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Can you sue for car accident?

Car accidents can happen for a wide variety of reasons. Pertaining to this, sometimes even the slightest fender-bender can leave you seriously injured. Claiming compensation after a serious injury in a car accident can be challenging for the victims and their families. Filing a claim is stressful, and it can be hard to know if it’s the right thing to do. In fact, not all car accidents will lead to financial compensation or court proceedings.

A bad situation is made worse when a car accident victim does not know how to handle the aftermath of the crash. When involved in a collision, whether it is your fault or not, it helps to know if you have a case and what steps to take next. To file a personal injury claim after a car accident, you must understand your rights and responsibilities under New York state laws. 

The legal system is complex, and determining if you can sue for a car accident is something our dedicated New York personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP can provide answers to. Here’s how you can go about it.

When Can You File a Personal Injury Claim?

Assessing your claim’s merit before speaking to anyone is an excellent personal injury practice. While you may be able to file a legal claim after any car accident, some things can be checked at your end first.

  • Hire a Top-Rated Attorney: You may need to speak to a trusted and capable attorney about filing a lawsuit if you suffered personal injury or lost a family member due to another driver’s negligence. Claims involving auto accidents can be exceedingly complex, with multiple parties involved and multiple lawsuits needed to recoup all losses.

If you were injured because the other driver was speeding or failed to yield the right-of-way, then it will be easier to prove that you were injured because of their negligence and not because of any mistakes on your part. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party who injured you to help cover the costs that are not covered by insurance.

  • Calculate the Economic Damages: Injuries can cause long-term effects on your ability to earn an income if they are severe enough. If you are unable to perform your job because of the injury, then this will limit your earning potential as well as cause financial stress on your family until you recover from the injury or until another suitable job opportunity comes along. In addition, there may be limits on how much money you can earn in certain jobs due to your physical limitations.


An attorney can help calculate how much money you would have made had you not been injured, what your expenses may be in the future due to the injury and prepare a claim on your behalf. This will ensure that you receive fair compensation for not being able to work efficiently, limit your medical expenses, and provide for future care needs due to the injury.

  • Determine Pain and Suffering: If you have suffered permanent or debilitating injuries from an auto accident, the physical impact and immediate pain are the first things you will notice. But there may be other damages as well that can occur long after the car crash. The effects of a severe injury or accident can last far beyond the initial trauma of a car crash or serious injury.

For example, suppose your car accident left you with a debilitating back injury and ongoing chronic pain that prevents you from doing things in life you once were able to do, such as playing sports and recreational activities you once loved doing. In that case, this may be a loss of quality of life, warranting a personal injury claim. 

The process of filing a claim can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate on your own. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to another party’s negligence or misconduct, it’s best to seek legal counsel immediately so there are no legal lapses that could make it more difficult for you later.

How Much Can I Sue for in a Car Accident in New York?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s natural to want to know how much your case is worth. But figuring out compensable damages is not as simple as adding up the costs of medical bills and lost wages. In fact, the answer depends on several factors that go beyond what’s in those bills. The financial cost is just one aspect to be taken into consideration. Victims of car accidents can also sue for the emotional distress caused by the crash.

Victims of car accidents can sue for damages to cover their lost wages, medical and hospital bills, pain and suffering, loss of consortium (if the spouse was injured), plus any amount of money for a loss in quality of life. These damages vary from one case to another. Depending on the severity of the case, victims can also ask the court for punitive damages if it can be proven that the defendant acted with wanton disregard for human life. To know how much you could possibly sue for, you should talk to a dependable car accident attorney.

There is no set amount to compensate a victim for their damages. Determining compensation in a motor-vehicle case depends entirely on the accident’s details. The more severe or costly the accident is, the larger the settlement will likely be.

The amount of your settlement will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The extent of your medical bills and hospitalization costs
  • Whether you sustained any permanent disabilities or disfigurement
  • How much pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the accident
  • Other damages such as property wreck or lost income

Another factor that will impact how much money you receive is how long it will take you to recover from your injuries. If it takes months or years for your body to fully heal, this could increase the compensation awarded by a court because it means more financial support will be needed during this period.

If someone has been involved in a car accident sustaining minor injuries, the other driver’s insurance company will offer them a settlement only to cover their medical bills and damage to their vehicle. Correlating with this, if someone is killed in an accident, their family may be able to recover a much higher settlement.

Can I Sue If I Wasn’t Injured in a Car Accident?

If you were involved in an automobile collision, you must seek medical attention, irrespective of whether you’ve sustained tangible injuries. Some wounds may not show damage or symptoms immediately but may be severe and permanent, causing pain and suffering as time goes on. Some people experience injuries that don’t seem significant at first but then worsen over time, so it’s wise to have a doctor evaluate you right after an accident.

A simple headache following a wreck could be more than what you think. Believe it or not, even the mildest collisions can cause serious injuries. And sometimes, you may not even realize that you are significantly hurt until after the adrenaline wears off and the headache sets in. Prompt attention will reduce your risk of complications and help you get on the road to a full recovery.

While not all claims merit compensation, to successfully file a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate both financial losses and noneconomic losses stemming from the injuries you sustained due to the said car accident. To be compensated for your losses, your injuries will have to meet the threshold of severity. Typically, this means injuries with significant medical bills or lost wages.

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue?

New York is a no-fault state, which means that you cannot sue the other driver for personal injuries if your car accident was not the other driver’s fault. Instead, you must file a claim against your insurance company or get treatment through no-fault benefits. In relation to this, if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence and want to sue them for damages, you can do so up to three years after the date of the incident.

Let Our Seasoned New York Personal Injury Attorneys Help You

A car accident can be a traumatic experience. Even if you weren’t injured in the crash, it’s easy to feel shaken up and anxious after being involved in an accident.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it may be unclear whether or not you have a valid claim. Our injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP can help you understand your rights and options after an accident. We know how to investigate the facts of your case and determine if there is a potentially liable party. If we find that there was wrongdoing on their part, we will fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Our experienced team has been helping people like you get the compensation they deserve for over 50 years. During this time, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients through settlement or trial verdicts. Our firm is known for its dedication to client service and attention to detail. Call us today at 1-800-660-2264 or complete this online form for a free consultation about your case with one of our New York City personal injury attorneys.