New York Car Accident Lawyer
Injured in a car accident in New York? Here’s what you need to know:
- Do You Need a New York Car Accident Attorney?
- 5 Steps to Take After a Car Accident in New York
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident in New York
- 5 Reasons to Hire a New York Car Accident Attorney
- Understanding New York’s “No Fault” Car Insurance Law
- Understanding New York’s “Pure Comparative Fault” Law
- Understanding Your Legal Rights After a Car Accident in New York
- FAQs: Should You Hire a New York Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents can happen under a wide variety of circumstances. New York’s “no fault” car accident law makes it possible to recover financial compensation under most circumstances; but, in order to secure the maximum compensation available, you need an experienced New York car accident lawyer on your side.
You Can Talk to a New York Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Whether you live in New York City, Upstate New York, or anywhere in between, local attorneys are available to speak with you 24/7 through CarAccidentSource.com. You can get started with a free consultation, and you don’t have to pay anything unless you receive compensation for your losses.
While filing an insurance claim on your own is an option, it is not your best option—not by far. Dealing with the insurance companies is difficult, and it also might not be your only source of financial recovery. New York car accident lawyers can help you seek compensation from all sources, and they can use their experience to recover maximum compensation on your behalf.
How much can you recover for your car accident? Find out today:
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Here are five steps you should take as soon as possible if you have been injured in a car accident in New York:
1. Report the Accident
When you are involved in a car accident, reporting the accident to the police establishes an official record of the collision—and this can help with proving your legal rights. Reporting the accident is also required by law in most cases. A New York car accident lawyer can help you report your accident (to the police and the DMV) if you haven’t done so already.
2. File an Insurance claim
In addition to reporting the accident to the appropriate New York authorities, you should also report the accident to your insurance company. This is almost certainly required under your policy; and, under New York’s “no fault” insurance law, filing a claim under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy is your first source of financial compensation.
3. Get Medical Treatment
If you were injured in the accident, you should seek medical treatment right away. This is important for protecting your health and your legal rights. If you don’t know where to go for treatment, or if you have questions about insurance or anything else, a New York car accident attorney can help.
4. Collect Your Records
You should keep all records you have pertaining to your accident in a safe place. This includes any records you have from the scene of the accident (i.e. the police report and the other driver’s insurance information), as well as any medical or insurance documentation you may receive.
5. Talk to a Lawyer
To make sure you fully protect your legal rights, you need to talk to a lawyer. Experienced New York car accident lawyers can report your accident for you, explain everything you need to know, and use their experience to negotiate for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Here are five mistakes you need to avoid after suffering injuries in a car accident in New York:
1. Ignoring Your Medical Advice
Do not ignore your doctor’s medical advice. At this point, getting better should be your top priority. Do what your doctor says; or, if you have concerns about your doctor’s advice, seek a second opinion.
2. Trusting Your Insurance Company
While your insurance company is required to handle your claim in good faith, (i) not all insurance companies do so, and (ii) handling your claim in good faith doesn’t necessarily mean telling you everything you need to know. To protect yourself, you need to rely on the advice of a New York car accident attorney who has your best interests in mind.
3. Assuming PIP is Your Only Option
While filing a PIP claim is generally your first option in New York, it is not necessarily your only option. You may be entitled to additional auto insurance coverage, and an attorney may also be able to help you seek compensation outside of auto insurance.
4. Trying to Handle Your Claim on Your Own
Trying to handle your claim on your own is risky. There is a lot that can go wrong. If you make mistakes, or if you don’t know how much you are entitled to recover, you won’t receive the full compensation you deserve.
5. Settling Too Soon
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a collision is settling your case too soon. A New York car accident attorney can accurately calculate your losses and explain your rights so you don’t accidentally settle for a fraction of what you are owed.
As we mentioned above, if you have been injured in a collision, it is extremely important to hire a New York car accident attorney to help you. Here are five reasons why you need legal representation:
1. Meeting All Legal Requirements
From filing your claim(s) on time to making sure you have all of the evidence you need to prove liability, New York car accident attorneys can do what is necessary to help you collect the compensation you deserve.
2. Calculating Your Financial Losses
How much are you entitled to recover for your lost income and benefits? How much will you need to cover your medical bills in the future? These are critical questions that an attorney can answer for you.
3. Calculating Your Non-Financial Losses
If you were seriously injured in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and other non-financial losses. Your lawyer can calculate these losses for you as well.
4. Filing All Available Claims
Do you have a claim against the other driver? Against your vehicle’s manufacturer? Against a state or local road authority? Your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation and file all claims you have available.
5. Knowing When (and If) to Settle
When you need to recover your losses, you need to know when (and if) to accept a settlement. Your attorney can fight for a just settlement on your behalf, and your attorney can help you make smart decisions about how and when to resolve your case.
New York has a “no fault” car insurance law. Under this law, all drivers are required to carry PIP coverage, and this “no fault” coverage is your first source of financial compensation after a collision. You can file a PIP claim regardless of who was at fault in your accident, but PIP only provides coverage for:
- Medical bills
- Accident-related expenses (up to $25 per day)
- 80% of your lost wages (up to a statutory maximum)
In order to seek auto insurance coverage outside of PIP, you need to prove that you suffered a “serious” injury in your collision. If you suffered a “serious” injury, then you can seek coverage under the other driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy and/or your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) policy—but only if you can prove that the other driver was to blame.
Another law that impacts many car accident claims is New York’s “pure comparative fault” law. This law applies if you were partially at fault in your accident.
If you were partially at fault, the amount you can recover can be reduced in proportion to your percentage of liability. For example, if you were 10% at fault, you would be entitled to recover 90% of your losses. But, you should never assume you were partially at fault, and you should never let the insurance companies tell you that you are entitled to anything less than a 100% recovery.
What else do you need to know about New York’s car insurance laws? Here are some of your key legal rights after a car accident in New York:
- You have the right to an attorney. You are entitled to be represented at all stages of your claim, and you can hire a New York car accident attorney at no out-of-pocket cost.
- You have the right to all relevant information. You are entitled to investigate, collect evidence, and obtain the information you need from your insurance company in order to pursue your claim successfully.
- You have the right to choose your own doctor. You can (and should) go to a doctor of your own choosing. Do not let your insurance company tell you were to go, and do not sign a medical release unless advised otherwise by your attorney.
- You have the right to pursue all available claims. From insurance companies to vehicle manufacturers to government agencies, you have the right to sue all parties that are legally responsible for your accident-related losses.
- You have the right to just compensation. As a car accident victim in New York, you are entitled to just compensation for the financial and non-financial costs of injuries.
What is New York’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents?
New York’s statute of limitations for non-fatal car accidents is three years. This runs from the date of the accident. In fatal accident cases, New York’s statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
Are There Other Deadlines That Apply to Car Accident Claims in New York?
Yes, there are also other deadlines that apply. For example, you must report the accident to the New York DMV within 10 days (in most cases), and you may have a deadline to file a claim under your insurance policy as well. Special deadlines can also apply to claims against government agencies and certain other types of claims.
Can New York Car Accident Lawyers Help Me Obtain an Insurance Settlement?
In many cases, New York car accident lawyers can help their clients obtain insurance settlements. Whether your attorney can help you obtain a settlement will depend on the unique circumstances of your collision. This includes everything from the factor(s) that caused the accident to the insurance companies involved. In any case, however, hiring a lawyer is the best way to make sure you receive the full compensation you deserve.
How Much Do New York Car Accident Attorneys Charge?
New York car accident attorneys do not charge any up-front costs or monthly fees. Instead, they represent accident victims on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that you only pay if you receive compensation, and your attorney’s fees are calculated as a percentage of your award.
Is it Worth It to Get an Accident Lawyer in New York?
Yes, it is absolutely worth getting an accident lawyer—especially if you were injured in your collision. New York car accident attorneys can help with all aspects of your recovery, from determining what claim(s) you can file to accurately calculating your financial and non-financial losses.
How Do I Find the Best New York Car Accident Lawyer?
It is up to you to decide who you believe is the best lawyer to handle your case. Different people have different preferences, and the factors one person considers in choosing the best lawyer for them might not be the same factors you consider in choosing the best lawyer for you. The best thing you can do is to schedule a free consultation—then you can decide if you want to move forward or talk to another lawyer about your legal rights.