You have recently been injured in an automobile accident and your life consists of running from doctor’s appointment to doctor’s appointment. The receptionist at the physical therapist office knows you on sight and you are on so many painkillers that you spend more time sleeping than you do working or being with your friends and family. You have probably also spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with your insurance company.
Most insurance companies will make you provide a ton of documentation, ask you dozens of questions as if you are under interrogation, and get back to you with a settlement that is considerably less than you deserve. You may wonder if you should sue them.
Insurance Laws in New York
There are two different kinds of insurance rules in the United States, fault and no-fault. In a fault state, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying its associated bills. In a no-fault state, a person’s own insurance company will pay for the accident-related bills no matter who caused the crash.
The Empire State requires that drivers carry at least $50,000 of no-fault insurance. Although New York is a no-fault state, you must also carry $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for injury to all persons, and $10,000 for damage to property. Mandatory “no-fault” coverage of $50,000 is also required.
If your medical bills exceed the amount of money for which you are covered, then you may think about suing the other driver if they were responsible for the collision. Certain thresholds must be met before you can sue an at-fault party in a car accident.
Exceptions to the No-Fault Rule
You may be able to sue the driver who caused the accident or file a claim with their insurance company if they have suffered a bone fracture or if the injury has limited the function of an organ or limb.
You may also be able to sue if you have been permanently disfigured or if you are fully disabled for 90 days or longer.
If your accident meets any of the exceptions, you can sue for pain and suffering as well as medical costs and lost wages. If you make an ordinary no-fault claim, you may not ask for compensation for pain and suffering. You can read more by clicking here.
Finding a Lawyer
You should never file any personal injury claim without an attorney. A New York personal injury lawyer will have years of experience in negotiating with insurance companies. They will be well-versed in small changes to the law and they will fight hard to get you the money you deserve.
It is best to look for an attorney who can provide you with references and who has the time to handle your case. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, so there is no real risk to you financially.
Be sure to collect all the bills from your accident and save receipts for any medications you may have to take. You should also get a letter from your employer stating any hours you have missed from work.
Car accidents happen every day and injuries from them can change your life. You deserve to have the best medical attention that money can buy.
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