Skilled Pursuit Of Compensation For Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents often cause devastating injury and death. If you are seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should immediately retain an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to help guide you through the maze of problems that these kinds of accidents present. At Creedon & Gill P.C., we are skilled attorneys and will be aggressive and passionate in handling your case and ensuring the justice and compensation you deserve.
An Immediate Investigation
A serious motor vehicle accident needs to be investigated on a victim’s behalf immediately. Time is of the essence, and a good case can be lost because of just a few days’ delay.
An attorney who is experienced in personal injury claims will identify witnesses and preserve their statements, collect evidence like CCTV or intersection videos, get photographs of all vehicles involved in the accident, document skid marks and debris fields where the accident happened, and even obtain “black box” information from the vehicles involved.
New York’s ‘No-Fault’ Laws
To complicate matters, dealing with the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can be a nightmare because of the complicated insurance scheme imposed by the state of New York.
Many people have heard of New York’s “no-fault” insurance, but few are sure about its details or how it will practically affect their case.
In simplest terms, every New York automobile policy of insurance is required to have “personal injury protection” coverage which will pay up to $50,000 in “basic economic loss” for lost wages and medical expenses. This means, in theory, that your own insurance company will pay your medical bills and lost wages up to $50,000 without regard to who caused the car accident.
In practice, “no-fault” can quickly become a nightmare in the way it affects medical treatment and the outcome of an accident victim’s case.
Medical bills can be “denied” in whole or in part by an insurance company, causing doctors to demand that they get paid out of pocket or be given a “lien” against any future recovery in a personal injury case.
Legitimate lost wage claims can be challenged with the demand that an accident victim supply tax returns, earning statements, tons of documents and even submit to an insurance company’s “examination under oath.”
Insurance Company Doctors
An accident victim will be required to see one or more insurance company doctors who make a determination about whether victim should be “cut off” and denied further treatment. When that happens it can force an accident victim to stop getting treatment altogether, even if they need further treatment. This is aggravated by private health insurance coverage the victim may have, such as from work, often refusing outright to pay for injuries “caused by a car accident”.
There may be more money from additional types of no-fault insurance available to an accident victim depending on their policy provisions. Obtaining coverage from these kinds of insurance coverages, such “excess” or “supplemental” personal injury protection coverage, can require the patience of a saint.
To complicate things further, New York state does not require very high levels of “liability” insurance for automobiles. “Liability” insurance pays an accident victim for their pain and suffering, and other damages not covered by no-fault. An automobile in New York can legally have a little as $25,000 of coverage available to compensate a victim of a motor vehicle accident.
That is virtually no compensation at all for a seriously injured accident victim.
In a case like that the victim may look to make a recovery from their own policy under what is called “Under Insured” coverage. In effect, this means suing the victim’s own insurance company, under a completely different set of rules and procedures from those that apply to a lawsuit.
The victim may need to be aggressive in determining if anyone other than the other driver was responsible for the accident, such as the state or county because of the way the road was designed or maintained. And if the state or county needs to be sued, time frames are razor-thin, requiring proceedings begin as soon as 90 days after the accident.
Finally, even when an accident victim gets to the courthouse steps, New York’s “no-fault” insurance scheme does not stop complicating things and getting in the way of fair and just compensation.
Serious Physical Injury
Under New York’s “no-fault” laws, a motor vehicle accident victim does not merely need to prove that they were hurt by someone else’s negligence in order to establish their right to be compensated for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. They need to prove that they suffered one of six legally defined “serious physical injuries” before they can move forward to recovery.
Sometimes this can be obvious, like when there is a fracture. But very often the kind of tearing and shearing of ligaments and tendons in shoulders, necks, backs and spinal discs that can devastate a motor vehicle accident victim will be refused compensation by an insurance company on what is called “threshold” grounds.
Even if a victim has had surgery, even neck surgery, an insurance company may try to have the case thrown out of court. Litigating these issues and winning on them is one of the most difficult things facing a motor vehicle accident victim.
It is important to get an experienced attorney involved right away when you are in a serious motor vehicle accident.
Creedon & Gill P.C. Experienced and Expert Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
At Creedon & Gill P.C., we are experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys. We will be aggressive and dedicated in making make sure all of these issues, and other needs you have, are professionally and passionately cared for.
Contact our Northport law office for a free consultation and case evaluation. If we take your auto accident case, there are no fees unless we recover compensation. Call 631-656-9220 today or use our email form.