Car accidents are costly events in many ways. Beyond the physical damage to drivers, passengers and vehicles, the monetary consequences can last for weeks or even months after the accident itself. Since New York is a no-fault state, the best way to save money and manage a car accident in New York is to talk to a no-fault defense attorney.
Some states, like New York, are no-fault states, which means that the state courts do not place blame on either party in an accident. Whether you were the driver responsible for the incident or you were following the law and your car was hit, the fault doesn’t matter to the court. However, both drivers are required to have a minimum of $50,000 in no-fault liability coverage as part of their insurance policies. Each driver’s insurance company must pay up to that amount for crash-related damages. As you may suspect, this can lead to unfair accident-related costs and financial consequences, especially when you didn’t cause the accident.
In New York, the mandatory minimum insurance of $50,000 per driver covers:
- Up to $25,000 when one person is injured or killed and up to $50,000 for more than one person
- Up to $10,000 for expenses related to property damage
- Up to $50,000 in general “no-fault” coverage
If you were not the responsible party in a car accident that took place in a no-fault state, there are still ways to recoup your losses by filing a lawsuit. You could receive compensation for medical expenses related to your injuries, costs to repair your car, wages you lost while recovering from the accident, and pain and suffering.
While New York puts limits on lawsuits for property damage and physical injuries sustained in a car accident, including pain and suffering, you may still qualify to file a suit, especially if the total loss amount is higher than the insurance coverage available.
Working with a no-fault defense attorney can help you navigate the no-fault lawsuit process by helping you:
- Understand if you have a case
- Establish your case faster (especially if you have internal injuries that you didn’t realize you had at the time of the accident)
- Estimate future medical bills
- Recommend whether a legal claim or settlement is better for your situation
- Guide you through the process
From the moment the accident occurs, the steps you take can make or break your case. It’s crucial to keep a record of everything to ensure the best possible outcome for your car accident claim.
- Call 9-1-1 (typically, the responsible party should make this call, but if they don’t or refuse to do so, you should contact the police right away)
- Get emergency medical care
- Take photos of both vehicles, the scene, and any visible injuries or damage
- Collect contact information from both drivers and any witnesses
- Call a no-fault defense attorney
- File a claim with your insurance company
- Maintain secure records of the accident photos and contact information, any medical bills or expenses related to the accident, and any lost wages