Pittsford, NY Car Accident Lawyers
Dealing with insurance companies in the aftermath of a serious car accident can make your recovery process a lot harder. However, hiring a lawyer to handle the case for you can leave you free to focus on what is important: recovering and getting back to your life.
When you work with a car accident attorney, your legal team can handle the entire case for you. From filing with insurance to potentially fighting your case at trial, your lawyers can handle each step of your car accident claim. Allow us to fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve.
For a free case review with The Carrion Law Firm’s Pittsford car accident lawyers, contact us today at (718) 841-0083.
Types of Compensation Available in a Car Accident in Pittsford, NY
Typically, New York car accident cases are handled through a no-fault insurance system. Under this system, each driver carries insurance that will cover their own injuries in the event of a crash. This PIP (personal injury protection) insurance is required for every driver and typically must cover at least $50,000 in bodily injury damages per person. However, many people face more serious injuries that require compensation above and beyond this $50,000.
PIP insurance can typically cover injuries and part of your lost wages caused by the accident. This insurance kicks in for the injured driver, any passengers in the car, and any pedestrians injured in the accident. It is also “no-fault” insurance, meaning that you do not need to prove who caused the crash to get coverage; insurance must pay you whether you were the victim or not.
All drivers are also required to carry liability insurance. This insurance must cover at least $10,000 for property damage and $25,000 for injuries in an accident. This insurance is fault-based insurance, meaning that the at-fault driver’s insurance pays these damages to the victim. However, there are some restrictions as to when you can go after this liability insurance.
To get liability coverage, you often need to prove that you have “serious” injuries. The law defines this threshold as “disfigurement,” broken bones, loss of limb, death, death of a fetus, or permanent loss of function in a body part. This covers many accidents.
If you do meet the serious injury threshold, you can not only go after the other driver’s insurance for damages, you can also potentially file a lawsuit against them in court. Discuss this option with your Pittsford car accident lawyer right away.
Insurance Claims vs. Lawsuits for Car Accidents in Pittsford, NY
Many victims often have a choice between settling for the money the insurance companies will pay them and taking the case to trial for potentially higher damages. It is important to understand this choice and the consequences it involves.
Settling with Insurance
The insurance company and your Pittsford car accident lawyer can have multiple back-and-forth conversations about the damages in your case and try to come to some sort of resolution. In fact, as your case goes through the court system, the judge might require these kinds of conferences to try to settle the case. However, the decision of whether to settle or whether to pursue a trial is your decision, not the judge’s, not the insurance company’s, and not your lawyer’s.
Ultimately, the insurance company may not cooperate with settlement negotiations. Insurance companies often seek to drive down settlement costs or deny claims altogether, and it is only with the force of a court order that you might get the damages you need.
Going to Trial
When you take your case to trial, a neutral third party decides your case instead of the insurance company. In a jury trial, the decision of who is at fault and what damages they have to pay is made by the jury; in a bench trial, the judge makes the decisions.
If you have a strong case and the insurance company refuses to settle for a fair value, then trial might be right for you. However, most cases do ultimately settle because the insurance company realizes it is quicker and cheaper for them to avoid trial and just pay you. If trial is necessary, there is always a risk the jury could rule against you, so go over the risks and chances of victory with your Pittsford, NY car accident lawyers.
Proving Fault in a Pittsford, NY Car Accident Case
As mentioned, proving fault is not necessary with a no-fault insurance claim. However, if you are seeking damages for serious injuries or you need compensation for damage to your vehicle, proving fault will be a necessary step in your case.
Your Pittsford car accident lawyer will typically look for traffic violations to help prove the other driver was at fault. If the other driver caused the accident because of a traffic violation, that is typically enough proof of fault to satisfy a judge or jury – and even many insurance companies. However, cases are not always clear-cut.
If the facts of the case show that both the defendant and the victim shared some level of fault, the victim may still be able to get compensation. New York law allows courts to assign partial fault to each party involved in an accident, including the victim. Each driver will pay their fair share of the damages, with the victim handling their own share out of pocket. This system has no limits, meaning that defendants who share only a small fraction of responsibility for a crash can still be made to pay for their fair share.
If there is no traffic violation, fault can still be proven if the driver did something dangerous or unreasonable behind the wheel that caused the crash. Talk to your Pittsford car accident attorneys about what other actions might qualify them for fault in your case.
Call Our Pittsford, NY Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in the Pittsford, NY area, contact The Carrion Law Firm today. Call us at (718) 841-0083 for a free case evaluation with our Pittsford, NY car accident lawyers.