In the Bronx, car accidents happen quickly and unexpectedly. Drivers, passengers, and pedestrians may disagree about what exactly happened and who was at fault. But fault may not matter for insurance purposes because insurers are supposed to cover injuries regardless. However, damages often exceed what insurers pay out and in serious injury cases proving who was at fault is the key to recovery.
New York is a No-Fault Insurance state
Under New York State law, every driver must have a minimum amount of auto insurance, including no-fault coverage of $50,000. No-Fault insurance coverage pays individuals up to the policy limit for injuries caused by auto accidents. This includes drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. It does not matter who is at fault or whether there was negligence. This law limits when an injured party can sue for personal injury resulting from a car crash, even when economic losses exceed insurance benefits or there are non-economic damages such as pain or suffering.
Serious injuries under New York law
In order to sue an at-fault driver after a car crash, injured parties must be able to show that injuries were serious or that the accident resulted in death. New York’s no-fault law lists serious injuries that qualify for potential personal injury litigation, such as:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss or limited use of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
In addition, the law provides a catch-all for other serious injuries, including those that limit daily activities for at least 90 days during the 180 days after the injury and accident.
Fault in personal injury or wrongful death
Once it is established that injuries meet the seriousness threshold, the next step in personal injury litigation is to prove who was at fault in causing the accident. In the Bronx, and throughout New York State, a personal injury plaintiff can sue to recover damages to property, for injury, or for wrongful death, even if he or she was partly at-fault. This is called contributory negligence. Under this law of negligence, the plaintiff’s monetary recovery is reduced by the proportion that he or she was at-fault in causing the accident. Proportion of negligence may be fairly subjective and proving fault percentages takes knowledge and experience.
Experienced Bronx car accident attorneys protect your rights
Bronx car accident cases are highly complex, involving auto insurance companies, no-fault laws, injury evaluation, proof of fault, and proportion of contributory negligence. Do not let the complicated steps to recovery prevent you from obtaining the compensation you need and deserve. Contact the highly experienced injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn today for a free initial consultation. Call us at 718-409-5500 or contact us online to learn how we can help in your case. Se habla español.