If a careless driver has caused you to suffer a serious injury or to lose a loved one in a car accident, you have legal rights and financial responsibilities that must be protected. You may be entitled to go beyond your No Fault Auto Insurance coverage and receive significant compensation for your losses. You may also be able to seek additional recovery through other insurance policies.
The lawyers at Nobles & DeCarolis fight for those injured and the families of those killed in car accidents in Rochester and Upstate New York. Time is of the essence; contact us as soon as you are ready to take action.
WE WIN OR YOU DON'T PAY
(personal injury cases only)
WHAT IS NO FAULT INSURANCE?
If you have registered your vehicle in New York State, it means you have at least basic No Fault insurance. This is also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Your No Fault insurance will cover the basic economic loss up to $50,000 per person who has been injured in the accident. You, all relatives who reside in your home, and any passengers in your vehicle at the time of the crash are covered. No Fault insurance only covers losses arising from bodily injury. It does not cover pain and suffering damages or apply to property damage.
Basic No Fault Insurance will provide first party benefits, including:
- Necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses
- 80% of lost work earnings (capped at $2,000 per month and limited to three years)
- $25 per day, maximum, for up to one year after the accident for other reasonable and necessary expenses
- $2,000 death benefit (in addition to the $50,000 basic No Fault limit) to the estate of a person killed in a motor vehicle accident
A car accident attorney can also review your auto insurance policy to see if you have additional coverage (for example, you may have purchased additional PIP coverage).
WHEN CAN YOU GO BEYOND NO FAULT INSURANCE?
You may be entitled to bring a claim for additional economic losses and/or pain and suffering damages against the negligent driver who caused your crash if you have suffered basic economic loss that goes beyond $50,000 or you have suffered a "serious injury."
In contrast to a No Fault Insurance claim, you must establish that another driver was at fault. You will turn to the other driver's liability insurance policy for your recovery, not your own policy. In New York, drivers must carry liability insurance in the following minimum amounts:
- $25,000 for bodily injury / $50,000 for the death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury / $100,000 for the death of two or more persons
- $10,000 for property damage
If a driver who caused your accident has no insurance, or if you were injured by a driver who fled the scene, you can turn to your own uninsured motorist coverage. In New York, your insurer must also provide uninsured motorist coverage. The insurer must provide it to you in the same minimum amounts as liability coverage. Your uninsured motorist policy will only cover your losses arising from bodily injury, not property damage. If the other driver has liability insurance, but it does not fully cover your losses, you may be able to rely on your own underinsured motorist policy. This insurance will cover your losses that exceed the other driver's coverage up to the amount of uninsured motorist coverage you have purchased.
As you can see, many different insurance policies may need to be reviewed in your case. As experienced car accident attorneys, Nobles & DeCarolis can sort through these policies while you focus on healing and recovering after the crash.
WHAT IS FAULT IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
Fault means a driver caused an automobile accident through his or her careless or reckless actions. The legal term for this behavior is "negligence." The types of fault we typically encounter are:
- Speeding: Exceeding the posted speed limit or failing to follow a safe speed for dangerous driving conditions such as snow, ice, rain, or fog
- Drinking and Driving (DWI, DWAI): Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08, or driving with any amount of alcohol that prevents the driver from safely operating a motor vehicle
- Drugged Driving: Being impaired by illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs
- Distracted Driving: Texting, talking on a cell phone, interacting with passengers, or allowing any other distraction to interfere with the safe operation of a motor vehicle
- Fatigued Driving: Driving while overly tired or falling asleep at the wheel, which can often be linked to drug or alcohol use
- Reckless Driving: Tailgating, making frequent lane changes, and ignoring traffic signals are common forms of aggressive and reckless driving
- Faulty Car Parts: Often a result of a flawed design and manufacturing process or the result of faulty maintenance. Defective tires, wheels, brakes, and steering columns frequently cause crashes. Vehicles may also be prone to rollovers due to their design
- Road Conditions: Poor design, construction, and maintenance of roads can be factors in crashes
WHAT IS A SERIOUS INJURY?
You cannot bring a claim for pain and suffering damages against another driver in New York unless you or your loved one meet the serious injury threshold. In other words, the bodily injury must have resulted in at least one of the following:
- Significant Dismemberment
- Permanent limitation of the use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury/impairment that keeps you from performing your usual or customary activities for at least 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the accident
HOW CAN NOBLES & DECAROLIS HELP YOU?
As car accident attorneys, Nobles & DeCarolis can help you with any of the numerous steps involved in your case. These include, but are not limited to:
- Conducting a thorough investigation of your case
- Ensuring you get the medical care you need while your case is pending
- Reviewing all insurance policies that apply to your case
- Consulting with qualified experts, including accident reconstruction experts, engineers, doctors, rehabilitation specialists, and financial advisors
- Making sure all claims are filed accurately and on time
- Presenting your case in court and aggressively representing you at trial
- Resolving all liens on your recovery
If you have been injured in a car accident,
call Nobles & DeCarolis today (585) 546-1260