- 1 Medical Bills, Lost Wages & Other Benefits In Car Accidents
- 2 How to Get Paid 9% Interest on Your Personal Injury Settlement
- 3 Punitive Damages
- 4 Proving You Have a Serious Injury In a Car Accident
- 5 Car Accident Resources
Medical Bills, Lost Wages & Other Benefits In Car Accidents
What is New York no-fault law? Think of it as health insurance and disability insurance to pay lost wages or income with some other benefits when you are hurt in a car accident.
No-Fault has nothing to do with who is at fault for the accident or whether you are entitled to money for pain-and-suffering.
You only have 30 days to file a No-Fault application and it’s better for your case to let us fill it out it for you. Medical bills must be submitted within 45 days.
You also have only 90 days or a reasonable amount of time to file an underinsured or uninsured claim. It may take time to properly investigate your claim, so don’t wait!
We will do all of the No-Fault work for you at no charge! We will also get your lost wage disability payments for you at no charge!
Please call us immediately at 1-800-487-8911
How to Get Paid 9% Interest on Your Personal Injury Settlement
You may be able to obtain 9% interest on your award if we win Summary Judgment!
Summary Judgment is where the court rules early in the case that the other driver was 100% at fault. We ca file a Motion (request) for Summary Judgment in the following situations if your car was hit:
- in the rear
- by a car making a left turn
- by a car which ran a red light
- by a car which ran a stop sign
- by a drunk driver
- by a driver on drugs
- by a distracted driver; and other reasons
If we win a Motion for Summary Judgment, that means we got a court judgment declaring the car was 100% at fault and the insurance company will then be liable to pay you 9% interest on your award. Interest begins to run from when the court awards Summary Judgment.
Many lawyers don’t bother to file Summary Judgment motions because it’s too much work. We think it’s well worth the time! When you are awarded 9% interest, the insurance companies want to settle quickly and pay more.
We sued for $500 Million including punitive damages when our client’s car (below) was broadsided by an SUV which ran a stop sign while drag racing. Our client was seriously injured and air lifted by helicopter to a hospital.
Punitive damages are not covered by the defendant’s car insurance and must be paid from the defendant’s personal income and assets. We’ll do an asset search to find real estate, cars, boats, planes and other assets owned by the defendant.
Our client had multiple fractures requiring many surgeries because of the injuries he sustained when he was a passenger in this car which was hit by a drunk driver.
Proving You Have a Serious Injury In a Car Accident
If another lawyer isn’t sure if he or she wants to take your case because your injury is not obviously serious, we want to represent you! We know how to prove injuries are serious.
While it’s not obvious to people what a lawyer would consider to be a serious injury, injuries in car accidents are more difficult to prove serious. New York State No-Fault law states that you can not sue for an injury in a car accident unless it is a “legally defined” serious injury!
A “legally accepted” serious injury is not an injury that you or your doctor think is serious. Think of it as an injury that is legally accepted by the court as serious. If more judges had accidents, this probably wouldn’t be a problem!
This is known as the New York serious injury threshold. You should know that it is only required to prove that an injury is serious in a car accident. This is not required in motorcycle accidents or any other type of accident.
What many people, including some attorneys, do not know is that you can get money for all your other injuries which might not be considered legally serious once you have a broken bone or another serious injury.
What constitutes a “legally serious” injury is extremely confusing and difficult to understand even for many personal injury lawyers. Many lawyers have had cases with injuries requiring shoulder, wrist, knee and back surgery dismissed by courts. Those clients had their case thrown out of court and they got nothing!
Many court decisions dismissing cases, state that the plaintiff failed to prove the injury was serious. Often, this means the attorney failed to prove that the injury is serious.
While other attorneys often send their clients to defense medical exams alone, we go with you and bring an orthopedic surgeon to your orthopedic exam and a neurologist to your neurology exam to observe the insurance company doctors. Our doctors write reports of their observations which can prevent your case from getting dismissed.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Injuries requiring surgery but without a broken bone, are very serious injuries which are difficult and complicated to prove that they are “legally serious”. But if your attorney and doctor do not properly document the diagnosis and treatment of your injury, your case will be dismissed because of the plaintiff’s failure to prove that it is a serious injury, even if you had surgery!
Do you think your knee injury, shoulder injury, back injury, or neck injury is serious? We say YES!
The photo below shows a car which was struck at an intersection in the Bronx by another car which ran a stop sign. One of our clients had a knee injury with arthroscopic surgery and our other client did not have any surgery or significant treatment.
In this Bronx car accident, GEICO insurance offered only $25,000 for our client with surgery and nothing for our other client, alleging that the injuries of both clients were not serious according to the New York State no-fault law. We were successful in obtaining an award of the entire $100,000 insurance policy at arbitration for the client with surgery. The insurance company refused to arbitrate the case of the other client and we were successful in obtaining a $15,000 settlement for that client during the course of a lawsuit.
We proved our client’s knee injury was a serious injury in this Bronx car accident
Previous Existing Injuries
We represented a woman who’s car was struck (photo below) by a car which ran a red light. She had previous existing lower back pain and was being treated by an orthopedic surgeon for two years prior to the accident, right up until the time of the accident. After her accident, her back pain (a soft tissue injury) worsened. The year after the accident, she had lower back surgery. Allstate never made an offer for several years and hired a doctor who argued that her injury and surgery had nothing to do with the car accident. At a mediation, we settled this case for $750,000.
Injuries involving a broken bone, known as a fracture, are defined by the no-fault statute as a serious injury. Consequently, where a car accident victim has a broken bone, the attorney only needs to provide a medical record proving that there was a broken bone caused by the car accident.
Any broken bone is a serious injury. For instance, a broken nose, broken finger, broken toe or broken rib are all guaranteed serious injuries.
Our client broke 3 ribs in this car accident
In this head on collision with a car making a left turn, our client reinjured a previous fracture which required surgery. The bone graft moved in the second accident which has been ruled by a New York State Supreme Court to be a serious injury.
Our client was seriously injured with a broken ankle in this car accident
Don’t take chances with a lawyer who doesn’t understand how to properly handle injuries from car accidents or an attorney who just doesn’t make the effort necessary. Call us now for a free consultation:
Car Accident Resources
- Free online traffic accident diagram drawing software – Do NOT make a drawing and submit to your insurance company. If you want to use this, only provide it to your lawyer.
- What you should know about getting your ambulance bill paid by No-Fault before you get stuck owing the money when No-Fault denies payment.
- Lost Wage benefits from No-Fault & New York State Disability benefits
If you have been in a car accident, please call us now for a free consultation if you have any of these serious injuries:
- Broken bone, no matter how minor or small
- Pain in your knee
- Pain in shoulder
- Pain in your wrist
- Pain in your neck
- Pain in your back
- You were in the hospital overnight
- You had any kind of surgery
Call Phil Franckel direct days/nights/weekends for a free consultation