Many of our clients come to us after they find out that insurance won’t be enough to cover their injuries after a car accident. Our team understands that the idea of pursuing legal action can seem confusing, daunting, and expensive. We want you to feel free to ask us any questions you have regarding your accident, the litigation process, or our firm.
Some of the questions that we are asked the most frequently include:
How Do I Know Who Was At-Fault?
Many of our clients come to us confused about New York’s “no-fault” title. This means that when it comes to receiving compensation after an accident, both drivers turn to their own insurance for coverage. But when someone has been seriously injured, the state allows the victims to go outside of the confines of the system and pursue legal action. In order to do that, it must be determined who was at-fault for the accident.
Whenever you are involved in a car accident, even if you believe that you are not hurt, you should call the police. When they arrive, the officers will speak to both parties involved and in their report, they will determine who was at-fault for the accident.
It is important that you obtain a copy of the police report in case you decide to file a claim.
Do I Still Have A Case If I Was Partially To Blame For The Accident?
Yes, it is possible that you still may have reason to pursue legal action. New York recognizes comparative negligence. In cases where comparative negligence applies, the court determines each driver’s percentage of fault and applies that percentage to the damages awarded.
What Evidence Pertaining To The Accident Should I Have?
Once you and your loved ones have been treated for any injuries, and the police have made their report, you should do your best to obtain:
- a copy of the police report
- the driver’s names, license numbers, and insurance information for all vehicles involved
- photographs of the accident and the damage done if possible
- photographs of the injuries sustained
- medical records detailing the injuries and treatments received
I’m Only Sore – Do I Need To See A Doctor?
Yes. In many cases, the true extent of your injuries may not be discovered until some time later. Soreness is just one symptom of a much more serious injury. Injuries that are commonly sustained in car accidents include cervical strain, herniated discs, fractured or dislocated vertebrae, and traumatic brain injury.
Each of these requires extensive and expensive medical care. If you don’t see a doctor immediately after your accident, the insurance company could claim that there is no proof that the injury didn’t occur after the accident.
If The Other Driver’s Insurance Calls Me Should I Speak With Them?
Not until you have consulted with a car accident attorney. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions which may result in answers that could potentially hurt your claim. If you are contacted by an adjuster it is within your rights to inform them that you won’t make a recorded statement until you have talked with your legal team.
The Adjuster Asked For A Medical Authorization- Should I Give It?
No. If you provide the insurance company with a medical authorization, you give them the authorization to obtain any and all of your medical records – even if those medical records do not pertain to the accident. These records can be used against you when a claim is filed.
The Insurance Company Offered Me A Check Should I Take It?
If you accept a check from the insurance company the matter may be considered settled and it may prevent you from pursuing further recovery from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. It is important that you consult with your attorney prior to accepting any payments or signing any paperwork.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
Contacting a lawyer after your accident may be one of the most important decisions that you make. While every driver in New York is required to be insured so that victims will be covered after an accident, every insurance policy has its limits, and those limits are often not high enough to ensure all of your medical bills will be paid.
New York state requires that all vehicles be insured for a minimum amount of $25,000 for bodily injury / $50,000 per accident and $10,000 for property damage. This amount may seem like a lot until you find out that the cost of treatment for a mild brain injury averages around $85,000, a moderate $941,000, and a severe more than $3,000,000.
Why Should I Choose An Attorney At Your Firm?
Our entire team at Lever Gottfried Ecker PLLC is completely dedicated to practicing personal injury law. We believe that those who have been injured due to the negligence of others deserve to be fully compensated for the losses, pain, and suffering.
We have successfully obtained full compensation for our clients lost wages, medical bills, and even emotional turmoil. We encourage you to contact us with any questions that you might have about your case or the litigation process in general.
How Long Will My Case Take To Reach Completion?
Every case is different, and unfortunately, there is no real way to give a precise estimate of how long a lawsuit will take. Any number of factors could influence how the case proceeds. While many of our clients have settled before the case goes to trial, there is a chance that the matter will need to go to court before it can be resolved.