If you sustained brain damage in a motor vehicle collision, you may already know that treating head trauma and coping with its symptoms can be both traumatic and expensive. Depending on the circumstances, though, you may be entitled to compensation for all the costs you incur due to the accident, including medical bills and lost income.
Although New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, personal injury victims can file third-party claims under some circumstances. For instance, if you sustained a serious injury—and brain trauma almost always qualifies—you may be able to file a claim against the liable person’s insurance provider.
Whether you’re filing a first-party or third-party claim, building a winning case can be challenging, and it’s natural to have a lot of questions about the process. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about brain injuries caused by drunk drivers:
- Can I Bypass New York’s No-Fault Law and File a Third-Party Claim?
As previously mentioned, New York follows a no-fault system when it comes to car accident claims, but if you sustained what the state considers to be a “serious injury,” you may be able to pursue compensation from the liable party’s insurer. A serious injury is one that results in:
- Full disability for at least 90 days;
- Substantial limitation of a body function or system;
- Permanent limitation of a body organ, member, function, or system;
- Bone fractures; or
- Significant scarring or disfigurement.
- How Long Do I Have to Bring the Case to Court?
The hospital bills, lost income, and other damages resulting from a brain injury are often significant. For this reason, the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster will search for any possible reason to dispute liability or reduce the value of your claim.
If a settlement cannot be reached and alternative dispute resolution is unsuccessful, your case may end up going to trial. In the state of New York, drunk driving accident victims typically have three years from the date of the incident to file a formal lawsuit against the impaired motorist. It’s important, however, that you take legal action right away because the initial investigation and settlement negotiations can take a considerable amount of time, and certain evidence may not be available indefinitely.
- How Can I Prove Liability Following a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you were hurt in a collision with an impaired motorist, your attorney may use the following evidence to prove liability:
- The official police report;
- The results of any chemical tests conducted at the scene;
- Arrest records;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Expert testimony;
- Dash cam footage;
- Surveillance recordings; and
- Social media posts detailing the liable party’s activities prior to getting behind the wheel.
Discuss Your Case with a Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in New York City
If you or someone in your family sustained a traumatic brain injury in a drunk driving accident, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny to discuss your case. Attorney Richard M. Kenny has more than 26 years of experience resolving personal injury and wrongful death cases of varying complexity. Call 212-421-0300 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in New York City.