If you are hurt in a car accident, and the at-fault driver has no auto insurance, you most likely are left feeling confused and concerned about your mounting medical bills, lost income, and more. You may think you are left with few options when it comes to covering your damages as a result of the accident.
The good news is, you do have options when it comes to recouping losses you suffered in the crash. A Bohemia uninsured car accident lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can explore your legal options with you and help you choose the best path for you and your family. Call (631) 600-0000 to speak to a team member today during a free consultation.
New York Is a No-Fault Insurance State
New York falls under the umbrella of a no-fault auto insurance system. This means that after a car accident, even if the other driver is the one at fault, you have to file a claim with your own insurance company. The amount of coverage you have for Personal Injury Protection or PIP will cover your medical expenses up to the policy limits. Unfortunately, a no-fault policy will not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering due to the accident. So, if you were seriously injured as a result of the other driver’s negligence, you need to consider pursuing a claim or lawsuit against the responsible driver.
What New York Law Considers a Serious Injury
If you plan to seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages through a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, you must have suffered what New York State law considers a serious injury. The following qualify as serious injuries per § 5102(d) of the New York State Insurance Law:
- Loss of a limb or dismemberment
- Bone fracture
- Severe disfigurement or permanent scarring
- Loss of use of body organ
- Loss of a fetus
- Injury or impairment that prevents you from performing your job duties or customary daily activities for a minimum of three months following the accident
This is why after the crash, it is very important to seek medical treatment right away. Some injuries do not present themselves until hours or even days after the trauma. Go to the hospital or an urgent care center and have a physician properly diagnose and document your injuries related to the accident. If you choose to file a lawsuit in civil court, your medical records will play a big role in the court case against the other driver.
To discuss your case with a team member today, call Gacovino, Lake and Associates, P.C. at (631) 600-0000. A Bohemia uninsured car accident lawyer will be able to analyze your case, determine liability, and let you know if you have the basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
Be Sure to File a Police Report
When an uninsured driver hits you, they may give you a story about why they do not have the required auto insurance coverage. They may try and dissuade you from calling the police following the accident. Do not listen to them. It is critical you call law enforcement and file a police report. This piece of evidence will come up later in negotiations with the insurance company or at trial. In most cases, the officer on the scene will detail how they believe the accident played out and who is liable. This could be beneficial when it comes to proving who caused the crash and who is responsible for the damages.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Every state sets its own time limit for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. According to CVP § 214, the statute of limitations to bring an action for personal injury in New York is three years from the date the injury occurred. If you miss filing during this window, the court may dismiss your case altogether and prevent you from seeking compensation. A Bohemia uninsured car accident lawyer will know if any exceptions apply to your unique case.
If you lost a loved one in a crash with an uninsured driver, you might be eligible for damages due to wrongful death per EPT § 5-4.1. A personal injury attorney can help determine if your case warrants a wrongful death lawsuit and how to proceed.
How an Attorney Can Help You
When an uninsured driver injures you or someone you love in a car accident, you may think you have nowhere to turn for help. An attorney can take on the legal perplexities of your case and fight to get you the best possible outcome. Your lawyer will investigate the details of your case, identify the liable party or parties, negotiate with the insurance company, and take your case to trial if necessary. In addition, our firm works on a contingent-fee basis. This means you pay nothing upfront or out of pocket until we secure a settlement on your behalf. This takes the financial stress you are under off your shoulders.
Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. Today
You do not need to go through this legal battle on your own. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today for help. A member of our team is standing by, ready to assist you and listen to the details of your case. Call (631) 600-0000 now.