How to Recover Compensation for Your Car Accident

While many car accidents have common causes, the specific circumstances of your accident will determine how you will get compensated for your suffering. If another driver’s negligence caused your damages, you may file a claim against them and their insurer. But if the injuries or damages are minimal, you may have to file a no-fault insurance claim with your provider.

If you are injured by a driver who is intoxicated or who flees the scene of the accident, you can typically file for punitive damages. Like a personal injury claim, you can get compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, car damages and pain and suffering. However, punitive damages carry the weight of moral judgement on the party responsible and are designed to punish their poor decision, as well as serve as a deterrent to others. The two main distinguishing factors of punitive damages include compensation that is proportionate to the severity of the damages and also how much money it would take to punish the driver accordingly. The purpose of punitive damages is not to just simply cover the victim’s expenses, but to cause the negligent party hardship for lack of concern for the welfare of others. To recover punitive damages, the intention of the driver to drink and drive or flee the scene must be proven.

You may be able to file a no-fault claim with your insurer for compensation if your damages are minimal, regardless of who is responsible for the accident. However, there is often an amount of expenses or severity of injury that cannot be exceeded in a no-fault claim, and you cannot claim pain and suffering as a reason for compensation from your insurer. For car accidents that include high medical costs and more severe injuries, you will have to file against the party at fault and their insurer.

If the reliable driver is uninsured or underinsured, and does not have assets, it may be more difficult to recover compensation from them. You may be able to file an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurer in such circumstances. If this coverage is included in your policy and the insurer refuses to pay, you may sue them for bad faith and they may be subjected to punitive damages as well. The experienced car accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP NY have the legal knowledge to determine how to get compensation for your damages.

Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP