Q1. If I'm involved in a motor vehicle accident what claims am I entitled to make?
A1. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in which you sustain any personal injury, you are entitled to make a "no fault" claim for lost wages and medical care up to at least $50,000.00. You must make your application for these benefits within
30 days of the accident. You are entitled to make this claim regardless of whose fault the accident was.
Q2. Am I entitled to make any other types of claims?
A2. If you sustain an injury or injuries that meet the legal criteria to be deemed a "serious injury", you may bring a lawsuit for personal injuries against the driver and owner of the other vehicle from which you may be compensated for "pain and suffering" as well as economic loss. To be successful in these type of claims, you must prove that some portion of the accident was the fault of the party you sued. You have three years to bring this claim.
Q3. May I make a claim if I'm injured on a sidewalk, street, house, or building?
A3. If you can establish that you were injured due to a dangerous condition, you may make a claim against the owner and or occupants of the property. If you are successful, you will be compensated for economic losses as well as "pain and suffering." You have three years to bring this type of claim from the date of the accident.
Q4. If I'm injured while working am I limited to making a claim for workers compensation?
A4. If you are injured while working, your primary remedy is Worker's Compensation. That is, worker's compensation insurance will pay for medical expenses and lost earnings only. However, if a party other than your employer was at fault for the happening of the accident, you may be able to bring a claim against that party to be compensated for economic loss as well as "pain and suffering". You have three years to bring this type of claim.
Q5. If I'm receiving disability, workers compensation benefits or public assistance am I still entitled to bring a lawsuit if I'm involved in an accident?
A5. Receiving benefits of a public or private nature does not prevent you from being able to bring a lawsuit. However, the party providing the benefits may have a lien and may be entitled to receive some portion of your settlement or award back.
Q6. If a member of my family is killed in an accident, may I bring a claim for wrongful death?
A6. New York law recognizes claims for wrongful death which must be brought within two years of the date of death. At this time, New York only allows for recovery of "pecuniary loss" which relates to the decedents wage earning capacity. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, a claim for pre-death injury including pain and suffering may be available.
Q7. What can I do if I'm a pedestrian and I'm struck by a car?
A7. You have the same rights as if you were in another vehicle. However, under these circumstances your "no fault" claim is made through the insurance company of the person or company who owns the vehicle. If you are seriously injured, you may bring a separate claim against the operator and owner of the vehicle within three years of the date of the accident.
Q8. Do I have any recourse if I'm a pedestrian struck by a car in a "hit and run" situation?
A8. If you have no way of identifying the driver or owner of a vehicle that struck you, you are entitled to bring a claim for compensation through the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) which provides monetary compensation in situations such as this. There are time limitations and monetary limitations on such claims. The accident must be reported to the police within 24 hours!
Q9. How can I afford medical treatment after an accident if I don't have insurance, there is no "no fault" available or my "no fault" benefits have been terminated?
A9. If you are injured on someone's property, their insurance policy may provide for medical payments to the injured party, regardless of whether a lawsuit is instituted. If you are totally without insurance, your lawyer can make arrangements where you can continue medical treatment for which your Doctor or therapists will be paid from the proceeds of your lawsuit upon settlement.
Q10. What do I have to do if I am hurt through the fault of the city or county.
A10. If you are injured through the fault of a municipal entity such as city, county, town or village, a notice of claim must be filed against that entity within 90 days of the occurrence. A law suit must also be commenced within one year and 90 days from the day of accident.