I am a New York City car accident attorney with over a decade of experience representing victims of auto accident injuries.
Nobody asks for it. Not a single person wakes up in the morning and decides: “I think I will get in a car accident today!” But unfortunately it happens. And when it does happen, chances are that your life will be changed forever.
Making a bad situation worse, the rest of the world will not stop moving forward simply because you are injured. Whether you have suffered spinal injuries or a fractured bone, your rent or mortgage payment will still be due on the first of the month. The cable, telephone, gas, and electric companies do not care that you haven’t been able to work.
When you are involved in a car accident here in New York City you may be able to make three different types of claims:
- No-Fault or Personal Injury Protection
- Property Damage or Collision
- Pain and Suffering for Serious Injuries
New York City No-Fault Attorney
The most important thing to deal with up front is your claim for no-fault benefits. Here in New York, drivers are required to carry no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance as part of their vehicle insurance policy. No-fault is essentially health insurance for people who are injured in car accidents. This means that your medical bills related to the car accident will be paid through no fault. You are also entitled to get repaid for time lost from work as well as out-of-pocket expenses for transportation and prescriptions.
In order to qualify for no-fault benefits you must file an application within 30 days of the accident. Once filed, the benefits are available to you regardless of how the accident happened or who is at fault. Our office handles the filing of this application and helps process any additional claims for lost wages while making sure your medical bills are placed in line for payment.
Brooklyn Property Damage Lawyer
Equally as important in the immediate aftermath of an accident is the claim for property damage. For many people, their vehicle is their lifeline. You may bring your claim for property damage against the vehicle that caused the accident, or with your own insurance company (if you have collision coverage). You may also be entitled to a rental vehicle as well as payment of your towing and storage bills following the accident.
New York Serious Injury Attorney
The most significant claim is the one for pain and suffering. Here in New York you must prove that you have sustained a serious injury before you can recover any money for a car accident. This is because our legislature provided no-fault benefits which theoretically pay all of your medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.
As you might imagine, the theory behind the no-fault law and the reality of how it plays out in your life don’t always match. For this reason you need representation who can help you establish your claim for injuries with strong medical proof and documentary evidence.
What to Do Following a Car Accident in New York
Following a car accident in New York, there are certain steps you should take.
Call 911 to request police assistance and, if there are injuries, an ambulance as well. Do not try to move or treat any injuries yourself. Wait until help has arrived.
Collect Evidence from the Accident Scene
If possible, try to document as much as you can. Take photos of all vehicles involved and any resulting damage. This can be used for your case later on.
Exchange information with all drivers involved. Information should include:
- Full name;
- Phone number;
- Driver license information;
- Registration; and
- Insurance information.
When exchanging information, do not give the other parties more information than is required, including any information regarding policy limits on your insurance.
File an Accident Report
In New York, you are required to file an accident report with the DMV using an MV-104 form. If the accident was minor and property damage was $1,000 or less, you are not required to file this form.
Notify Your Insurance
Whether you were at fault or not, contact your insurance company to report the accident. Many insurance companies require you to report the accident as soon as it is possible, and failing to do so may cause the company to refuse coverage for the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Whether or not you were treated for injuries at the scene of the accident, you should visit a doctor after your accident. Some injuries do not present themselves right away, and some injuries are not visible. Receiving treatment and having medical documentation can help your personal injury claim.
Speak to a New York Car Accident Attorney
Schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. An attorney will answer all your questions and advise you of your legal options. The quicker you discuss your situation with an attorney, the sooner they can get started working on your case.
5 Things to Look For in a Qualified NYC Car Accident Lawyer
When it comes time to choose an accident attorney, you should first consider what is important to you and what characteristics you’d like them to have. Try to get referrals from family and friends, and do some research before consulting with the attorney.
First and foremost, you should aim to find an attorney with plenty of relevant experience. Experienced attorneys will better understand the law that pertains to your circumstances and how to handle your case.
Experiencing an accident can be a traumatic experience. You want an attorney that understands this and approaches your case with care and compassion. A great attorney will be sympathetic while fighting aggressively for your rights.
Good Track Record
Most attorneys will share past wins on their website. Your attorney should have a record of success, indicating you’re in good, capable hands.
While attorneys are extremely busy, your attorney should take the time to respond to your emails and answer any questions you may have along the way. You should never be left in the dark regarding your case.
Choose an attorney you feel you can develop a good relationship with. You will be spending quite some time working alongside your attorney until the conclusion of your case, and it helps a great deal when you feel comfortable with them.
Anthony A. Ferrante is a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney based in Brooklyn, New York. He is dedicated to helping his clients seek the justice they deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case.