Most New York car crashes are just fender benders. Despite the elevated emotions they may cause in the short-term, everyone involved will move on quickly after reporting the issue to the police and filing the necessary insurance claims.
For a small percentage of those involved in motor vehicle collisions, the crash will force them to go to civil court. They may need to ask for financial compensation from the other driver instead of the insurance company.
Why do people have to file a personal injury lawsuit following motor vehicle collisions in New York?
Insurance wasn’t enough
Even those with moderate injuries, like multiple broken bones, may require tens of thousands of dollars in medical treatment and could miss weeks of work. After a crash, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on your own policy will first help pay those medical expenses.
After using your own coverage, you can make a claim against the liability coverage of the other driver. New York only mandates $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage in a crash that hurts one person and $50,000 of liability coverage when two or more people. Inadequate insurance can also be an issue if the crash totals your vehicle, as there are drivers on the New York roads with just $10,000 worth of property damage coverage.
You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistake
Liability insurance protects you from financial losses when another driver causes a crash. If the other driver did not have the foresight to carry adequate insurance, you should not have to cover the remaining costs yourself, especially if they broke the law or were particularly negligent at the wheel.
The New York civil courts will hear personal injury lawsuits brought by those who suffered extensive injuries or massive property damage losses in crashes caused by irresponsible drivers without adequate insurance. You will typically need to show the scope of your financial losses and how the other driver is ultimately to blame for the wreck to succeed in such a claim.
You can typically seek compensation for verifiable losses, including wages you didn’t earn while in the hospital, medical bills and the cost to repair your vehicle or buy a new one. Evaluating your circumstances can help you determine if you should file a personal injury lawsuit following a motor vehicle collision.