In the aftermath of a car accident that resulted in severe injuries, life can appear overwhelming. You likely have many questions right now, such as whether or not you can file a civil lawsuit for an auto accident.
Typically, the answer is affirmative. Below, we address some of the most frequently asked questions that auto accident victims pose to the personal injury attorneys.
How Does Filing a Civil Suit for an Automobile Accident in a No-Fault State Work?
New York is one of twelve states that enforce no-fault automobile accident laws. Personal injury protection may also be referred to as such (PIP). That means that regardless of fault, the insurance company of each driver pays for accident-related expenses.
New York does make exceptions for those who have suffered a serious personal injury due to the carelessness of another. You may sue the other driver for personal injury if your injuries fall into one of the following categories:
- Bone fractures
- Total disability lasting 90 days or longer
- Death of a member of the family
- Loss of an unborn child
- Permanent loss of body organs
- Permanent impairment of an organ function
What Should I Do Immediately Following an Automobile Accident?
Always prioritise your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of other drivers on the road. If possible, move the vehicle to the shoulder and activate the hazard lights. If the vehicle is immobile, simply activate the hazard lights. Examine yourself and your passengers for injuries, and dial 911 if anyone is injured.
Additionally, you should contact the police to report the car accident. They will conduct an interview with you to determine what occurred and to compile a police report. This is frequently a crucial piece of evidence in personal injury cases. Ensure that you and the other driver exchange contact and insurance information without arguing. Taking photographs of your vehicle and injuries can also help you prove your car accident claim in a civil suit.
What Are the Steps in Filing a Lawsuit for Personal Injury?
When you work with your attorney, he or she will walk you through each step of the procedure. They are listed below:
- File a complaint with the local court requesting damages and explaining why you are suing for an automobile accident.
- The defendant in your injury claim must be served with the lawsuit.
- Receive a response from the defendant accepting or denying the presented facts.
- The discovery phase is typically the longest portion of personal injury lawsuits. Your auto accident attorney will exchange information with the insurance company representative or the opposing party’s attorney during discovery. This permits each side to construct their case. You and the other party will each respond to written questions, produce requested documents, and provide sworn statements under oath.
- If a settlement agreement cannot be reached through negotiations, the final step is a court trial.
Should I See a Doctor Following the Automobile Accident?
Even if you don’t believe you’ve sustained serious injuries, it’s always advisable to see a doctor after a car accident. Some injuries, including concussions, whiplash, and soft tissue damage, are not always immediately apparent. Additionally, it lends credibility to your civil lawsuit for an automobile accident claim.
When should I notify my own auto insurer of the accident?
This should be your second call after calling the police. If you delay and attempt to file a claim later, the insurance company may deny it. Your insurance agent may require a written or recorded statement detailing the car accident. If so, we advise you to consult with your auto accident attorney first. You do not want to provide extraneous information or details that could be misconstrued and call your statement into question.
Can I Still File a Personal Injury Lawsuit if I Am Partially Responsible for My Automobile Accident Injury?
Yes. New York is one of thirteen states that enforce laws of pure comparative fault. Therefore, a jury would determine each driver’s percentage of fault. For instance, if the jury assigned you 25% of the fault and the other driver 75%, you would receive 75% of the total settlement offer.
The law of pure comparative fault is just one reason why it is crucial to work with an experienced auto accident attorney at Raphaelson Levine. Your attorney will argue and present evidence that maximises the percentage of fault assigned to the other party.
What Kinds of Compensation Might I Receive in a Personal Injury Suit?
Personal injury claims offer two forms of compensation. The first type of damages is actual or compensatory and economics damages. This includes such items as:
- Distress and suffering, Mental suffering, loss of pleasure in life or of companionship
- Past, present, and prospective medical expenses
- Lost wages to cover actual wage loss and compensation for missed promotions, reduced hours, or a less demanding job to accommodate your injuries.
- Funeral and burial costs if a close relative passed away.
- Property damage reimbursement