After you’ve been in a car accident in Long Island, you should seriously consider filing an insurance claim, even if it seems at first that you don’t have major losses. Otherwise, you may lose your ability to claim anything. That’s devastating if you realize just how large your losses will be later on.
The High Cost of Accident Injuries
Filing insurance is especially important after you have been hurt. Even small injuries can later develop into serious conditions. They may require treatment over months or years. You may lose income as a result of an inability to work while you recover.
The ultimate cost of car accident injuries may even shock you. According to the CDC, the state of New York collectively spent $19 million in medical costs and lost out on $1.57 billion in economic activity in 2013 as a direct result of car accidents.
If you have recently been involved in a car accident, especially one where you were hurt, you should always explore available legal options. Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer in Long Island during a free, no-obligation consultation. You’ll learn more about the claims process and estimate how much your claim could be worth.
Call the Law Firm of Carner & DeVita today to schedule a free case review with one of our Long Island car accident attorneys. Reach us at 631-543-7070 or via our online contact form. Don’t wait until it’s too late to file a claim; call today.
Why You Should Never Wait to Make a Claim After a Long Island Car Accident
Every car accident injury warrants a claim, no matter how small the assumed cost of treatment. Individuals involved in a car accident should have a care provider fully examine them within 48 hours of the accident to diagnose any hidden injuries. They can then file for the cost of medical treatment with their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provider.
However, PIP insurance only covers up to $50,000 of accident-related losses. It also only provides 80% of your lost wages up to a limit of $2,000 per month. Because of these limitations, those with serious injuries need to consider filing a bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance claim against any at-fault drivers.
If you delay filing a claim after your accident and discover a medical condition that resulted from the impact, you may be unable to receive compensation for your losses. In New York, individuals have 45 days from the start of treatment to file a PIP claim.
BIL policies technically allow for much longer periods; the statute of limitations in New York is three years. Still, waiting too long can put the success of your claim in jeopardy.
Delaying action makes it easier for an insurance company to deny key aspects of your claim. They may argue that your injury was not related to the accident, or they may dispute the individual claimed losses. Without a medical record establishing that you were hurt immediately following the accident, you will scramble to provide convincing forms of proof.
What Is Considered a Serious Accident or a Serious Injury in New York?
It is true that New York law does not require you to report every single accident, but filing a crash report is always a good idea.
The exact language of state law (VTL §605) requires that you file an accident report if the accident resulted in an injury, a death, or property damage over $1,000, which includes damage to your own property that may have been caused by you.
Everyone is required to carry PIP insurance in New York as well as bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance. So if it appears to be a minor injury, know that you are already covered in that situation. Filing is always worth the hassle because after all, it’s your money on the line.
The state of New York’s no-fault insurance system does allow accident victims to file under someone else’s BIL policy if their losses exceed $50,000 or their medical condition meets the serious injury threshold.
What is considered a serious injury in New York? Insurance Law § 5102(d) states the following criteria:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
Insurance companies typically want to expedite claims. However, it should be noted that the typical claims process tends to under-pay accident victims for their losses.
Claim Your Losses with a Long Island Car Accident Lawyer
If your losses are significant or you think that the insurer will not compensate you fairly, reach out to an experienced car accident attorney in Long Island.
Your lawyer will estimate the full value of your losses, past and future. They’ll document those losses with evidence and negotiate with insurers until a reasonable settlement can be reached.
Sometimes, an insurer will refuse to accept partial or full liability for the accident, which means your case may go to court. Even then, your attorney handles the majority of tasks associated with litigating your case.
Overall, most car accidents short of a very minor fender bender are worth filing a claim over. The risks of not filing a claim mean that you could be left on the hook with significant medical debt and other losses. Insurance policies are there to help prevent this.
If you have questions or concerns, the Long Island injury attorneys at Carner & DeVita are there for you. We minimize the stress and effort it takes to see your claim through to the end. We help our clients identify and document common losses that can get left out of an insurer’s first settlement offer. We fight for you at the negotiation table and, if need be, in court.
Call us today at 631-543-7070 or contact us online to learn more about your post-accident options.