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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Can I Sue Someone Personally After a Car Accident?

Can I Sue Someone Personally After a Car Accident

Yes, you can sue someone personally after a car accident. However, many facts of your situation will determine whether this is a possibility in your case. The cost of your damages and the severity of your injuries will determine whether you can move forward with a car accident lawsuit in the state of New York.

Filing a car accident lawsuit is not a decision that should be taken lightly. A car accident lawyer can help you determine whether suing someone personally can work to advance your legal goals and interests.

A lawsuit in your case may not be necessary. When you are in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to secure compensation by filing a claim with your own insurance company. Yet, if you are still left with out of pocket expenses, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Again, a car accident lawyer can help you determine whether a lawsuit is necessary.

New York Operates Under No-Fault Insurance Laws

New York is a no-fault state. This means that all drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP), liability, and uninsured motorist insurance. According to the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), these types of insurance are required to register your vehicle and obtain license plates. These measures work to provide coverage in the event of a car accident.

However, your damages may not be fully covered by your insurance policy. In this situation, you would then file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Yet, if they are underinsured or uninsured, you may need to file a lawsuit to get the money you need. You must file your lawsuit in accordance with New York’s statute of limitations, which is outlined under Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214(4). You usually have three years from the date of the collision to file a lawsuit.

A lawyer can explain how New York’s personal injury statute of limitations applies to your case. They can also explain whether you can sue someone personally after a car accident.

Insurance Negotiations May Not Cover Your Damages

If you have suffered serious injuries, an insurance settlement may not adequately cover the cost of your incurred expenses. Your lawyer can first communicate with your own insurance company to see if you have coverage. If not, they can turn to the liable party’s insurer to further your legal interests.

They can also:

  • Protect you against “bad faith” insurance practices
  • Review your policy limits and coverage options
  • Present the insurance company with evidence of negligence, fault, and liability
  • Itemize the cost of your incurred damages
  • Negotiate with the liable insurer

The American Bar Association reminds us that most personal injury cases do not make it to court. However, suing someone personally could get you the money you need to cover the cost of your medical expenses and property damage.

Compensation That Could Be Available to You

If someone else was responsible for your car accident, you could be entitled to pursue compensation from them. If you decide to sue someone personally after a car accident, a car accident lawyer can help you determine what types of damages you may be able to collect.

You may be able to recover the cost of your:

Medical Expenses

You can sue someone for the medical expenses you acquired due to your car accident. This includes the cost of initial treatment, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and surgery.

Lost Wages

Your lost income could also be included in the cost of your claim. If you were in a car accident, you may have had to miss time from work. You may have also lost your job or had to switch jobs due to your condition. The income you lost due to your recovery period is compensable.

Property Damage

Your vehicle’s damage can also be considered when calculating the value of your claim.

If you need repairs or a replacement vehicle, your car accident lawyer can review your insurance policy to determine what is covered.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering compensates you for the physical and emotional turmoil of your injuries. Your car accident lawyer can evaluate the impact that the accident had on your life and work to determine the cost of your pain and suffering.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

In short, whether you can sue someone personally after a car accident will rest on the details of your situation. Right now, you have the opportunity to work with a lawyer who can review your legal options and seek financial recovery for you and your loved ones.

Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today to see what options are available to you. You can get started with a free consultation by dialing (516) 358-6900.

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