Who Pays for Injuries in a Car Accident in New York?

Car accidents are not just dangerous. They are also incredibly expensive. Without health insurance, an injured driver may be unable to cover the costs of their medical treatment after an accident. Sometimes injured drivers actually refuse medical treatment out of fear of the cost. However, if someone else is liable for your accident, they may have to pay for your injuries.

It is often extremely difficult to pay for your injuries and other damages after an accident. Most people do not have the funds to cover all their injuries without going completely bankrupt. In New York, your insurance will be the first to pay for your injuries. However, insurance might only cover some but not all your expenses. It might be necessary to sue the driver responsible for your collision for additional compensation.

If you are unsure how to pay for your injuries, including expensive medical treatments and vehicle repairs, our New York car accident attorneys can help. The Carrion Law Firm team can help you get compensation from your insurance and any liable drivers if necessary. Call our offices at (718) 841-0083 for a free legal consultation.

Payment for Car Accident Injuries from Insurance in New York

An injured driver’s first line of defense after an accident is often their insurance. Different states have different policies regarding insurance, so it can be difficult to understand how it all works. In New York, insurance follows a no-fault system. Under this system, your insurance provider pays for your expenses up to a certain amount, and you do not have to prove another driver was at fault to get the payment. You could be at fault and still be compensated.

However, there are limits to how much is paid out. The minimum required basic no-fault insurance limit is $50,000. Although, your specific policy may provide additional coverage. No-fault insurance can be great for people with less significant injuries, as the basic no-fault insurance limits could fully cover their expenses.

Unfortunately, medical bills, property damage, and other expenses like lost wages can add up very quickly. Many drivers’ expenses exceed their insurance limits, and they must seek additional compensation elsewhere. Our Brooklyn car accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need from your insurance or another party.

Compensation from a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Car Accident Injuries in New York

If your insurance does not cover all your expenses after a car accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver or drivers. However, your case must meet certain criteria before being allowed to proceed.

Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, you must demonstrate that you suffered “serious injuries” from your car accident. This may sound a bit convoluted as every injury from a car accident should be taken very seriously. However, New York law sets a minimum threshold for what is considered a serious injury.

To file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent driver, you must have suffered a serious injury as defined by I.S.C. Law § 5102(d). The law states that a serious injury includes the following:

  • Death
  • Disfigurement
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of a pregnancy
  • Permanent loss or significant limitation of the functionality of an organ, limb, or other bodily systems
  • Any non-permanent injury that would prevent you from performing normal daily tasks for at least 90 of the 180 days following the accident

If our Staten Island car accident attorneys can prove your injuries are considered “serious,” we can proceed with your lawsuit. If successful, a liable defendant may be required to pay for your medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, lost wages from missing work, and any mental or physical pain and suffering you experienced.

Who Pays for New York Car Accident Injuries if Multiple People Are Liable?

In New York, according to the 1993 case of Cooney v. Osgood in the Court of Appeals of New York, if a plaintiff sues multiple defendants or tortfeasors for a car accident, all of those people are “jointly and severally liable” for the accident. Joint and several liability refers to multiple defendants being equally responsible for a plaintiff’s injuries. In such cases, any single defendant is responsible for the entire cost of the plaintiff’s damages. Precisely how much each defendant pays is worked out by the defendants, not the plaintiff.

Under this rule, if a plaintiff in a car accident case sued several other drivers for the accident, each driver is considered 100% responsible for payment of damages. If one defendant refuses to pay, the others could sue them for contribution. However, the plaintiff may be paid by one or all defendants.

However, in New York, there are a few caveats to the rule of joint and several liability. While defendants are jointly and severally liable for compensatory damages, they are only severally liable for non-economic damages under certain circumstances. If one defendant is less than 50% responsible for the car accident, they will be severally liable and responsible for paying only their proportion of the plaintiff’s non-economic damages. Non-economic damages typically include pain and suffering or other injuries that do not have an exact cost. Regardless of how many defendants you decide to hold liable, our Bronx car accident lawyers will help you get the compensation you need.

How Much Are My Car Accident Injuries Worth in New York?

How much money your case is worth is difficult to answer as many different factors must be considered. In general, successful plaintiffs are paid compensatory damages by defendants. These damages cover any losses suffered by the plaintiff and are intended to put them back in the same financial position they were in before the accident. Our New York car accident lawyers will help you get paid for all your losses.

Compensatory damages include economic losses and non-economic losses. Economic losses are those with a price tag attached. Bills, lost wages, and various costs associated with car accidents may all be included. This includes medical bills, auto-mechanic bills, and lost wages.

Non-economic losses are less concrete and more subjective to the plaintiff. Perhaps the most common types of non-economic losses are pain and suffering. This includes the physical and mental agony suffered by a plaintiff after a car accident. For example, the medical bill for a painful surgery might be an economic loss, but the physically painful recovery process is non-economic. Mental trauma suffered after an accident is also included.

Call Our New York Car Accident Attorneys

If you were hurt in a car accident, you are likely covered to a limited extent by insurance. However, our Long Island car accident lawyers could make other negligent drivers pay. Contact The Carrion Law Firm for a free legal consultation. Call us at (718) 841-0083 to get started.