Levittown Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents are quite common on Long Island. Even minor fender benders can result in costly injuries or thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs. Worst of all, after a crash, you will have to deal with filing a claim through one or maybe even two insurance companies. All too often, these claims result in hours of pointless negotiation just to get less compensation than you deserve.
Car Accidents in Nassau County
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the number of car accidents that result in injury or death are actually quite high. Between 2010 and 2012, Nassau County saw:
- More than 100,000 car accidents
- More than 270 fatal crashes
- More than 38,000 injury crashes
Car Accident Claims Process
Filing a car accident claim after a crash is a little different in the State of New York than it is in the rest of the country. This is because New York is a “no-fault” insurance state. This means, rather than filing a claim against the driver who caused your accident, you or your Levittown car accident lawyer files a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of fault.
Because you will file a claim with your own insurer and not the other driver (if s/he caused the accident), you will only be able to recover to the limits of your policy. If your maximum coverage is still less than the actual cost of your medical bills, car repairs, and other damages, you could end up having to pay for the remaining costs directly out of your own pocket.
Remember to let your insurance company know about the accident within at least 30 days after the crash. Delaying longer than this could prevent you from recovering any compensation at all.
Insurance Coverage in New York
Under New York’s insurance laws, all insurance companies must provide their customers with certain coverage. For example, all insurers must provide their customers with personal injury protection coverage, also known as “PIP” coverage, of no less than $50,000.
Of course, you can always purchase a more expensive policy that provides additional coverage, but the above amounts are the minimum coverage that you can expect to receive after a crash in New York. Keep in mind, however, that PIP coverage is for personal injury only. It does not cover the cost of things like car repairs.
In general as a Levittown auto accident attorney can explain, PIP will cover:
Medical expenses: If you are injured in the crash, your insurance policy will typically cover the cost of your medical bills. Typically, covered expenses include doctor’s office visits, over-the-counter and prescription medications, surgery, physical therapy, and even long-term future medical expenses.
Lost Wages: If your injury prevents you from working, your insurance company may also pay you compensation for your lost wages.
Death Benefits: If the car accident results in death, surviving family members may receive death benefits from a wrongful death claim after the crash.
Exceeding Insurance Coverage
There are a few exceptions to New York’s no-fault insurance rules. When these exceptions come into play, you can file a claim against the driver who caused the accident to get additional funds. There are two main situations where you can file a claim against the other driver:
- Your damages exceed your PIP coverage
- Your injuries from the crash are very severe
New York law classifies “severe injuries” as those that result in death, loss of a limb, significant disfigurement, broken bones, loss of a fetus, loss of an organ, significant limitation of use of a body function or system, or loss of the ability to perform your normal daily activities for at least 90 days.
If you can file against the other driver, you or your Levittown car accident attorney can recover compensation up to his/her policy limits.
Benefits of a Levittown Auto Accident Attorney
Regardless of whether you file with your own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, you can be sure that both companies will do everything they can to give you less money than you deserve.
They might try to trick you into admitting fault, stating that your injuries are not as serious as you say they are, or pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement, relying on your lack of knowledge of the insurance system. Our Levittown car accident lawyers know all these tricks (and more) and we will not fall for them. We know exactly how to fight back against any tricks or accusations of fault or fraud.
To determine exactly how the accident occurred and to prove the other driver was the sole liable party, we work with accident reconstructionists to recreate the accident. We also work with medical and vocational experts to get an accurate prognosis for your injuries and how they will affect your ability to work and live a normal life.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, you deserve full and fair compensation. If your insurance company refuses to pay for the full amount of your damages or if you need help filing a claim against the driver at fault, contact the Levittown car accident lawyers at Goldstein & Bashner today.