Liability insurance exists to protect injury victims and cover the costs associated with their recovery, from medical bills to lost wages and from property damage to pain and suffering. That’s the idea, at least. In reality, insurance companies are for-profit businesses that make their money by collecting premiums and lose it by paying out settlements. That means they have a vested interest in denying claims and nickel-and-diming people when they can least afford it. Without a lawyer by your side, you might struggle to get the full compensation you’re entitled to. So rather than going up against the insurance company yourself, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced lawyer who knows the stakes and how to prepare a claim on your behalf.
The New York personal injury lawyers with Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb know you have plenty to worry about after an accident. Let us simplify your life by taking care of your claim for you. We can investigate your injury to establish liability, handle the paperwork, negotiate directly with the insurer on your behalf, and threaten legal action if they don’t honor the terms of their contract. Keep reading to learn more about the insurance claims process and how an attorney can help, and contact us today for a consultation about your case.
What Is an Insurance Injury Claim?
When you file an injury claim with an insurance company, you’re asking them to honor their policy. You want them to pay for any injury-related expenses stemming from a covered event, up to the coverage limits and depending on the extent of your expenses. The insurance company then reviews your claim to decide if your injury meets the terms of its policy. If it accepts your claim, it’ll ask you to sign a settlement agreement releasing them from further liability. Then they will cut you a check once you sign. Releasing an insurance company from liability means you agree they are no longer responsible for your injuries. The case is essentially over as soon as you sign the settlement agreement.
What Does ‘Liability’ Mean in an Insurance Claim?
When someone is “liable” for an injury, they are legally responsible for its related costs – tangible costs like medical bills and property damage and more theoretical ones like pain and suffering. For example, a driver who slams into another car after running a red light is liable for the injuries and property damage suffered by the people in the vehicle they hit. Their liability is, in turn, covered by their auto insurance provider.
Liability in many personal injury cases is based on a legal concept called negligence. Someone’s failure to act reasonably to prevent causing harm to others. In other cases, liability could be strictly applied. An example is when manufacturers release dangerous products on the market. In still others, the liable party might have acted deliberately, like when someone commits assault. One of the most important jobs of a personal injury attorney is to identify who acted in a way that caused their client’s injuries.
Who Pays for Your Injuries After an Accident?
Ultimately, the person who pays for your injuries is the person who is legally responsible for them. That is, whoever caused them and, by extension, any insurer they pay for liability coverage. For example, if your arm was broken in a crash another driver caused, you could file a claim against the other driver’s liability policy. If their insurer accepts the claim, it will pay for your injuries up to the coverage limits of their policy. Insurance companies will only accept injury claims if they believe their policyholder is to blame. They will not pay more for a claim than the maximum limits of their policy or the cost of the underlying injuries.
One thing to note about car accidents in New York is the state’s no-fault auto insurance system. All New York drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. They typically have to use it before pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver. We’re happy to explain the details of New York’s no-fault insurance laws and how they apply to your case.
How Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb Can Help with Your Injury Claim
If you were injured and someone else is to blame, you could be entitled to file an injury claim with that person’s insurer. However, doing so can be challenging, especially if you haven’t pursued a similar case. The attorneys with Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb can help by handling all the legal work on your behalf. You have enough going on without the hassle of an insurance claim, and we can help you seek the money you need by:
- Investigating the accident to determine who is liable for your injuries and if multiple parties share liability for the accident
- Reviewing any relevant insurance policies, explaining legal terms or concepts you don’t understand, and outlining your options for recovering compensation
- Using your medical records and other evidence to fully document your physical injuries and other losses related to an accident
- Filing the necessary paperwork for your injury claim and dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf
- Negotiating for a settlement that accounts for all your losses, such as medical expenses, repair bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering
- Taking your case to court if the liable party or their insurer will not agree to an acceptable settlement
With so much at stake after an accident, you shouldn’t leave the success of your insurance claim to chance. Instead, turn to an experienced attorney for help with your insurance claim. The New York City personal injury attorneys at Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb can handle yours and seek fair compensation for your injuries. Call us today or visit our contact page for a consultation.