Car accidents can cause untold damage to all parties involved, especially those who were not negligent in any way or were caught unaware.
Injuries resulting from a vehicle crash can range from minor skin lacerations to severely broken bones and ribs, which can run up to thousands of dollars and put you out of work for months. Besides this, you’ll need to worry about car repair costs. The effects of such a traumatic event can also leave marks of long-term mental health issues that may need professional therapy to manage.
If you were recently involved in a traffic accident in New York, you’re probably stressed about all these unforeseen expenses. Who should be held responsible for these injuries? Who will be paying the medical bills and property damage? What about the no-fault rule in New York?
Read on to understand what you should be doing after sustaining car accident injuries in New York.
Common Car Accident Injuries in New York
According to the NYPD (New York Police Department), there were more than 2,000 traffic-related injuries within the city in February 2021 alone. Some of the common injuries sustained from car accidents include the following:
- Broken Bones: When the human bones experience a stronger force than they can withstand, they are likely to break and cause painful injuries. Broken ribs are commonplace among road accident victims, followed by arms, legs, and hips.
- Back and Neck Injuries: Similarly, severe back and neck injuries can follow due to the sudden and forceful impact associated with vehicle crashes. Whiplash, herniated discs, and torn soft tissues are common when it comes to such injuries.
- Head Injuries: During an accident, your head might hit the dashboard or even road pavement if you are thrown out of the vehicle. Injuries such as concussions, severe headaches, and brain damage can develop after such an experience.
- Burns: Burn-related injuries occur when a road accident leads to a fire. These injuries are usually painful and may require multiple skin surgeries to treat.
- Cuts, Bruises, and Puncture Wounds: Minor car accident injuries can be as devastating as serious ones because they cause pain or catch an infection.
What Is the No-Fault Rule in New York?
New York is among the twelve states that uphold the no-fault insurance rule. When it comes to car accidents, a majority of states require that the at-fault driver’s insurance company compensate the victims for all resulting damages.
Contrary, the no-fault insurance rule requires that drivers involved in a road crash seek compensation from their individual auto insurance providers, regardless of who was negligent. This system was adopted to ensure that victims can pay for medical bills and sustain themselves in case of lost wages rather than waiting for a settlement.
The no-fault protection covers the driver as the policyholder, passengers present in the car, pedestrians, and cyclists who might have been injured in the accident.
How Does No-Fault Insurance Affect My Car Accident Case?
It’s crucial for accident victims to understand how the no-fault system affects them.
First, it makes it difficult to pursue additional compensation from the negligent driver. Next, New York laws require you to submit your no-fault application within 45 days for medical bills and 90 days for other expenses.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident in New York?
In a bid to reduce the number of negligence cases, no-fault states rarely allow car crash victims to sue the at-fault driver.
However, if you have suffered serious injuries or your case involved intentional misconduct, you might still be able to file a lawsuit. A Brooklyn personal injury lawyer can help you recover both compensatory and punitive damages.