Know the automobile accident laws in New York to understand your rights

automobile accident laws in New York

In case you suffer any damage or injury in a car accident in New York, you would want to know about the automobile accident rules of the city and how to get compensation for the losses incurred. So, here is a small brief on the critical laws that apply to these instances of personal injury claims.

No-fault car insurance

In New York, a driver needs to have a personal injury protection car insurance or no-fault car insurance to file a complaint for any damages or injuries caused in the car accident and claim compensation for the economic losses borne by him or her in the form of medical bills and others, irrespective of the person responsible for it. If you are not found at fault, you can claim compensation from the at-fault driver.

The time limit for a car accident lawsuit

As per the statute of limitations, you have to abide by the deadline of bringing a lawsuit against the driver. Generally, if the case does not start within three years from the date of the car crash, then the court may dismiss it without hearing your plea. Although, sometimes the deadline gets extended when there are any exceptions.

Non-absolute contributory negligence rule

The New York state follows the comparative negligence or non-absolute contributory negligence rule, under which if the driver is found to be at fault, then he will have to compensate all the cost of damages and injuries incurred by you through his insurance company. That means he will pay for your lost income, medical expenses, etc. However, if the jury finds you were also responsible for the crash, no matter to what degree, then the original claim for compensation is fixed based on the evidence. The judge decides the total amount of damages after considering two factors:

  • What is the percentage of fault for each party?
  • What is the total cost of damages of the plaintiff?

Suppose, if you were 40% responsible for the accident, and the total expense of the damage you faced was $100,000, then you will get only 60% of the compensation. Unlike many other states, where if the plaintiff is found to share more than 50% of the blame then he doesn’t get anything, New York law acknowledges compensation even if you are 90% responsible for the incident. That means you can still expect to receive 10% compensation.

It is essential to note that not only juries but claim adjusters also have to follow comparative negligence rule while investigating your case. The claim adjuster mainly negotiates the amount of compensation on behalf of the defendant and also takes care that a legal lawsuit is not filed. But, don’t stop there. You can contact Brooklyn automobile injury attorney ASK4SAM for assistance or seek the help of a public defender for the settlement. If you think you can afford the expenses, then it’s better to hire a private lawyer as he can give your case close attention compared to a public defender, who may already have a hundred other cases to handle.