Car accidents frequently result in severe injuries that impact your quality of life. In New York, auto accidents are the primary cause of injury-related deaths. While some single-vehicle accidents are due to driver errors, many are caused by other road users.
Single-vehicle accidents are often as dangerous as multi-vehicle crashes. Victims may experience severe injuries that have life-changing consequences. However, proving liability in these accidents is difficult.
If you suffered injuries from a single-vehicle accident that wasn’t your fault, contact the experienced Syracuse car accident lawyers at our law firm to determine what compensation you may be entitled to and how to get the damages you deserve.
New York State’s No-Fault Law
New York state recognizes no-fault insurance laws. In the event of a car accident, compensation for any injuries or losses caused by the accident comes from the injured party’s insurance policy. Regardless of who is primarily responsible, the insurer assumes financial responsibility.
The main advantage of no-fault insurance laws is that it reduces the number of small claims that go to court. Each insurer provides compensation for any minor injuries experienced by its policyholders.
New York requires its drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP). PIP coverage covers medical expenses up to your policy’s limit after an accident. New York’s PIP policy is a pay-first system, meaning the insurer covers immediate costs regardless of fault.
However, if another party is responsible for the accident, their liability insurance may cover your medical expenses once liability is determined.
Unfortunately, liability can be challenging to prove in a single-vehicle accident. A dangerous driver may force you to swerve to avoid a collision, causing you to crash into a tree or building. While someone else’s reckless driving is technically the cause of the crash, you may be unable to prove a no-contact accident without witnesses.
In many cases, dangerous drivers fail to stop after causing an accident. Although some do so intentionally to escape punishment, others may not realize they caused the crash. These phantom drivers make the recovery process difficult for victims, forcing them to take the entire burden of responsibility.
Unless the victim purchases an additional PIP policy or takes out liability insurance, their compensation is limited to the $50,000 minimum PIP coverage. While this may seem like a lot, medical bills can accumulate rapidly, particularly if you suffer serious injuries that require ongoing treatment.
The capped policy must also cover loss of earnings, childcare expenses, and attendant care. PIP does not cover any vehicle or property damage or non-economic suffering like mental anguish.
Seeking Compensation From Third Parties
In New York, you may file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver. If you can identify them and prove liability, you may be entitled to make a claim. However, a lawsuit is only viable if the victim suffers a serious injury, such as disfigurement, bone fracture, loss of a fetus, loss of functionality of an organ, or a medically determined impairment.
What to Do if You’ve Been Involved in a Single Vehicle Accident
Gaining compensation for a single-vehicle crash is difficult in miss-and-run scenarios when an at-fault-driver flees the scene. The crash victim may not recall the driver or vehicle details, making it impossible to identify them. If you’ve been involved in a miss-and-run, take the following steps:
1. Find witnesses
Find potential witnesses in the area who can provide important information to the authorities. A witness statement can help verify the facts relating to the incident, supporting your claim.
2. Report the incident immediately
It’s essential to create a formal accident record by reporting it to the police. If you experience delayed injuries, a formal record must link your injuries to the accident. If you cannot contact the police independently, instruct a family member or friend to do so on your behalf.
3. File a statement with your insurance company
You’ll also have to file a statement with your insurer, citing the cause of action for filing damages against the at-fault driver. Since this is the beginning of your legal proceedings, you will need an attorney to assist you with the process.
Evaluate Your Case With an Experienced Attorney
Earning compensation for a single-vehicle accident in a no-fault state is complex, but with the right legal team on your side it may be possible. To give yourself the best chance of recovering damages, get in touch with the skilled car accident attorneys at Catalano Law.
Our experienced auto accident lawyers can guide you through the process and help you recover the damages you deserve. Request a free consultation today.