After a motor vehicle collision in Glens Falls, you are likely wondering about your options for seeking compensation to help cover the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. More specifically, you might be wondering if you have the ability to file a lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation for your losses. Since New York has a “no fault” law for auto accident and insurance purposes, most people who are injured in car accidents need to start the process of seeking financial compensation by filing an auto insurance claim. However, it may be possible to file a lawsuit if you are able to prove that you meet the “serious injury” threshold established under New York law. Our Glens Falls car accident attorneys can explain in more detail.
No Fault Insurance Requires You to Start with a PIP Claim
In a no fault state like New York, most people who are injured in car accidents will need to seek compensation initially by filing an auto insurance claim through their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Every New York motorist is required to carry PIP coverage at a minimum amount of $50,000. Some New York motorists add additional PIP coverage. Your PIP coverage is designed to provide compensation for your medical bills and your lost wages no matter who is at fault in the crash. To be clear, even if you believe you were primarily at fault for a crash, you can still obtain compensation through your PIP coverage. At the same time, even if you are quite certain that another motorist was at fault, you will usually still need to seek compensation first by filing a PIP claim.
When can you file a lawsuit? Generally speaking, if your insurance payout is insufficient to cover your losses, and you can meet the “serious injury” threshold, then you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
What is the Serious Injury Threshold?
The “serious injury” threshold requires injured parties in motor vehicle collisions to prove that their injuries are serious enough to warrant a lawsuit. Under New York Insurance Law Section 5102(d), in order to be eligible to file a lawsuit, you can be eligible to file a lawsuit if you are able to show that you have sustained a basic economic loss that exceeds $50,000 (this amount does not include pain and suffer or other non-economic damages). Or, you can be eligible to file a car accident lawsuit in Glens Falls if you are able to prove that you have one of the following serious injuries cited by the statute:
- 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.
Contact a Glens Falls Car Accident Attorney
If you need assistance with your car accident lawsuit, a Glens Falls car accident lawyer can help. Contact Larson & Gallivan Law online today or reach us by phone in Glens Falls at 518-862-8799.