Almost 300,000 car crashes were reported in New York in 2014, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website. Of those, more than 118,000 resulted in non-fatal injuries and over 180,000 caused property damage. New York drivers and passengers alike who have been involved in a car accident should learn about the state’s laws and insurance requirements because they affect property damage and injury claims that can be made and, should it come to litigation, settlement negotiations.
New York is a No-Fault State
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident in New York, it is important to know that the state follows no-fault car insurance rules. This means that a party involved in a crash should first turn to his or her own car insurance carrier to seek compensation for damages – including injuries and loss of income – up to the limits provided by the policy. In New York, a car accident victim can only step outside of this no-fault system if the injury qualifies as “serious” under the law. Unlike a claim for loss of income or physical injuries, the no-fault system does not apply to a claim for property damages. Therefore, property damages may be pursued with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Settling Your Claim
While New York is a no-fault state anyone seeking to pursue a claim as a result of a car accident must be aware of the statute of limitations, or time during which a lawsuit must be filed or it will be forever banned. Under New York law, this time frame is limited to three years from the date of the accident. This is important because if your case cannot be settled within the statute of limitations, a seasoned Brooklyn car accident attorney should be contacted immediately in order to preserve your rights.
It is also important for a car accident victim to know that his or her award for damages – if a lawsuit is filed and it goes to a trial by jury – may be reduced by the amount of fault he or she had in causing the crash. New York follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule when determining damages, which means that if the plaintiff shared in the responsibility for causing the accident the award will be reduced proportionately. There are several variables at play when determining the compensation amount resulting from a car accident, including loss of income, pain and suffering, and even the type of injury. For instance, a jury may compensate more for a severe injury such as a brain injury or herniated disc, as opposed to whiplash or cuts and bruises. An even larger amount may be awarded if the crash results in fatalities.
Once your attorney has settled your New York car accident case, you can expect the following to occur: release forms will be sent to you, which are documents that must be signed in order to formally settle the case; once the insurance company receives these documents, the settlement payment will be processed; thereafter, the monies are sent to your legal representative, who will deposit the funds in his or her trust account; finally, your attorney will send you a check for the net of the proceeds owed to you after any fees and/or costs.
Brooklyn Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York crash, or has suffered any type of personal injury, due to another’s negligence contact a Brooklyn car accident attorney for an initial consultation. The legal professionals at the law offices of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum will aggressively fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. Do not hesitate to click here or call (718) 237-5586 to schedule your initial case evaluation.