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Were You Hurt in NYC? Our Attorneys Can Help

After being injured in an accident, the hope is that you’ll receive a fair settlement from an insurance company. But winning a settlement isn’t easy.

A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you with your claim, giving you the best chance at fair compensation.

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Understanding NY Personal Injury Claims & Insurance Issues

Navigating a New York personal injury insurance claim can be daunting, as victims and their families often face complex processes and big insurance companies looking to minimize payouts. Too often, victims are pressured into accepting less and forced to jump through hoops to get what they need to recover after a severe accident.

However, a skilled personal injury lawyer can help identify negligence, clearly demonstrate liability, and overcome any issuance issues you may encounter. This support and guidance are essential for achieving maximum compensation through a negotiated insurance settlement or favorable verdict.

Common Personal Injury Insurance Issues

If you or a loved one are seeking relief through a personal injury insurance claim, you may encounter any number of pitfalls and challenges. To sidestep these and secure what you are legally entitled to, it’s vital to familiarize yourself and be prepared for any of the following:

  • Coverage Disputes: Insurers frequently contest the extent or validity of the coverage under the policy at the time of the incident.
  • Liability Denials: Insurance companies might deny liability, arguing that their policyholder was not at fault.
  • Under Value Damages: Insurers often undervalue the cost of injuries and damages to minimize the payout.
  • Policy Exclusions: Certain policies have exclusions that insurers may invoke to deny a claim.
  • Delayed Payments: Insurers may use delay tactics to postpone payment, hoping claimants will accept lower settlements due to financial pressure.
  • Disputed Fault: Questions about who is at fault can complicate claims, especially with New York’s comparative negligence laws.
  • Pre-existing Conditions: Insurers may attribute injuries to pre-existing conditions rather than the incident.
  • Policy Limits: Compensation may be limited to the policy’s maximum coverage, which might not fully cover the claimant’s losses.
  • Failure to Notify: Issues can arise if the insurer claims they were not promptly notified about the incident.
  • Bad Faith Practices: In some cases, insurers may not investigate the claim properly, offer quick lowball settlements, or unreasonably deny the claim, which are considered bad faith insurance practices.
  • Subrogation Issues: Insurers might seek reimbursement from the third-party responsible for the injury, complicating the settlement process.
  • Uninsured or Underinsured Parties: Problems arise when the at-fault party does not have insurance or sufficient coverage to pay for the damages.
  • Denial of Medical Claims: Insurers might refuse to pay for certain medical treatments, disputing their necessity or relevance to the injury.
  • Record Requests: Insurers often request extensive medical records, sometimes as a tactic to find information that could undermine the claim.
  • Settlement Agreement Terms: The fine print in settlement agreements can sometimes include unfavorable or unfair terms.

How to Avoid Insurance Issues

Knowing the correct steps can make all the difference in an insurance claim when faced with a serious injury. From the outset, it’s imperative to understand your rights the insurance policies involved, and to handle communications carefully. This can ensure that your claim is as strong as possible without the risk of making compromising statements or signing documents prematurely.

  • Review Your Coverage: Understand the specifics of your own insurance policies, including PIP and other relevant coverages.
  • Notify Your Insurer ASAP: Timely communication with your insurance provider is crucial even if you are not at fault.
  • Handle Calls from Other Insurers Carefully: Direct them to your attorney to protect your interests.
  • Avoid Giving Statements or Signing Documents: Your attorney should be the one to manage all communications with insurers to prevent missteps.
  • Gather and Provide Necessary Information: Besides handling communication, your lawyer can help collect documents and submit relevant details to strengthen your claim.

If you have questions about an insurance issue or are having problems with a claim, contact a New York injury lawyer at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C.

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An Attorney Can Help Your Insurance Claim

If an accident has left you grappling with injuries and insurance complications, an attorney’s insight and experience are indispensable. In the moments following any serious accident—be it a traffic collision or mishap on an unsafe property—your priority should be medical attention, followed closely by legal support.

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our attorneys bring a wealth of insurance industry knowledge and a proven track record in dealing with insurance companies to secure fair and full compensation. From handling unfairly denied claims to negotiating with insurers who routinely make lowball settlement offers, we’re committed to guiding you through every step, ensuring your claim is addressed with the attention it deserves.

Address Issues & Maximize Insurance Claims

At HKD, our role extends beyond legal representation. We are your insurance advocates and facilitate a smooth process from filing your filing claim to reaching a proper settlement.

  • We Investigate Your Claim: Our thorough investigation will establish the facts and gather evidence that insurers can’t ignore.
  • Negotiate Aggressively: Using our experience to counter lowball offers and unfair practices, HKD will look out for your long-term needs.
  • Fight for All Your Compensation: Ensuring you get compensated for all your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • Handle Complex Situations: Our skill in handling personal injury claims involving complicated insurance issues like coverage disputes, exclusions, and underestimating damages means we can address things early and prevent most problems from the beginning.

What if Insurance Companies Don’t Cooperate?

HKD is well-versed in dealing with insurance companies that may deny claims or act in bad faith. We can help you:

  • Appeal Wrongfully Denied Claims: Understanding the reasons for denial and formulating an effective appeal strategy.
  • Hold Insurers Accountable: Tackling issues of bad faith and contractual breaches by insurance companies.
  • Pursue Legal Action: If necessary, escalating the matter to court through a personal injury lawsuit can result in justice and compensation. 

When Should You Call a Lawyer About Insurance Issues?

You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after any accident that results in you or a loved one being injured. You must deal with your insurance claim process and the company representing the party at fault. This can be confusing, and a lot is at stake. By having an attorney dedicated to your interests, you have someone protecting your privacy, explaining your options, and fighting for the best possible outcome.

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It can be hard to know if an insurance company is mistreating you because even a straightforward injury claim can get complicated quickly.

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our elite NYC personal attorneys handle insurance claims and lawsuits arising from all types of accidents and injuries:

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How to Deal with Insurance Companies After an Injury

If you or a loved one are injured through no fault of your own, you’ll likely receive a call from the other person’s insurance company. This is common, but you should know how to handle it. The best thing to do is remain calm and direct the insurance adjuster to your attorney.

When dealing with insurers, remember:

Don’t Answer an Insurer’s Questions Right Away.

In the hours following a traumatic event, you’re stressed, scared, confused, and possibly in shock. It’s not the time to discuss a claim. Give notice to your insurer, which you might be able to do online or through an app, but don’t try to answer questions or give a statement.

You Can & Should Decline to Give a Statement

If your insurer or the other person’s insurance company asks for a statement regarding the accident, tell them you aren’t prepared to give a statement. Ask for the person’s name, contact information, and any next steps you should know. You should not provide an impromptu statement over the phone or agree to give a statement in person. Always talk with your lawyer first.

If an insurance company contacts you immediately with questions, it’s reasonable to say, “I’m not prepared to talk about the accident and my injuries yet. I’ll follow up after receiving medical care.” If you plan to get legal advice, you also can say you’ll follow up after speaking with a lawyer.

Know What Not to Say to Insurance Companies

Having a lawyer handle your claim is the best way to avoid insurance issues, but if you choose to answer any questions, keep your answers brief and factual. When talking with an insurer, remain as objective as possible.

  • Never offer an opinion about who was at fault for the accident.
  • Never take responsibility for the accident, admit doubt regarding what happened, or apologize.
  • Never guess at something related to the accident.
  • Don’t downplay your injuries.
  • Don’t offer any opinions about your injuries.
  • Never verbally accept a settlement offer without talking to a lawyer first.
  • Don’t give out other people’s names or contact information, including relatives, friends, witnesses to the accident, or your doctors.

Don’t Sign Any Paperwork from the Insurance Company

You might receive various forms from the insurance company. Don’t sign anything without talking to a lawyer first. One form might be a medical release. If you signed it and returned it to the insurer, it would give the company access to your medical history. This is unnecessary. Let us handle getting the appropriate medical records to the insurer. Other forms might be liability waivers or settlement offers.

What Questions Do Insurance Companies Ask?

After talking with your lawyer, you might agree to give a statement over the phone or in person. This interview isn’t an interrogation, but it’s essential to prepare. Your attorney will discuss the types of questions to expect and how to answer them.

Always stick to the facts and never guess at something. If you don’t remember something, say that. The insurer might ask for the statement to be recorded. You can say no. You’re under no obligation to agree to a recorded interview.

Common questions include: 

  • Where did the accident happen?
  • What direction were you driving?
  • When did the accident happen?
  • Who was involved in the accident?
  • Who do you think caused the accident?
  • Did you hear or see anything that helped determine who was at fault?
  • Were you treated by paramedics or taken to the hospital?
  • What injuries did you sustain in the accident?
  • Were you wearing a seatbelt or taking proper precautions at the time?
  • What was the weather like at the time of the accident?
  • Did you file a police report about the accident?

At HKD, we are proud to have helped many clients receive significant and life-changing personal injury settlements and court rulings.

Personal Injury Claim Insurance Issues – FAQs

What Issues Cause Insurance Claims to Be Denied?

Insurance companies deny first- and third-party claims for many reasons, including:

  • A lapsed policy due to unpaid premiums
  • The vehicle or driver wasn’t covered under the policy.
  • A personal vehicle was being used for a business purpose.
  • Lack of or late notification
  • Failure to receive immediate medical care.
  • The policyholder was at fault (for a third-party liability claim)
  • The claim is allegedly fraudulent.
  • Lack of medical records establishing an injury
  • A pre-existing condition

Call a lawyer immediately if you receive a letter saying your claim has been denied. This might not be the end of your claim. Insurance companies have administrative processes for appealing a denied claim. Also, an attorney can represent you in filing a personal injury lawsuit.

What are the Signs My Claim Is Not Being Handled Properly?

Insurance companies are legally obligated to fulfill the duties outlined in their policy and to act in good faith. If they fail to do so, exhibiting red flags such as ignoring communication, inadequate investigation, repetitive document requests, or unjust claim denial, involving a lawyer is essential. An attorney can advocate for you if the at-fault party’s insurance company acts unfairly or issues complicate your claim by potentially filing a lawsuit or prompting them to adhere to legal standards.

Is There a Time Limit to Notify My Insurance Company After an Accident?

Insurance policies often require prompt notification after an accident, but the specific time frame can vary. It’s generally best to notify your insurer as soon as possible, ideally within a few days of the incident, to avoid any disputes over the timeliness of your claim.

What if the at-fault party’s insurance limits are too low to cover my damages?

If the at-fault party’s insurance limits are insufficient to cover your losses, you may file a claim under your policy, if available. Alternatively, a personal injury attorney can help you explore other legal avenues for compensation, such as a personal injury lawsuit against other liable parties.

 

Contact a New York City Insurance Lawyer Today

No one expects to be seriously hurt or deal with a complicated insurance claim process. Fortunately, Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., is here to answer your questions, help avoid insurance issues, and deliver relief through financial compensation. Contact HKD as soon as possible to get started.

There are never up-front costs and nothing unless you recover compensation. Call 212-490-5700 or contact us online to request a free consultation.

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