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Car Accident Lawyer in Jamaica, NY

Motor vehicle accidents can leave you with significant damages. When someone else’s negligent action leads to a serious crash resulting in devastating injuries, the only way to provide justice for the victims is to ensure that they do not suffer the financial consequences.

If you sustained an injury or lost someone you love in a car accident in Queens, a car accident attorney in Jamaica, Queens may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. At the same time, you can focus on physically and emotionally healing.

Filing a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in Queens, NY

Not all car accidents result in a lawsuit. New York adheres to the no-fault policy regarding compensation following auto accidents. The state requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, liability, and uninsured motorist coverage to register a vehicle.

Basic PIP insurance, also known as no-fault insurance, covers:

  • Any reasonable and necessary medical bills for injuries sustained in the accident
  • A maximum of $2,000 per month for up to three years in lost earnings as a result of missed work
  • A death benefit of $2,000 given to the estate of someone that died in the car accident to help pay for funeral and burial costs.
  • One year of $25 per day to accommodate for other expenses, such as transportation to doctor visits and help in the household
 

Car accident victims eligible for coverage under PIP insurance include the policyholder, passengers, and pedestrians injured in the accident. The way no-fault insurance works is that both drivers involved in a car crash must file a claim with their own insurance company regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

This eliminates the need to file a lawsuit in cases without serious injuries. However, if you suffered severe injuries in a car accident, you could potentially sue for more damages with the help of a Queens car accident lawyer.

The Threshold for Serious Injury in Queens, NY

The Threshold for Serious Injury in New York

New York established a threshold for serious injury to allow accident victims to bypass no-fault insurance and file a claim against the party responsible for the accident.

Serious injuries under this law include:

  • Fractured bones
  • Permanent loss of or limited function of a body organ or member
  • Permanent loss of or limited function of a body system or function
  • Significant disfigurement, such as irreparable scarring or loss of a limb
  • Complete disability for a period of 90 days or more
  • Loss of a fetus

If any of your injuries meet one of the injuries listed above Queens car accident lawyers can help you better understand the legal options available to collect compensation for all of your medical expenses.

The Role of Fault in a Car Accident Lawsuit

Determining fault in a car accident case is not always a cut-and-dried process. Once you file a lawsuit, you should expect the defendant’s insurer to claim that you are, at minimum, partially responsible for the accident and your injuries.

If you know that you do share fault, you should not allow that to deter you from seeking compensation. Even with shared responsibility, you can still recover a portion of the damages under the comparative negligence rule.

The Rule of Comparative Negligence

According to the rule of comparative negligence in personal injury law, if the plaintiff shares fault for the accident, their percentage of fault equals the percentage deducted from recoverable compensation.

Most states follow either one of two types of the comparative negligence rule:

  • Modified comparative negligence permits the plaintiff to recover damages as long as their percentage of fault is less than the defendant, meaning they cannot exceed 50% responsibility for the accident.
  • Pure comparative negligence allows the plaintiff to recover damages minus their portion of fault regardless of who is more at fault.
 

New York abides by the pure comparative negligence rule. This means that you are still eligible to receive compensation even if you are more than 50% responsible.

However, you cannot be 100% responsible. When you reach out to Queens car accident attorneys, they will explain the process of determining your percentage of fault.

Damages You Can Recover After an Accident in Queens

Damages You Can Recover After an Accident in Queens

The types of damages you can recover in car accident claims typically fall under compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are:

  • Medical costs, including medications, hospital stays, doctor visits, rehabilitation, cost of necessary medical devices, and the cost of any future treatment 
  • Lost wages and income from missed days at work, missed future work, and loss of earning capacity caused by disability
  • Cost of property damage, either for repair or replacement of the vehicle
 

Your PIP insurance covers all the economic damages except for property damage in a less serious accident. PIP does not cover non-economic damages, but you can sue for these if your injury meets the threshold for serious injury. Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
 

In a wrongful death lawsuit, you may also sue for a loss of benefits, such as retirement or health insurance, if you lost a loved one that contributed to your household income. 

Additionally, a spouse can claim non-economic damages, such as loss of consortium or loss of companionship. An auto accident attorney in Jamaica, Queens can help you accurately value the damages in your claim to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.

Punitive Damages

Far rarer in car accident cases is an order of punitive damages. Punitive damages do not compensate for your losses.

Instead, the court may require the defendant to pay you punitive damages to punish them for grossly negligent behavior. As the plaintiff, the burden to prove that the defendant acted with a complete disregard for the safety of others would fall on you.

Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Jamaica, Queens, NY Today

If you sustained injuries in a car accident due to another person’s negligence, an auto accident attorney in Jamaica from Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates law firm is here to help you get through the legal process quickly and fight for fair compensation in your personal injury claim to get you back up on your feet.

Facing this challenging time alone can leave you feeling uncertain and stressed. We can offer support and alleviate some of that burden. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at our law offices.