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The Law Offices of Robert E. Brown, P.C.

Some people think the mere fact that they’ve been involved in an auto accident entitles them to receive compensation, but that’s not necessarily true. There are three factors that must exist in order for there to be grounds for a lawsuit: fault, injury, and insurance. In some cases, a person will be 100 percent at fault for an accident, but in other cases, there will be a question as to who should be considered at fault. Oftentimes, an accident will occur but there will be no associated injuries, in which case there would be no basis for a lawsuit. The third factor that makes for a viable accident claim is the existence of insurance that will pay for the amount of compensation owed. If the at-fault driver only has a $25,000 policy and there were very serious injuries or a death that resulted from an accident, then the amount of compensation would be limited by the limits of that policy. Under such circumstances, the at-fault individual’s personal assets could be sought as a source of compensation, but this avenue is not often pursued. In New York, there is also a threshold for injuries, which means that insurance companies can make motions to dismiss cases if the injuries from an accident do not meet a certain threshold of seriousness. There are many factors that determine the viability of an auto accident claim; simply being involved in one by no means ensures compensation.

What Is Pure Comparative Negligence? How Can It Impact My Auto Injury Case?

New York is a comparative negligence state, which means that the jury, judge, or finder of fact will determine the percentage of fault assigned to each individual involved in an accident. For example, if someone was pulling out of a parking spot and did not signal, but the other person involved in the accident was speeding, then each party might be assigned 50 percent fault. Under such circumstances, each party would have to pay half of the amount of the medical bills associated with any injuries.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Bringing A Personal Injury Lawsuit For An Auto Wreck?

In New York, there is a three-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit for an auto accident. This means that an individual must file within three years of the date of the accident. It is always best to get things moving as soon as possible rather than wait until the last minute.

What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured In An Auto Accident In New York?

The first thing someone should do after being involved in an auto accident is, call the police and obtain a copy of the police report. It is important to review the report to ensure that it is accurate because it is very common for inaccurate details to be included. For example, the officer may report that a vehicle was traveling in the opposite direction than it actually was, incorrectly report the at-fault individual as the injured individual, or write down the wrong location of the accident. It’s also important for people to take pictures of the scene of the accident and the vehicles involved because this type of evidence will make it easier to determine fault.

If someone has been injured, it’s important that they seek medical treatment as soon as possible, whether at an emergency room or urgent care center. If they have neck or back pain, it’s important that they have a chiropractor document that pain and any associated injury. This is particularly important when there is a need to prove a protracted injury that requires long-term treatment. Even if someone only has a bruise or a cut, they should document it by taking a picture of it. If possible, it would be helpful to take a picture of the other driver and their license plate number, as well as exchange insurance information with them. Photographic evidence can end up playing a critically important role in proving a case.

For more information on Misconceptions About Auto Accident Claims, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (212) 766-9779 today.

Robert Brown

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(212) 766-9779