Car Accident Victims Be Aware - You May Lose Your Right To Sue If You Challenge Your Insurer's Denial of No-Fault Benefits

On June 30, 2017 an upstate Appellate Court agreed that a lower Supreme Court Justice properly dismissed a car accident victim's lawsuit for a wrist injury because he unsuccessfully challenged his insurer's denial of "no-fault" benefits. All of us are entitled to demand that our automobile insurance company provide us with reimbursement for our lost wages and medical expenses (regardless of whose at fault for the accident) when we suffer injuries in a car accident. You can simultaneously file a lawsuit against the owner and driver of the offending vehicle and demand an arbitration hearing against any insurance company that fails to pay those benefits it contracted to pay.

If the insurance company refuses to pay your "No-Fault Insurance" benefits--you have the right to an arbitration hearing where an arbitrator (likely more favorable to the insurance company who pays their fees) will decide whether your injury is related to the accident. If the arbitrator finds that your - let's say wrist injury - was unrelated to the accident, the insurance company's decision to deny benefits will be upheld. So what happens if you have a lawsuit for injuries caused by the car accident and the insurance company denies your claim for lost wages or medical expenses? You risk being deprived of your right to a jury trial.

The Court in Rozewski v Trautman, 2017 WL 2820241 found that the Arbitrator's decision finding the plaintiff's wrist injury was not caused by the accident was binding and justified the dismissal of plaintiff's lawsuit without any trial. The Court relied on a legal theory called "collateral estoppel" which says that if you had a full and fair opportunity to litigate an identical issue in one forum - you don't get a second bite of the apple. The lesson to be learned is to fully consider not challenging the refusal of the insurance company to pay benefits until after the lawsuit is resolved (if at all)--just add those lost wages and medical expenses to your claim and let a jury decide.

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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