Unsure how to file a car accident claim on Long Island? The steps you take will depend on the type of claim you are filing. For most people in New York, the first step after a collision involves filing a claim with their own insurance policy for no-fault coverage, which will cover basic economic losses such as medical expenses and lost wages. To recover for economic damages exceeding your no-fault coverage, and to collect for your pain and suffering, you could pursue a claim against the other party.
Insurance claims can be complicated, but you do not have to handle them on your own. One of our car accident attorneys serving Long Island could help ensure that your rights are protected and your claims are filed on time.
Why Filing for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits Could be Your First Option
Your first step toward securing benefits should be filing a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy. A PIP policy is designed to cover your medical bills and lost wages after a collision – no matter who was at fault. This can be confusing to many people as they are filing a claim against their own PIP policy despite another person causing the collision. This is the law in New York.
You Could File an Insurance Claim Even If You Were Not Driving
No-fault insurance is not limited to the drivers involved in car crashes. There are a number of scenarios where you could be entitled to PIP insurance benefits even if you were not behind the wheel.
The most common example occurs when you are injured in a crash while traveling as a passenger. If you were hurt in a collision, you could file a PIP claim on the policy held by the driver of your vehicle. Additionally, you have access to PIP if you were a pedestrian or a bicyclist struck.
What Happens After You File Your Car Accident Claim on Long Island
If the insurance company receives your claim in time, you will receive additional forms that must be completed before your claim can move forward. Since PIP insurance is no-fault insurance, you do not have to prove that another party involved in the crash was at fault.
After the paperwork is completed, you could receive coverage for your lost wages and medical treatment in short order.
You Might Be Able to Pursue a Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance
New York might be a no-fault state, but there are circumstances where you could seek compensation from another party. In order to pursue a claim against the at-fault party, you must be able to meet something known as the serious injury threshold. If your injuries qualify as serious, you have options beyond the no-fault insurance policy benefits.
There are two ways to satisfy the serious injury standard. The first is by suffering a specific injury outlined under state law. Some of these injuries include the loss of a fetus or broken bones. Alternatively, you could also meet this threshold if you have sustained more than $50,000 in basic economic loss, including lost wages and medical damages.
If you have sustained a serious injury according to state law, you have the right to ]file a claim against the other driver’s liability policy. A liability claim could open the door to compensation that is not available through a PIP policy, including your pain and suffering.
You May Have the Option to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party, you must follow time restrictions established by state laws. Under CPLR § 214, you typically have three years to take action. However, there could be exceptions that shorten this deadline, like if a municipality is liable. There are situations where you may have as little as 90 days to act.
It’s best to get started on your case as soon as possible, as missing the deadline could prompt the court to dismiss your case altogether.
Send a Notice of Claim If a Government Agency Caused the Car Crash
If a government agency is responsible for the collision and you plan to pursue damages from it, you must send it a notice. You are required to submit this notice within 90 days of the crash, according to GMU § 50-E.
The notice has to contain sufficient details to give the municipality the details of your claim. It must include the time and place where the collision occurred. It should also note that you were injured and plan to file a claim, but it does not need to include any amount of your medical bills or specific information about your condition. The requirements for what must be included as well as how it is to be served are all specified in the statute GMU § 50-E.
It is helpful to send the notice via certified mail and attach a registered receipt.
Building a Personal Injury Case Against the Liable Party
You must have solid evidence to prove your right to seek damages from the liable party. Such forms of evidence include:
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Wage statements
- Witness testimony
- Traffic video surveillance
The police report will also be a vital piece of evidence in your personal injury case. Additionally, you must file a crash report, known as Form MV-104 within 10 days of the incident. This form may indicate who was at fault and the damage sustained.
Discuss Your Insurance Options with Our Car Crash Team Today
Dealing with insurance companies can be stressful. This is true even in the case of no-fault policies. While this type of insurance does not require you to prove fault, there are still pitfalls that could cost you the financial benefits you need.
If you believe you are entitled to pursue damages from the responsible party, Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P could help you take action. To learn more about filing a car accident claim on Long Island, contact us as soon as possible. One of our team members will start your free consultation when you call. We can assist you in Spanish if needed.