The Law Office of Reuven Epstein

271 W. Route 59
Spring Valley, NY 10977

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(845) 208-2444

The Law Office of Reuven Epstein

At one time the law was that if you were at fault, even if it was a little bit of fault, you were precluded from recovering in an automobile or personal injury accident. For example, if you were a pedestrian and were hit by a car while not crossing in the crosswalk, there is technically some level of responsibility on your part. But, if the other guy wasn’t driving carefully, was speeding, or running a light, the lion’s share of liability clearly falls on the driver. However, the old law held that if you were that pedestrian, you would not be able to recover at all. As a result, the state of New York recognized that the law was very harsh, so they changed it. That is no longer the law. Currently, we would compare the relative liability and responsibility of each person in the example about the person who was crossing versus the person who was driving. If it’s determined that the driver was 90% responsible and that the pedestrian was 10% responsible, then 10% of the recovery would be deducted from 100%. In other words, the driver would only be responsible of paying 90% of the recovery.

New York Is A No-Fault State. What Does That Mean For My Personal Injury Case?

In the State of New York, no-fault means that your medical bills are covered by your car insurance in the event that you get into an accident regardless of who is at fault. Even if you are 100% at-fault for the car accident, your own car insurance will pay the bills. The law change was good because it avoids having to determine fault in accidents and who pays for the medical treatment of the parties involved. Under the current law, someone who gets into a car accident can get medical treatment right away. They just need to own their insurance policy. It isn’t like the old days where people would have to figure out who was responsible and provide one another’s insurance information. This way, it’s done, and it doesn’t matter who is at fault. That’s why it’s called no-fault.

But, with the changed law, it has also ushered in other changes. In New York, insurance companies use a personal injury threshold, which requires someone who is hurt to have proof that they have a serious permanent injury, and the law defines what that is. Other states don’t have that requirement. If you are in Connecticut, and you get in a car accident and break a fingernail, you could bring a lawsuit. I don’t think you should. It most likely would not be worth your time, and certainly not an attorney’s time. But, you have that right. In New York, though, you do not have that right. You have to show that you have a serious permanent injury.

For more information on Personal Injury Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 208-2444 today.

The Law Office of Reuven Epstein

Call For Free Consultation
(845) 208-2444