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Insurance/Liability for NY Auto Accidents: What You Must Know | Kerner Law Group, P.C.

Insurance Liability for New York Auto Accidents

It’s a common fact that most individuals will find themselves involved in a car accident at least once in their lifetime (even if it’s just a small fender bender). After you’ve been in an accident, you might be wondering how to prove who was at fault in the accident. Sometimes, proving fault can be difficult, and there may be varying opinions between involved parties, authorities, and insurance companies.

With New York’s unique traffic conditions and legal landscape, it’s essential to arm yourself with the right knowledge. This guide will shed light on the critical aspects of insurance and liability to ensure you’re well-prepared should an unfortunate event occur.

Insurance/Liability for NY Auto Accidents: What You Must Know

As it relates to car accidents involving two or more drivers, the majority of states in the US follow a “fault-based” legal doctrine that states the driver found “at fault” is the liable and responsible party for damages caused as a result of the wreck.

To help you navigate this process, below are some essential steps:

Collecting Evidence: The more evidence you have of what happened from your side of the story, the more likely you will be able to present a strong argument to the insurance companies to help further a settlement for your pain and suffering. It is often advisable to hire an auto accident law firm to help you establish your case and to gather and present evidence in your favor.

Regardless of which personal injury lawyer you use in this situation, we highly recommend that you take pictures of the scene as soon as possible. For example.

  • License plates of all vehicles involved in the accident.
  • The road or area on which the accident took place.
  • Copies of the other parties’ insurance information.
  • Damage to your car from all corners and sides.

If you are looking to prove fault in your car accident, information uncovered during your own investigative work (or that of a car injury lawyer) can help you strengthen your argument and have a better case.

Police Reports: While sometimes police officers show up to accidents, this is not always the case. If the accident involves injuries, however, a police officer will likely come to the scene. They will create a report of what happened for public record. After the police take a report, make sure to ask them how you can access a copy of this report once the police officer files it.

A police report will detail the officer’s findings at the scene of the accident. The report might contain information like the officer’s opinion on what happened as well as the physical evidence at the scene, such as skid marks. The report will also detail if the officer gave out any tickets.

Furthermore, a police report can be a vital piece of evidence that you can give to your insurance company to prove who was at fault and will be a vital piece of evidence that your car crash lawyer can use to help your cause.

Fixing a Police Accident Report: If a minor error is present, such as the wrong license plate number, you can present this information and have the mistake corrected.

But, if you want to have the report amended to show a disputed fact, changing the report is a lot harder and will generally require the expert advice and assistance of a no-fault car accident lawyer.

No-Fault Insurance

New York is a “No-Fault” insurance State. This means that if you are injured in a car accident, the insurance company for the car you were in at the time of the accident will be responsible for providing you with No-Fault benefits.

It doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was. The law was designed to make sure that anyone injured in a car accident will be able to have their hospital and medical bills paid for. If you were a pedestrian, then the insurance company for the vehicle that struck you will provide No-Fault insurance benefits.

So, for example, if you are driving your car and your car is insured by Geico Insurance, Geico will be responsible for paying your emergency room bills and follow-up medical treatment bills, even if the other car struck you in the rear while you were stopped at a red light. Minimum benefits are up to $50,000.00.

Not only will most of your medical bills be covered, but you will also be able to recover lost earnings. You can recover up to 80% of your lost earnings up to $2,000 per month. This may be offset by disability benefits that you also receive, but the path to obtaining lost earnings is also provided in No-Fault benefits.

There are exemptions to being provided with No-Fault benefits. Many motorcycles are not covered unless an additional policy is provided, and if you were in the course of your employment, workers’ compensation benefits supersede no-fault benefits.

The No-Fault claim must be usually filed within 30 days after an accident, and all hospitals and doctors must file their bills in a timely manner in order to get paid. So, you can see that there are different rules and time constraints that must be followed to receive the benefits.

Recovery for Pain and Suffering after an Accident

Under the New York No-Fault law, in order to receive a settlement or jury award for pain and suffering, you have to show that your injuries meet the “Threshold” of a “serious injury.”

An injury that is going to affect you and cause pain and limitations over a very extended time. This is more than bruising, sprains, or even whiplash that clears up in a short period of time. If your injuries require that you receive physical therapy, chiropractic care, and other treatment, you may, in fact, meet the “Threshold” of a “Serious Injury”. Also, if you have sustained a broken bone or a fracture to any body part, this automatically meets the “Threshold.”

Furthermore, the mental and emotional distress associated with such injuries can also play a significant role in determining the “seriousness” of an injury. This can include conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or other emotional traumas that may arise as a direct result of the accident. Demonstrating the severity and persistence of such conditions is crucial in pursuing a successful claim for pain and suffering.

Moreover, to navigate the intricate requirements of the New York No-Fault law, it is often beneficial to work alongside legal professionals familiar with these rules. Their insights can help evaluate the eligibility of your claim, providing a clearer pathway for compensation. Medical documentation, including records, physician notes, and diagnostic images, serves as essential evidence to support one’s claim of having suffered a “Serious Injury.” Being thorough and proactive in collecting and organizing this evidence can make a significant difference in the outcome of a case.

NY State Traffic Laws and Their Role in Insurance Claims

When an accident occurs, the very first thing that insurance companies scrutinize, apart from the accident details, are the specific NY Vehicle and Traffic laws that might have been violated. This helps in determining who was at fault.

For instance, violations such as running a red light, ignoring a stop sign, or tailgating can swiftly tip the scales of liability. While these laws can be intricate for the average New Yorker to digest, their implications on insurance claims cannot be understated.

Injury lawyers, particularly those in key areas like The Bronx, have a deep understanding of these state laws and their intersections with insurance claims. They can sift through the complexities, ensuring that your insurance company fully comprehends the context and specifics of your accident in light of New York’s traffic regulations.

So, if you’ve been involved in an auto accident in New York, it’s paramount to not only understand the relevant state traffic laws but also to recognize their influence on insurance matters. And if you believe you weren’t at fault, a car crash lawyer can help you navigate through both domains to secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.

If You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident, Kerner Law Group, P.C. Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

If you or a loved one were involved in a no-fault car accident, contact Kerner Law Group, P.C. at (718) 796-7900 to get the representation and advocacy you deserve. We will investigate and negotiate with the insurance company of the negligent party and work on settling your claim and obtaining compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering.

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