At Kammholz Rossi, PLLC, we offer nearly 50 years of combined experience in helping car accident victims just like you. Our results-oriented auto accident lawyers in Rochester practice our core values in all cases: knowledge, honesty, compassion, diligence and creativity. You can depend on personalized compassionate legal service throughout your case, and you can depend on our team to maximize your personal injury claim following a serious car accident.
Why Choose Kammholz Rossi, PLLC, for a Car Accident Claim?
In auto accident cases, the plaintiff is the victim, and the defense is the individual or business that caused the injury — or, more likely, the insurance company that represents the negligent individual or business.
Auto accident attorneys Bradley Kammholz and Joseph A. Rossi Jr. have spent their careers representing accident victims and exclusively dedicated to helping accident victims like you. They are hometown lawyers with deep knowledge, resources and passion.
Our Rochester-based injury lawyers can help you make informed decisions while relieving you of the burdens of dealing with insurance carriers. We will handle all communications with insurance companies and opposing parties. We will track all parts of your case and work proactively and creatively to build a successful case for negotiations and trial.
With extensive experience dealing with insurance companies and their lawyers, we know what you are up against, and we know the other side’s tactics. Our team leaves no stone unturned, and we will aggressively advocate to obtain the maximum value for you for past, present and future damages resulting from your motor vehicle accident.
The right way to maximize your compensation is with a devoted team that is committed to doing what is right for car accident victims and their families.
Car Insurance Requirements in New York
Every person who registers and drives a car in Rochester, New York, must have automobile insurance coverage according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If a vehicle fails to have insurance coverage, the DMV can suspend the operator’s license and registration.
There are two categories of insurance coverage on an automobile insurance policy: (1) liability (“Bodily Injury”) coverage and (2) “No-Fault” a/k/a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
Liability insurance is the part of your insurance policy referred to “Bodily Injury” or “BI” coverage. This coverage is used to compensate a person injured due to a driver’s negligent operation of a vehicle if the person’s injuries meet the “Serious Injury” threshold as defined by New York law. This is the type of coverage that would pay you for your “pain and suffering” as well as bills not covered by No-Fault insurance.
In New York, vehicles are only required to have a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in automobile coverage. This amount can be increased since everyone has the option of paying for higher Bodily Injury coverage but it is very common for vehicles in New York to have just the minimum coverage.
With a minimum BI policy, regardless of how catastrophic your injuries are, the most you can recover from the negligent driver’s insurance is $25,000 per person. Also, regardless of the number of people injured as a result of the negligent driver’s actions, the most that can be recovered in total from the negligent driver’s insurance carrier is $50,000 for everyone.
- Example: A family of four is rear-ended by a negligent driver and all four family members are seriously injured. Those four people will only have $50,000 to divide amongst them.
There is a way to ensure that you have higher coverage that covers you and your family in the event that a negligent driver has no insurance or the minimum BI coverage amount. This coverage is called Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (SUM) coverage.
“No-Fault insurance: New York is a “No-Fault” state, which means that all motor vehicles are required to have a specific type of insurance to pay for the medical bills (such as: ambulance, hospital, imaging, surgeries, therapy) and loss of wages of its occupants regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Those injured in the vehicle do not have to prove anyone was negligent (or at fault) to receive No-fault insurance benefits.
Importantly, motorcycles are not covered by No-Fault insurance. If you were on a motorcycle (driver or passenger), No-Fault insurance does not apply. You will need to sue the negligent person for damages to recover your costs.
The minimum amount of No-Fault coverage required under New York law is $50,000. This amount goes to cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. The amount of coverage you have will be listed as “Basic PIP” or “Mandatory PIP” on your insurance policy’s Declaration page.
You should increase your No-Fault coverage to have more than $50,000 to protect you and your family. No-Fault insurance can be increased from $50,000 all the way up to $175,000 per person through coverages such as: Optional Basic Economic Loss (“OBEL”) ($25,000 per person) and Additional Personal Injury Protection (“A-PIP”) ($100,000 per person).
No-Fault insurance can cover up to 80 percent of lost wages with a monthly maximum amount of $2,000 for up to three (3) years from the date of your accident or until your No-Fault coverage runs out. The monthly maximum amount can be increased from $2,000 to $3,000 if you opted for additional No-Fault coverage (OBEL and A-PIP).
When You Need to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
If you are so severely injured that your bills exhaust your policy coverage, it could be time to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the additional compensation you need. We do not recommend working with insurance companies alone, which is why working with a trusted Rochester auto accident attorney when you need to file a lawsuit is critical.
The No-Fault insurance system has a threshold of $50,000. There may be circumstances where your medical bills amount to more than that and you could be eligible to sue the other driver for those additional losses.
We can also file a lawsuit on your behalf if you have “Serious Injury”, which is defined under New York State Insurance Law §5102(d) as:
- Dismemberment (loss of a limb)
- Fracture (broken bone)
- Disfigurement (i.e. scar)
- Loss of a fetus (baby in utero)
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ or member, function or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents you from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute your usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the injury/accident.
Beyond finding out about the injury itself, we have to take the time to learn how the injury has had an impact on your life. Will it require surgery? Are you going to need years of physical therapy? Is lifelong care going to be necessary? We need to know because our goal is to get you compensation to cover all medical costs related to your injury — past, present and future.
Getting you compensation for medical costs is only the start. We want to get you all the compensation you need. That means we will get to know how your injury has changed your ability to enjoy your life. How does it make your job more difficult? What types of things that you used to do for fun are you no longer able to do? What kind of pain are you feeling and how long is it expected to last? By finding out how the injury has impacted your whole life, we can be certain to pursue compensation that truly meets your needs.
We use evidence to prove that the other operator/driver was responsible for the accident and support your damage claims. Specifically, our auto accident attorneys will:
- Demonstrate that the defendant owed you a duty of care
- Illustrate how the defendant failed in that duty or breached that duty
- Prove how their failure directly led to your injuries
- Establish supporting evidence for the expenses you have incurred (or will incur) related to your injuries
What Your Rochester Car Accident Claim Could Be Worth
If you or a loved one suffered a “Serious Injury” in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, you will certainly have questions about whether the injury satisfies New York’s “Serious Injury” threshold and if so, what type of compensation and amount of compensation you can expect to possibly receive.
It is crucial for you to be aware of the type of damages you are entitled to after a car accident in order to make sure you are fully compensated. Numerous factors determine how much your damages could be worth and what is recoverable. There is no such thing as an “average” or “ballpark” without knowing all the information to make sure you are fairly compensated. The most common types of damages include pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills, but there are more types of economic and non-economic damages.
Once we establish that another party was responsible (negligent) for your accident and that you suffered a “Serious Injury” or an economic loss beyond what No-Fault insurance paid we can then determine the types of damages we can recover for you.
Recoverable damages are divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
In New York, economic damages provide accident victims with compensation for all of their direct, out-of-pocket losses that are not covered by No-Fault insurance. Examples you could recover include:
- Medical bills: Any medical expenses you have because of the accident, including any future medical costs you may incur.
- Past lost wages: The wages or salary you missed out on when you couldn’t work because of your injuries.
- Future lost wages: The wages or salary you will miss out on if you cannot return to work or pursue a potential career due to your injuries.
- Property damage: Any of your personal property that was destroyed or otherwise damaged in the accident.
- Rehabilitation costs: You may require physical, occupational, speech, and/or other types of rehabilitation.
- Assistive services: If you need to hire help because you can no longer do the things you used to do yourself after the accident.
- Medical equipment: Items such as: hospital beds, wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers.
- Home accommodations: Items such as: ramps, wider doorways, grab rails and handles, leveled thresholds, stair lifts, raised toilets, zero-entry showers, and other handicap-accessible alterations you require due to your injuries.
- Prescription medications: These can be expensive and often required to manage pain, infection, and other medical needs after an injury.
- Other costs: We can request compensation for any out-of-pocket money you have to spend because of the accident.
In New York, you can sue for non-economic damages, which are subjective and not easily calculable like your economic damages, for the harm you suffer due to an accident. There are several types of non-economic damages and since these damages are hard to estimate, you should have the help of a lawyer to ensure you are receiving a fair amount.
Types of non-economic damages we could include in your claim are:
- Pain and suffering: To compensate you for any physical or mental pain and suffering that impacts your life after your injuries.
- Emotional distress: If you are suffering emotionally after your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your distress.
- Disfigurement: To compensate you if you suffered disfigurement or permanent scarring because of your injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: To compensate you for when you can no longer participate in activities you enjoyed before the accident.
- Loss of consortium: To compensate you for changes in your relationship due to your injuries, such as inability to derive pleasure, comfort, sexual relations, protection, financial benefits, or the ability to bear children.
Sadly, until you have experienced a serious car accident, it is impossible to imagine how it can impact your life in so many ways. You or your loved one deserves a fair settlement to regain independence, financial security, health, and the things needed to care for your family. Every claim, just like every person, is unique and cannot be valued the same, which is why you should consult with one of our lawyers to help you through this difficult process.
The most important thing to remember is that you stand the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve and having the process go as smoothly as possible, if you immediately hire a personal injury attorney who is familiar with car accidents. If you or a loved one suffered a car accident in New York, we can help you determine the damages suffered and help you fight to recover them.
Dealing With the Insurance Company for You
Insurance providers know the law, and they rely on the fact that most people do not. They will delay responding to you, deny or reduce your claim, and even try to say you are at fault for your injuries.
Our team at Kammholz Rossi PLLC is dedicated to providing ethical, compassionate and skilled legal representation for every client. We apply the same attention to detail and depth of research to every case, no matter how big or small.
We can answer your questions about whether you can pursue a case, the types of damages you could be compensated for and how much you can possibly sue for following a car accident. We can analyze your case to ensure that you or your loved one are awarded the maximum benefits you are entitled to.
We bring almost 50 years of combined legal experience with skilled negotiations and settlement strategies to successfully obtain the highest resolution for your claim. Our collective skills, understanding of the legal process, our respect in the legal community, and our compassion and honesty in each claim gives our clients an edge over our competitors. We are ready to stand beside you from injury to settlement to the next chapter of your life.
Taking Your Car Accident Case to Court If Needed
We work hard to get a fair settlement without filing a formal lawsuit unless the facts and circumstances require us to do so. However, we prepare each case with the awareness that we may need to proceed to a trial to get you what you deserve.
Put Experienced Rochester Car Accident Lawyers On Your Team Today
Please contact us about your unique car accident case. We know the tactics and strategies necessary to maximize your compensation, and we will help you recover for your losses with the best possible results in any type of serious car accident, truck accident, or bus accident case.
At Kammholz Rossi PLLC – Personal Injury Lawyers, we will help you determine whether you have a case worth pursuing compensation for damages and losses beyond your No-Fault insurance coverage. We will guide you in filing a No-Fault insurance claim for your initial medical expenses and lost wages, but if your injuries are serious, this coverage may run out quickly.
We are trial lawyers with extensive knowledge of the personal injury legal system in New York and in the Rochester area specifically. We are hometown lawyers with deep knowledge, resources and passion. We offer personalized representation and insider’s knowledge of the insurance defense industry.
We look forward to speaking with you, helping you overcome legal challenges and relieving you of financial worry. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation with an auto accident attorney. We represent injured parties throughout western New York.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation to discuss your options. Our office is located less than 15 minutes from Rochester in Victor, NY.