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How Do You Sue an Insurance Company After an Auto Accident in Brooklyn?

Posted in Car Accidents on February 27, 2023

How Do You Sue an Insurance Company After an Auto Accident in Brooklyn?

Dealing with an insurance claim after an auto accident in Brooklyn can be frustrating. New York has no-fault insurance laws. Therefore, your first claim after a car accident is with your PIP insurance provider.

If you meet specific qualifications, you might be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, you must prove that the other driver caused the accident before the insurance company pays your claim. Even if the company accepts liability for a car crash, it does not mean the insurance company pays the amount you demand for damages.

Therefore, you might find yourself in a position where you need to sue an insurance company for a Brooklyn auto accident. If so, it helps to understand more about car accident claims in New York.

How Does Car Insurance Work in Brooklyn, New York?

New York insurance laws require drivers to purchase and maintain minimum amounts of car insurance. The car insurance minimums required in New York are:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) no-fault insurance in the amount of $50,000
  • Liability insurance coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person and $50,000 for a fatality (the amounts double if more than one person is injured in an accident)
  • Liability insurance for property damage in the amount of $10,000
  • Uninsured motorist coverage in the same amounts as liability insurance coverage

No-fault insurance pays benefits regardless of who causes an accident. Therefore, each driver files a claim with their insurance provider. A basic no-fault insurance policy pays for your necessary medical treatment and up to 80% of your lost wages.

Liability insurance pays an accident victim for damages when you cause an accident. However, you cannot pursue a liability claim unless you meet the “serious injury” threshold.

New York laws define serious injury as:

  • Fractures
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant limitation of a body function or system
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Death
  • Permanent loss of a body organ, function, member, or system
  • Significant and permanent loss of use of a body member or organ

You can also pursue a liability claim if your car accident injuries prevent you from performing all or substantially all of your daily activities for at least three months of the six months after the car crash. A doctor must determine that you cannot perform the tasks because of the injury.

A liability claim provides additional compensation for accident victims. Unlike no-fault insurance, you can receive reimbursement for all economic damages. In addition, you can also receive a settlement for non-economic damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering.

Suing an Insurance Company After a Car Accident in Brooklyn, NY

If your no-fault insurance company refuses to pay your claim, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the company. However, your claim would be for a breach of contract dispute. In other words, your PIP insurance provider failed to pay benefits pursuant to the terms of the contract.

However, if a driver’s liability insurance company refuses to pay your claim, you file a lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident. The at-fault driver is responsible for the damages you sustained.

However, you must prove negligence to win your case. You have the burden of proving the driver:

  • Owed you a duty of care;
  • Breached the duty of care;
  • The breach of duty caused the accident; and,
  • You sustained damages because of the accident.

If the jury finds in your favor, it awards an amount for damages. The at-fault driver can present a defense, including allegations of failing to mitigate damages and contributory fault.

In most cases, the liability insurance company hires a defense attorney to represent the at-fault driver in the lawsuit. Even though you file a lawsuit, the company could agree to a settlement at any time before a jury verdict.

Should I Hire a Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer After an Accident?

Whether you need to hire a car accident lawyer depends on the facts of your case. However, meeting with an attorney for a free consultation could be worth your time.

An insurance adjuster looks out for the best interests of the insurance company. Therefore, the amount of the settlement offer could be much lower than the value of your damages. If you accept the settlement offer and sign a settlement agreement, you could give up your right to a much larger settlement amount.

Before signing documents for a car accident settlement, talk with a personal injury lawyer about your legal options. You might be surprised to discover your claim is worth more than you imagined.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City car accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600

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