If you were injured in a single-car accident, you can typically recover compensation. Even if no other vehicle was involved in your car accident, you may be stuck with medical bills, lost income, and other damages. If you have no-fault insurance, also known as a personal injury protection policy (PIP), your policy may cover some of your losses regardless of fault.
New York and New Jersey are both no-fault states, but their car insurance laws and insurance policies differ. In either state, though, if you are a driver who has a PIP policy in place at the time of the crash, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your economic losses directly through your insurance carrier, regardless of blame.
What no-fault insurance covers
Personal injury protection will pay the policyholder for certain economic damages up to the policy limits. This includes all medical bills, including doctor’s visits, surgeries, and even follow-up services like physical therapy, pain management services, and medications. It may also cover lost income and the cost of services that need to be replaced, like the household chores that you cannot perform due to the injury.
No-fault insurance does not pay for non-economic losses like pain and suffering. Non-economic damages can make up a substantial portion of an injury settlement. If your injury was serious, it is important to talk to a lawyer to find out whether you have legal grounds to file a lawsuit to recover those damages.
Filing a lawsuit for a single-car accident
There are a few requirements to meet before you can file a car accident lawsuit in New York or, if you opted for a “limitation on lawsuits” policy, in New Jersey.
- Fault. To file a lawsuit, there must be someone else at fault. In a single-vehicle accident, this is less likely but still possible. Perhaps the municipal government employees failed to clear a roadway when required, or your vehicle had a hazardous defect that caused the crash. If there was no at-fault party, there is no basis for a lawsuit.
- Right to sue. In New York, you only have the right to sue if your injuries meet the statutory threshold. For example, if you were injured in Rockland County, you need to show that your injuries caused more than $50,000 in economic loss or involved certain injuries like dismemberment, long-term impairment of a body function, or loss of a fetus. In New Jersey, you have the right to sue if you selected a “no limitation on lawsuits” policy, but if you selected a “limitation on lawsuits” policy, you need to meet the state’s threshold. So if your accident occurred in Bergen County and caused significant disfigurement, a permanent injury, or another serious injury, you may meet the threshold to sue.
Talk to a car accident lawyer today
You may feel a bit helpless after a single-car accident, but you do not necessarily have to bear the financial burden alone. Call the NY and NJ car accident attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman to discuss what kind of compensation may be available in your case. Consultations are free and we do not get paid a legal fee unless we secure compensation on your behalf.