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Auto Accidents: Recovery of damages and long term disability for loss-of-limb injuries

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Motor vehicle accidents are very dangerous and can result in serious injuries and death.  Losing a limb in an auto accident can create a lifetime of challenges and potential limitations.  After your accident, your recovery amount will depend on several factors, including whether you were at-fault for the accident, insurance resources available, how limiting your injuries were, and whether you were at work at the time of the accident.  Due to the often devastating nature of these injuries, it is important to get an expert car accident attorney on your side as soon as possible after the accident to ensure you recover all you are entitled to now and to cover your needs in the future.

Workers’ Compensation and SSDI

If you have lost a limb in an auto accident while at work, you would be entitled to certain additional payments under state Workers’ Compensation laws.  Even if the limb was not lost but fails to heal back to its function before the accident, you may be entitled to a cash payment.  In New York, the workers’ compensation program refers to the injury to the limb as a ‘Scheduled Loss of Use’ injury. Your employer should assist you in obtaining all you qualify for under these programs.  However, there may be times when you qualify for compensation from more than one source.

Another program that may cover you for injuries sustained which result in you not being able to perform certain basic life activities and work functions is Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”).  In order to receive compensation under this federal program, your injuries must prevent you from doing work, not just the work you were doing.  So, if you were a construction worker injured, and now can only do the work of a cashier, you are generally not entitled to SSDI payments.  SSDI rules can be confusing, and contacting a disability attorney can help determine the benefits for which you qualify.

Insurance Payments and Possible Lawsuits

If you were injured other than while at work, you would make an injury claim through the New York State no-fault insurance system.  What this means is that you would file a claim against your insurance company up to the limit of your personal injury protection or ‘PIP’ coverage.  If this amount is insufficient to compensate you for your injuries, you would then be entitled to sue the other driver and their insurance company to recover the difference.  In calculating your total damages, it is crucial to consider long-term care costs, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of use of limb, lost work, inability to work, loss of consortium and other factors to insure you receive proper compensation.  These calculations can be difficult and often require experts to establish.  Obtaining the services of an attorney skilled in personal injury is critical to protecting your rights when you are injured.

If you or a family member have suffered a loss of limb or loss of use of a limb resulting from a motor vehicle accident in New York state, our accomplished personal injury attorneys are waiting to help you maximize your compensation from all available sources.  Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today at (516) 358-6900.

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