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Although driving is so commonplace that we often think of it as boring or mundane, it is still extremely dangerous. Accidents happen every day in New York, and many drivers, passengers, and pedestrians get hurt. After an accident, many people file lawsuits to help them recoup the high costs of recovery and repairs.
Accidents are very messy situations with a significant ripple effect across all aspects of our lives. After an accident, you might be facing expensive medical bills, time away from work to heal, the loss of your vehicle, and rising expenses. The other driver who caused your accident should be made to pay for your damages so you can recover in peace.
If you were recently in a car crash, you know first-hand how debilitating it can be. Our New Rochelle, NY car accident lawyers can help you hold the responsible parties liable. Call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950 for help and a free case review.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in New Rochelle, NY
After a car accident, you might have the option of suing the person you believe is responsible for causing the crash. Drivers typically must go through insurance before resorting to a personal injury lawsuit, but some laws might allow them to go around insurance.
New York is a no-fault insurance state. In a no-fault state, injured drivers must first pursue an insurance claim through their own insurance. Depending on the outcome of their insurance claim, they may then pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Our New Rochelle, NY car accident attorneys have experience navigating both the insurance process and the process for filing a lawsuit.
According to ISC Law § 5104, an injured driver typically cannot recover in a personal injury lawsuit for non-economic damages unless they prove they suffered a “serious injury.” A serious injury is defined under ISC Law § 5102. It includes death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, broken bones, loss of pregnancy, loss of a bodily organ or member, permanent limitation of a bodily organ or member, or a non-permanent injury that prevents you from performing normal daily tasks.
If your damages exceed those provided to you by your no-fault insurance, you can file a lawsuit to recoup your remaining losses. However, without proof of a serious injury, you may be unable to proceed.
Deciding Who to Sue After a Car Accident in New Rochelle, NY
If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, you have to decide who your defendant is. This is often a tough choice as it can be unclear who is primarily responsible for a car collision. In most cases, injured victims begin their search for a defendant by looking at the other driver or drivers.
Car accidents tend to happen quickly, and injured victims often have very little memory of the event. The police report from your accident may shed some light on the situation. While the police report cannot typically be admitted as evidence because it is considered hearsay, we can use it to identify other parties involved in your crash. Many reports contain descriptions from police about which driver is believed to be at fault.
You can sue multiple drivers if you believe they all share blame for the accident. Juggling a lawsuit with multiple defendants is difficult, but our New Rochelle, NY car accident attorneys have the experience and skills to do so and help you get compensation.
Alternatively, you might decide to sue your own insurance company. Insurance companies do not like to cooperate even in no-fault states where injured drivers do not have to prove who caused the accident. If your insurance company denied you coverage when they were legally obligated to pay, you can sue them.
How Do I Prove the Defendant is Liable for My Car Accident in New Rochelle, NY?
Liability in car accident lawsuits often comes down to negligence. If you believe the other driver deliberately struck your car, you might instead have an intentional tort on your hands. Our New Rochelle, NY car accident lawyers can help you decide what claims to pursue and how to strategize.
Proving negligence requires us to prove four important elements. First, we must show that the other driver or drivers owed you a duty of care on the road. Next, we have to prove that the other driver breached their duty of care, that the breach caused the accident, and that you suffered injuries and damages.
Intentional torts may have different elements to prove depending on what kind of tort was committed. Unlike negligence, an intentional tort typically requires proof of the defendant’s intent to cause you harm.
The evidence you need will depend on what kind of claim you wish to pursue, and any evidence that helps the court piece together the accident scene will be helpful. If you took pictures or recorded videos of the accident scene right after the crash, these pictures and recordings can be used as evidence in court. We can also call witnesses who saw the accident to testify.
How Much Money Do I Need to Cover My Damages After a Car Accident in New Rochelle, NY?
The value of your case depends on the extent of your damages. Generally, plaintiffs who suffered more significant injuries and losses will claim more money in damages. However, injured accident victims often overlook certain kinds of damages and end up short-changing themselves.
Most drivers know that they can claim the costs of medical treatment and vehicle repairs as part of their damages. However, your losses likely do not stop there. If you were out of work for a while or unable to return to work at all, you can claim lost wages.
You can also claim intangible, non-economic damages that did not necessarily cost money but are still considered losses. Pain and suffering may be added to your damages calculations. This can include the physical pain from your injuries and the mental or emotional trauma from the accident. These damages can be more amorphous than typical economic damages, and we will need evidence to support your claims.
Call Our New Rochelle, NY Car Accident Lawyers for Assistance
You deserve compensation for the injuries and suffering you endured after a car accident. Our New Rochelle, NY personal injury lawyers can help you make that happen. Contact The Martello Law Firm, PLLC for a free initial case evaluation. Call us today at (914) 685-6950.