An NYC car accident can have lasting consequences. You may have walked away from your crash, but the aftermath could leave you facing medical bills and other losses. You can seek compensation for many such losses by filing an insurance claim. In New York, you typically don’t even need to prove your crash resulted from negligence to do so.
That doesn’t mean securing the compensation you’re entitled to receive is a simple process. Protect yourself by hiring an NYC car accident lawyer. At Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb, we’re happy to explain what our car accident lawyers can do for clients in your position. Call us today at 1-800-PAIN-LAW or contact us online for a free case evaluation.
Steps to Take in an NYC Car Accident Case
In the days following any motor vehicle accident in NYC, you should take the following steps:
- Report the crash to the police if you haven’t already done so
- Keep records of your medical bills, lost wages, and other such losses
- Seek medical care even if you don’t think you’ve sustained injuries
- Follow a doctor’s advice
- Keep a pain journal in which you describe how and when the pain from your injuries affects you.
- Avoid discussing your car accident case with others or posting it on social media.
Staying off social media is best after a crash. Any post suggesting your injuries aren’t that severe may be something an insurance company uses against you in negotiations. Even a picture of you looking happy and healthy might suggest your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim.
Reviewing your case with an NYC car accident lawyer is also wise.
Not only can a lawyer take on the burden of handling your claim for you, they can:
- Estimate a claim’s potential value
- Gather evidence to strengthen a claim
- Correspond with insurance adjusters, doctors, witnesses, etc.
- File paperwork
- Negotiate for a fair settlement
- Take your case to trial if necessary
Compensation in NYC Car Accident Cases
Determining the compensation that may be available to a client is a large part of what car accident lawyers do. This is particularly true in a no-fault state like New York.
Per the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), drivers registered in New York must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. When a person sustains a car accident injury in New York, they can seek compensation by filing a claim with their PIP coverage provider. This is their first option for pursuing compensation even when someone else caused their wreck.
Basic PIP coverage in NYC includes:
- Necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages up to $2,000 per month (80% of the lost earnings)
- Up to $25 a day (for a maximum of one year from the date of a wreck) for related expenses (like travel expenses)
- Death benefit
PIP coverage doesn’t include coverage for losses that don’t have exact dollar values. For example, PIP coverage won’t compensate someone for pain and suffering.
A lawyer can nevertheless offer a valuable service when a motorist seeks compensation from their own insurance in New York. It’s possible that an insurance adjuster won’t offer the compensation an injured motorist deserves. Or, a motorist might not know how to add up their losses to determine how much compensation they should seek. In either scenario, a lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to fight for your deserved fair settlement.
Suing a Negligent Party After an NYC Motor Vehicle Accident
Filing a claim with your own insurance may be your primary means of seeking compensation after a car crash. It’s not necessarily your only option.
Maybe your PIP coverage doesn’t fully compensate you for your losses. You may be able to file a separate claim or lawsuit against a negligent party who caused your wreck.
Filing a claim with the insurance company of the party responsible for causing the crash is an option if you’ve exceeded your PIP coverage or if your injuries meet New York’s “serious injury” threshold. An attorney can help determine whether your injuries meet that threshold. If so, they can gather the available evidence to prove this.
An NYC auto accident lawyer can also gather evidence proving your accident resulted from another party’s negligence.
Doing so may involve:
- Investigating the crash scene
- Reviewing a police report
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing photos/footage of the wreck
If the insurance adjuster doesn’t offer an appropriate settlement, an attorney can file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
You may seek compensation for intangible losses when filing a separate claim or lawsuit against a negligent party. Such losses may include loss of enjoyment of life or pain and suffering.
What Is the Cost of Hiring an NYC Car Accident Attorney?
Your financial losses after a motor vehicle accident in NYC may be significant. If you’re already struggling with medical bills and lost wages, you might worry that you can’t afford to hire a lawyer.
That’s not a concern when you enlist the help of our NYC personal injury lawyers. We won’t charge any upfront fees when you hire us to represent you. We’ll offer you a contingency fee agreement instead. A contingency fee agreement protects clients from financial losses when hiring a car accident attorney because the attorney’s fee is a percentage of their compensation.
If you don’t get paid, you’ll owe no legal fees. Thus, a contingency fee agreement motivates your lawyer to fight for the best settlement they can get. It also ensures a lawyer won’t take on your case if they don’t believe you can win. Although an attorney can’t promise an outcome, they won’t accept a case if they don’t think they can secure compensation.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New York Today
Learn more about your legal options after an NYC motor vehicle accident by discussing your case with our team. The NYC car accident attorneys at Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb are on hand to offer the representation you deserve. Find out how we can help by calling us today at 1-800-PAIN-LAW or contacting us online for a free case review.