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Automobile and Motor Vehicle Accidents FAQ

What should I do if I am in an accident?

Most importantly, report all accidents, even minor ones, to the police. Write down names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses in case you need them later, and make sure the police officer gives you a copy of the driver exchange information form. Call your insurance agent and your insurance company for further instructions. If you do not report the accident, the insurance company may deny payment of any claims you file later. Contact an attorney BEFORE YOU CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY if you have questions about your legal rights.


If the accident is not my fault, do I have to let my own insurance company know about it, and if I do will they raise my insurance premiums?

Yes you should contact your insurance company, but they should not raise your premium if the accident was not your fault. New York is a No-Fault automobile accident state. It means that your automobile insurance company is required to pay for your medical expenses up to a certain amount, depending on the pol


Have I sustained a "serious injury" under New York State Law?

The answer to this and other questions are often complex and require an attorney to deal with an insurance company or court in an effort to show that the injuries sustained are "serious." Because the legislature has left this ambiguous, the courts have attempted to define all these terms through their court rulings. To decide what constitutes a "serious injury," attorneys and insurance companies examine medical records, often with the use of expert witnesses who themselves are medical doctors. For instance, your attorney will typically request an affidavit from a doctor or present your medical records to prove that you have sustained a "serious injury."


Are there circumstances under which I might not be able to pursue a personal injury claim in court?

Yes. If any of the following apply to your accident, then you may not be able to seek compensation under New York State law.

  1. You intentionally caused your own injury.
  2. You operated a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition or while your ability to operate the vehicle was impaired by the use of a drug within the meaning of section 1192 of the vehicle and traffic law.
  3. You were injured while: a) committing an act that would constitute a felony, or seeking to avoid lawful apprehension or arrest by a law enforcement officer, or b) operating a motor vehicle in a race or speed test, or c) operating or occupying a motor vehicle known to be stolen, or d) repairing, servicing or otherwise maintaining a motor vehicle if such conduct is within the course of a business of repairing, servicing or otherwise maintaining a motor vehicle and the injury occurs on the business premises.
  4. Your injury does not meet any of the requirements under New York State law.

Lozner & Mastropietro is dedicated to representing victims of motor vehicle accidents. If you were injured or a loved one killed as a result of an Automobile and Motor Vehicle Accidents FAQ or you simply need more information, please contact us at 1-718-615-0044 or click Tell Us About Your Case.

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