December 1, 2014
Car Accidents and Insurance Claims in New York and How Having a Lawyer Can Help You
By Jonathan Damashek
If you were injured in a car accident in New York, you may wonder if it is really necessary to get a lawyer to help you get a fair settlement or to help handle an insurance claim. An insurance company may have contacted you. The insurance company representative may appear to be reasonable, and everything may seem to be in order. If only this was true.
Insurance companies are commercial enterprises, answering to CEO’s and their shareholders. As profit-driven corporations, they generally focus on the bottom line. What goes on behind the scenes is a concerted effort to pay out as little as possible in a claim. Part of that process is to identify any way to reduce the value of the claim. Without legal representation, you are likely to receive a final settlement that is far lower than could be recovered with the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer, particularly in cases of serious or catastrophic injury or death.
Car Accident Injuries and Fatalities Per Day Nationwide
Car Accident Fatalities Yearly
Source: NHTSA National Center for Statistics and Analysis
A recent study by the Insurance Research Council revealed that that the number of injured people who are represented by an attorney is rising every year—an issue of concern for insurance companies. Another report found that those who were represented by a personal injury lawyer were much more likely to go to a pain clinic and to have MRI testing after an accident. Why would this be a concern for insurance companies? Isn’t your health the most important issue of all?
Recent research shows that personal injury protection (PIP) claims have increased in value by 70%, a rise that may be related to the increasing number of people who choose to engage legal representation. The study noted that those in the New York City metro area are far more likely to get treatment from chiropractors, physical therapists and acupuncturists, and get much more expensive diagnostic procedures. These costs must be paid as part of the claim filed with the insurance company.
The most recently compiled data for by state indicates that auto accidents continue to be a serious area of concern for New York state, county and city leaders in the state.
Source: National Highly Safety Administration
After an Accident
After an accident, if you are not evaluated by a qualified medical professional, you put yourself at great risk. You have every right to seek treatment. Certain injuries that initially seem inconsequential could in fact, be life-threatening, or could require many months or longer to heal. Soft tissue injuries, such as bruising, strains and sprains can make it impossible to work or function normally. A closed-head injury from an impact is extremely dangerous. It is critical that you get a full medical evaluation after a car accident.
Protect Your Right to Full Compensation for Damages
A car accident attorney has the duty to protect your right to compensation for all damages, both economic and non-economic. Legal representation is particularly important in cases involving catastrophic injury, as the injured individual will require a lifetime of care and treatment, at astronomical cost. The ability to work and earn a living and to function in life is greatly compromised.
These catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, disfiguring injuries, cases involving amputations and other severe or permanent injuries. These injury claims may have a value of millions of dollars, and the process of negotiating the value of the settlement should be managed by a skilled New York car accident lawyer.
Most claims are resolved prior to trial. However, when the insurance company does not present a fair settlement offer within a reasonable period of time, it may be necessary to take the case to trial. An insurance company that becomes aware that an injured party is represented by a trial lawyer with a winning record is more likely to make the decision that it isn’t worth the risk to go to trial, and to present a meaningful settlement offer. Look for an attorney who has a record of recovering high value settlements, who is highly rated for legal skill, and who is an experienced trial lawyer.
If you were injured in a car accident, it is extremely important that your right to full compensation is protected by an experienced New York car accident lawyer. Connect with Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., The firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for car accident victims and for families who have lost a loved one in a traffic collision.