how to sue for pain and suffering car accident

After a car accident in Long Island, filing a lawsuit for your injuries can be tricky. Drivers registered within the state are required to carry no-fault insurance. This insurance will cover all reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses, 80% of lost wages, and more.

However, what isn’t covered by no-fault insurance is pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering is considered noneconomic, as it does not relate to real money you lost because of the wreck. While it may not relate to money, pain and suffering is very real, as victims of collisions can attest to.

At Carner & DeVita, our Long Island car accident lawyers know the local and state laws pertaining to pain and suffering and have the experience to get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at 631-543-7070 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.


What Is Pain and Suffering?

Legally speaking, pain and suffering covers the physical, mental and emotional pain caused by an injury. This may include:


  • Scarring
  • Physical disfiguration
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Temporary or permanent disability

And much more. In New York, you must show that you suffered a “serious injury” in order to seek pain and suffering damages. Under Section 5102(d) of the New York State Insurance Law, “serious injury” includes:


  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • A permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
  • A permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • A significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • A “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.”

If your injury falls into one of these categories, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. However, there are some categories of injuries that can be difficult to define. For example, a herniated disk may not fit easily into one of these categories, but may still qualify for pain and suffering damages.


How Is Pain and Suffering Proven?

After a car accident in Long Island, it’s crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible — ideally, at the scene of the collision. By seeking medical attention as soon as possible, you can get serious injuries documented, and the insurance company can’t say you suffered those injuries in a later incident.

Your lawyer may also work with other experts, such as psychologists, to determine how much your serious injury has affected your life. They may testify that such serious injuries have severely impacted your mental and emotional well-being, and you, therefore, deserve compensation for pain and suffering.


Compensation for Pain and Suffering

New York State is one of the very few that doesn’t put an explicit limit on damages. This means that even if you only receive limited compensation for, say your medical bills, you can still receive substantial compensation for pain and suffering.

It comes down to whatever the jury thinks is adequate (within reason, of course). For example, if someone is in a wreck that causes lifelong paralysis, receiving a few million dollars in pain and suffering compensation isn’t unheard of.

While every Long Island car accident lawyer and insurance company has its own formula for figuring out how much compensation you may be owed for pain and suffering, the simple fact is that it’s impossible to determine a reasonable amount without knowing the details of your case.

At Carner & DeVita, our lawyers have decades of combined experience fighting for compensation for car accident victims. We always offer free, no-obligation consultations, during which we will evaluate your case and help you determine the best path forward. Give us a call at 631-543-7070 today.



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