You’ve been in a car accident but, luckily, you were not hurt badly. Some might call your car accident “minor.” Does that mean that you can’t pursue a claim for compensation against the other driver?
After a “minor” car accident, you should still see a medical professional to get a checkup and diagnosis of your injuries. What might feel like a little headache after the crash could be the first signs of a serious injury like whiplash. If it is serious, then you likely have the grounds to file a claim and demand compensation, even though your crash was described as minor.
You should also have your car inspected by a trusted mechanic for the same reason. For example, a fender bender might look like just the bumper needs to be replaced, which is probably cheaper than your deductible. But it could have broken parts of your vehicle’s undercarriage, like a puncture to the gas tank or an axle that has been knocked askew.
The first lesson is that you should not assume that your accident was “minor” until third-party experts confirm it. The second lesson is that you can file a claim for damages after a minor car accident if that crash caused worse-than-minor physical and financial consequences.
PIP Insurance & Minor Car Accidents
Your auto insurance policy can influence whether or not you can file a claim after a minor car accident. If you have a high deductible, then you might need to use it before your insurance company will even get involved in the matter. If your damage costs are lower than your deductible, then that is probably as far as the case can go.
In no-fault states like New York with personal injury protection (PIP) requirements, bringing a claim against another motorist for a minor accident might not even be allowed under the law. The concept of no-fault liability laws is that an injured party’s own insurance company pays for their damages without needing to bring a claim against the other party, as long as those damages are relatively minimal. Specifically, in terms of personal injury cases in New York, an injured driver can’t even bring a claim against another motorist unless their injuries are considered “serious,” which means it will stop them from holding gainful employment or has caused a permanent disability. Otherwise, they must rely on their PIP insurance first and foremost.
Questions about minor car accidents and PIP insurance in New York? You can contact Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices to speak with an attorney about your situation. During a no-cost consultation, we can help figure out if your case can be pursued under the state’s liability laws. Call (718) 690-3132 now.