If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision on Long Island, it is important that you understand the accident settlement process and timeline. You want to make sure you file your claims and receive your payment in a timely fashion.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a No-Fault Insurance Claim on Long Island?
New York, including Long Island, follows a no-fault insurance model. This means that drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their basic expenses after a crash, regardless of who caused the collision.
According to the New York Department of Financial Services, you should file a written notice of claim with your PIP provider as soon as you can, but no later than 30 days after your collision. Once your insurer receives notice, they have five days to send you an Application for Benefits and a letter explaining your available coverage, your rights, and your obligations.
Seek Medical Treatment and Report Your Crash As Soon As Possible
You should report your crash to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as you are able. According to NY 605(a)(1), you have ten days to notify the department of collisions involving death, injury, or vehicle damages greater than $1,000.
If you did not get treatment for your injuries at the time of your collision, you should see a doctor right away. You could have internal bleeding, hairline fractures, or other injuries you have not yet discovered. Seeking treatment creates a record of your injuries for your insurance claims or lawsuits. Also, it ensures you understand the full scope of your injuries and treatment before agreeing to a settlement.
What Is the Timeline for Pursuing Compensation from an At-Fault Party?
You may qualify to seek compensation from another party if their negligence caused your crash. Your injuries must also meet New York state’s definition of “serious” as outlined in NY ISC 5102(d). As with a PIP claim, you should file claims with an at-fault party’s liability insurance provider as soon as possible following your collision.
According to CPLR § 214, in general, you must take action before the three-year statute of limitations for personal injury expires. If you seek awards on behalf of a deceased loved one, you generally have two years to file suit, according to EPTL § 5-4.1. However, some exceptions could drastically shorten your window of time.
What Awards Can You Receive in a Settlement?
As mentioned, PIP only covers your basic expenses. Long Island drivers must have a minimum of $50,000 in coverage to pay for:
- Accident-related medical and rehabilitation costs
- 80 percent of your lost wages (up to $2,000 per month for three years from the date of your crash)
- Up to $25 per day for household and transportation expenses (for one year from the date of your crash)
- $2,000 in death benefits (in addition to the $50,000 minimum policy limit)
PIP does not cover pain and suffering damages. If you seek compensation from an at-fault party, you can pursue these awards, which may include compensation for:
- Loss of limb, body party, or bodily function
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of cognitive functioning
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Stress, anxiety, and depression
- Loss of the ability to participate in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed
How Soon Will You Receive Your Settlement?
How long it takes to receive your settlement will depend on how long it takes the insurance companies to investigate your claim, as well as how long it takes to negotiate a fair settlement amount.
However, once you reach an agreement with the insurance company and releases tendered, they must pay the full settlement within 21 days, according to CPLR § 5003. If your claim is against a government entity, they have 90 days to make payment.
Proving Liability for Your Collision
To win compensation, you must prove that another party’s negligent actions caused your crash. Liable parties may include:
- Another driver – Drivers must obey traffic laws and act responsibly to prevent harm to themselves and others. Examples of negligent driving include running stoplights and stop signs, driving drunk, speeding, or tailgating.
- A driver’s employer – If your collision is the fault of a delivery driver, commercial vehicle driver, or another person acting under the scope of their employment, you could have a claim against their employer.
- A manufacturer – Collisions can happen because of a defect with one of the involved vehicles. If a vehicle issue caused your crash, you may seek compensation from the vehicle or parts manufacturer.
- A government entity – Potholes, bad lighting, lack of snow and ice removal, and broken stoplights can all lead to crashes. If a problem with the roadway caused your collision, you could have a claim against the government entity that maintains it.
The insurance company will not just hand you a check. You will need to supply evidence of your injuries and damages and show that they are due to negligence. You will need to submit proof to the insurance company, which may include:
- Medical bills and records
- Expert medical opinions
- Photographs and video footage of your vehicle, your injuries, and the scene of your crash
- Testimony from a crash reconstruction expert
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police reports
How Can Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. Help with the Settlement Process?
Our Long Island car crash attorneys can help you file your insurance claims and pursue an advantageous settlement. We will collect evidence, communicate with the insurance companies, and negotiate to achieve the best possible outcome for you. If the insurance companies play hardball, we can represent you at trial.
We have helped car collision victims from Long Island win significant settlements and verdicts. We know what it takes to secure the awards you need and deserve. We will take care of your claims so that you can focus on your healing.
Call Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. for a Free Consultation
A member of our team is ready to answer your question and get you started on seeking compensation. Call us today for a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation. We can assist clients in both English and Spanish.