Can I sue the man that hit my car with my six year old daughter in the back seat, and the man who hit me was arrested for DUI? There isn’t much damage to my car but my daughter was and still is very frightened from the accident. I’m not sure yet if the man had a valid license and insurance.
Answer to Question about a Mother and Daughter in a Car Accident
I am sorry to hear about your car accident and I hope that you and your daughter will be okay. The most important concern is to make sure that you and your daughter receive the medical treatment that you need, including psychological help if your daughter’s fears remain.
As for your question, you may be able to sue for damages depending on the seriousness of your injuries. (I will address that question in more detail below). In any case, you and your daughter can automatically qualify for New York No Fault that will pay for your medical expenses, including therapy that your daughter may need to alleviate her fears.
New York No Fault Coverage
In New York, if you have been injured in a car crash, you automatically qualify for No Fault coverage. No Fault will cover up to a total of $50,000 in medical expenses, lost wages and related expenses. You receive No Fault coverage through the insurance company for your vehicle and you must notify them of your desire to apply for No Fault within 30 days of the car crash. You can learn more about No Fault by clicking here for a Consumer Guide to New York No Fault.
You can use No Fault to pay for your daughter to talk to a doctor about her fears arising from this car crash.
Pursuing Compensation in a New York Car Accident
You may be able to pursue compensation from the person who hit you. To prevail in a New York car accident claim, you need to prove that the other driver bears some or all of the liability for causing the accident. You will also need to prove that you or your daughter suffered serious injuries.
You do not describe the specific circumstances for this accident (for sample, were you struck from the rear?). However, the fact that the other driver was arrested for driving under the influence strongly suggests that he will bear liability for the accident.
To pursue compensation beyond No Fault in New York you must prove that you or your daughter suffered a serious injury. There are many ways to meet the serious injury requirement; they include suffering a broken or fractured bone, receiving a permanent scar or suffering an injury that leads to limitations and extensive mistreatment or missed work. You can read more about the serious injury requirement here.
If you meet the serious injury requirement, the value of the damages will depend upon the actual damages you incur. If you have minimal or no injuries, then there are no damages to pursue.
I hope this information helps. I would be glad to answer your questions and assist you. There is never a fee for that consultation. 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.
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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