Serious Car Accident Injury Liability
The holiday season can be a time of increased risk for car accidents. The combination of earlier sunsets, winter weather, and holiday drunk driving make this time of year more hazardous for drivers. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimated that around 346 people died on U.S. roads during the Christmas Day holiday period in 2022. Understanding New York State car accident injury laws will allow you to protect yourself and your family if you are ever seriously injured in an automobile accident. Our legal experts at Pulvers, Pulvers, & Thompson L.L.P. have joined forces to compile this guide to educate you on serious car accident injury liability.
New York Car Accident Regulations Explained
New York car accident regulations are governed by two concepts that distinguish them from the regulations in other states: comparative negligence and no-fault insurance.
Under comparative negligence, each party involved in an accident is assigned a percentage of fault. Even if one party was the main cause of an accident, the other party could still bear some degree of liability if they could have prevented it by behaving differently. Comparative negligence, therefore, plays a large part in determining the amount of damages owed after an automobile collision.
New York has a no-fault insurance system, which means that if you are ever injured in an accident, you need to file a claim under your personal injury protection insurance to receive compensation for your injuries, regardless of who was at fault for the collision. The no-fault insurance system applies only to personal physical injury coverage and does not apply to property damage, pain & suffering, or non-financial damages. If you suffer a serious car accident injury and your personal injury protection insurance does not cover the full cost of your recovery, suing the other party involved in the accident becomes an attractive option.
Serious Car Accident Injury Lawsuits
You need to meet the New York serious injury threshold to be eligible to sue for compensation after a car accident. The conditions that constitute a “serious injury” in relation to New York car accidents are defined by section 5102(d) of the New York Insurance Law. Serious injury conditions include significant disfigurement, dismemberment, bone fracture, loss of a fetus, permanent limited use of a body part, significant body function limitation, and substantially full disability for 90 days or longer. You also need to file your lawsuit before the filing deadline and have proper medical documentation of your injuries to be successful.
The statute of limitations for most NY car accident claims is three years, but this is only a general rule. Deadly car accidents have a statute of limitations of only two years because they are considered wrongful death cases and are regulated by a different statute. In cases involving minors, you have three years from the 18th birthday of the injured minor to file (if not longer), but for cases involving municipal vehicles, you have just 90 days to file. Statutes of limitation for car accidents are complicated, so it is best to file a lawsuit as quickly as possible after being seriously injured in a car accident.
Car Accident Aftermath Guide
If you are ever involved in a car accident, follow these steps. It is especially important to follow this guide if you have suffered from a serious car accident injury.
- Call the police and, if necessary, paramedics. Calling the police is important because it allows for the creation of a police report, which will document the accident and provide evidence for insurance claims and lawsuits later. If you or any other drivers or passengers are injured in the accident, you should also call paramedics so they can render first aid and, if necessary, transport injured parties to a hospital.
- Get information from other drivers and, if possible, third parties. After an accident, you should exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved. You should also write down the names, addresses, phone numbers, and driver’s license numbers of all involved drivers. If possible, you should also get the contact information of any third-party witnesses.
- Take photos and document the accident: Take photos of the damaged sections of all involved vehicles. You should also photograph damaged public property, weather and road conditions, visibility, traffic signals, and any factors that contributed to the accident. On the day of the accident, or in its immediate aftermath, you should also seek out surveillance video of the accident that may have been recorded by nearby security cameras. You should also consider installing a dash cam in your vehicle for additional security.
- Seek medical attention to document your injuries. It’s essential to visit a hospital or doctor immediately following a crash so that your medical condition is fully documented. It is important to seek medical attention even if you do not think you were injured, because conditions resulting from the crash may not be immediately apparent. It is important to make sure any injuries are properly documented to ensure you are properly compensated for any injuries and medical bills.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. You should notify your insurance company whether or not you believe you were at fault for the crash. Most insurance companies require that the policyholder report any collision, even if they are not intending to file a claim. If a policyholder fails to report an accident within a certain period of time, they may even lose their right to make a claim in relation to the accident.
- Keep a diary of your experiences. You should keep a diary detailing your injuries, experiences, medical treatment, and expenses so it can be used as evidence in the event of a lawsuit. The diary is also a useful piece of evidence for insurance claims and can help prevent your insurance company from denying your claim.
- Contact Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson L.L.P to represent you. If you are ever injured in a car accident, you need to hire an experienced attorney to represent you. Your attorney will have your best interests in mind and will fight for you to receive maximum compensation for your injuries, even when your insurance company does not. The best law firm to call if you are injured by a car accident in NYC, Westchester, or on Long Island is Pulvers, Pulvers, & Thompson L.L.P.
Contact Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson
If you are ever seriously injured in a car accident please contact Pulvers, Pulvers, & Thompson L.L.P. so that we can help you win the compensation you need and deserve. If you require assistance obtaining appropriate medical attention, help working with insurance agencies, or maximum compensation for your car accident, our team has the experience and will to fight for your best interests.