Partial fault, at-fault, and no-fault are all difficult to understand terms. There’s a lot of room for interpretation, and many people moving in and out of state may not understand. New York is a no-fault state.
Contact a car crash attorney in Buffalo, NY for help. New York state doesn’t assign partial fault, but many insurance companies will still throw around fault as a way to avoid paying fair compensation. You can overcome claims of fault with a solid defense of your case.
1. Understanding No-Fault Benefits
No-fault benefits kick-in regardless of who was at fault. It seems pretty straight forward, but because your insurance company is having to pay out, it’s usually hard to obtain full compensation.
Benefits can include payouts for prescription drugs, transportation to medical providers, lost wages, and medical bills. You’ll notice that there’s a huge gap when it comes to suffering and other factors of rehabilitation in terms of compensation.
When it comes to handling no-fault, your insurance company may try to turn the tables on you and deny benefits because of negligent driving.
2. Arguing for Comparative Negligence
So how do insurance companies argue negligent driving in no-fault cases? This opens the door to comparative negligence. Comparative negligence looks past the duty of care and takes it to the law. Were you acting within the restrictions of basic traffic laws?
If you were speeding, changing lanes without signaling, or doing anything else that violated even minor traffic laws you need help. In New York, plaintiffs cannot recover full damages if they were partially responsible for the negligence or risk.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t receive any compensation, but it does mean that you won’t have access to a full settlement. When you get help from a lawyer, you can argue the grounds of negligence and show that you genuinely did not contribute to the accident through neglect.
3. Have a Lawyer Usher You Through the Process
Getting a lawyer can help you show your side of events. Many people find themselves arguing with their insurance company over something that wasn’t their fault. A lawyer can help you bring together your version of events along with evidence to show your side clearly.
When you’re going back and forth with insurance, there is not anyone on your side. Your insurance company is trying to keep money in their pocket. So, unless you take this claim seriously and take legal action, you have very little chance of receiving a fair compensation payment.
4. Rely on Video and Eye-Witnesses
Key evidence is now readily available. Drivers throughout New York are installing dash cams or using go-pros to video their everyday commutes. Does it seem like overkill? Hardly. In a no-fault state, such as New York, you need all the evidence you can to obtain the maximum compensation possible. Although no one purposefully tries to get in an accident, it’s reasonable to expect the worst.
If you haven’t had a dashcam installed, request help from eyewitnesses. Although not as many people pull over to help now as they did twenty years ago, it’s likely that someone will stop. Collect any witnesses’ contact information and ask them to provide a statement if their insurance company needs it. You’ll find a lot of sympathy from people who’ve been in similar situations.
As an added bonus, a vital piece of evidence that can serve to show the lack of fault is the police report. Whenever you’re in an accident, you should contact the police and file a formal report. As you file a report, you will have to provide specifics such as how fast you were going and what lane you were in at the time of impact.
When in Doubt, Seek Legal Help
Finding legal help and fighting your way through a difficult insurance claim is not easy. You’ll need to find an attorney who understands the traffic laws within Buffalo, while also having experience defending crash victims. Then, of course, you’ll want other qualities on top of experiences such as availability and resourcefulness.
Work with a car accident lawyer in Buffalo, NY to help you show that this wasn’t your fault. Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers help victims of car wrecks seek the compensation they need to recover from their accident fully.
With legal help, you can fight to recover the maximum compensation and hopefully settle the issue without going to court.