Navigating through New York’s car accident laws helps victims define their rights. No-fault states limit the victim’s ability to file a lawsuit and impose serious restrictions for legal action. Federal mandates for auto liability coverage reduces the need for a lawsuit if the drivers are compliant with the laws. However, a growing number of drivers do not comply with insurance laws. As a result, auto accident victims are left to pay their own medical costs and auto repair expenses. A local attorney could help these victims define their rights under no-fault accident laws.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident
Contending with a No-Fault State
In New York, all drivers follow a no-fault state system for auto accidents. The state requires all drivers to have no less than auto liability insurance to provide coverage for an accident victim when the policyholder causes the accident. The coverage must start with a minimum of $25,000 for the first injuries with a maximum of $50,000 for the total auto accident. It must also provide $10,000 for all property damage that happened during the accident. The no-state laws make it difficult for anyone to file a lawsuit for their accident injuries, and most drivers will need to secure auto insurance information from the driver that caused the accident to get any compensation. Auto accident victims contact Jacoby & Meyers to review their rights now.
Defining Serious Injuries from a Car Accident
In New York, the only way an auto accident victim can file a lawsuit is if the cost of their medical treatment exceeds the maximum value of the standard auto liability coverage. The medical expenses must accumulate to more than $50,000 for the individual victim, and their injuries must be severe. The victim must provide invoices that show the excessive medical costs and provide at least three estimates for their auto repair costs. Even if they received $50,000 in payments from the at-fault driver’s insurance, the victim has the right to seek further compensation if their medical costs continue beyond this maximum value. Their medical records must show a severe injury before they can start a claim.
Collecting Information About the Injuries
A doctor must document auto accident injuries through comprehensive medical records. The doctor must conclude that the injuries occurred during the auto accident, and the victim didn’t sustain these injuries because of a separate event. If the victim had existing injuries at the time of the accident, they do not cover the additional injuries under these personal injury laws. The victim will need to seek medical treatment and coverage through their own healthcare insurance for those injuries.
The Total Cost for Medical Treatment of the Car Accident
Medical expenses must be presented through invoices from the victim’s doctor directly. These invoices show the exact cost of the medical treatment. If the doctor sent the patient to a lab or hospital for additional tests, the individual must get invoices from these care providers, too. They should include any medical services that were linked to the auto accident injuries in the legal claim against the at-fault driver. However, the initial treatments must equate to over $50,000. Doctors can provide an estimate for continued treatment for a serious injury or lifelong disability resulting from the auto accident. The invoices show the court what the victim faces because of their injuries, and they calculate the financial losses according to how often the patient must visit their doctor for treatment.
Auto Repair Costs and Property Damage
Auto accidents cause auto damage and property damage. Initially, the auto insurance providers consider auto damage and require at least three estimates. The claims adjuster chooses the median costs from these estimates. However, if a commercial or residential property was damaged because of an auto accident, a contractor will need to provide estimates for these repair costs. If the auto accident totaled a property, the at-fault driver faces the full replacement costs for the structure. If they have the minimum amount, the insurance policy provides no more than $10,000 for these repairs. The victim could sue to collect the remaining cost of repairing their property.
Life-Altering and Threatening Injuries
Monitoring the current health status of the auto accident victim helps the attorney determine if they have a personal injury claim or if the family will seek a wrongful death lawsuit. The attorney can represent the victim via a family member who hires the attorney. If the victim survives their accident injuries, they can participate in the claim. However, since there is a statute of limitations for auto accident claims, the family could start the claim for the victim. The deadline for these accidents is three years, and if the victim doesn’t file before the third anniversary, they lose their rights to compensation.
Lost Wages for the Victim
Injury claims include all lost wages incurred while the victim recovers. The amount of lost wages starts on the first day the victim missed work and processed to the date when the claim is determined. However, with severe injuries, the victim could lose their ability to work again. When this happens, the victim could seek lifelong wages from the at-fault driver.
What if the Victim Dies from the Car Accident?
If the victim dies, the family could file a wrongful death lawsuit. To win the case, the family must prove the victim’s death was the result of the accident. Under New York state laws, all victims of auto accidents must undergo an autopsy. The findings from the autopsy link the victim’s injuries to the auto accident. These injuries must cause the victim’s death and not an underlying medical condition. If the victim died because of an existing medical condition, the family won’t have a viable claim.
They restrict auto accident lawsuits in the state of New York, and victims cannot sue until their medical costs exceed $50,000. All drivers in the state must have at least auto liability insurance coverage for all vehicles registered in their names. Medical records and invoices are necessary to start a lawsuit, and the records must show the costs exceeded the maximum for insurance coverage and a serious injury. Examining auto accident laws helps victims determine if they have a claim.