Can I Sue After a Car Accident If I Was Not Hurt?

When most people think of car accidents and personal injury cases, physical injuries come to mind — and rightfully so. Car crashes often cause the most gruesome scenes paramedics and other first responders encounter. So, what happens if you didn’t suffer any physical or serious bodily injuries? Could your case still stand up in a New York court for the other damages the accident inflicted on your life? The short answer is yes, but the long answer requires further reading.

Only a Doctor Can Confirm You Suffered No Injuries

At the scene of a car crash, victims often feel shaken up but otherwise fine. They feel a mix of trauma at what happened and relief that they escaped with their lives. So, when medical professionals arrive at the scene, the persons might decline assistance. After all, medical bills in addition to property damages are the last things they need right now.

Yet, a day or a week later, those very same people start complaining about aches and pains. Are they lying or did they experience a delayed reaction? Doctors explain that adrenalin lies at the heart of this. The hormone can result in the following self-preservation responses after a crash:

  • Dilated airways and blood vessels to increase the flow of oxygen
  • Increased blood flow to the muscles to improve strength and speed
  • Hyper-focus of the senses, so you are increasingly in-tune to what goes on around you
  • Increased energy or stamina
  • Reduced pain or no pain

Adrenaline is the body’s natural response to trauma. So, right now, you might feel you suffered no injuries after the crash. However, only a doctor can confirm this. If you haven’t visited one already, do so as soon as possible. Note that failure to seek medical attention could turn minor injuries into lifelong pain or long-term disabilities.

Physical Injuries Are Only One Reason You Can Sue in New York

If your doctor confirmed you have no injuries, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. However, you might not feel so lucky when you survey the disruption, cost and damage the accident caused to your life. Consider the following reasons personal injury attorneys often seek compensation, whether victims suffer physical injuries or not.

Wrongful Death

Even though you might not have suffered injuries, someone else close to you could have. It is a horrible twist of fate, but sometimes the accidents that barely cause a scratch to one person can take the life of someone else. If you lost a loved one, an attorney can confirm whether you or someone else is eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

Bad Faith Insurance

One of the worst-case scenarios is hit-and-run accidents. If you have provisions in your policy to cover damages caused in these scenarios, you have every right to expect that coverage to follow through. However, your insurance company might find a way to get out of paying for the damage. This could prompt you to sue.

Property Damage

Even when the person who caused the property damage remains at the scene, the insurance company might attempt to undervalue your vehicle. This is especially likely if you drive a unique vehicle, such as an antique or a heavily customized rig. The insurance company might also try to get out of paying for damages to personal items inside the vehicle, such as your laptop or work equipment.

Negligent Employer

If you drive a commercial vehicle, your employer generally has a responsibility to complete routine inspections and maintenance. Failure to do so could put you and other road users at risk. If you believe your accident resulted from your employer not completing the routine maintenance or inspections, you might have a case against it.

Negligent Mechanic

Most mechanics are great people who are passionate about cars and provide excellent customer service. However, some try to skim extra money off the top by replacing your perfectly good parts with broken ones or even sabotaging your vehicle so you come in for more repairs. If you believe your New York mechanic did shoddy work on your vehicle, you might have a case.

Lost Wages

Whether you lost a day of work on the day of the accident or all the other days you had no access to your vehicle, you may have a claim for lost wages. This is especially the case if you use your vehicle for work, such as for construction, rideshare services or deliveries. Your attorney might need to access your pay records to estimate the full loss.

Products Liability

Every year, manufacturers around the world issue recalls to resolve issues with their vehicles. Sadly, several accidents might occur before the company recognizes the problem. In other cases, lemons with unique problems can cause accidents. Your attorney can help you determine whether a defective product contributed to the accident.

Emotional Distress

Accidents do not need to cause physical harm to inflict mental harm. In the moments leading up to the crash, many people face their mortality and believe this is the end. This is a traumatic experience that can take years to recover from. The cost of therapy should not come at your expense.

An Experienced Attorney Might Help You Build a Strong Case

When you pursue a New York accident claim without physical injuries, you need an experienced attorney to build your case. This attorney will need to gather evidence and determine who the true at-fault party is. Identifying that entity could become especially difficult if you suspect your employer, a manufacturer or another party not present at the scene caused the accident.

Once your New York attorney identifies the appropriate party to hold responsible, he or she needs to prove three things:

  1. The entity had a duty of care, such as your employer having an obligation to ensure a safe and operable vehicle.
  2. The entity breached that duty of care, such as your employer failing to complete inspections and repairs on time.
  3. The breached duty of care resulted in the accident, such as the employer’s failure to complete brake repairs leading to an inability to stop in time.

You Can Hire an Attorney With No Upfront Costs

Personal injury victims often choose not to hire an attorney because they worry they cannot afford one. However, most personal injury attorneys serve clients on a contingency basis. In these instances, clients do not pay money upfront. From consultation to the courtroom, the law firm fronts the costs.

The attorney only gets paid if he or she successfully negotiates a settlement or successfully wins a verdict in court. At this point, he or she claims a percentage of the full settlement to cover the initial expenses. New York state law determines how much an attorney can reclaim from settlements and verdicts to protect injured persons.

In addition to this, attorneys often negotiate in private or in court for a settlement or verdict that covers their legal fees. For these and other reasons, persons who hire personal injury attorneys tend to receive higher compensation, even when you account for legal fees.

Celino Law Has Won More Than $2 Billion For Its Clients

When you start looking for an attorney, choose one with a history of delivering results. Over the past 60 years, we have won several multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients and we will work hard to increase our chances of successfully doing the same for you. Contact us to get started.




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  • Choosing the right attorney to represent you after an accident can make all the difference. This is no cliche. I recently experienced these words to live by first hand. After a tractor trailer rear ended me at high speed in 2017 I retained Allan Silverstein to handle my case. I quickly realized that bringing a lawsuit rapidly snowballs into a mountain of details that can make or break your results. Documents, case histories, doctor visits, bills, and lots of phone calls all need to be accurately kept track of if a successful outcome it to be attained. To complicate matters I reside in New York and the incident took place in New Jersey. Luckily, Allan was licensed in multiple states. I was fortunate to find Allan to handle this matter from the New York area. Armed with an accurate account of the facts Allan went to work on the difficult job of negotiating with the defending insurance company as well as my no fault carrier in order to obtain the best possible outcome for my set of circumstances. In a lawsuit communication is key and and events can be of a timely nature. Allan never failed to return my calls - usually the same day! He fought skillfully and respectfully to get me the best possible settlement. He is easy to deal with and a likeable down to earth guy. He always listened with compassion and respect to my issues. He guided me with objective understanding as well as a realistic analysis of the merits of my case. When we finally settled Allan got me a fair agreement beyond my expectations and negotiated with my doctors to make sure all my bills were paid. It was a great experience having Allan represent me. Quality work in any aspect of life is hard to find. Quality is what I got with Allan Silverstein. I highly recommend him if you find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney.