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How to File a Claim With a New York Car Accident Attorney

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Navigating the aftermath of a car accident is typically overwhelming. From dealing with injuries to addressing property damage, the road to recovery often requires more than just medical attention.

In New York, where bustling streets and dense traffic are commonplace, car accidents are unfortunately frequent. This makes knowing how to file a claim with a competent New York car accident attorney not just helpful but essential.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Empire State, here are the steps to ensure your claim is filed properly and efficiently.

Understanding New York’s No-Fault Insurance System

New York operates under a no-fault insurance system for car accidents. This means that regardless of who caused the accident, your own insurance company will pay for your medical expenses and lost earnings up to a specific limit.

However, this system doesn’t cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering, nor does it prevent you from pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver if your injuries meet a certain severity threshold.

Understanding this system is vital, as it shapes the initial steps you’ll take after an accident.

Steps to Take After Your Car Accident in New York

Step 1: Prioritize your health and safety

Immediately following an accident, it’s important first to assess the situation.

If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately. The health and safety of all involved parties should always be your primary concern. Even if injuries seem minor or are not apparent, a thorough medical examination is essential, as some injuries may not show symptoms until days after the accident.

In addition, having a medical record from the accident scene can be invaluable for your claim.

Step 2: Report the accident

In New York, you’re required to report any accident that results in injury or significant property damage to the police. The responding officers will file an accident report, which acts as an official record.

This report is also a crucial piece of evidence when filing your claim, as it includes details about the accident, the parties involved, and potential witnesses.

Step 3: Gather detailed evidence

While waiting for the police to arrive, gather as much evidence as possible, if you’re able. This includes:

– Taking photographs of the vehicles, focusing on the damage and their positions on the road

– Noting the accident’s location, time, weather conditions, and any road signs or signals

– Collecting contact information from witnesses

In the digital age, a quick video recounting your immediate thoughts and observations can be helpful. Witnesses may also have dash cam evidence depicting the collision, so be sure to ask around for any photos or videos.

Step 4: Notify your insurance company

Next, you’ll need to inform your insurance company about the accident. Adherence to New York’s No-Fault insurance requires prompt notification to access Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.

However, it’s important to be cautious in your communication. Stick to the facts, as any statement you make could impact your claim.

Step 5: Consult with a New York car accident attorney

Engaging with a specialized New York car accident attorney early on can significantly influence the outcome of your claim.

A skilled attorney will navigate New York’s complex legal system, ensuring that your rights are protected. They will advise you on critical matters such as how to communicate with insurance companies and the intricacies of New York’s comparative negligence rule, which might affect your compensation if you’re found partly at fault.

Leav & Steinberg LLP is always here to discuss your case and potential outcomes. After getting into an automobile accident in New York, trust our associates to help resolve your case with confidence.

Step 6: Complete the legal evaluation and claim filing

After consulting with an auto accident attorney, they will thoroughly evaluate your case, considering all available evidence, medical reports, and expert testimonies if necessary. They’ll compile a comprehensive claim, assessing your damages, the impact on your life, and a detailed account of the accident.

This claim will then be filed with the at-fault party’s insurance company, beginning the negotiation process.

What Happens After Filing Your Claim

Once your claim is filed, a sequence of events is triggered to advance your case toward resolution.

The at-fault party’s insurance company will review your claim, assessing the details of the accident, the evidence submitted, and your stated damages. This stage often involves back-and-forth communication between your attorney and the insurance adjusters, aiming to clarify details and negotiate the terms of your compensation.

If negotiations lead to an agreeable settlement, the case concludes without court intervention. However, if a satisfactory settlement cannot be achieved, your attorney may advise proceeding to litigation, where the dispute will be resolved in court.

Throughout this process, your attorney will keep you informed, offering guidance and representation to ensure your rights are protected and your interests are advanced.

New York Car Accident Attorneys FAQs

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York?

New York’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally three years from the accident date. However, this timeframe can vary based on specific circumstances, so consulting with an attorney as soon as possible is crucial.

Can I still recover damages if I’m found partially at fault for the accident?

Yes, under New York’s comparative negligence rule, you can still recover damages even if you’re partially at fault. However, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you’re found 30% at fault and your damages amount to $100,000, you would be eligible to recover 70% of that amount, or $70,000. This rule ensures that each party is held accountable for their contribution to the accident, allowing for a fair distribution of damages based on the degree of fault.

Can I file a claim if the other driver involved in the accident was uninsured or underinsured?

Yes, you can still file a claim if the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured. Your own insurance policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can provide compensation in such cases. It’s crucial to review your insurance policy and discuss your options with your attorney.

What if the accident was caused by a defect in my vehicle or the other vehicle?

If a vehicle defect contributed to the accident, you might have a product liability claim against the manufacturer, in addition to any personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. These cases can be complex, requiring thorough investigation and expert testimony, so it’s essential to work with an attorney experienced in both personal injury and product liability law.

How long does it typically take to resolve a car accident claim in New York?

The time frame can vary widely depending on the case’s complexity, the extent of your injuries, and whether the case is settled or goes to trial. Settlements can take a few months to a year, while trials could extend the process further. Your attorney can provide a more specific timeline based on your case’s details.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in New York, don’t navigate the complex legal process alone. Our experienced attorneys will provide the personalized attention and aggressive representation you need to secure the compensation you deserve.

Let us handle the legalities while you focus on your recovery. Contact us now for your free consultation and take the first step towards compensation.