When Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in New York?

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woman injured after a NY car accident

New York’s no-fault laws can make it more difficult for you to obtain compensation for pain and suffering after a car accident. However, you should not let the complexity of New York’s personal injury laws prevent you from seeking fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered after a car accident. For many, this includes payment for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is an umbrella term that includes physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other non-financial losses caused by an accident.

Below, we’ll discuss when you can sue for pain and suffering and how to determine if you are eligible. The highly experienced NY car accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. have the knowledge and skill to evaluate your case and develop a strategy to maximize your legal options. Contact us today for a free, no-risk consultation to discuss your case.

Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?

New York is a no-fault state. This means those involved in an accident typically turn to their own personal injury protection (PIP) policies to cover medical expenses and lost wages. PIP does not cover pain and suffering.

However, there are some situations where you might be able to step outside the no-fault system and sue the at-fault party for your economic and non-economic losses after a motor vehicle accident. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you could pursue additional compensation, including for pain and suffering.

You must meet specific criteria to qualify for a personal injury lawsuit.

You must have sustained a “serious injury as defined by New York state law. In New York, “serious” injuries include:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Fractures
  • Injury that prevents you from performing normal day-to-day tasks for at least 90 days in the first 180 days after the accident
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of use of a body system, function, organ, or member
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Significant limitation of a body function of system

It’s best to speak to an experienced New York car accident attorney to determine whether you qualify for pain and suffering damages, since there are complex rules to determine whether you might fit into one or more of the categories above.

You Have a Limited Time to Seek Pain and Suffering

If you qualify, you’ll likely need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in New York. There is generally a three-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. If you do not initiate legal action within that timeframe, the court might dismiss your case.

If you were in an accident with a motor vehicle owned or operated by a municipality, such as New York City, or a local town or county, then you have ninety (90) days to file a Notice of Claim. If you do not timely file a Notice of Claim, you may be forever barred from recovering any financial compensation.

How Much Do You Get for Pain and Suffering?

Every case is unique. Reviewing the case’s specific details is necessary to gauge how much money a person might receive for pain and suffering. In general, the more severe the injuries, the more compensation an accident victim could seek.

Nonetheless, it can be challenging to quantify pain and suffering. That’s why it is crucial to speak with an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney can help you document and estimate the amount you should claim.

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today

Were you severely injured in a car accident in the New York area? Contact the experienced and dedicated NY accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today to discuss your case and evaluate your legal options.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.