Long Island Car Accident Compensation Laws

There are plenty of laws surrounding your car accident case on Long Island, including your filing deadlines, legal rights, and insurance options.

Unsure how car accident compensation laws work on Long Island? No problem. Our New York law firm is here to explain your legal rights and options.

New York operates on a no-fault insurance system, which outlines how the state views fault and how claimants can seek compensation. Here, you can learn about laws surrounding:

  • How New York’s no-fault system applies to your collision case
  • What qualifies as a “serious” injury in New York
  • New York’s pure comparative fault system
  • The damages you can seek through a no-fault insurance claim
  • Your right to file an injury lawsuit
  • Your ability to partner with an attorney from our firm

If you still have questions, our law firm serving Long Island can explain more about car accident compensation laws.

New York’s No-Fault Insurance Laws Outline the Claims Process

Under New York’s no-fault system, you generally file a claim with your own insurer following a crash for basic economic loss including medical and other expenses – such as lost wages. Per the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, you’re required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance on a vehicle. This covers your medical bills and a portion of your lost income and other incidental expenses.

Make no mistake; New York’s insurance laws do not bar you from filing a lawsuit. You may file a civil lawsuit if:

Your Economic Damages Exceed $50,000

Your basic PIP policy should provide at least $50,000 in coverage. However, if your economic damages exceed this amount, you can seek compensation from the other driver or their insurance company.

You Suffered a “Serious Injury”

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) lists some types of serious injuries:

  • The loss of a fetus
  • Fractures
  • Significant disfigurement
  • The permanent loss of an organ, member, function, or system
  • Dismemberment
  • The significant limitation of an organ, function, or system
  • An injury that left you unable to perform substantially all of the material acts which constitute your usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the first 180 days following the collision

If you suffered any of these conditions (or lost a loved one), you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. You generally have three years from your collision’s date to file, per CPLR § 214. A wrongful death claim must generally be pursued within two years from the date of death.  Of course, there are situations when these times may be much shorter.

New York Also Operates on a Pure Comparative Fault System

Many people know that New York operates on a pure contributory negligence system, per CPLR § 1411. However, it’s more complicated than that. While being at fault doesn’t bar you from seeking compensation, it does affect your final settlement or court award.

Consider the following:

  • You suffer harm in a collision involving another motorist.
  • It’s decided that you’re 30 percent at fault, and the other driver is 70 percent at fault.
  • Your losses total $100,000.
  • In this case, because you’re 30 percent at fault, you can seek $70,000.

This makes establishing fault critical. After all, you don’t want to leave money on the table. Our firm can prove your case’s details by reviewing the police report, interviewing witnesses, and evaluating traffic camera footage.

There are Limits on the Types of Recoverable Damages in Basic Insurance Claims

You generally can’t recover non-economic damages through a no-fault insurance claim, such as pain and suffering. New York’s basic insurance requirements provide coverage for:

All of Your Necessary Medical Expenses

Your no-fault insurance policy should cover your injury-related medical expenses, including:

  • Medications
  • Therapy
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Emergency transportation
  • Doctors’ visits
  • Stabilization
  • Imaging scans
  • Diagnostic exams

No-fault insurance systems allow for prompt medical care. In many cases, you don’t have to prove fault to get medical coverage.

Eighty Percent of Your Lost Wages

No-fault insurance claims generally cover 80 percent of your lost income (up to $2,000 a month for three years). Your benefits are capped at this amount even if you previously made more than $2,000 a month.

Various Injury-Related Expenses, Such as Childcare Costs

You can recover extraneous expenses related to your injuries, such as household help and transportation costs. You can get up to $25 a day for a year. So, you could receive up to $9,125 a year. This amount may change over time.

Death Benefits for Fatal Collisions

Finally, there are death benefits associated with these claims. These policies offer a $2,000 death benefit following a fatal collision, in addition to the basic $50,000 no-fault limit.

You Could Recover Additional Damages Through a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you file a lawsuit, you can seek these losses:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Mental trauma
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of parental guidance and household support
  • Economic loss beyond what no-fault provides

New York law does not limit how much you can seek in compensatory damages.

You Must Follow New York’s Civil Statute of Limitations

As noted, you generally have three years to file a lawsuit. However, not every situation is the same. For instance, if your collision resulted from a government entity’s negligence, you typically have 90 days to submit your Notice of Claim, per GMU § 50-E. In another instance, you typically have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against another individual, per EPTL § 5-4.1.

These deadlines are critical to your case’s success. By missing your case’s deadline, you forfeit the right to seek damages.

Some Exceptions May Extend Your Filing Deadline

While you shouldn’t assume anything about your case’s deadlines, these facts could extend your filing date:

  • The other party left the state for at least four months before the statute expires
  • A physical or mental disability prevented you from filing
  • The at-fault party fled the state
  • You suffered harm as a minor

We can explore whether any other factors extend your case’s statute of limitations.

You Have the Right to Partner with an Attorney from Our Firm

We know that Long Island’s civil laws can get complicated. That’s where we come in. Our injury lawyers can explain all relevant laws, calculate your losses, and pursue a fair settlement. We also work on a contingency-fee basis, so you don’t pay anything up front for our help.

Connect with Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. for a Free Case Review

Long Island car accident compensation laws play an important role in determining your case’s outcome. Whether you file an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit, these laws could dictate what you recover.

The attorneys of Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. can navigate these laws and pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Our team is focused on advocating for the injured, and we look forward to discussing your case with you.

To explore your options with our team, call us. We offer free case reviews at no cost or obligation. We are also able to assist Spanish-speaking clients.

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