Serious car accident injuries can cost $100,000 or more to treat, and that is before we consider the time away from work while you recover. Repairing or replacing your vehicle, getting back and forth to physical therapy, and trying to focus on getting better is enough to make anyone feel stressed out. Many accident victims feel depressed and alone, and worry about how they will make ends meet.
If another motorist caused you to suffer serious crash injuries, a Bayport, Long Island car accident lawyer could help. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your complimentary case review. We handle car accident cases on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing until we recover compensation for you.
Does New York’s No-Fault Car Insurance Law Affect My Case?
New York State follows a no-fault auto insurance scheme that forces drivers to first turn to their personal injury protection policy coverage for any injury that does not meet the law’s serious injury threshold. In many cases, this is the only way you can get compensation to pay for your medical care and cover the wages you lost while out of work.
This type of auto insurance law makes it easier to recover compensation after a fender bender or other minor collision. If you suffered more than a few minor scrapes and bruises, though, it might be difficult to recover all the money you need to pay for your care through your no-fault insurance policy. This is why the law includes a minimum threshold for serious injuries. If your injuries meet or exceed this criterion, we can pursue a third-party insurance claim based on the at-fault motorist’s liability insurance policy. It is the best way to collect compensation for significant financial losses after a car accident.
The New York State “serious injury” threshold requires you suffer one of these injuries to qualify:
- Broken bone
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of use of a limb
- Significant limitation of a body function or system
- Full disability for 90 days or more
If you believe you meet this threshold, we can request your relevant medical records. We can use them as evidence in your case and pursue an insurance claim that will hold the at-fault driver financially liable for the suffering they put you through. In most cases, we can negotiate a fair settlement with the other driver’s insurance company, and avoid going to court. However, we will not shy away from filing a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf against the negligent motorist if they refuse a fair settlement.
How Long Do We Have to File a Lawsuit Against a Negligent Motorist in NY?
New York has a three-year statute of limitations on all personal injury cases, including car accidents. This means we have 36 months to file a lawsuit based on the facts of your crash. After this time, the law will prevent us from pursuing legal action against the at-fault motorist in most cases.
While it may seem that three years is a significant amount of time, preparing a case is not a quick process. We need to launch a full investigation into the cause of your accident, identifying any and all potentially liable parties, discussing it with expert witnesses, analyzing accident reconstructions, and more. We must prove negligence and fault, as well as document your current and future expenses related to the auto accident. All of this takes time, so it is important to contact your car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash.
It is important to note that this deadline technically only applies when we are filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist, not when we are filing a liability insurance claim. However, the threat of a lawsuit often supplies necessary incentive to motivate the insurance company to offer a better settlement. Without this threat hanging over their head, they are much less inclined to offer us the full amount we request.
How Much Is My Third-Party Liability Car Accident Claim Worth?
It is impossible to predict exactly how much we may be able to recover on your behalf without fully investigating your financial damages, accident-related losses, and pain and suffering damages. We will collect bills, receipts, and other documentation of your expenses to create a full listing of your damages, and determine their approximate value. Only then can we know for sure what a fair settlement might look like.
Among the damages we commonly recover compensation to pay for:
- Ambulance or other emergency medical transportation
- Hospitalization and inpatient care
- Medical care, including doctor’s visits
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Future medical needs and ongoing care costs
- Lost wages and lost future income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
If we cannot negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company and it becomes necessary to litigate your case, we will collect damages to cover similar categories. Also, the judge has the discretion to award another type of damages as well. Punitive damages are relatively rare but can have a significant impact on your compensation package when a judge awards them. The goal of this type of damages is to punish the other party for particularly careless or intentionally heinous behavior. For example, a judge might award them in a drunk driving accident that left the victim with permanent injuries.
How Can I Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer in Bayport, Long Island?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our car accident team offers free case evaluations. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a time to discuss your serious injury accident.