Car, Truck & Motorcycle Accidents
Our personal injury & auto accident lawyers have more than 60 years of combined experience handling motor vehicle accident cases. We are well-versed in New York State’s no-fault law, which applies in most situations where a person is injured in an automobile accident. Under the law, you are entitled to have your medical expenses, as well as a portion of your lost wages, paid by the insurance company insuring the car in which you were traveling at the time of the accident. The availability of these benefits does not depend upon who is at fault in causing the accident.
In order to receive these No Fault benefits, you must act promptly in completing an application for the benefits and sending it to the appropriate insurance company as soon as possible. There are strict time limitations within which you must provide the application, as well as any supporting documentation such as proof of your medical expenses and proof of your lost earnings to the insurance company.
Even if you caused the accident, you are entitled to receive no-fault benefits for your medical expenses and lost wages. However, under the no-fault law, you do not have an absolute right to sue the other driver. You can bring a lawsuit to recover from the other driver and his insurance company only if you suffer certain types of injuries defined by the law as a “serious injury,” including fractures, death, dismemberment, significant scarring and permanent loss of use or significant limitation of a body system or organ. It also includes other types of injuries that result in your being unable to perform your usual daily activities for at least 90 days out of the first 180 days following the accident. Thus, if your doctor keeps you out of work for a significant period of time following the accident, you may have a cause of action, even if you do not have a fracture or other “serious injury.” Our personal injury attorneys can assist you in determining if your injuries fall into any of these somewhat confusing categories.
If you qualify as having sustained a “serious injury,” you are entitled to bring a lawsuit against the other driver to recover for damages, including pain and suffering and any monetary loss beyond what has been reimbursed by the no-fault insurer. In most situations, there is a three-year statute of limitations within which to sue the negligent party. Once this three-year period expires, you will be barred from bringing any claim against the other driver. In some situations, however, such as where the accident involves the negligence of a municipal worker, the time limitation to bring a claim may be drastically reduced. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure that you do not miss any time limitations concerning your no-fault benefits, providing notice to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles and to ensure that critical evidence is preserved.
Our attorneys are experienced in handling all aspects of motor vehicle accident claims involving:
- Negligently designed roads
- Drunk drivers
- Uninsured motorists