• A Mother’s Question about Her Son’s Car Accident

A mother recently wrote to us seeking information about a car accident involving her son. I thought this might interest our readers.

Question about a Car Accident

My 23-year-old son was in a car accident.  The police and accident report state he was not at fault.  He was taken to the ER and is going to an orthopaedic doctor this week.  He has some pain in his neck and back, but it seems to be getting better.  My questions concern his car.  He was driving a 97 Civic which probably only has a value of $1,000, but he will have to spend at least 5,000 to get something else.  Under the “No Fault law,” can he get more than the blue book value?

Answer about a Car Accident Case

I am sorry to hear about your son’s car accident and injury. I hope he makes a full and fast recovery.

You want to know if No Fault will pay to replace your son’s car. The short answer is no, because New York No Fault does not pay for car damage, though the longer answer is more involved. He may be able to collect compensation for the loss of his car and other damages. Let me explain further:

Property Damage: You son’s insurance policy will determine what damage his insurance company will cover. The first step will be to determine the value of the car.  The maximum your son can receive is the book value (the Blue Book) of the car.

If the accident was the fault of the other driver, then that driver’s company will pay for the damage to the car. Your son should first try to work through his own insurance company, which should intercede on his behalf with the other driver’s insurance company. If that fails, he can file a claim directly with the other driver’s insurance company.

No Fault: Because the car accident occurred in New York, your son automatically qualifies for No Fault coverage, which he receives through his insurance company. New York No Fault Insurance will pay all medical bills related to the accident, lost wages and related expenses (e.g., transportation to see a doctor). There is a $50,000 cap on No Fault. You can click here to read more about New York No Fault insurance coverage.

Additional Compensation for Pain and Suffering: Your son may be able to pursue additional compensation. The additional compensation could pay for pain and suffering and damages that exceed the $50,000 No Fault cap. To collect compensation, he must demonstrate that the other driver bears liability for the accident, though it can be partial liability. Your son must demonstrate that he has suffered damages due to the car crash. And your son’s injuries must meet the New York State definition of a serious injury. If your son has a serious injury, I suggest that you speak with a New York attorney experienced with car accident cases.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident case, you may want to consult a New York personal injury attorney experienced with car crash cases. I would be glad to answer your questions and assist you. You can call me at 1-800-660-1466 or email us. You can also visit our website or read more on our blog, New York Law Thoughts.

The Schlitt Law Firm
New York Personal Injury Attorney

This material is intended for informational uses only. It is not meant as legal advice. To receive legal advice, you should consult an attorney. Remember, past results do not guarantee similar outcomes in the future.

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