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Car Accident Injury: Learn How to Protect Your Rights

Injured in a Car Accident? Learn What to Do After the Accident to Help Protect Your Rights

A car accident can be a life changing event especially if you’ve been injured. But the pain and suffering can continue long after your injuries heal if certain steps are not taken after an accident to assure your rights are protected. What most people who are injured in a car accident or other motor vehicle related traumas don’t realize is that although you can pursue compensation from the individual(s) or company that caused their injury, filing deadlines must be met or you may lose your rights to certain benefits such as reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages from work.

Injured in a Car Accident?
Knowing What To Do After An Auto Accident Can Help Protect Your Rights:

New York is one of 13 states that has no fault auto insurance. This type of coverage is intended to reduce the number of expensive court cases that result from car accidents, thus potentially lowering yearly premiums. There are, however, certain requirements involved in processing a no fault claim. For instance, if you’ve been hurt in a car accident in New York State and are looking to submit expenses incurred as the result of that accident you MUST follow these guidelines:

– File a no-fault application within 30 days of the accident with the insurance company of the vehicle you were in
– Submit all medical bills within 45 days
– Submit lost-wage claims within 90 days

Regardless of cause (or fault), under New York No Fault Insurance Law, injured victims are entitled to the following:

1. Medical Bills, Lost Wages from Work and Other Accident Related Expenses:
Under Part 1 of the New York No Fault Insurance Law, if you are injured in a car accident, you will be able to recover compensation for medical bills and lost wages even if the other driver had no insurance or you yourself, were partially responsible for the accident. The vehicle you were in at the time of the accident (or the vehicle that struck you if you were a pedestrian) will pay for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses up to $50,000.00*, arising out of the accident. This includes but is not limited to any and all bills for visits to an emergency room, bills related to chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture as well orthopedic and neurological care, bills for diagnostic testing and the cost of medications and/or equipment you may need.

In many instances, injuries result from an accident can lead to lost time from work. Under New York State No-Fault Law a  person involved in a motor vehicle related accident is entitled to compensation for any and all lost wages (income which you were unable to earn due to your injury).  This includes compensation for past and future lost wages.  You are also entitled to lost earnings up to $2,000* per month

You are also entitled to up to $25* daily for other reasonable and necessary expenses such as transportation to a from your doctors office.

All of the above applies to all cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. However, motorcycles are exempt. (*These are minimum amounts of PIP coverage. Higher amounts may exist depending on coverage).

2. Pain and Suffering:
In New York State we have what is known as a serious injury threshold. This means that one cannot legally bring a lawsuit for personal injuries unless those injuries are deemed “serious” under the law. This is an area of constant contention in court. Certainly, where there is death, dismemberment or disfigurement the injuries would automatically be considered serious. The same holds true for a fracture of any bone. However, for a whole host of other injuries that are not in the first group, a plaintiff must show that the alleged injury is permanent, significantly limiting or has caused that person to be disabled for 90 days out of the first 180 days after the accident. However, some injuries, sometimes called “soft tissue” injuries to the neck, back, head and other body parts require the injured party to prove that these injuries will affect you over a very long period of time.

Pain and Suffering is the legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused from an injury and refers to the compensation an injured party may receive for post-traumatic issues such as:

•  Mental anguish and emotional distress
•  Loss of enjoyment of life
•  The physical pain and suffering they experience as a result of the accident
•  Permanent disability
•  Disfigurement

This is a non economic recovery and is arrived at by subjective analysis by a jury or during settlement negotiations. This is different from economic damages which is based upon loss of wages and cost of medical bills which can be calculated from records and documents. Damages for pain & suffering can be given for past, present, or for future pain and suffering, depending on the injuries  and how severe they are.

If you are injured as a driver, passenger or pedestrian in a car accident and are in need of a Bronx Car Accident Lawyer, the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, P.C., located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, will investigate, prosecute and negotiate with the insurance company of the negligent party to settle your claim and obtain compensation for you based upon the severity of your injury and your pain and suffering.  If you would like a legal opinion on the potential value of your personal injury matter or have a question about your rights, contact one of our car accident injury lawyers to schedule a FREE consultation so we can evaluate your personal injury case.

Law Offices of
Stuart M. Kerner, PC.

269 West 231st Street
Bronx, NY 10463

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