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New York Car Accident Lawyers

March 27, 2024

When to Hire a New York Car Accident Attorney

You Were Injured in the Accident

  • If you sustained injuries in the car accident – you need to hire an attorney
  • Injuries can be severe, like broken bones or traumatic brain injuries; or more minor, like whiplash or back pain
  • An attorney ensures you get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain/suffering

Even minor injuries should be evaluated by a doctor – symptoms may worsen over time. Our car accident lawyers work to get you a proper settlement that covers all current and future costs related to your injuries.

The Other Driver Was Uninsured/Underinsured

What if the at-fault driver has no insurance – or not enough coverage for your damages? You may need to file an underinsured/uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.This process is extremely complicated; having a <a href=”https://www.reddit.com/r/Lawyers/comments/zp9vu/when_should_i_hire_a_personal_injury_lawyer/”>car accident lawyer</a> levels the playing field against insurance companies looking to minimize payouts.

You’re Dealing with Uncooperative Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are not on your side – they are businesses trying to pay out as little as possible. If an insurer is delaying, denying your claim, or refusing a fair settlement amount – it’s time to call an attorney.Our lawyers know all the tactics insurers use to avoid paying legitimate claims. We fight back using evidence, negotiating skills, and knowledge of insurance laws/regulations to get you the compensation deserved.

You’re Accused of Causing the Accident

Even if you didn’t cause the crash, if the other driver is blaming you – hire an attorney immediately. Having legal representation protects your rights and prevents costly mistakes during the claims process.Our attorneys investigate accidents to establish fault and liability. We gather evidence like police reports, photos/videos, witness testimonies, and expert analysis to prove you were not at-fault.

The Accident Involved a Commercial Vehicle

Accidents with semi-trucks, buses, Ubers/Lyfts, etc. are more complex than typical passenger vehicle crashes. There are different regulations, insurance policies, and potentially multiple parties involved.You need a <a href=”https://www.quora.com/When-should-I-hire-a-personal-injury-lawyer”>car accident lawyer</a> who understands the nuances of commercial vehicle accidents and can navigate the complexities to get you maximum compensation.

You Were Partially At-Fault

In New York, you can still recover damages if you were partially at-fault for the accident – as long as you were less than 50% responsible. This is known as “pure comparative negligence.”However, insurers will try to pin more blame on you to reduce payouts. Our lawyers fight against these tactics using evidence and legal arguments to minimize your percentage of fault.

You Suffered Severe, Permanent Injuries

If your injuries are catastrophic, disabling, or permanent – you absolutely need a top car accident attorney. These cases involve future costs like:

  • Ongoing medical care/medical equipment
  • Home modifications for disabilities
  • Lost future earnings
  • Permanent pain and suffering

Only an experienced lawyer can properly valuate these damages and get you enough compensation to cover a lifetime of costs.

The Insurance Settlement Seems Too Low

If an insurance company offers a quick settlement soon after your accident – be wary. This is a common tactic to avoid paying out future costs once the full extent of your injuries is known.Never accept the first settlement offer without speaking to a lawyer first. Our attorneys analyze settlements to ensure they adequately cover your current and future damages.

You’re Unsure About Legal Processes/Paperwork

The legal process after a car accident is extremely confusing and document-intensive for the average person. You must follow strict procedures and deadlines regarding:

  • Filing claims and lawsuits
  • Submitting documents and evidence
  • Handling requests from insurers
  • Appearing for depositions, hearings, etc.

Having an experienced car accident attorney handle this process for you avoids costly mistakes and missed deadlines that could jeopardize your case.

You Have a Complicated Case

While seemingly straightforward accidents happen – many cases involve complex factors like:

  • Multiple vehicles involved
  • Accidents caused by vehicle defects
  • Crashes caused by road hazards/defects
  • Accidents involving uninsured drivers
  • Hit-and-run accidents with unknown drivers

These complicated scenarios require extensive investigation and legal expertise that only a skilled car accident lawyer can provide.

You Want to Go to Trial

If insurance companies refuse to offer a fair settlement, your only option may be filing a personal injury lawsuit and going to trial. You absolutely need legal representation for this process.Our trial lawyers have extensive courtroom experience, knowledge of procedural rules, and ability to effectively present evidence and arguments to a judge/jury to maximize your compensation.

You’re Dealing with Pushback from Insurers

Even with a legitimate claim and clear evidence, insurance companies may still fight paying what you deserve. Some of their common tactics include:

  • Delaying or denying valid claims
  • Disputing the severity of your injuries
  • Blaming you for the accident
  • Making lowball settlement offers

Having a <a href=”https://www.avvo.com/topics/when-to-hire-a-personal-injury-lawyer”>car accident attorney</a> on your side prevents insurers from taking advantage of you. We push back using our expertise to force a proper payout.

You Want the Maximum Compensation

The bottom line – if you want to maximize your compensation after an accident, you need legal representation. Research shows injury victims receive significantly higher settlements/awards when represented by a lawyer.Our attorneys know how to properly valuate damages, collect all available evidence, negotiate with insurers, and fight for your rights in court if needed to get you the best possible outcome.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

  • Investigates your accident to establish fault/liability
  • Collects evidence like photos, videos, witness statements, police reports, etc.
  • Handles all communication and negotiation with insurance companies
  • Ensures you receive proper medical treatment and documentation
  • Valuates current and future damages like medical costs, lost wages, pain/suffering
  • Negotiates with insurers to reach a fair settlement amount
  • Files a personal injury lawsuit and takes your case to trial if needed
  • Represents you through every stage of the legal process

Our lawyers take the burden off your shoulders – so you can focus on recovering while we fight for the compensation you deserve.

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means:

  • You pay no upfront costs – the lawyer covers all fees
  • Their fee is a percentage (usually 33-40%) of your final settlement/award
  • If they don’t win your case, you pay nothing

Essentially, it costs you nothing out-of-pocket to have legal representation. And because the lawyer’s fee is tied to your case outcome – you know they’ll work tirelessly to maximize your compensation.

When Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?

The sooner, the better. There are strict time limits for filing claims/lawsuits after an accident. Contacting a lawyer immediately preserves your rights and options.It also allows them to start investigating and collecting evidence right away – before it deteriorates or disappears. The more time that passes, the harder it becomes to build a strong case.

What if the Accident Was Partially My Fault?

Don’t assume you can’t recover damages just because you were partially at-fault. New York follows a “pure comparative negligence” model, meaning:

  • You can still get compensation if you were less than 50% responsible
  • Your award is reduced by your percentage of fault

For example, if you’re awarded $100,000 but were 20% at-fault – you’d receive $80,000. Having a lawyer is crucial to minimize your percentage of liability.

Do I Have a Case if I Wasn’t Injured?

Even without injuries, you may still have a valid claim for vehicle damage, rental car fees, lost wages from missed work, and other economic losses caused by the accident.Our lawyers examine every angle to recover compensation – regardless of whether injuries occurred. The key is proving the other driver was at-fault.

What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

If the at-fault driver is uninsured, you can file a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. This process is extremely complicated, with insurers looking for any reason to minimize payouts.Having an <a href=”https://www.lawinfo.com/resources/when-to-hire-a-personal-injury-lawyer/”>experienced car accident attorney</a> levels the playing field and ensures your rights are protected when dealing with your own insurer.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

In New York, you generally have 3 years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, there are exceptions and shorter time limits in certain situations.It’s critical to have a lawyer evaluate your case ASAP – if the time limit expires, you permanently lose the right to pursue compensation through legal action.

What if the Accident Happened Out of State?

Our car accident lawyers are licensed in New York and can handle cases involving accidents that occurred in the state. If your crash happened elsewhere, we have a network of co-counsel relationships with attorneys across the U.S.No matter where your accident took place, we can get you the legal representation needed to recover maximum compensation.

What Evidence Do I Need for My Case?

The more evidence, the better – but you don’t need to worry about collecting it all yourself. Our lawyers and investigators will gather everything required, including:

  • Photos/videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, injuries, etc.
  • Police reports and witness statements
  • Cellphone records proving distracted driving
  • Maintenance/inspection records for defective vehicles
  • Footage from traffic cameras or nearby security cams
  • Analysis from accident reconstruction experts
  • Your medical records and bills documenting injuries/treatment

We know exactly what evidence is needed to build a strong, persuasive case to maximize your compensation.

What if I Was Hit by an Uber/Lyft Driver?

Rideshare accidents are unique because there are potentially multiple insurance policies involved – the driver’s personal policy, the rideshare company’s policy, and your own coverage.Having a lawyer who understands the complexities of these situations is crucial. We investigate to determine all sources of insurance coverage and parties who may be liable for damages.

What if a Defective Vehicle Caused the Crash?

If your accident was caused by a vehicle defect or malfunction, you may have a case against the manufacturer for product liability in addition to the negligent driver.Product liability cases are highly technical and require extensive evidence. Our lawyers work with accident reconstruction experts and vehicle defect specialists to gather proof and build claims against auto manufacturers when applicable.

What if a Dangerous Road Condition Contributed?

Crashes can also be caused by hazardous road conditions like potholes, debris, poor lighting, lack of signage, etc. In these cases, the government entity responsible for maintaining that road may be partially liable.Filing claims against government agencies involves following very specific procedures and meeting strict deadlines. Having an experienced lawyer is essential to navigate these complexities successfully.

What Damages Can I Recover?

Depending on the circumstances, a skilled car accident attorney can help you recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Medical expenses (current and future)
  • Lost wages/income
  • Reduced future earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Rental car fees
  • Home modifications for disabilities
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The goal is to make you “whole” again by recovering enough money to address all the ways the accident impacted your life and future.

How Long Will My Case Take?

Every case is different – some may settle quickly, while others could take years if they go to trial. In general, more complex cases with severe injuries tend to take longer to resolve.Our lawyers work efficiently to resolve cases as quickly as possible, while never rushing to accept an inadequate settlement that fails to fully compensate you.

Do Most Car Accident Cases Settle or Go to Trial?

The vast majority of car accident cases (over 90%) are resolved through out-of-court settlements with insurance companies. However, that doesn’t mean the insurance company plays fair.Our attorneys negotiate forcefully using persuasive arguments and evidence to push for maximum payouts. We’re always prepared to take cases to trial if insurers refuse to be reasonable.

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Todd Spodek

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