In New York State, lawyers are not required to limit lawsuits. Often, the media will hype up lawsuit news pieces by attaching a giant number to a story. The personal injury lawyers who put these astronomical numbers in their lawsuits are doing their clients a disservice.
On the other hand, lawyers are not required to limit themselves in the Summons and Complaint to a fixed dollar amount as this could prejudice the client’s case. Lawsuits can often take years to resolve, and during that time, the injury could get worse, and a client could end up needing serious surgery or may never be able to work again. All of these factors could end up affecting the value of the case.
If you have recently been injured in a car accident, our Westchester car accident lawyers are ready to provide you with your free case evaluation. We are happy to help clients all throughout New York State — you don’t need to live in Westchester County to work with us. Contact The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.
What Happens After a Car Accident in New York State?
After being hurt in a car accident, many people feel scared and confused about what they should do next. To make matters worse, many people will try to take advantage of you when you are not thinking clearly after being hurt.
To begin with, avoid anyone that approaches you at the scene of the accident and attempts to get you to go to their clinic or their lawyer. What these people are doing is clearly illegal. New York State Lawmakers wanted to protect accident victims who are not thinking clearly after an accident from people looking to take advantage of them for financial gain. Additionally, many doctors and lawyers involved in soliciting accident victims will lose their licenses or even go to jail.
After the accident has happened and you are feeling pain, you should first get medical treatment immediately. Many people who are hurt will either go to the Emergency Room of the closest hospital or a doctor they trust to get proper treatment.
Next, after you have received medical care and are still suffering from an injury, you may want to consult a Yonkers car accident lawyer to find out your options and if you have a case. The law is very strict regarding time limits for filing a claim. In car accident cases, you only have thirty days to file a claim to ensure that your medical benefits will be paid for.
Suing for Damages After a Car Accident in New York State
New York State has set up a complicated process for your medical bills to be covered under your insurance policy called “no-fault” insurance” This means that your medical bills are supposed to be paid regardless of fault. The problem is that there are many rules and regulations under this no-fault system with strict time limits and billing procedures. Many people need the help of a lawyer to guide them with this system. Additionally, many doctors do not know how to handle the no-fault system while at the same time providing you with the care to help you get better. Oftentimes, your lawyer can recommend a doctor that knows how to simultaneously deal with the no-fault system while providing great medical care.
Finally, after suffering an injury now, you may want to know if you are entitled to monetary compensation. Many people think they will automatically win money just because they have had an accident, but this is not the case. I like to explain to my clients that there are two parts to every case, first, there is a liability (fault), and next, there are damages (injuries). First, your lawyer will have to assess who is at fault for the accident. If the vehicle operator that caused your accident was at fault, you can move forward to showing what your damages (injuries) are. In order to win your car accident case on damages, you have to prove that you have sustained a “serious” injury. If your Yonkers car accident lawyer is able to prove that your injuries are serious enough in court now, you will be entitled to be compensated.
The bottom line is that you should always consult with a lawyer you can trust after you are seriously injured in a car accident so that they can guide you through the process and advise you if you are entitled to compensation.
What Types of Damages Can I Sue for After a Car Accident in New York State?
There are numerous categories of damages that a car accident victim can sue for in New York. Determining how much you can sue is not an exact science and will usually depend on the nature and extent of your injuries. While many losses you can pursue are economical, you can also recover compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. Our White Plains car accident lawyers can review your case and help calculate what you will require for the harm you suffered.
Compensation for medical expenses is what most people think of when they are considering filing a lawsuit. Some car accidents might only result in minor injuries, and determining the total value of medical expenses should be easy. However, knowing exactly how much you will need to cover future medical costs can be challenging in cases involving severe injuries. Fortunately, you can claim your future medical costs in addition to your current and past bills.
The bills, invoices, and records you receive from the healthcare providers you visited to treat your injuries will serve to prove the seriousness and extent of your injuries. This documentation is critical to recovering full payment for all your relevant medical treatments. Thus, it is important that you seek medical care as soon as possible after suffering a car accident in New York. Waiting for even a few days could impact the amount of damages you can recover later.
More often than not, car accident victims will be forced to miss work because of their injuries. In most cases, your average weekly wages will be used to calculate what you can claim in lost earnings. This includes any time you need to take off after returning to work for doctor’s appointments or other treatments.
For accidents involving severe cases, a victim might be permanently unable to perform the same job duties that they could before being injured. Establishing an accurate estimate of your lost future earning capacity can be difficult. Fortunately, we can help you gather the evidence you need to show the impact your injuries have had on your professional life.
Pain and Suffering
One area of damages that can significantly impact how much you can recover in a New York State car accident lawsuit is your losses for pain and suffering. The amount of pain and suffering damages you can sue for depends on the extent of your injuries and the impact that they have had on your life. An award for pain and suffering damages can include compensation for physical pain, mental suffering, humiliation, and the loss of enjoyment in life. What makes these damages difficult to calculate is that the amount is generally based on how you have been personally affected by the pain and suffering your injuries have caused.
Common examples of pain and suffering victims endure include developing mental health conditions like PTSD or depression. It can even include compensation for hardships imposed on your spouse by your injuries.
However, it should be known that not all pain and suffering damages might be awarded in a lawsuit. It takes a great deal of evidence and argument to ensure that you maximize the compensation you are entitled to. Our New Rochelle car accident lawyers have the experience necessary to help you recover compensation for your emotional and physical suffering.
Most car accidents will result in some property damage. While some property damage might be minor and can be covered by insurance, other accidents result in much more serious damage. In most cases, your property damage can be shown with repair costs and replacement estimates for the damage to your vehicle and possessions. If you can, you should take photos of any property damage your car sustained. That way, a defendant cannot argue later that the damage was not as bad as initially claimed.
Lastly, you can also recover any payments made for out-of-pocket expenses related to treating your injuries. There are several out-of-pocket expenses that accident victims can claim that they might not know they could. For instance, if you had to pay for childcare during recovery or needed to pay for expensive transportation to and from medical appointments and legal proceedings, you can claim that in your lawsuit. Thus, saving receipts or invoices for any out-of-pocket costs you incurred is important. With them, it can be easier to claim monetary losses. Our New York car accident lawyers can help you organize your records and fight to recover every dollar you are owed from the person that injured you.
Is There a Limit or Cap on How Much I Can Sue for After a New York State Car Accident?
Fortunately, New York has no caps or limits on damages car accident victims can recover for their injuries. While many states limit the amount of pain and suffering damages a victim can be awarded in a lawsuit, New York has no such impositions. There is no rule requiring plaintiffs to have a fixed dollar amount ready when they file their lawsuit. To do so would mean victims could seriously undervalue their case and fail to recover the compensation their injuries deserve. Thus, victims are free to pursue the damages they can prove in court. Our New York car accident lawyers can help you recover the highest award possible for your injuries.
Our New York Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, our Mount Vernon car accident lawyers can help you determine damages for your injuries and fight for what you deserve. For a free case consultation, call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC today at (914) 685-6950.