When Do I Need A Car Crash Law Firm?

An average of 6,200 drivers and passengers are hospitalized annually in New York City due to negligent drivers. If you suffered severe injuries from your accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your loss. When your injuries are severe, New York Law allows you to bypass the no-fault auto insurance claim requirement and directly hold the careless driver responsible under personal injury law. In that case, a personal injury attorney at a car crash law firm could help you adequately value your claim and get the compensation you desire.

Can You Bypass New York’s No-Fault Auto Insurance Requirement in Manhattan?

New York is one of only 12 no-fault auto insurance states. This means that Manhattan residents with a driver’s license must carry personal injury protection insurance. Through this no-fault system, negligence is no longer the foundation of your claim. Instead, you can recover damages without the burden of proving fault. However, there is a downside to the PIP insurance policy. The minimum required coverage in New York will apply to the following:

  • 80% of income lost due to missed work, capping at $2,000 per month for no more than three years
  • All necessary medical treatments for your injuries
  • $2,000 death benefit if someone died as a result of their injuries
  • $25 per day for no more than one year for any replacement services, such as help around the house

You, anyone driving your vehicle, passengers riding in your car, and any pedestrians hit by your vehicle are all eligible for compensation under your PIP policy. This system is efficient for minor injuries, but the coverage is limited. For example, PIP does not cover all lost income, and $2,000 per month is hardly liveable, especially in Manhattan. Additionally, it does not include the psychological injuries often associated with severe auto accidents. For these reasons, the state allows you to bypass the requirement and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver.

The Serious Injury Threshold

The serious injury threshold stipulates the qualifications that allow you to step outside the no-fault system. For example, in New York, you must experience a bone fracture, significant disfigurement, total disability for at least 90 days, significantly limited use of a body function or system, or permanent disability caused by limited use of a body member or organ.

When your injuries meet these qualifications, you do not need to file a claim with your insurance provider. Instead, you can first file with the at-fault party’s provider, and if the insurer fails to offer an adequate settlement, you can file a lawsuit with the local civil court. The benefit of the fault-based system is that you can recover significantly more compensation for your losses. To ensure you sufficiently value your claim, you may need the help of a car crash law firm.

Recoverable Damages From a Car Accident Claim Against the At-Fault Party

When you hire an attorney to handle your case, one of the first tasks they perform is investigating the accident to identify negligence and recoverable compensatory damages. These damages make up the value of your claim and settlement, and the evidence your attorney collects provides leverage during negotiations with the insurance company. The two types of damages include economic and non-economic losses. The former includes your monetary losses, and the latter consists of the losses associated with how the accident and your injuries impacted you emotionally.

Monetary Losses

The PIP insurance only covered a portion of your economic losses. Under the fault-based system, you can recover:

  • Medical expenses, including treatment administered by first responders, ambulance costs, hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, surgeries, medical devices, and any ongoing rehabilitative therapies
  • All lost income, including future lost wages and missed income opportunities if your injuries caused permanent disability
  • Damaged property, including repairing or replacing your car and other items damaged in the accident
  • Necessary household help or childcare required while you heal

You can recover any economic loss directly related to your injuries and accident as long as they are required. Every case is different, but it is critical that you adequately value your claim so you can recover everything you lost.

Emotional Losses

While no amount of money can restore peace of mind, tort law still allows you to recover financial compensation for psychological damage. Some common non-economic losses include:

  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Physical pain and suffering caused by your injuries
  • The loss of your ability to find joy in everyday life
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome
  • Loss of consortium

Unless you are familiar with personal injury law and car accident claims, you risk undervaluing your non-economic losses. Often car accident lawyers can identify damages you might miss and ensure you assign a sufficient monetary value to each.

Did Someone You Love Die Because of a Negligent Driver?

In 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that deaths caused by negligent drivers increased across the board. There were significantly more fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes, in rural and urban areas, during the daytime and on interstate roads. There were even increases in auto accident deaths by gender. When someone dies in a car accident caused by a careless driver, it is still a personal injury claim, and family members can hold the at-fault driver responsible for damages.

The state allows the personal representative to file a claim for damages. Recoverable losses include:

  • Medical expenses incurred before your loved one’s death
  • Lost income the deceased provided for dependents
  • The loss of companionship or consortium
  • The loss of survivor’s inheritance
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and suffering the deceased endured while alive
  • The value of parental nurturing, guidance, society, love, and nurturing the deceased provided.

There is no way to replace a lost loved one with monetary compensation. However, the law allows you to hold the negligent driver liable for the financial and emotional consequences of their actions.

How Can a Car Crash Law Firm in Manhattan Help You?

Suppose you have questions about your ability to recover damages in the aftermath of a car accident in Manhattan. In that case, a local attorney from a car crash law firm can help you establish your case and value your claim. They handle the paperwork and negotiations, gather evidence, and deal with the combative insurance adjuster. They protect you from rights violations and ensure you do nothing that could damage your case. Most importantly, they offer compassionate support and allow you to heal while they do the legwork.

When Can You Schedule a Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer in Manhattan?

Suppose you lost someone you love or suffered substantial injuries because of another driver’s careless actions. In that case, you can schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer any time following the crash. No law requires you to hire an attorney to handle your case, but you risk undervaluing your claim or failing to prove negligence. At Cellino Law, we offer free consultations, so you can get the answers you need to help you move forward with your claim with peace of mind. Whether the accident and your injuries are minor or severe, we can guide you toward the appropriate legal route to compensation. If we decide to work together on your case, you can rest easy knowing we are well-versed in the laws governing automobile accident cases in Manhattan. Contact Cellino Law at (888) 888-8888 to schedule your free initial case review and speak with a car accident lawyer.

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