New York is one of thirteen “no-fault” accident states. This means all drivers are required to carry a car insurance policy with at least $50,000 in no-fault insurance.
When most drivers get into an accident, their own policy handles their expenses. That includes property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and incidental expenses arising from the accident.
It doesn’t cover pain and suffering, but that’s part of the trade-off. You enjoy lower car insurance rates and a faster process, but give up the right to sue over the pain you’ve been through.
Yet from time to time, car accident cases are so serious that they exceed these policy limits. They hit what’s called the “serious injury threshold.”
These are the cases that turn into car accident lawsuits in New York.
What is a Serious Injury in New York’s Insurance Law?
A serious injury is defined as:
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of a body organ
- Permanent loss of a bodily function or bodily system
- Bone fracture
- An accident resulting in total disability for 90 days or more.
These are the accidents you can sue over. These allow you to recover any compensation that your own insurance policy didn’t cover, as well as to sue for pain and suffering.
Of course, as with any personal injury case, you have to prove the other driver was at-fault. You aren’t covered just because you sustained serious injuries. You’re covered if you got injured and someone else was negligent.
You should also be aware that New York is a comparative negligence state. That means each driver will be assigned a percentage of fault. You can recover even if you’re partially responsible for the accident, but your recovery will be reduced by the same percentage.
This is why you want an extremely experienced personal injury lawyer by your side. The other driver’s insurance company is going to be doing everything in their power to try to assign you as much blame as possible so that they pay less and less. You need an attorney who will help you reconstruct the facts of your case and who can ensure that these tricks don’t work.
Call to schedule a no-obligation case review. We’ll review the facts of your case and determine whether you have met the threshold and whether the facts of the case are in your favor.
If so, we’ll fight hard to help you recover every dime of compensation you’re owed. Call now.
Submit this form to have your case reviewed by our attorney.
Meet Mr. Richman
SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.
Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines.