Car accidents could lead to life-changing circumstances in seconds. Victims could lose a limb, organ function, or even their lives. Understanding auto accident laws in New York helps victims define their rights and when they can file a lawsuit. Reviewing a brief assessment of how to manage a car accident case shows them what limits they face.
What Is A No-Fault State?
A no-fault state places limitation for filing a lawsuit after an auto accident. All drivers purchase at least auto liability coverage that pays for the victim’s medical expenses and auto repair costs. Each county enforces the mandate for at least the bare minimum for auto coverage.
This prevents the need for a lawsuit since auto liability insurance must cover all drivers. The auto owners can get any additional coverage if they choose. But the laws prevent a lawsuit if the auto liability coverage pays for all medical expenses and auto repair costs. Victims can learn more about their ability to file a lawsuit by going to Jacoby & Meyers right now.
What Are The Auto Insurance Requirements For NY?
The state of New York requires all drivers to have at least auto liability coverage. The policy must provide a minimum of $25,000 for each individual involved in the accident. The maximum is $50,000, and it covers the entire accident if there are more victims are involved. The insurance must also provide $10,000 for auto repairs or property damage.
The state penalizes any driver or auto owner that doesn’t purchase and maintain auto insurance coverage. Once law enforcement or the Department of Motor Vehicles discovers the auto owner doesn’t have insurance coverage, the owner receives a citation.
With the DMV, the auto owner has a short time to provide updated auto insurance information, and if they don’t, the DMV issues a fine. If the driver is stopped by law enforcement, the court issues a fine of no more than $1,500 and imposes a driver’s license suspension. The automobile could be impounded, and the driver could receive jail time for the violation. The restoration fee for getting their driving privileges back is $750. Repeat offenders receive more hefty fines and could serve extended jail sentences.
How To Collect Through Insurance Policies
Accident victims must collect the accountable driver’s insurance information after the accident. If they fail to get the information, the driver won’t be able to file an insurance claim initially. The accident report shows who caused the accident and what parties were involved. The victim must get invoices for their medical expenses and auto repair costs before submitting the claim to the insurer. Insurance providers require at least three estimates for the auto repair costs. The claims adjuster calculates the cost based on the median price.
When Can An Accident Victim Sue?
Under New York car accident laws, a car accident victim cannot file a lawsuit unless they sustain serious injuries in the accident. By serious, the state laws mean the medical costs exceed the $50,000 auto liability maximum. If the victim’s injuries require ongoing treatment beyond the initial $50,000, the court allows a lawsuit to collect compensation for the current and future medical expenses for the injuries.
The only exception to this ruling is if the at-fault driver committed a crime, and the criminal infraction caused the accident. These crimes would include DUI, DWI, reckless driving, excessive driving, or taking part in a high-speed chase to elude law enforcement.
The at-fault driver must receive a citation for the moving violation, and the court must convict the driver of more serious crimes such as DWI, DUI, and evading law enforcement. If the driver leaves the scene of the accident, this is another serious infraction that would warrant a lawsuit.
What Does The Victim Need For Their Legal Claim?
The victim needs a complete record of all medical invoices for their accident injuries. Eyewitness accounts of the accident shows the court another perspective of what happened. They need estimates for their auto repair costs.
Medical records explaining the victim’s injuries substantiate their claim and show a serious injury resulting from the car accident. The victim’s doctor could testify about the injuries and explain how the injuries are contributive to injuries that would happen in an auto accident. The records and the doctor’s testimony must show that the injuries happened in the auto accident and were not conditions that occurred during a separate event.
Traumatic brain injuries are common in auto accidents, and the injuries may require ongoing or nursing care for the victim. If the victim cannot care for themselves, the medical records must show this requirement, and the family must present the full cost of nursing care required for the victim. If the injuries are irreversible, the family incurs these costs throughout the remainder of the victim’s life.
A spouse or family member could seek tort-based awards based on loss of companionship or a loss of support. If the victim dies as a result of their auto accident injuries, the family can seek damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Where To Get Started
Victims can hire an attorney as soon as the day of their accident if they qualify. The accident attorney could visit the victim at the hospital if necessary. It is paramount to record all details the victim remembers about the accident. The doctors can provide a prognosis for the victim’s injuries and provide these details to their attorney.
Car accidents are unpredictable, and no one knows what injuries could happen. Unfortunately, car accidents could lead to life-changing injuries or cause a fatality. Families could lose a loved one in minutes, and a spouse and their children could lose the financial support they depend on. However, car accident laws in New York follow a no-fault system and prevent victims from seeking damages in a lawsuit unless they sustained serious injuries.
The medical costs for the injuries must be over $50,000 which is the maximum available through the mandated auto liability insurance. Reviewing car accident laws define when the victim can sue and what they need for the claim.
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