New York Car Accident Attorneys
Automobile Accidents on Long Island, New York City’s Five Boroughs & the Surrounding Areas
Every year, millions of Americans are injured and hundreds of thousands more are killed in motor vehicle accidents. In New York, traffic-related fatalities actually increased in 2020 and again in 2021, according to various reports.
It can be difficult to get back on your feet after a serious auto accident. Right now, you are likely facing numerous physical, emotional, and financial challenges. But, if you have suffered a severe injury, or if someone you love died due to a fellow motorist’s negligent, reckless, or wrongful conduct, you don’t have to navigate these challenges on your own. Our New York car accident lawyers at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP can help you fight for the fair compensation you are owed.
What New York’s No-Fault Car Insurance Laws Mean for Your Case
New York is one of several states to follow a no-fault car insurance system. Under this system, all drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments (MedPay) insurance in certain minimum amounts. These forms of insurance automatically cover accident victims, regardless of fault, for certain losses, or “damages.”
In New York, no-fault insurance provides the following coverage:
- Medical Expenses: No-fault insurance covers all “reasonable and necessary” medical costs related to the accident.
- Lost Income: No-fault insurance provides compensation for 80 percent of one’s lost wages (up to $2,000 a month) for up to three years
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses: No-fault insurance pays up to $25 a day for “reasonable and necessary” expenses related to the accident, such as in-home assistance and transportation
- Death Benefits: No-fault insurance provides $2,000 to the estate of anyone who dies due to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident
No-fault insurance doesn’t just cover the driver; vehicle passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians are also all covered by no-fault insurance in New York.
If you are injured in a car accident, you can file a PIP and/or MedPay claim with your auto insurance provider without having to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident. However, you cannot receive any compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, through no-fault insurance. Additionally, various coverage limits could mean that you are not fully compensated for your accident-related damages if you rely solely on no-fault insurance.
Suing a Negligent Motorist in New York
In some cases, it may be possible to go outside the no-fault system and bring a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance company—or even sue an at-fault driver for damages. To be eligible to file a third-party personal injury claim, you will need to prove that your injuries are “serious,” as defined by New York law.
Under the state’s “serious injury” threshold, an injury is considered “serious” if it:
- Is a broken bone/fracture
- Causes significant disfigurement
- Results in permanent impairment of a body organ or member
- Leads to significant limitation of a bodily function or system
- Involves substantial, full disability for at least 90 days
If you have suffered a “serious” injury, you can seek compensation by filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance provider or by suing the negligent driver directly.
In addition to proving that your injury meets the “serious injury” threshold, you will also need to prove the following:
- You were injured and suffered measurable, compensable damages
- The other driver (or defendant) owed you a duty of care but failed to uphold it
- The defendant was at least partly responsible for the accident that led to your injuries
If you were partly to blame for the accident, you could still be entitled to compensation. However, the amount you can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are found to have. For example, if the insurance adjuster assigns you 25 percent of the fault for the crash, you can only recover 75 percent of the amount you are seeking in damages.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in an accident is a frightening, stressful experience. Dealing with the aftermath of the crash can be just as challenging. In addition to seeking medical attention and preserving any evidence you have, including the name and contact/insurance information of the other parties involved, one of the best things you can do after a car accident is to reach out to an experience personal injury lawyer.
At Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP, our New York car accident lawyers are here to guide you through the legal process, from understanding your options when it comes to pursuing compensation to communicating with the insurance company and advocating for the maximum settlement you are owed. If necessary, we can even represent you and your case at trial.
Our team is known for our meticulous approach to case preparation, our innovative and collaborative litigation strategies, and our impressive track record of success. With more than $1 billion recovered for our clients, we have what it takes to effectively advocate for you.