What to Know Before Filing a Car Accident Claim in NYC

Making a car accident claim in NYC may look quite straightforward. After all, all you need to prove is that the accident was not your fault, right? Unfortunately, the process is not so to-the-point and requires careful evidence collection, documentation, and quite a bit of legal legwork. Talking to a trusted accident lawyer in New York is the best chance you have at receiving maximum compensation. Also, there are a few things you will need to know before filing for car accident claims New York.

What Do You Need to File a Car Accident Claim?

To make a car accident claim in New York City, the following criteria must be fulfilled according to New York State law –

Meet the Serious Injury Threshold

To file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and step outside the no-fault system, your injuries must meet the "serious injury" threshold defined by New York law. Serious injuries include –

- Death

- Dismemberment

- Significant disfigurement

- Bone fracture

- Loss of a fetus

- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system

- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member

- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system

- A non-permanent, medically determined, injury or impairment which prevents you from performing your customary daily activities substantially for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the accident.

Complete No-Fault Insurance Requirements

The State of New York is a no-fault insurance state. This means that regardless of who caused the accident, your own insurance company will cover your medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy limits. You must file a no-fault insurance claim with your insurance company within 30 days of the accident to receive these benefits. A no-fault claim may not cover all your damages, but it can strengthen your accident claim later.

Exchange Insurance Information with Others Involved

If you are in a state to do so, it’s crucial that you exchange insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. The names, addresses, and insurance details of the drivers must be recorded.

Notify Your Insurance Company Immediately

Once again, if you are conscious and able to move without pain, notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Failing to inform your insurer promptly, can result in denial of coverage, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

Collect Police Report

For accidents involving injury, death, or significant property damage, a police report should be filed. This report can be an important piece of evidence when making a claim.

Seek Medical Treatment Promptly

Make sure you get medical attention immediately after the accident. Delaying treatment can not only affect your health but also the credibility of your injury claim.

Observe the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in New York is generally three years from the date of the accident. If the accident claim is for wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.

Proper Documentation and Evidence of the Accident

With attorney support, gather and preserve evidence related to the accident. All evidence including photographs, witness statements, medical records, and repair estimates must be available. This documentation is essential to support your claim.

By fulfilling these criteria, you can successfully make a car accident claim under New York law.

Why An Expert Auto-Accident Lawyer is Essential to File Your Accident Claim

An experienced accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer is crucial when making a car accident claim in New York for several reasons –

Getting Through the No-Fault Insurance System

New York's no-fault insurance system can be a bit complicated. An experienced lawyer understands the intricacies of filing no-fault claims. They can make sure that all necessary documentation is submitted correctly and on time to maximize the benefits you can receive.

Proving The Extent of Your Injuries

To go through with a lawsuit against an at-fault driver, your injuries must meet the serious injury threshold. A lawyer can help evaluate your injuries with expert support, gather medical evidence, and build a case to prove that your injuries meet the legal criteria for a serious injury.

Dealing with Insurance Companies Easily

No matter the gravity of your injuries or losses, insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. An experienced lawyer knows the tactics insurers use. Your lawyer can effectively negotiate with them to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Help Maximize Compensation Received

Seasoned lawyers can identify all possible routes for accident compensation beyond the usual options. He or she can help you get the best out of your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, liability insurance, and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage (if applicable). Your lawyer will also assess non-economic damages in a quantifiable way, such as pain and suffering, which are often difficult to prove on paper.

Gathering and Preserving Evidence

Building a strong case requires thorough evidence collection. Collecting and compiling accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and expert testimony will be handled by your lawyer. An experienced lawyer has the knowledge – and most importantly, the necessary legal resources – to gather and preserve crucial evidence.

Give You an Easier Time Adhering to Legal Deadlines and Procedures

There are strict deadlines (statutes of limitations) and procedural rules for filing accident claims and lawsuits in New York. An accident lawyer makes sure that all filings are timely and comply with legal requirements. This will prevent your claim from being dismissed on technical grounds.

Comes with Indispensable Experience in Litigation

If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the other party, your case may go to court. An experienced auto-accident lawyer has the necessary litigation skills and courtroom experience to effectively present your case before a judge and jury.

Skillfully Handle Complicated Accident Cases

Some accidents involve multiple parties, severe injuries, or disputed liability. An experienced lawyer can manage the intricacies of such complex cases. They can coordinate with multiple insurers, and address any legal challenges that arise.

Peace of Mind Thanks to the Contingency Fee Basis

Many auto-accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis – meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement makes legal representation accessible to more people and motivates your lawyer to work diligently on your behalf.

An experienced auto-accident lawyer is your secret weapon when it comes to handling legal complexities, maximizing compensation, and making sure your rights are protected. Whenever you’re in trouble, make sure you talk to a trusted accident lawyer in NYC.

Talk to an expert accident lawyer here, or call 866-995-9035.