Can Fault Be Determined By Car Accident Damage?

According to a report in Forbes magazine, you can expect to be involved in a car accident approximately once every eight years. With congested New York City streets, however, it is likely that you will be involved in more car accidents. When automobile collisions do occur, determining who was at fault is crucial, especially when severe injuries result. New York is one of a small number of states that applies a “no-fault” rule to auto insurance claims. Consequently, this can be confusing at times.

Understanding New York’s No-Fault Car Insurance Laws

Every driver in New York is required to carry auto insurance. Your policy must provide minimum bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person and total liability injury coverage of $50,000.

This essentially means that your own insurance will be used to cover accident-related expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing treatment.

However, you may file a personal injury claim against the driver at fault if your injuries exceed a certain severity threshold.

Car Accident Injuries That Lead to Personal Injury Claims

If your injuries are severe enough, you can file a claim against the driver at fault under New York law. New York uses a 90/180 rule to determine the severity of your injuries.

This means that you can sue the person who caused the accident if your injuries prevent you from living a normal life for three full months (90 days) out of the six months (180 days) following the accident. Bone fractures, injuries that cause loss of control over bodily functions, organ limitation, partial or complete disability for 90 days, etc., are examples of injuries that can cause such discomfort.

How Damage Helps to Determine Car Accident Fault

Determining liability based on the location of the damage can be challenging. Even though the damage caused by a car accident rarely provides a complete picture of what occurred, it does provide investigators with enough information to point them in the right direction. By analysing the damage, investigators are able to determine its cause. For instance, severe damage typically indicates a high-impact collision, which typically indicates that one of the drivers was travelling at a high rate of speed. While this does not necessarily prove fault, it does indicate the speed of one of the drivers. Consider a scenario in which the rear of your vehicle has sustained damage. What we are certain of is that you were struck from behind. This may indicate that the other driver was tailgating. It could also mean that the other driver was startled by your sudden braking.

Additional Ways of Determining Car Accident Fault

There are a variety of additional resources available to assist police officers and insurance adjusters in determining the cause of a car accident.

  • If possible, identify any witnesses.
  • You may wish to use your smartphone’s voice recorder application.
  • Request contact information and a summary of what they observed.
  • Take photos of the scene.
  • Be sure to record any skid marks, the condition of traffic signals, the placement of traffic signs, and the weather.
  • Obtain copies of the police report and any other relevant documentation.
  • This will be useful evidence for your personal injury attorney if you decide to file a lawsuit.
  • See your doctor immediately.
  • In addition to creating a paper trail of your injuries, the injuries themselves can reveal how severely and from what direction you were struck.

Police and insurance adjusters can also examine other evidence sources, such as cell phone records, to determine whether or not any of the drivers were texting and talking at the time of the collision.

Time Limit for Filing Personal Injury Claims in New York

You have three years from the date of your auto accident to file a personal injury claim in New York. Developing a case strategy and gathering evidence, as well as contacting and preparing witnesses, can consume a significant amount of time. It is therefore imperative that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Ensure that your attorney specialises in personal injury law and has successfully handled similar cases in the past.

With its intricate rules, New York’s fault system can be quite perplexing. Employing the services of a skilled personal injury attorney is the most effective method for obtaining the justice and compensation you deserve. Thus, you will almost certainly not miss any of the crucial deadlines that could prevent you from receiving reimbursement for your expenses.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm

Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.

Abrams Law Group
104-70 Queens Boulevard, Suite 502
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 997-9797

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