Being involved in a car accident as a driver comes with many problems, but this is also true if you are a passenger. Passengers, unfortunately, often suffer injuries in an accident. As a passenger in a car accident, you may have a number of questions such as:
- Am I entitled to compensation for my injuries?
- Am I protected by insurance?
- Whose insurance company do I file my claim with?
- Who will pay my medical bills?
- Who will compensate me for my injuries?
No-Fault Insurance Claim Benefits for Injured Passengers:
New York is a no-fault insurance state, which means that in most cases, passengers are entitled to receive their no-fault benefits. When seeking medical care as a passenger in a car accident, you do not have to prove driver negligence, or liability, in order to receive no-fault benefits. No-fault insurance compensation generally will cover the following:
- Medical costs for injuries
- Loss of wages
Obtaining Compensation for Passenger Injuries:
Because New York is a no-fault insurance state, you are not able to file a claim against an insured driver for compensation for your pain and suffering unless you suffered a “serious injury" in a car accident. Under New York Insurance Law § 5102(d) and 5014, you are only entitled to file a claim against an insured driver for “serious injuries" that you suffered in a car accident. The compensation you may be eligible for is similar to other accident claims, including medical costs, loss of wages, and your pain and suffering.
According to the law, serious injury may include the following:
- Severe disfigurement
- Loss or limitation of a body function
- Loss of limbs
- Loss of an unborn child
- Injuries resulting in wrongful death
The experienced attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros can explain the New York no-fault insurance laws and what compensation you are entitled to if the injury you suffered qualifies as a “serious injury." They can also explain how to prove that your injury is a “serious injury."
Was The Driver A Family Member or Close Friend?
You may be hesitant to file a claim with a driver’s insurance company if that driver is a close friend or family member. Keep in mind that because no-fault insurance sets aside compensation without a need to establish fault, you may file a no-fault claim without assigning blame.
If you were injured in a car accident, where the driver was a close friend or family member, you need to understand that - the reason the driver has liability insurance is to protect you, the passenger, in case of an accident! While it may be true that the driver’s insurance rate may go up by a few hundred dollars as a result of the accident, if you were seriously injured, your compensation may be in the hundreds, or even millions, of dollars, depending on the severity and permanency of the injury and the amount of available insurance coverage.
One Or More Drivers May Be Held Accountable
As an injured passenger, you need to establish driver negligence, what is called “liability," in order to obtain compensation for your injuries. When two or more cars are involved in an accident, you may file claims against more than one of the drivers, if their negligent behavior contributed to any degree to the accident. The experienced attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros will investigate the accident and decide who to sue to obtain the compensation you are entitled to receive.