If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may need to hire a lawyer to help you get fair compensation. Car accidents can be complex and involve many different parties. In some cases, insurance companies might even try to shift the blame or make lowball offers. If you’re dealing with an aggressive insurer, it can be helpful to have a strong legal advocate on your side.
The first step in getting fair compensation for your injury and property damage is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurer will pay you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. You can also seek non-economic damages to compensate you for pain and suffering. However, filing a claim can be complicated, especially if your injuries are severe or you have significant property damage.
If the at-fault party’s insurance company denies your claim or offers a low settlement, you can sue them for negligence. The statute of limitations for negligence lawsuits in New York is three years from the date of injury. You can extend the statute of limitations if you were a child at the time of the accident or if you didn’t discover your injury right away, despite reasonable efforts.
A good car accident lawyer will take the time to evaluate your case and determine how much compensation you’re owed. They’ll review all documents related to your crash, including medical bills and repair estimates, employment records and missed hours from work, and out-of-pocket costs such as travel expenses and prescription medications. They’ll often visit the scene of the crash, as well as interview witnesses and obtain police and accident reports. They’ll also speak to an insurance adjuster on your behalf, opening up a line of communication that can strengthen your case.
It’s also important to seek medical attention immediately following the accident. Prompt medical care helps to reduce the risk of complications, infections, or other complications that can increase your medical expenses. It’s also an important part of establishing causation, which is required for a negligence claim. Plus, it can bolster your claim for non-economic damages.
Having a strong car accident attorney on your side can level the playing field with aggressive insurance companies. They can negotiate with the insurance adjuster and ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible. An experienced attorney can also help you obtain uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which is an additional layer of protection in the event that the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or has insufficient insurance to cover your damages.
When choosing a car accident lawyer, look for one who offers free consultations and works on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if you win, aligning their interests with yours and giving you a better chance of winning a fair settlement. You should also consider their experience, resources and network when deciding who to hire. For example, Raphaelson & Levine has helped thousands of New Yorkers with their car accident claims and provides a voice for the injured.