An accident can happen to anyone... even the most careful, responsible driver. Although you can't plan when an accident will happen, it is important to know what to do if you are involved in an accident.
YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY: You must notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. Most insurance companies will send forms or accident reports to complete. Since these forms will become part of a permanent record on your accident, great care should be used when completing such documents. If you have any questions or doubts about how best to protect your interests, consult with an attorney before submitting paperwork to an insurance carrier.
INSURANCE PROVISIONS THAT PROTECT YOU
No-Fault Insurance: Regardless of who is at fault in an auto accident, New York State Insurance law provides that basic No-Fault benefits will cover: *
- reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses;
- 80% of lost earnings with a maximum of $2,000 per month for 3 years;
- up to $25.00 a day for one year for specific expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
* subject to certain limitations and exclusions
Supplemental Uninsured Motorist Coverage: All injured persons should be aware of supplemental coverage that is available through their own auto policy. If you are seriously injured by an automobile with no insurance (or with insufficient coverage), your own policy can provide compensation through the Uninsured Motorist endorsement. Since this type of coverage is for your direct benefit, all automobile owners should carefully review these provisions of their policy. We would be happy to explain and assist with a free consultation.
YOUR ATTORNEY: You should promptly call your attorney if
- you have been injured personally or if your property has been damaged;
- the other driver is uninsured at the time of the accident;
- someone makes a claim against you after the accident;
- you have any questions about your legal rights.
WE OFFER FREE PHONE CONSULTATIONS
One of our experienced attorneys will meet with you to explain your rights and how to best protect your interests. We can come to you at home or in the hospital, if necessary.
We will investigate the facts of your case and determine the strength of any claim that you may have, by speaking with witnesses and performing meticulous legal research.
Our firm will make sure that all legal papers are filed. There are many different deadlines that you must meet when filing a claim. If you miss a deadline, you may be barred from filing a claim to collect money for your injuries.
Your attorney will aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and others to make sure that you are properly compensated for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost time from work and other expenses associated with the accident.
Sometimes a trial is the only way to obtain the compensation that you deserve. If your case does go to trial, we will vigorously act in your behalf. You can count on our considerable expertise.
In New York State, an automobile accident victim retains the right to sue a negligent driver or vehicle owner:
IF YOU ARE SUED...
If you are served with legal papers following an auto accident, immediately contact your attorney and your insurance company. DO NOT pay or make any promise to pay anyone involved in the accident and DO NOT discuss the accident with the person(s) suing you or their representative; refer all inquiries to your attorney.
Auto Insurance Explained
In New York, there are a number of different types of insurance that afford protection to people involved in auto accidents. Knowing and understanding the various types of coverage is essential to protecting your rights and assuring the proper course of action is taken following an accident. Injured persons generally become involved with No-Fault and Liability insurance. Each of these affords coverage for different aspects of an injured person's claims following an automobile accident.
NO FAULT: New York is a No-Fault state, but that does not mean no one is at fault for the accident. It simply means that fault is not considered for payment of certain benefits. There are three categories of standard No-Fault benefits:
- 1) Medical bills (Hospitals, Doctors, Prescriptions, etc.);
- 2) Lost Wages (80% of lost earnings up to $2,000/month);
- 3) Incidental or Other Expenses ($25/day for traveling to doctors, and other costs incurred as a result of your injury).
No-Fault benefits will generally be paid by the insurance carrier for the vehicle in which you are riding (or struck by, as a pedestrian) at the time of accident.
LIABILITY: This is the insurance that usually comes into play when injured people seek to recover money damages. Here, fault for causing the accident is very important because the liability insurance held by the responsible party will often compensate qualified injured persons. The Insurance Law of New York limits the right to make such claims to people who have sustained a "serious injury." There are many different kinds of injuries which fall into the category of "serious injury," so assessing whether a particular injury is "serious" is best left to review and consultation with your attorney.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE ABOVE IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THERE ARE RIGHTS AND COVERAGE ISSUES INVOLVED IN MANY AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS NOT ADDRESSED HERE. FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR SPECIFIC ADVICE, PLEASE CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.