What Types of Compensation Am I Entitled to After a New York Car Crash?  

Posted: January 17, 2024

The car sits purposeless in the driveway, fender bashed. The pain in your head is splitting. You can’t work. Who will pay your wages? And you can’t enjoy the leisure activities you once enjoyed in the past. Your kids want to shoot hoops in the driveway, but you can’t. You are missing out on the joys of life because of something someone else did to you.  

Those seriously injured in a New York motor vehicle crash will naturally wonder: “What types of compensation am I entitled to?”  

A personal injury claim can include different types of damages, which are legal remedies that can be awarded. These damages can include many different things.  

Compensatory damages, as the name implies, are meant to compensate for injuries caused. This item of damages differs from other types of damages, such as punitive damages, which aim to punish the responsible person and deter future misconduct, or nominal damages, which is appropriate where the person is liable, but no actual compensable injury was sustained.  

In courthouses across New York, compensatory damages are the most frequently demanded item of damages in lawsuits arising from car crashes.  

Compensatory damages  

Compensatory damages can be economic or non-economic. This may seem counterintuitive: Aren’t all claims for money damages economic in nature?  

Non-economic compensatory damages are a bit more amorphous, or difficult to conceptualize, than pure economic losses like lost wages or incurred medical expenses. They cannot be neatly calculated with a calculator. But that does not mean such damages are any less real or consequential. Examples of non-economic compensatory damages include but are not limited to:  

  • Pain and suffering – The physical pain and anguish someone might experience after a car crash.   
  • Loss of enjoyment of life – The inability to fully engage in the pursuits and pleasures of life.  
  • Pre-impact terror – This is a subcategory of pain and suffering which recognizes compensation for the moments before someone’s death, when they understand the danger giving rise to death.  

In New York, not all motorists who are hurt in car crashes are entitled to compensation for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.  

In most cases, the injured person must demonstrate that their injuries rise to the level of a “serious injury” as that term has been defined by lawmakers and interpreted by courts through the years.  

This area of law can get complicated and, to many, may seem overwhelming. Different people lead different lives and have unique medical histories. The law, however, does not always recognize these nice distinctions and effective advocacy is often needed to demonstrate that injuries do indeed rise to the level of a “serious injury,” warranting compensation for pain and suffering.  

Insurance companies are very adept at scrutinizing medical records and manufacturing arguments that a claimant’s injuries do not rise to the level of a “serious injury.” They may point to a preexisting medical condition, gap in treatment, or the cursory opinion of a hired medical examiner.  

It can be difficult to combat these tactics alone. The attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. have extensive experience helping injured New York motorists demonstrate that their injuries rise to the level of a “serious injury.” We can request, assemble, and organize your medical records and advocate on your behalf to help demonstrate that your injuries are “serious” and you deserve maximum compensation for pain and suffering.  

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