The worst has happened: you’ve been injured in a car accident because the other driver wasn’t paying attention or was otherwise negligent. Your no-fault insurance should help, but you’re worried about other expenses beyond your policy limits, so it’s time to consider a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit.

Even if you don’t know the first thing about filing an insurance claim, you should know you’re entitled to compensation if you’ve been seriously injured. And working with an attorney may be your best chance to recover the maximum you’re owed, either through an insurance settlement or court award.

Contact the New York City car accident lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. today for a free consultation. We’ll listen and guide you through the car accident insurance settlement process. Call 212-490-5700 or use our online form.

Car Insurance After a Car Accident in NY

After a car accident, there are steps to ensure you have the best chance of recovering a full and fair settlement. Immediately following the crash, you should call the police, take photographs and videos of the crash scene, exchange information with the other driver, seek medical treatment to document all injuries, and contact your insurance provider.

What Does Your Insurance Cover?

New York drivers must carry various insurance policies to register their car.

After a car accident, your no-fault insurance will be the first source of payments for your medical bills and lost wages. However, your expenses may quickly exceed your policy limit in severe injury cases. This may require you to negotiate with your insurer or pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.

Meeting Insurance Deadlines

If you’ve been injured in a crash, you should file a claim with your insurer within 30 days unless you can prove you couldn’t meet that deadline. To have your medical bills covered, you’ll need to provide proof of medical treatment within 30 days of the crash. To protect your lost wages, you’ll need to show proof within 45 days.

In New York, there is also a three-year statute of limitations after the crash to file a lawsuit if necessary.

Filing a Claim & Getting Your Insurance Settlement

Before you can worry about a settlement, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a case. It’s impossible to know whether you have a successful claim until you speak with an attorney. During your free consultation with HKD, we will listen to your story and analyze the evidence you have. We will let you know if we think you have a strong claim and how much we believe it’s worth.

You might have a valid car accident claim if someone else caused your crash due to negligence, intentional, reckless, or wrongful actions. If another driver, company, or person is at-fault for your damages, you have a right to file a claim against their insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit. Once you know you have a good chance of a successful claim, we’ll help you work towards a settlement.

The New York Car Accident Settlement Process

After you’ve filed a claim with your insurance provider, or the at-fault driver’s provider, a claims adjuster will likely start investigating your claim, using documents and statements collected by the parties involved. Those documents can include medical records, police reports, crash scene photographs, and damage estimates.

Insurance companies, even your provider, are typically looking to settle a claim for the least amount of money possible, frequently offering lowball settlements hoping you’ll be desperate to take the first offer.

Each case is unique, and the road to a settlement varies. While you will understandably want to resolve your matter as soon as possible, your settlement offer should cover all your assorted damages and losses. By accepting an offer too quickly, you could be leaving money on the table for things you may need in the future.

When The Settlement Offer Is Too Low

Once the investigation is over, the insurance company will make you an offer. If you accept, you agree not to pursue a lawsuit. However, if the amount is too low, you shouldn’t accept it. If you refuse the lowball offer, you’ll enter settlement negotiations.

How are Settlements Negotiated in NY?

There are a few ways a settlement might be reached before a decision to take your case to court must happen. Namely, your attorney could send a demand letter or work with an insurance company representative to settle the case. Other options include going through mediation or arbitration.

  • Mediation: Both parties will work with a third, neutral party to work towards a resolution. The mediator guides the process, but ultimately the settlement is reached without much input from them.
  • Arbitration: In arbitration, a third-party representative is present, and the process is more formal than arbitration but not as formal as going to court. The arbitrator examines the presented evidence, then decides the settlement and imposes it on all parties involved.

There are other ways a settlement could be reached, but ultimately, having an attorney there to represent you will give you the best chance of recovering equitable compensation from the insurance company. The company has more resources than you. An attorney levels the playing field.

Notable
Results

$3,750,000

$3,750,000 – Rear End Accident

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What Affects a Settlement?

There isn’t a set formula when settlements are considered, but there are things that will change the amount offered by the insurance company, like:

  • How badly were you hurt in the crash?
  • How high were your medical expenses?
  • Did you lose wages, and will your injuries affect any future wages?
  • Were you at fault at all in the crash?
  • What kind of insurance coverage do all parties involved carry?
  • What kind of evidence is there, and how strong is it?
  • How will the case be argued?

With these factors in mind, it’s important to remember the point of the claim is to cover any expenses caused by the crash, whether that’s medical bills or property damage. Even if you’re partially at fault for the collision, you’re still entitled to compensation.

The Benefits of Having an Attorney

After a crash, you’re already dealing with recovering from injuries and juggling bills, and you could also be looking at a loss of income. Usually, insurance companies don’t want to pay the total amount in a claim, so it’s crucial to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.

A lawyer can serve as a point of contact between you and the insurance companies. An experienced lawyer will know what you’re entitled to recover and the best way to get the compensation you deserve.

Contact HKD for the Insurance Settlement You Deserve

You’ll have a greater chance of reaching the desired settlement after a crash if you work with an experienced car accident lawyer. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we’ll listen to your case with compassion and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Call us today at 212-490-5700 or use our online contact form. We offer free consultations to give you a chance to learn more, and there are no fees unless you win.

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07/05/2015

Look No Further For a Great Lawyer After meeting a half dozen lawyers at different firms, I decided to go to Hecht, Kleeger and Damashek. As soon as I met Jon Damashek, I knew I had to look no further….

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