Even when you know that car accidents are a serious problem throughout the US, the statistics on motor vehicle collision may still shock you. According to the New York State Department of Health, almost 140,000 people visit emergency rooms for medical treatment after an auto crash and another 12,000 are hospitalized because of their injuries. For many of these victims, the legal process for obtaining compensation is straightforward considering the nature of the injuries and obvious damage to property.
However, the situation is much more complicated for a victim who suffers injuries in a collision with no damage to vehicles. The biggest threat to your rights is not being able to recover fair compensation, due to the assumption that you could not have been hurt too badly. A New York car accident attorney can help you to overcome challenges after a no-damage auto crash, but some information on the basics may be useful.
Proving Your Rights as the Victim of an Auto Crash: In any vehicle collision case, you need to prove certain facts according to the legal concept known as negligence. You must have evidence showing that:
- The responsible motorist had a duty to exercise reasonable care when driving;
- He or she failed to comply with this legal duty;
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident; and,
- You suffered losses because of your injuries.
How a Lack of Damage Affects Your Case: If you were hurt in a crash, your first step in recovering compensation is filing a claim with the driver’s insurance company. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles requires all motorists to carry minimum amounts of auto insurance for one important reason: To cover the losses of victims harmed by negligent driving. When the insurer refuses to settle for fair compensation, you would need to file a lawsuit in court.
Regardless of whether you are discussing settlement or in the courtroom, the nature and severity of your injuries are a focal point. In a typical case, damage to the vehicles serves as solid evidence: It shows how severe, violent, and extreme the impact was. Without some indication that there was harm to any car involved with the accident, you could have a hard time convincing a claims adjuster or jury that you are entitled to monetary damages. Victims who suffer soft tissue injuries could face additional hurdles, since whiplash, herniated discs, and related harm are not visible to others.
Strategies for Recovering Compensation: You might have doubts about your legal remedies if there was little damage to vehicles in a crash, but there are ways to prove your rights. Your lawyer can develop strategies around other forms of evidence, such as:
- Your medical records, which include details about your injuries, treatment, procedures, and other information;
- Results of x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other screenings;
- Recollections from witnesses who observed the car accident;
- Security camera footage from businesses near the scene of the crash;
- Input from medical experts who can attest to the severity of your injuries and associated losses; and,
- Many other sources.
Trust a New York Car Accident Lawyer to Tackle Legal Challenges
If you were hurt in an auto crash with no property damage, you can see the importance of retaining experienced legal counsel to protect your interests. Our team at The Mandel Law Firm will aggressively fight for your rights in dealing with an insurance company, and we will take the battle to court to get fair compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal remedies, please call our Manhattan office at (646) 770-3868 or go online to set up a no-cost consultation.