In many cases, it is worth hiring a car accident lawyer following a Long Island or New York City accident. For some collisions that only involve minor property damages or injuries that are clearly minimal, you may be able to determine the cost of your vehicle repairs and medical treatment and file a claim on your own without risking your rights.
Still, it never hurts to speak with a car accident lawyer about your collision. Even in relatively minor accidents, there are benefits of having a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced lawyer. . In such a situation the main benefit would be the peace of mind obtained by speaking with someone who, “knows the terrain.” A consultation can help you to make sure you are preserving your rights and not, due to a potential lack of knowledge, doing or failing to do something now that you may regret later. A lawyer will explain your legal options, point out the applicable critical deadlines and other considerations.
Most personal injury/car accident law firms will review your case for free, so there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by discussing your accident and any injuries with an attorney.
Serious Injury Cases Must Be Taken Seriously
If you have suffered serious or catastrophic level injuries, the situation is very different. The stakes are higher than if your “accident” was a mere “bump” and your injury is fully resolved very quickly. Serious and, even more so, catastrophic injuries are life-changing. They demand and deserve to be handled by a professional who is experienced, dedicated, and determined to achieve the best possible outcome.
An attorney knows how to navigate the claims process, including where to look for evidence, what paperwork to file, and how to deal with the insurance companies. Trying to do all of this on your own may only increase your stress and frustration in any already stressful time.
When you hire a lawyer to take care of your serious injury or catastrophic injury insurance claim or civil suit, you can focus on your treatment, getting back to work if possible, or working to return to the other parts of your life that your accident forced you to put on hold. You will be relieved of the stressors that a claim or lawsuit creates, stressors that are counterproductive to the calm that will best support your healing and recovery.
Your Attorney Will Determine a Fair Value for Your Case
Before you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, it is important to understand the value of your case. The only way to ensure you get a just payout is to know the fair settlement range of your case. Your attorney will calculate this on your behalf and when the case has reached the point where a settlement is possible (typically, when your medical treatment has reached the point where a long-term prognosis can be made), review it with you clearly and patiently.
The types of recoverable damages that are available depend on whether you file a no-fault claim or fault-based claim. Under New York, all insured drivers carry a no-fault policy, which covers:
- Medical care costs up to policy limits
- Lost wages, with limitations
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Calculating a fair value for a case may sound simple, but it can quickly become complex when you have to estimate:
- The cost of future medical expenses
- Future lost earnings
- A realistic pain and suffering award
- Other items of damages
An attorney who understands how insurance companies typically handle such claims can make these calculations for you. Moreover, a lawyer will help you determine if your injuries surpass New York’s injury threshold.
Let a Lawyer Protect Your Rights and Represent Your Interests
You may find that it is worth hiring a car accident lawyer to have someone there both protecting and advocating your rights with the insurance company or in a trial. In our experience, Insurance companies never keep your best interests in mind while investigating or “adjusting,” (i.e., determining the value and negotiating settlements for,) accident cases. Likewise, another driver’s defense team will try to find evidence that places some or all of the fault for the accident on you. Simply stated, the at-fault party’s insurance carrier will typically try to pay you nothing or as little as they can. Your lawyer, on the other hand, will be relentless in trying to win the best possible settlement or verdict for you.
Saying the wrong thing to the insurance company or another involved party, missing a deadline, or filing incomplete paperwork could reduce your payout or prevent you from securing any financial recovery at all. When you retain legal counsel, your attorney will handle every step of this process for you to prevent these costly issues. Perhaps one of the best reasons to hire a car accident lawyer is because there is no fee unless and until you win a settlement or award. Therefore, you will never have to worry about an out-of-pocket expense. Also, because car accident lawyers work for a percentage of what they ultimately recover for you, they are incentivized to win the very most they can for you not only professionally but financially as well.
Speak to a Member of Our Car Accident Team Today
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., we have a team of trial attorneys who are passionate advocates for the injured. If you suffered injuries in a New York car accident, we will review your case and determine your next steps. There is a limited time to act, however, due to the statute of limitations under New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules (CVP) §214. In addition to this statute of limitations, cases and lawsuits are governed by other deadlines too. Also important to remember is that evidence such as witness statements and surveillance or dash-cam video must be sought as soon as possible because they can become unavailable later for any one of many different reasons.
Reach out to our team today for your complimentary consultation. We can meet on Long Island or elsewhere in the New York metropolitan area. Speak with a member of the Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. team today by calling (516) 932-0400.