Auto accident claims are not equal when it comes to being compensated for injuries that are sustained. While some accident cases can be relatively simple when minor to moderate injuries are the result, car accident cases involving serious injury claims can be very complicated and a potentially negligent party may try to avoid financial responsibility.
Insurance companies surely understand this potential advantage, especially in a state like New York that utilizes "no-fault" insurance law. Under this law, an individual’s own insurance company would pay legitimate medical expenses and lost earnings, regardless of who was at fault. While this is meant to protect motorists from long, drawn-out claims and expenses they can’t afford, insurance companies may attempt to deny these claims.
Before speaking with an insurance company, it’s always essential to speak with an experienced attorney following an accident. An personal injury attorney will understand when your case could be more valuable than your insurance provider is claiming and can help you seek maximum compensation for your damages. Here are a few other factors that can also impact your claim value.
Insurance Coverage Limitations
One of the first factors that will impact an accident injury claim value is the level of insurance protection carried on the vehicle that is in at the time of the accident. Standard minimum coverage in New York is common among vehicle owners in many instances, and the expense of medical treatment for injuries alone could easily exceed coverage limits. When you’re put out of work, require ongoing medical treatment, and have monthly bills that need to be paid, these expenses can feel that much more burdensome.
This can be very problematic for those with serious injuries because there are also issues that restrict the pursuance of additional damages from other parties. Insurance companies provide the legal defense for these potential negligent parties, and every detail could affect the amount of financial compensation available. All insurance company claims adjusters are focused on protecting the company bottom line, and the extent of injury to the claimant becomes secondary when they can avoid or reduce a claim payout.
Limitations on Additional Claims
While accident victims in New York will turn to their own insurance provider first for financial benefits following an accident, there is still potential for pursuing other negligent parties for damages under certain conditions. Qualifying for additional compensation can be difficult when the extent of injuries are borderline, as certain guidelines must be met before a suit can be filed.
Claims can be submitted to respondent insurance provider without verification, but opposing insurance companies have the power to force a claim to court. Those qualifying guidelines include:
Substantial injury lasting more than 90 days
Limited use of a limb
Comparative negligence is the legal concept that auto accidents can be the result of negligence by more than one driver. This can be a significant issue when a case goes to court outside of the no-fault regulations in New York. While only those drivers totally at fault for an accident can be denied financial compensation for their injuries per pure comparative negligence law, the percentage determined by the court will be used to discount the total amount of financial recovery available for certain claimants.
Even when a driver is found to be 70% at fault for an accident injury, they can still be compensated at a 30% rate after damages are totaled. Cases involving multiple negligent parties must equal 100% when all comparative negligence percentages are calculated. The comparative negligence percentages do not apply with initial claims under the no-fault law.
Personal insurance company claims do not consider fault in any manner, and the recovery settlements from other negligent drivers are based on the remaining damages that also include non-economic general damages for pain-and-suffering for ongoing medical issues resulting from the claimed injuries. These claims are also typically strongly contested, and it always takes solid representation from an experienced New York personal injury attorney for equitable compensation recovery.
Punitive Damage Lawsuits
Accident cases involving gross negligence on the part of another party can also result in a punitive damage lawsuit that could make an accident injury claim even more valuable when all litigation avenues are completed. Not only can negligent drivers be sued for punitive damages, but defective automotive product claims and bad faith negotiation claims against a difficult insurance provider can also be subject to further litigation for financial compensation.
Never attempt handling your own accident injury claim because the value could be much more than realized. If you have been injured in New York, don’t hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys at Foley Griffin, LLP for comprehensive and aggressive legal representation. The attorney you choose can make a major difference in the ultimate financial value of your claim.
Contact our firm at (888) 966-8480 for a free case evaluation.