When you are at fault for a car accident in New York, you may be financially responsible for the resulting damages. What does this entail? It means that a victim of an accident can sue you for both economic and noneconomic damages.
New York Car Insurance Requirements
New York is a fault state for automobile collisions. Therefore, New York drivers must purchase auto liability insurance.
Liability insurance protects both the driver and the victims of an accident. When a driver causes a car accident, the insurance policy compensates victims for damages.
New York’s minimum auto insurance requirements include:
- Coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person and $50,000 for the wrongful death of one person.
- Coverage of $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $100,000 per accident for the death of two or more people.
- $10,000 in coverage for property damage
If you caused the car accident, the victim will file a claim with your insurance company.
There is nothing for you to do at this time. Your insurance company will handle the claim. You have no control over whether the insurance company will approve or deny the injury claim.
What Damages Can an Accident Victim Receive Compensation for After a Car Accident?
In a car accident claim, numerous damages are allowed. Depending on the specifics of the case, the victim may recover various types of damages.
However, the majority of victims are eligible for compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Past, current, and projected expenditures for medical care and treatment
- Past, present, and future income and benefits losses
- Reduced earning capacity as a result of handicapping conditions
- Physical, psychological, and mental suffering
- Loss of quality of life and pleasure in living
- Permanent impairments, disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement
- Expenses associated with long-term care, personal care, and in-home health care
- Other out-of-pocket expenses and costs
The victim of an accident must prove that you caused the incident in order to receive benefits. The victim’s testimony is insufficient. There must be proof that your actions caused the automobile accident.
Also required is proof that the accident caused the injuries. They must provide evidence of their injuries and financial losses.
What Happens if My Insurance Company Denies the Claim?
The other party’s injury claim may be denied by your insurance company. In such a scenario, the victim may appeal the denial. Again, you have nothing to do because your insurance company will handle the claim.
The accident victim may file a personal injury lawsuit if your insurance company continues to deny the claim. You are named in the lawsuit as a defendant (the person being sued).
The majority of insurance companies hire an attorney to defend you in court. Regarding your legal rights and concerns, however, you may want to consult a car accident attorney. The attorney retained by the insurance company may not have your best interests in mind.
Your insurance provider’s liability for damages is limited to the policy limits. If you purchased the minimum coverage of $25,000, the company is only responsible for damages up to that amount. You would be responsible for any additional compensation owed to the victim.
Due to the high cost of auto accident claims, it may be prudent to purchase higher limits of liability insurance, especially if you have assets you wish to protect. Individuals with a high net worth may wish to purchase an umbrella policy to shield themselves from liability in the event of a car accident claim.
What Happens if the Other Driver Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Fortunately, New York awards damages in auto accident claims based on a strict comparative fault standard. Comparative fault is a method for apportioning damages based on each party’s contribution to the accident’s cause. It permits parties to receive compensation for damages despite the fact that they may share liability for the accident.
Some states establish a maximum percentage of fault that prevents a person from recovering damages. Some states utilise a 50% bar, while others utilise a 51% bar.
New York does not impose a cap on a person’s percentage of fault in an accident. Even if you were 99 percent responsible for the accident, you could still recover compensation for your damages.
If you are partially responsible for the accident, your compensation for damages will be reduced by the proportion of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are 50 percent at fault, you will only receive 50 percent of the appropriate compensation for damages.
How Can You Protect Yourself After a Car Accident?
The actions you take following a car accident can influence the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit. Among the points to remember are:
- Never admit fault or apologise at the scene of an accident.
- Before a lawyer analyses your case, you cannot be certain of fault.
- Take pictures and record a video of the accident scene.
- Request the names and cell phone numbers of eyewitnesses.
- Ensure you receive prompt medical care for your injuries.
- Delays in medical treatment provide the insurance company with grounds to investigate your injury claim.
- Do not provide an insurance company with a written or recorded statement before consulting with an attorney.
- What you say to an insurance claims adjuster or other representatives of the insurance company may be used against you.
- Keep copies of all accident-related receipts, invoices, and bills.
- Document your losses by keeping track of work-related absences and other monetary losses.
If you have questions or are uncertain of your next steps, you can seek legal counsel. Important to remember is that an insurance company’s assertion of fault is not a legal statement. They must have evidence that you caused the accident through your negligence.
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.