You can file a claim following a car accident in Manhattan, even if you did not file a police report. Realistically, many people, for various reasons, choose not to contact the police following an accident. Not having a police report does not hinder you from filing the claim, but it can make getting the compensation you need significantly more challenging. If you did not file a report with the police but need to file a claim, you may benefit from speaking with a car accident lawyer about your case.
Can You Bypass the No-Fault Insurance Requirement in Manhattan?
Only about a dozen states, including New York, have a no-fault auto insurance requirement for all licensed drivers with a registered vehicle. This specific insurance is called personal injury protection. It covers any reasonable and necessary medical bills related to the accident, provides up to $25 per day for expenses like transportation and household help, and comes with a $2,000 death benefit for any individual killed in a car accident. Additionally, you can access up to 80% of your income or $2,000 per month for lost wages lasting as long as three years from the date of the accident. Finally, as a policyholder, your insurance will cover you, anyone driving your car, any pedestrian hit by your vehicle, or any passenger present at the time of the accident.
The benefit of PIP insurance is that it provides you with coverage even if you are entirely at fault for the accident. However, the disadvantage is that it does not cover all lost income or any of the non-economic damages associated with accidents that cause severe physical and psychological injuries. To accommodate auto accident victims with severe injuries, New York has a serious injury threshold for PIP insurance, which allows you to bypass the no-fault insurance system and file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Qualifying serious injuries include:
- Injuries that cause total disability for at least 90 days
- Significant disfigurement or dismemberment
- Injuries that cause significantly limited use of a body system or function
- Fractures or broken bones
- Injuries that cause permanently limited use of a body member or organ
The idea is that any of these injuries would likely cause substantial medical bills, a need for ongoing medical or rehabilitative care, and psychological problems. Additionally, most people would not be able to work for an extended period or even lose their earning capacity. If you suffered a severe injury in a car accident, an attorney could help you understand your options for compensation even without a police report.
What Evidence Do You Need To Prove a Car Accident Claim in Manhattan?
As the person filing a claim, you are responsible for proving your claims of negligence and claims for damages. Therefore, your evidence must support the burden of proof in a car accident case, which is lower than that of a criminal case. For example, you need to show the other driver is at least more likely than not at fault for the accident, physical injuries, and lost wages. While a police report is an excellent source of evidence, it is not the only support available. You can also use witness statements and expert testimony to prove your claims of the other driver’s negligence and rely on your attorney to conduct an independent investigation into the accident’s cause to support your version of events. Evidence to help support damages includes:
- Photographs of the accident’s aftermath, including damage to the vehicles, visible injuries, and the surrounding area
- Medical records of your injuries provided by a healthcare professional
- Records related to car repairs, including descriptions of anything done to your vehicle before and after the accident
- A journal documenting your healthcare appointments, including information regarding the provider, the treatment you received, and what payments you made at each visit
- Written interrogatories to present to the at-fault party about the accident to be asked while the driver is under oath in a deposition
Providing a visual of where the accident occurred can help you determine the actual cause, and having a doctor who commonly works with auto accident victims is an advantage. For this reason, it is crucial to have a complete medical evaluation by an emergency care doctor, such as one working in an ER or a doctor at urgent care, because they regularly see patients with auto accident injuries and are a credible source.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Car Accident in Manhattan?
While every car accident has unique circumstances, some damages are generally available in most. The severity of the accident and injuries and the ability to provide substantial evidence to support each directly affect the damages’ value. However, if you can prove the other party’s negligence and connect your losses to the accident, you can claim monetary and psychological damages, known as economic and non-economic damages.
Recoverable Monetary Losses
Your economic losses have proven monetary value. These are the things causing you financial hardship in the wake of a car accident. Examples include:
- Your medical expenses, including the emergency care you received following the accident and any ongoing care you will receive in the future
- Wages lost due to an inability to work during recovery, including future lost wages
- Income lost due to a decreased capacity to earn caused by permanent or temporary disability
- The cost to repair or replace damaged property, such as your vehicle
- All other expenses necessary to support you during your recovery, such as transportation to medical visits, household help, and childcare
How well you document your injuries and recovery will affect how much you can recover from a claim.
Recoverable Psychological Losses
The non-economic damages reference how the accident affected you mentally. For example, you can claim the physical and emotional pain and suffering you underwent due to your injuries and the emotional distress the accident caused, which could present as anxiety, depression, or any other trauma-related issue. Valuing these damages can be challenging for someone without experience in tort law, but a car accident attorney can help.
How Can a Manhattan Car Accident Attorney Help You Build Your Case?
If you suffered injuries from a car accident where another person was at least partially responsible for the crash and the damages it caused, a car accident attorney in Manhattan can help you recover some of your losses. Some of the advantages of hiring legal representation include the following:
- They know the nuances of New York law and how those laws affect your case.
- They can access experts to help investigate and gather the evidence you need to support your claims.
- They will file all the necessary paperwork and act on your behalf, protecting your rights during all stages of the legal process.
- They will actively negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement before your case enters trial.
- They will advise throughout the process to ensure you make no mistakes that could damage your ability to collect compensation.
At Cellino Law, our team of car accident lawyers in Manhattan helps car crash victims hold the at-fault party accountable and get the compensation they deserve. During your free consultation, we will answer all your questions about your accident and help you choose the most beneficial path to settlement. Contact us at (800) 555-5555 to schedule your risk-free case evaluation and speak with an experienced attorney.
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