New York City has several streets, bridges, and tunnels packed with motorists, pedestrians, and bikers. Given the traffic, driving in the city can be hectic for any motorist. However, when reckless drivers ignore traffic laws or fail to pay attention to their surroundings, they put everyone else at risk.
If you were injured in a car crash, a skilled personal injury lawyer could help you negotiate with insurance companies or file a lawsuit. With the help of a New York City car accident lawyer from our firm, you could hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries and recover compensation for your losses.
Filing a Car Accident Report in New York City
If you are involved in a car accident that results in property damage over $1,000, injury, or death, you are required to report it to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) no more than ten days after the accident. Anyone who fails to do so could have their driver’s license suspended.
Additionally, at the scene of the car crash, you must stop and exchange information with the other parties involved or offer assistance. Taking these steps can facilitate the process of filing a personal injury claim. Speak with a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about the steps to take after an auto accident.
No-Fault Insurance Laws
New York City uses a no-fault system for auto insurance. Under this system, your insurance company must provide you with compensation for your car accident injuries regardless of who was at fault.
According to New York Consolidated Laws, Insurance Law § 5102, you are entitled to up to $50,000 per person for basic economic loss such as medical and hospital bills, healing treatments, professional services, and physical, occupational, and psychiatric therapy, as well as lost wages. However, no-fault claims do not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Insurance companies often try to lowball or deny injured parties’ claims. An experienced car wreck attorney in the area could negotiate with your insurance company and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
What is the “Serious Injury” Threshold?
If you wish to file a car accident lawsuit against the driver who caused your collision, you must prove that you suffered serious injuries or sustained more than $50,000 in medical bills and lost wages. According to N.Y. ISC Section 5102(d), a serious injury may involve:
- Significant limitation of one’s body function or system
- Permanent limitation of the use of one’s body organ or member
- Permanent loss of the use of one’s organs, member, system, or function
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of one’s fetus
- Medical impairment or injury that prevents one from performing normal activities for at least 90 days during the 180 days after the accident
A lawyer familiar with vehicle collision cases could help you gather evidence to prove you suffered a serious injury.
Statute of Limitations for Auto Wreck Cases
The statute of limitations is the time limit for filing a personal injury claim. As stated in N.Y. CVP § 214, that state of limitations in is three years from the date of the accident. If you miss the deadline, you may lose your opportunity to recover compensation. While there are some rare exceptions to this law, you should speak with an auto wreck attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Understanding Pure Comparative Negligence
If you pursue a car accident lawsuit, you will need to prove the other party was negligent. However, the at-fault driver may also attempt to blame you for the accident.
New York follows the pure comparative fault rule as stated in N.Y. CVP § 1411. Under this law, you can recover compensation when you are partially at fault. However, your damages award will be reduced by your percentage of negligence.
If a jury deems you are 90 percent at fault, you can still recover ten percent of your total compensation. A local attorney could help you mitigate fault and obtain the maximum amount of damages.
Talk to a New York City Car Accident Attorney Today
Car accidents are stressful and traumatic. If you are injured in a vehicle collision, a New York City car accident lawyer could assess your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and file a lawsuit if necessary. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.