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New York Car Accident FAQs

Being involved in a car accident can be a painful, stressful, and confusing experience. If it happens to you, you’ll likely have many questions about how to proceed.

Keep reading for the answers to your questions about car accidents in New York.

Frequently Asked Questions

On average, how many injury-causing car accidents occur annually in New York?

According to the New York State Department of Health, there is an average of 136,913 annual emergency department visits associated with car accidents.

What is the statute of limitations for New York car accident cases?

Under New York law, you have three years to file a lawsuit against any negligent parties for their role in causing the accident.

What is comparative or contributory negligence?

Comparative negligence, also known as contributory negligence, is used in order to determine a percentage of fault for both parties in accidents where more than one party is partially responsible for the crash.

With contributory negligence, each responsible party is assigned a percentage of blame for the accident. The recoverable damages will align with this percentage, which means both parties will be able to recover damages, but the amounts will be reduced accordingly.

How much auto insurance coverage is required in New York State?

As a New York driver, you are legally required to carry the following coverages:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person;
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to all people;
  • $10,000 for property damage in any one accident; and
  • $50,000 of mandatory “no-fault” coverage

Are the minimum coverages enough to protect my assets in the event of an accident?

The amount of coverage you need largely depends on your individual circumstances, but the basic liability coverage is almost never enough to cover all expenses related to a crash. It’s best to discuss your situation with a skilled auto insurance agent to go over your options so that you don’t end up buying additional coverage that you don’t truly need.

How are no-fault insurance laws unique?

No-fault law removes, in part, the evaluation of each party’s fault in the causation of the accident and requires that insurance companies pay up to $50,000 for legitimate economic losses related to the accident. Covered damages include, among other things, expenses for medical care and lost earnings.

Are there any exclusions from coverage under New York’s no-fault laws?

One major exclusion from coverage under New York no-fault laws are damages for alleged pain and suffering. This requires an injured party to commence a separate bodily injury claim, which is evaluated under distinctly separate laws.

What conditions must be met in order to qualify for no-fault insurance payouts?

  1. The accident must have occurred in New York.
  2. The injured party seeking compensation must be the driver or passenger of the insured vehicle, or a cyclist or a pedestrian that came in contact with the vehicle involved in the collision.

Who does not qualify for no-fault coverage?

The following drivers do not qualify for no-fault coverage:

  • Motorcycle operators
  • Vespa operators
  • Certain scooter operators
  • Intoxicated drivers
  • Drivers covered by an out of state insurance policy
  • Drivers with vehicles that are not registered in New York State
  • Drivers with insurance policies sold outside of New York
  • Drivers with policies from insurance companies unauthorized to do business in the state of New York

Do I need to have the police take a report after a crash even if I’m not injured?

It’s in your best interest to have the police make a report about the accident even if you’re not injured. A police report will be very valuable to your claim because it provides reputable, irrefutable information to the insurance company that will help them make a decision about your case.

In addition, many injured accident victims don’t feel the pain of injuries right away. It’s common for accident victims to be painless for hours, days, and sometimes even weeks following a wreck. Just because you don’t feel injured at the moment doesn’t mean that you are completely unharmed.

Play it safe and protect yourself by always obtaining an accident report after a car crash. Be sure to get the police report number from the investigating officer before leaving the scene.

Should I contact the insurance company to provide my statement right away?

Yes and no. It’s best to consult an attorney before contacting the insurance company and providing a statement.

While it’s a good idea to provide a statement shortly after the accident, you don’t want to do so before speaking with a skilled car accident attorney. In fact, it’s best to have your attorney with you when you provide your statement to the insurance company. That way, your attorney can help you provide your statement in a way that doesn’t harm your claim.

Am I required to provide my statement to the insurance company over the phone?

No. You have the following three options for providing your accident statement to the insurance company:

  • Over the phone
  • In writing
  • Your attorney can make your statement for you

If you don’t feel comfortable providing your statement to the insurance company yourself, you may request that your attorney provide it for you.

We’re Here for Your Support

If you’ve been involved in an injury-sustaining accident, you may be owed compensation. Our attorneys here at The Ahearne Law Firm, PLLC are highly skilled in the area of car accident personal injury law and have helped many other people just like you obtain justice. Let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t delay—contact our office with your case right away.

Call the New York lawyers at The Ahearne Law Firm, PLLC today at (845) 763-4100 to speak with an accomplished attorney about your case.


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