It may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel when the medical bills are piling up, you can’t return to work, and you are unable to enjoy the things in life that you were previously able to, but there is hope. Lever & Ecker, PLLC has helped thousands of car accidents recover after their lives have been drastically changed in just an instant.
How Do I Know If I Have A Case?
If you were in an accident and the crash was caused by another driver who acted negligently, there is a good chance that you have a case.
Negligence means that another driver failed to act in a way that a reasonably prudent person would have in the same circumstances. There are any number of things that could cause an accident, such as texting, eating, making an illegal turn, tailgating, and more.
Isn’t New York A “No-Fault” State? Can I Still Pursue Legal Action?
Yes, New York is a “no-fault” state. However, this doesn’t mean that a driver can’t be held responsible for their actions. What it refers to are the insurance policies. When drivers are involved in an accident, each person turns to their insurance to pay for the damage. That means that if you are injured your insurance policy will cover your medical expenses – at least to the limits of the policy.
However, when the victim is severely injured, New York law allows them to file a complaint against the at-fault driver. Victims can pursue legal action if they suffered from:
- Major disfigurement
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- A “medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment”, or
- Loss of a fetus
Won’t My Policy Limits Be Enough?
In some cases, the insurance may be enough to cover your medical expenses. But if you or a loved one have been severely injured, it is likely that the cost of treatment will be much more than your policy provides. For example, the minimum insurance limits required by the state of New York are $10,000 for property damage and $25,000 for bodily injury per person/ $50,000 per accident.
These amounts may seem like a lot until you find out that the average cost to treat a mild traumatic brain injury in the first year is $85,000. If the brain injury is severe, the average cost goes up to $3,000,000. And that’s just one injury. Victims frequently suffer more than one kind of injury during a car accident.
What Happens If We Both Caused The Accident?
In some cases, both drivers can be found at-fault for the accident they were involved in. This doesn’t mean that you can’t pursue legal action. It does, however, mean that the court will apply the concept of comparative negligence.
This means that any settlement or verdict that is obtained for you will be adjusted by a percentage. This percentage is determined by the court and represents how much of the accident was your fault. So if it is determined that 40% of the accident was your fault and you are awarded $1,000,000, then your final award will be $600,000.
Why Should I Hire A Lawyer?
Consulting a lawyer about your case may be the only way that you will recover all of your losses fully. Car accident law can be very complex, and our team will work with you when you file a complaint against either/both the at-fault driver or the insurance company. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with, and you should focus on healing and putting the pieces of your life back together, not arguing and stressing over how the bills will be paid.
What Can I Expect From The Claim Process?
When you make the decision to work with our firm, you can expect that we will be there through every step of the litigation process to guide you.
We will investigate all of the details of your accident, including the police report, any photographs, and witness statements. From there, we will explain to you every legal option that is available and help you decide which is best for you and your family. After that, we will do everything within our power to fight for a fair settlement or verdict that will help you and your family get back to the life you enjoyed before the accident.