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Valuing a car accident claim in New York can be a complex process. The state follows a no-fault insurance system. Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, each driver’s own insurance company will cover their medical expenses and lost wages up to a specific limit. This is known as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
PIP coverage doesn’t include fault-based damages, such as pain and suffering. To collect additional compensation, you must meet certain criteria under New York insurance laws.
PIP Coverage vs. Personal Injury Claims
Before bringing a claim against a third party, you must first go through your own PIP coverage. This means you must exhaust your PIP benefits before seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance company or the other driver. You must meet the threshold for serious injury to bring a claim against a third party. This criterion includes injuries such as significant disfigurement, broken bones, or permanent loss of a body function. If your damages exceed $50,000, you might also be eligible to bring a personal injury claim.
If your injuries or damages do not meet this threshold, you will be limited to recovering expenses through your PIP coverage and will not be able to bring a claim against the other driver.
Primary Factors that Impact Your Car Accident Case Value in New York
Several factors will impact your potential case value if you move beyond the no-fault system in New York. These primary factors are injury severity, liability, damages, and available insurance coverage.
Injury Type and Severity
The severity of your injuries will play a significant role in determining the value of your claim. Injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries are considered more severe than soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains. The more severe your injuries, the higher the value of your claim will likely be.
Attorneys and insurance companies look at how your injury impacted your life too. Two people with similarly broken bones could have different valuations. Perhaps one victim required multiple surgeries and has a permanent limp. Their case might be worth more than someone else whose broken bone healed without complications.
Liability refers to who is at fault for the accident. In a no-fault state like New York, liability is not always as important as it would be in a traditional fault state. However, if you do meet the threshold for serious injury, liability will be considered when determining the value of your claim.
Damages refer to the expenses and losses you have incurred due to the accident. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, you may also be able to claim compensation for pain and suffering and lost earning capacity.
Available Insurance Coverage
The amount of available insurance coverage will also play a role in determining the value of your claim. If the other driver has a high amount of insurance coverage, your claim’s value may realistically be higher. Additionally, having underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage can also increase the value of your claim.
When valuing a car accident claim, it is important to consider all of your expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. You should also consider the long-term impact of your injuries on your ability to work and earn a living. Personal injury claims allow for future medical expenses, future loss of earning capacity, and more.
Why You Should Hire a New York Car Accident Lawyer
We recommend hiring an experienced New York car accident lawyer, like Anthony A. Ferrante, who can guide you through the process of valuing your claim and help you navigate the legal system. Mr. Ferrante can also help you negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or take your case to trial if necessary.
New York’s no-fault insurance system makes valuing a car accident claim complicated. To bring a claim against a third party, you must first go through your own PIP coverage and meet the threshold for serious injury. Don’t try to figure out the New York legal system alone. Instead, let Mr. Ferrante help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation to learn how we can assist you.