Serious car accident injuries often mean weeks or months in the hospital and rehabilitation, sometimes followed by therapy and ongoing care. Many car crash victims miss months of work, and others never return to their previous job. The costs of this type of accident injury add up quickly and usually exceed the limits of the individual’s personal injury protection no-fault auto insurance policy.
Can a Car Accident Lawyer in Patchogue, Long Island Help Me?
If another driver caused your Patchogue, NY, car accident and you suffered serious injuries, work with the car accident lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. We offer complimentary consultations and handle most motor vehicle collision claims on a contingency basis. Call us today at 631-600-0000.
How Can I Step Outside New York’s No-Fault Car Insurance Law?
New York State’s no-fault auto insurance law requires drivers to file a claim based on their personal injury protection policy after most car accidents. In most situations, this policy is sufficient to take care of the costs associated with most injuries, including a few days of lost wages. There is no hassle with the other driver’s insurance company, and you do not need to prove fault or liability. You simply contact your insurance company and file a claim.
Because these policies have relatively low limits, however, they will not provide enough coverage for more serious injuries. This is why the no-fault auto insurance laws include a serious injury threshold that allows us to file a third-party insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
To meet New York State’s threshold and file a liability car accident claim, you must have serious injuries that include:
- A broken bone;
- Significant disfigurement;
- Loss of use of a limb or body part;
- Significant limitation of a body part, function or system; and
- Full disability for at least 90 days
If your injuries qualify, we can collect your medical records and other evidence to prove the harm you suffered. We will also investigate your claim and collect proof that the other driver acted negligently and is liable for your injuries. Then, we can file a claim with the insurance company and attempt to negotiate a fair settlement. If this is not possible, we may decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in New York?
There is a three-year statute of limitations on all personal injury lawsuits in New York State, including motor vehicle accidents. The statute of limitations applies only to filing a lawsuit, not to filing an insurance claim. However, if we cannot settle your claim before the statute lapses, and do not file a lawsuit to protect your rights, it will become almost impossible to settle with the insurance company.
When it comes to preparing a personal injury lawsuit, three years is not a long time. We fully investigate every car accident with the goal of identifying all potentially liable parties. We work closely with expert witnesses and accident reconstruction specialists, as well as others who can help us prove negligence. This process can take several months or more, so it is important to act early. We recommend giving us a call as soon as your injuries stabilize.
How Much Money Is My Third-Party Liability Car Accident Claim Worth?
There is no way to know how much your car accident case might be worth until we investigate the facts of your case, calculate your financial damages, and determine your noneconomic losses. We need to know about all of your accident-related losses and collect evidence to prove them. Only then can we know how much the accident cost you and what a fair settlement looks like.
Some of the damages we can help you recover compensation for include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospitalization and medical care
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Future medical needs and ongoing care
- Lost wages and lost future income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
If the insurance company refuses a fair settlement and we take your case to court, the judge may also award punitive damages. While judges only occasionally award punitive damages, they are often significant. Some situations where we might ask the court for punitive damages include drunk-driving crashes and if the other driver intentionally collided with you.
How Can I Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer in Patchogue, Long Island?
You can reach the Long Island legal team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at 631-600-0000. We can schedule a time to talk about your car crash and help you understand the legal options for compensation. Call us today.