During 2013, New York drivers were involved in more than 300,000 roadway accidents. As a result of these accidents, nearly 125,000 people suffered an injury. Because New York insurance is considered “no-fault” victims of car accidents have limited options available to them.
What is no fault insurance?
No fault insurance means that regardless of who is at fault for an automobile accident, victims may file a claim with their own insurance company. In order to file a personal injury suit against the person who is at fault for an accident, you must suffer a serious injury. In summary, serious injury is defined as:
- Loss of a fetus
- Disfigurement – Victims who suffer significant disfigurement may file a personal injury lawsuit to be compensated for their injuries.
- Fractures – Victims who suffer broken bones in an auto accident.
- Limitations – Victims who suffer injuries that result in a limitation of a body function, body system or any organs.
- Disability – Victims who are unable to perform substantially all of the material acts which constitute his / her usual and customary daily activities for a period of at least 90 days during the 180 days following the injury or impairment.
Dealing with insurance companies
After you have sought the proper medical care to determine the extent of your injuries, before you contact your insurance company, speak with a personal injury attorney. Keep in mind, insurers will always attempt to ensure victims accept a settlement for their injuries; generally far less than what you may be entitled to.
New York accident victims should also be aware of the rules applying to fault. New York has a “comparative fault” statute which means that if you are partially responsible for an accident, the amount of any eventual award may be reduced by the percentage assigned to you. For example, if you were one of the nearly 8,000 people who were injured because of a drunk driver but you were speeding at the time of the accident, you may be considered to be 10 percent at fault for the accident. If you were awarded $50,000, your end award would be reduced to $45,000.
Victims who have suffered serious injury after being involved in a car accident would be well-advised to consult with a personal injury attorney. Having your case reviewed before you work with an insurance company can help you determine the best way to proceed to ensure you are treated fairly.
Call Amit Sondhi for a Free Consultation at (646)434-5297.