A car accident victim may weigh the benefit of legal counsel involvement against their direct interaction with drivers’ insurance carriers to make certain crucial matters that may negatively impact future livelihood are not missed. Consulting with an experienced accident attorney regarding the particulars of a case may be a starting place, and many of those first time consultations occur at no cost to an accident victim.
No fault state.
New York is a “no-fault” insurance state for car accident injury compensation, meaning that each party will turn to their own insurance carrier to restore damage and pay for injuries from the accident regardless of fault.
“Serious injury threshold” actions.
There are instances when legal action is required, or a third party insurance claim where an injured party may contact the other driver’s insurance carrier occur, but those instances must qualify under New York’s “serious injury threshold” where a victim may have experienced:
- significant disfigurement
- bone fracture
- permanent limitation of use of body organ or member
- significant limitation of use of body function or system
- full disability for 90 days or more
Financial responsibility shifts to at fault driver, and covers non-economic damages.
If injuries qualify under this definition, the at-fault driver responsible for the accident will be held responsible, and a victim can pursue compensation for all categories of losses, including pain and suffering and other non-economic damages, which are not normally available under a no fault claim. Roadway accidents occur for a variety of reasons and a determination of fault can influence any legal outcomes if you have incurred damages above insurance limits or injury that leaves residual complications in your life.
Benefit of legal counsel.
Legal outcomes can result in necessary payments to accident victims for damages and injuries. Higher monetary settlements usually occur if there is a significant injury resulting in medical bills, and prolonged medical or specialty treatments specifically caused by the accident.
Track loss and impact.
If you have been injured in a car accident, seeking out medical care and evaluation is the first course of action, and if legal action is a possibility, you may need proof of medical treatment to document accident-related injuries. Recovery of monetary damages will be more difficult if there is no documented proof of costs resulting from the injury. Damages may include:
- Repair costs to vehicles or other property damaged in the accident
- Medical bills including doctors, hospitals and related medical therapies required from the injury
- Future income earnings lost as a result of residual damage affecting your job
- Missed time at work lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Hire an attorney.
An experienced attorney will have a better idea as to how much your accident case may be worth. Insurance companies are required to cover losses up to insured amounts and are often more concerned about keeping settlement amounts as low as possible. It is in an accident victim’s best interests to speak with a lawyer before the statute of limitations has passed for legal action. The monetary difference could be between a settlement of a few thousand dollars to that of a few hundred thousand dollars. If you have been involved in an accident that caused injury or damages, contact an experienced criminal law attorney at the Law Office of Alex Smith for a case evaluation to discuss your legal options.
Alex Smith, Esquire
6 North Street
Middletown, New York 10940
Telephone: (845 )344-4322
Email: [email protected]