Someone who is injured in a car accident is rarely thinking clearly. Between the stress of the accident and the physical pain of the injuries sustained, it can be difficult to determine what to do first.
Without a doubt, your health and safety are a priority. Calling the authorities to report the crash and to seek medical attention for any serious injury should come immediately after an accident. Once these two critical steps are completed, the next challenge is deciding whether or not to call a lawyer.
If you were injured in an accident, contacting a personal injury attorney could be extremely beneficial. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the tedious process of filing a successful insurance claim for the full benefits you deserve. In cases where your medical treatment exceeds the no-fault coverage amounts, a personal injury attorney can also help file a lawsuit if the accident was caused by the severe negligence of another driver.
Car Accident Attorneys Will Fight The Insurance Companies
New York City and Long Island car accident victims who attempt to file an insurance claim on their own after an accident can get themselves into immediate trouble. Insurance companies have teams of experts ready to fight claims and deny maximum rewards. Their resources include lawyers and adjusters who are only looking out for the best interests of their employers- not the victim of a crash.
New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, meaning no matter who causes the accident, drivers who are insured can be reimbursed for expenses such as medical costs and other subsequent damages from an accident. The minimum amounts for liability insurance New Yorkers are required to purchase before registering a vehicle include:
- $10,000 for property damage;
- $25,000 to $50,000 for an injury; and
- $50,000 to $100,000 for a death.
No-fault benefits could cover a variety of expenses for an individual after an accident, including lost wages, transportation, medical bills, prescriptions, and more. Drivers involved in an accident looking for these types of reimbursements must file a successful claim within 30 days of an accident to be considered. This can be easier said than done, especially if you have sustained serious injuries.
Unfortunately, insurance reimbursements are not guaranteed; particularly when a claim is filed late or incorrectly. Car insurance claims are not always as straightforward as they appear to be, and missing information can get even the most catastrophic accident claims denied.
Competent car accident attorneys understand the tricks insurance companies use to provide minimal compensation to clients who deserve more. With full knowledge of how to file a successful car accident claim in New York State, personal injury lawyers can help clients avoid the most common mistakes that lead to denied claims.
Why Insurance Companies Can Deny Your Claim
Insurance companies have complete control over determining the outcome after a claim is filed, and they are not in the business of handing out money. Some insurance providers will do whatever it takes not to provide full rewards to a customer, even if a person’s life depends on it.
Representing yourself against large insurance companies after an accident will most likely not end well. A car accident attorney can help you provide the pertinent information your claim requires to receive the maximum benefit by focusing on these key factors:
- Accurate Accident Reports: Filing a police report for an accident is not as easy as you might believe. Attorneys often help their clients obtain accurate police reports of the accident that include all the details insurance companies are looking for when reviewing a claim.
- Picture Evidence: Pictures of the scene of an accident can be critical when it comes to proving fault when a serious injury occurs. If a driver ignored a right-of-way law or clearly marked traffic stop, photos will help in the case of a dispute.
- Proof of Expenses: Clients may not realize how many expenses they can claim from the injuries they sustained after an accident. An attorney will help tally up the cost for all medical treatments and damages from the accident to determine the necessary amount a client needs to get back on their feet.
- Ongoing Medical Treatment: Victims of accidents who are injured may not go to follow-up appointments out of financial fear. Car accident attorneys educate their clients on the importance of attending all doctors appointments to accurately support the injury claim.
When Car Accidents Lead to Serious Injuries
If you are seriously injured in an accident, your medical bills and treatments could meet the threshold for coverage. In these cases, personal injury attorneys are the best resources to use to file a lawsuit against a driver whose negligence was the cause of the accident.
Serious injuries that could qualify for a lawsuit after an accident include:
- Brain Injuries;
- Spine Injuries; and
- Burn Injuries.
Filing a claim against another driver in addition to filing a claim with your insurance company can become stressful. Keeping all the details and timelines straight is not easy, especially when you are in pain and possibly disabled after an accident.
When you call a winning personal injury attorney, these professionals will take on the burden of keeping multiple claims organized. They understand the inner workings on what is required to successfully file different types of claims. Skilled personal injury attorneys possess the resources to represent your best interests, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve when wrongfully injured.
Finding The Best Attorney For Your Claim
Finding the best personal injury attorney will take some time. Unfortunately, not all of them are equal. These are some of the red flags clients should be looking for when researching firms in their area:
Some personal injury attorneys are only out to settle, not to fight. These firms are called ‘settlement mills’, where the goal is to get as many cases as possible for any settlement amount.
Most personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee allowing clients to pay nothing unless a case is won. Personal injury attorneys who charge by the hour could be less likely to aggressively pursue your case in a timely manner. They also may be less motivated to go to trial if they feel their client lacks financial stability.
If a firm has a bad history or poor past results, chances are it will not be different with your case. Look for an attorney who has a long history of successful outcomes and multiple satisfied clients.
Don’t Wait To Call An Accident Attorney
Waiting to file a personal injury claim after an accident can have a number of negative consequences. First, every claim has a statute of limitations accident victims must meet for their claim to be considered. If a claim is filed too late, an insurance company can automatically deny it.
Accidents occurring in New York City can be especially hard to document when victims wait too long. Streets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island move fast and change often. Witnesses and evidence needed can be impossible to gather if too much time lapses between the accident and when the claim is filed.
What To Do After An Accident
Knowing what to do after a car accident can greatly increase your chances of filling a successful insurance or negligence claim. These are the steps all drivers should follow directly after an accident:
- Do not leave the scene or move your vehicle from where it stopped.
- Put up flares or markers to protect the scene, or have someone else help if you are not physically able.
- Keep your flashers on to prevent other cars from entering the scene or hitting you.
- Call 911 to report the accident and any injuries that occurred. Your insurance company will most likely require police reports, so make sure to talk to an officer when they arrive.
- Discuss the details of the accident as accurately as you can. Try to get other witnesses to make statements about what they saw as well. This could greatly help your case.
- Take pictures of the scene to submit with your claim. Make sure to get photos of the car, the scene, and the injuries.
- Seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how minor. Your insurance company will need your medical records as proof that you were injured in the accident.
- Before you contact your insurance company, consult with a personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights. Insurance companies often want you to report an accident within the first 24-hours and may require a statement. You want to make sure you are fully advised on your legal rights before this occurs to avoid pitfalls that could hurt your claim.
New York City and Long Island Accident Attorneys
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using past experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, our team at Siler & Ingber are here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-LAW-4343, or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.