Garden City Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are unfortunately an everyday occurrence in New York. These accidents cause severe injuries and can result in months of lost wages. No-fault insurance provides accident victims with benefits after an accident, but oftentimes, that coverage is not enough. You may have other options. A Garden City car accident lawyer can help you determine your options.
No Fault Insurance Coverage
In New York, all motorists must purchase no-fault, uninsured motorist, and liability coverage insurance. No-fault coverage, or personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, covers a variety of accident-related expenses, regardless of fault. If you are involved in an accident, you and your passengers are entitled to up to $50,000 for:
- Medical expenses: Motor vehicle accident victims may suffer severe injuries including brain damage, spinal cord damage, and broken bones. Surgery costs, hospital stays, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and other expenses can be overwhelming. No-fault benefits will cover the victim’s reasonable and necessary medical expenses up to the policy’s limits.
- Lost wages: Those suffering with accident-related injuries may be unable to return to work for weeks or months after the crash. No-fault benefits will cover up to 80 percent of an accident victim’s lost wages for up to three years after the collision.
- Household expenses and other costs: In addition to medical bills and lost income, accident victims may find it difficult to perform activities they did before the accident. No-fault benefits can help by covering up to $25 a day for household maintenance, transportation to medical appointments, child care, and other similar costs.
- Death benefits: Not everyone survives car accidents. In such cases, no-fault coverage will provide a $2,000 benefit to the estate of the deceased, if s/he was eligible for no-fault benefits. This death benefit is in addition to the $50,000 PIP limit.
When do no-fault benefits not apply?
While it is true that your insurer will award PIP benefits regardless of fault, there are some cases when insurers will not award PIP benefits. As a Garden City car accident attorney can explain, PIP benefits do not typically apply to:
- Motorists that were injured while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Motorists that intentionally caused their own injuries.
- ATV or motorcycle riders
- Injuries sustained while committing a felony
- Motorists with out-of-state policies
Filing Your Claim with the Insurance Company
In order to receive your no-fault benefits, you will need to notify your insurance company or the insurance company of the vehicle you were in when the accident occurred.
If you were a pedestrian, you will notify the insurer of the vehicle that hit you. You will have 30 days from the date of the accident to file your benefit application.
You or your Garden City car accident lawyer should file your claim sooner rather than later to avoid payment delays.
What if my injury eclipses the $50,000 limit?
No-fault benefits will cover some of your medical expenses and lost wages, but many accident victims find that they need additional financial support.
In this case, you may want to consider filing a claim against the person responsible for your accident. However, New York law only permits motorists with “serious injuries” to pursue a claim against other parties after a crash. Under New York Insurance Law § 5102(d), the law considers the following to be serious injuries:
- Permanent loss of use of a body part
- Limitation on use of a body part
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement
If you can prove you have one of the serious injuries listed above, you may proceed with your claim. To hold another driver liable for your injuries, you must prove the other driver acted negligently.
Negligence requires proving a breach of a duty owed. You will need to show that the motorist breached his/her duty to act responsibly on the road by engaging in some negligent act. Negligent acts on the road may include failure to adhere to traffic laws, reckless driving, or driving while distracted.
Your Garden City car accident attorney will also need to show that the other party’s negligent actions caused your injuries. Police reports, witness testimony, expert testimony, and medical records can all help you prove your case.
If successful, you can recover both economic and noneconomic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
Garden City Car Accident Lawyers
No-fault benefits can be helpful to accident victims that need financial assistance soon after an accident. However, these benefits are often not enough to cover all of the expenses incurred in an accident, nor do they cover all types of expenses. You need a Garden City car accident attorney that routinely handles accident cases in New York and knows how to deal with insurance companies, medical experts, and various other parties.
The Garden City car accident attorneys at Goldstein and Bashner understand how an accident can change your life for the worse and will do whatever they can to help you get back on your feet. With years of experience handling car accident cases in New York, the attorneys on staff are knowledgeable with regards to no-fault benefits and personal injury claims.