What Happens If Someone Sues You After A Car Accident in New York?

Being involved in a car accident is an unpleasant experience that no one wishes to have. However, given the large number of existing vehicles in New York and the rising incidence of car accidents, it is very likely that we will be involved in a collision at some point.

New York is a no-fault state, which means that the only way that someone can sue you after a car accident is if the other party suffered serious injuries. According to the New York State law serious injuries include the following:

  • Fractures
  • Significant disfigurement 
  • Dismemberment
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Loss of a body organ or system
  • Permanent loss of the use of a body function
  • Significant limitation of the use of a body function
  • Death
What Happens If Someone Sues You After A Car Accident in New York?
What Happens If Someone Sues You After A Car Accident in New York? Contact Us to Get Help.

Even if the other party suffered serious injuries as a result of the car collision, they must demonstrate that you were at fault. A jury will not award compensation to the other party if this condition is not met. If their injuries are not considered serious, each driver must submit a claim with their own insurance provider. Each motorist in New York is required by law to have no-fault insurance. No-fault insurance, commonly known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), is used to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Personal injury protection does not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. No-fault insurance does not cover property damage either.

What happens if the jury awards a verdict to the plaintiff?

If the plaintiff has evidence that you were at fault and the jury finds you to be at fault, you will be held liable for the payment. Nonetheless, liability insurance is available for this purpose. Liability insurance is used to pay for damages incurred as a result of an accident for which you are judged responsible.

In New York, each driver must carry at least $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for accidents involving one person. For accidents involving two or more people, the minimum is $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death. However, insurance companies will only cover the amount specified in your policy. For example, if a jury awards the plaintiff $40,000 and your liability insurance limit for bodily injuries is $25,000, you are liable for the remaining $15,000. As a result, it is usually preferable to invest a little extra in insurance coverage. A few dollars added to your insurance premium can make a significant impact if you are ever involved in an accident lawsuit.

What happens when someone driving your car gets in an accident?

In the United States, insurance coverage is related to the vehicle rather than the driver. This means that if someone else was driving your car and got into a car accident and was at fault, your insurance coverage will have to pay for the damages. When you give your car to someone else your insurance coverage also protects them in case they get injured. Keep in mind that even if you were not the at-fault driver, the accident will affect your insurance record. This means that when you renew your policy the following year, you could see an increase in your monthly payments. There are some situations where insurance companies usually refuse to pay for the damages caused by someone other than the owner. These are the most common cases:

  • The person who crashed your car took it without your permission.
  • The person driving is excluded from the policy coverage.
  • The driver consumed drugs or alcohol prior to the accident.

If the individual driving your automobile has their own auto insurance policy, their coverage may serve as backup to yours. Nevertheless, the insurance coverage tied to the vehicle will always be considered as the primary protection.

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Can someone sue you after your insurance pays?

Yes, even if they have previously obtained reimbursement from your insurance carrier, the other party may initiate a personal injury claim against you. Your attorney, on the other hand, will utilize this as a defense. In most situations, the lawsuit will be dismissed because when someone accepts a settlement from an insurance provider, they also agree not to seek more money.

How long does someone have to file a lawsuit for a car accident in New York?

The statute of limitations of New York allows individuals to file a personal injury lawsuit within three years from the date of the accident. If the other party fails to initiate a lawsuit within this period of time the case will most likely be thrown out of court. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, cases involving wrongful deaths have to be filed in two years or less. Other exceptions include lawsuits involving minors, in this case, the statute of limitations is paused until the minor turns 18. Therefore the lawsuit can be initiated within three years after the 18th birthday of the individual.

How do you beat a car accident case?

The first step is to notify your insurance company as soon as you find out that you are being sued. Normally, if a lawsuit is filed against you, your insurance provider will have one of their accidents attorneys represent you in court. Nonetheless, it is always convenient to contact an accident lawyer on your own. You have the right to consult with them about any doubts you may have. Your accident attorney will review the lawsuit and will explain to you your legal options and the consequences you could face in case you are found guilty. If you recently discovered that you are being sued for a car accident, do not hesitate in contacting us at 212-969-4137 to schedule a free consultation with one member of our legal team to review your case.