Filing an auto accident injury claim in New York is designed to be easy to understand for everyday people. The state follows a no-fault insurance law, which means those who are injured in an accident must first file for insurance benefits with their own insurance provider before pursuing damages from any other at-fault driver.
Drivers in New York are allowed personal injury protection up to $50,000 for injuries as long as the driver does not intentionally cause the accident or is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at the time of the crash.
These stipulations can still give their own insurance provider ample room to deny a claim, and many times it is in your best interest to retain an experienced personal injury attorney for proper claim benefits. But, there are a few steps an injured claimant can take beforehand to help strengthen their auto accident case.
Contact the Insurance Provider
It is vital to contact the insurance provider as soon as possible following the accident. The insurance claims adjuster will investigate the accident and deliver a decision on what benefits are available in most cases. However, be aware that many insurance companies have the phone lines recorded from the very beginning, and they may ask for a statement before processing the claim. This is an immediate red flag to contact a New York accident attorney quickly before answering answer questions or giving any statements.
Assemble All Medical Documentation
All accident claims in New York are based on medical documentation and physician diagnosis and prognosis. Not only is the severity of the injury important, but the duration regarding recovery time is vital as well. Your insurance company may want a second opinion from a supposedly independent doctor, but always beware this is their doctor that will be attempting to counter the original doctor report. Always attend all appointments on time and do not embellish your information.
Seek Legal Counsel
The truth about any accident claim is that the case could be much more valuable than the injured claimant realizes. All insurance companies will try to limit the amount of general damages available, and many times when they have insured both drivers they will provide legal defense for an opposing driver to attempt blocking any additional legal action against an at-fault driver. They often actually use bad faith tactics when a claimant has no legal representation, and once the settlement is signed the opportunity for financial compensation is over.
Contact a New York Personal Injury Attorney
It is actually always best to consult with an experienced auto accident attorney immediately following any car accident that produces injuries of any severity. In most cases, injury victims are entitled to more than the insurance company initially offers in a settlement. A personal injury attorney will ensure you do not settle for less than what you deserve.
Make sure your rights to compensation are protected following an accident. Contact Foley Griffin, LLP at (888) 966-8480 for a full free case evaluation.