Motor Vehicle Accident Cases are also commonly called Car Accident Cases. There are more Car Accident Cases in New York than any other type of personal injury case. The injuries that result from car accidents range from minor to severe. New York Car Accident Cases have several unique considerations that do not apply to other areas of litigation.
“Threshold” for Injuries
In New York, a special provision under section 5102(d) of the Insurance Law sets guidelines for which injuries the law will allow victims to be compensated for and which injuries do not constitute a proper personal injury case. Minor injuries stemming from car accidents undergo a special evaluation to determine if the injuries themselves meet the “threshold” required to sustain a lawsuit for such injury. There are nine categories of injuries that permit a car accident victim to recover for. They are:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- 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
- 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.
In New York, any person insured under an automobile insurance policy is provided protection by No-Fault insurance. Under No-Fault law, a person injured in a car accident is entitled to certain benefits afforded to them by their own automobile insurance policy. In order to access these benefits, a person injured in a car accident must complete and file the proper application with their insurance company within the statutory time period. Missing the filing deadline can act as a bar to your entitlement to these benefits. It is very important that you contact an attorney immediately after being involved in a car accident so that you can better understand your rights and obligations.
No-Fault benefits will cover treatment for injuries and the reimbursement of lost wages for time missed from employment due to the car accident. No-Fault claims add unique challenges to personal injury cases because the No-Fault carrier has the right to terminate benefits if an Independent Medical Examiner decides the treatment is no longer necessary to treat the injuries sustained in the car accident.
At the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC, we assist our clients in filing their applications for No-Fault benefits. It is a complicated and necessary process and we feel that you should not go through it alone.
Insurance Policy Limitations
In New York, the law provides that motor vehicles be insured to cover the damages cause to other vehicles or persons. New York has a very low requirement for minimum insurance and it is often not sufficient to cover the bodily injury suffered by a victim. Unfortunately, there is often no other remedy and no other assets to collect from. Victims are at the mercy of these drivers who carry the bare minimum car insurance policy.
Supplemental Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Protection (SUM)
Most automobile insurance policies permit policy holders to purchase a supplement to their own insurance polices to protect against being victimized by a driver who does not have any insurance or does not have an adequate amount of insurance. To access these amounts, a notice must be filed with the SUM carrier within the required time period and a claim must be filed to attempt to access the funds. These claims are unique to Motor Vehicle Accident Cases. Lawyers at the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC are well versed in the details surrounding SUM claims. We would be happy to explain your rights and obligations to you during our free case evaluation.
As you can see, Car Accident Cases present a series of landmines and procedures that can trip you up without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Our attorneys are experienced and have litigated volumes of Motor Vehicle Accident Cases or Car Accident Cases and we would love to help you. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call us at (516) 858-2620. We are here for you!