What Damages Can You Seek from an Auto Injury?
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Some people believe that when they live in a no-fault state such as New York, there is no way to seek damages in an auto injury. While it is true that your car insurance company is the first place you must turn to for compensation, it doesn’t mean that you can’t pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company or even sue them for certain damages. It all depends on the damages you’re seeking and what your injuries are.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an injury that meets the state’s definition of “serious,” you can file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver. Once a doctor has examined you, you will know if your injuries are considered serious or not. Anything from broken bones to an injury that substantially or permanently limits or impairs your body is considered serious. You can also file a lawsuit if you’re placed on full disability for at least 90 days.
Even though it’s a no-fault state, those rules do not apply to any damage done to your vehicle. Most people seek compensation first from the at-fault driver’s insurance, but if that isn’t an option, you can seek compensation via a lawsuit against the driver.
If you meet the definition of serious injury or are suing for vehicle damage, you can request compensation for a number of different things. The biggest expense most people attempt to sue for are medical expenses and lost wages, but you can also seek compensation for repair or replacement of property, the cost of a rental car, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and even wrongful death. It’s often easy to put a dollar figure to economic damages, which include any calculable costs such as repairs, medical bills, and lost wages. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are often more difficult to calculate.
Pure Comparative Negligence
In addition to being a no-fault state, New York also operates under the mandate of pure comparative negligence. That means that a judge may not necessarily say the at-fault driver is 100% responsible for the accident. They could determine that you were not driving as safely as you should have been. The court may determine that you were 20% at fault in the case, which means you can only receive compensation for 80% of all of your costs.
Pursuing damages from an auto injury case isn’t always easy, which is why you need to have one of the best personal injury law firms on your side. Contact Held & Hines LLP today so you can get the compensation you deserve.