Getting into a car accident causes significant expense, inconvenience, and stress, even when the crash is minor. Severe accidents with injuries can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially.
The no-fault laws in New York are intended to make accident claims simple, but navigating the system requires perseverance and knowledge. If you manage your claim without a skilled personal injury attorney’s assistance, you might not get all the compensation you are entitled to.
An Elma car accident lawyer from Richmond Vona, LLC can manage your claim for you. Allowing a professional to take the lead in legal matters relieves you of the hassle and could increase your compensation. Reach out today to begin reviewing the details of your case.
How the No-Fault System Works
Everyone who registers a vehicle in New York must show proof of insurance. A vehicle’s owner must have liability coverage for property damage to someone else’s vehicle, bodily injury protection for someone injured in an accident, and Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The minimum bodily injury protection is $25,000 for one injured person per incident and $50,000 for multiple injured people. The minimum PIP is $50,000.
If a household has only one vehicle, the PIP covers all family members. When a motorist gets into an accident, the owner’s PIP covers the uninsured passengers. PIP covers an injured person’s medical expenses and 80 percent of their earnings while they cannot work, up to a maximum of $2000 per month for up to three years. PIP also could cover up to $25 per day for one year to reimburse incidental expenses necessary because of the injury.
Anyone who suffers injuries in a car accident must seek reimbursement from their PIP coverage first. PIP pays regardless of fault. If the coverage limits are inadequate to meet the injured person’s medical expenses and lost wages, they could assert a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. An attorney in Elma can help an injured person file a claim promptly to ensure they collect maximum benefits.
For a free legal consultation with a car accident lawyer serving Elma, call (716) 300-5885
Stepping Outside the No-Fault System
The no-fault system works reasonably well for people with minor injuries. However, someone with a significant injury might find that their no-fault coverage plus the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage is insufficient to reimburse all their expenses. In addition, the system provides no compensation for an injured person’s suffering due to the accident.
Accordingly, people can sometimes take an at-fault driver to court. When an accident victim’s expenses exceed $50,000, they may seek further compensation through the court system. In addition, New York Insurance Law § 5102(d) allows people with specific injuries access to take civil action. The law defines the following as serious injuries:
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Temporary injury or impairment that prevents a person from performing their usual tasks for at least 90 of the 180 days following the incident
- Permanent loss of use of a body part, organ, or system function
- Permanent limited function of a limb or organ
- Significant limitation of use of a bodily function or system
If car accident injuries are fatal, the surviving family members can seek recovery through a wrongful death suit.
Determining whether an injury fits within these definitions is sometimes challenging. A skilled Elma car wreck attorney can assess the claimant’s injuries, review the medical records, and seek expert opinions to justify pursuing compensation in civil court.
Elma Car Accident Lawyer Near Me (716) 300-5885
Establishing Liability for Car Crash Injuries
When a car accident case goes to court, the injured claimant must prove that another party’s negligence caused the crash. If another driver received a citation for a moving violation related to the accident, the ticket is evidence of negligence. If the police did not issue a ticket, an Elma attorney can seek other proof of negligence, such as witness testimony, crash scene photos, and video of the auto collision.
Other parties could potentially have liability in a car accident case. For example, an auto manufacturer could be liable if a mechanical failure contributed to the crash. A town or city might be responsible if the accident resulted from a road defect, they were aware of but had not yet fixed. If the accident involved a drunk driver, a bar or restaurant that served them has potential liability.
Our legal professionals will thoroughly investigate the crash to identify all the potentially responsible parties and hold them accountable. A successful claimant could receive their unreimbursed medical and other expenses plus compensation for their pain and suffering.
Contact an Elma Car Accident Attorney After a Wreck
Car accident claims in New York are complicated, and navigating the system when you are injured might be too much. One of our Elma car accident lawyers can manage your claim and ensure you get all the compensation the circumstances allow.