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law is built. We have you covered across all of New York State, multiple locations within NYC, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut. When other lawyers declare there's no case and insurance adjusters reject or undervalue your claim, we have a track record of success dating back decades.
Get in touch with us now for your free consultation.