New York City is a great place to live, work and visit, but it also has its fair share of hazards. Like most big cities, these include construction sites, impatient drivers, and negligent health care facilities. Whatever the cause of your accident, recovering physically and financially is your top priority. Knowing when to hire a New York personal injury lawyer improves your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer New York City
If you suffered an injury in a car accident, workplace accident, or other incident in New York it is understandable that your focus is on recovery. You might have even returned to or moved to another state and lost touch with key persons related to the incident. Ideally, you begin looking into your personal injury claim options as soon as possible. However, if less than three years have passed, you might still have options.
Knowing why and when to hire a personal injury lawyer is crucial. Consider these top ten reasons for doing so as soon as possible.
1. You Level the Playing Field
When you file a claim with an insurance company, whether you choose to work with an attorney or not, rest assured that the insurance company surely has attorneys working on their side. These attorneys work alongside specialists, such as underwriters, to determine the pros and cons of offering a settlement versus going to court. Attorneys might also help insurance companies strategize how to delay so that you become frustrated enough to give up your claim.
Some insurance companies might even resort to telling you that you cannot receive payment because you did not resolve the issue before the statute of limitations passed. However, this runs contrary to how statutes of limitations actually work. According to the New York Courts government website, its statutes of limitations refer to the deadline persons have to begin proceedings, NOT complete them.
Sadly, some insurance companies also only take cases seriously when the injured person retains an attorney. Even when insurance companies act fairly, an experienced personal injury attorney can ensure you know your rights and the true value of your case.
2. It Speeds Up the Process
Whether the insurance company pays or not, your monthly bills like rent, utilities and groceries are still there and still need to be paid. Consequently, the sooner you resolve your personal injury case, the faster you can pay off any medical expenses and other mounting debt and secure a financial future for yourself and your family. This is especially important if you can no longer work in the same capacity you did before the accident or if you missed out on paychecks during recovery.
When you retain a personal injury lawyer in New York City, he or she investigates the reason the process stalled. While insurance companies notoriously do this to deliberately discourage claimants, other reasons may account for the delay:
- The insurance company might require additional documents.
- The insurance company might have lost the records due to a system glitch or misplacement.
- The person responsible for the case might have been terminated and failed to re-assign it to someone else.
Regardless of the reason, the insurance company has not returned your phone calls and emails, that changes when you have an attorney. These professionals know how to uncover the truth and get the process moving.
3. NY Attorneys Investigate on Your Behalf
Sometimes, accidents occur and the accident victims do not have all the information regarding what happened. This is definitely when to hire personal injury lawyers. Imagine, for instance, the case of a motor vehicle accident where a cyclist is struck from behind by a hit-and-run driver. Another example includes someone who suffers injuries in a health care facility but does not immediately know what caused the injury or who to hold accountable.
A reputable New York personal injury law firm organizes investigative teams to reconstruct what happened and why. Their lawyers speak to witnesses and gather all the evidence they can find, such as surveillance footage. Depending on the type of case, these multi-disciplinary teams include medical professionals, private investigators, and even retired law enforcement officers.
Personal injury cases also tend to generate a lot of paperwork, especially in the form of medical and financial records. It takes a dedicated expert or even an entire team to comb through all these documents carefully. Your attorney can then use these details to build a case for negotiations or trial.
4. You Can Access Other Professionals
Full recovery requires getting the best possible medical attention you can afford. Experienced attorneys often know precisely who to recommend for you to get the assistance you need. These medical professionals have experience working with personal injury attorneys and insurance companies. Consequently, they know what to look for and what records to pass on to the attorney.
Here are some additional professionals you might need to find after a serious accident, aside from your personal injury lawyer in New York City:
- Physical therapist
- Pain Management Doctor
- Home health care professional
- Daycare professional or babysitter
5. You Get To Focus on Recovering
Still considering when to hire a personal injury lawyer? Coming to terms with serious injuries and pushing through recovery can feel exhausting. Managing personal injury claims on your own can make this even more traumatic. If the negligent parties or insurance companies refuse to cooperate, stress levels could rise and seriously impede your ability to fully recover.
Hiring a New York personal injury lawyer allows you to outsource the stressful tasks to a professional. They handle all the complex and frustrating parts of the case while you focus your full attention on recovery. A reputable attorney continues to provide updates and might request additional information from you. However, for the most part, you enjoy a hands-free experience.
If private negotiations do not go as planned, your attorney also prepares you for court and eventually a trial. He or she coaches you on what to say and how to respond to questions. The goal is not to withhold or twist information but to ensure you do not say or do anything that the insurance company might take out of context and use against you.
6. Attorneys Understand Complex Laws
Few personal injury cases resolve themselves easily. Even when they do, hiring an attorney with a practical understanding of complex New York personal injury laws improves your chances of winning. Your attorney can more easily look for holes in the other party’s argument or find additional provisions you can take advantage of.
Adding to this, New York is a comparative negligence state. This means that people can pursue damages even if they have some fault in the incident, but the amount awarded will be lessened by the attributed negligence. Thus having a New York personal injury attorney on your side to make sure your side of the incident is heard correctly will likely better your chances of a favorable outcome.
For instance, if a court awards you $1,000,000 in damages but also determines you are 30% responsible for the incident. This could mean the difference between taking home $700,000 versus $1,000,000. Hiring a personal injury lawyer on your side could help your chances to receive the full recovery.
7. Experienced Attorneys Can Build Strong Cases
Building a strong case in court does not guarantee that you win full compensation, but it certainly improves the odds. An experienced personal injury lawyer in New York City might accomplish this by looking beyond the facts of the case. Attorneys also need to strategize based on what they know of insurance companies, the law office representing the opposition and the way the judge in that particular court usually rules.
Some cases are notoriously more difficult to prove than others. Consequently, they require an experienced attorney. Here are a few:
- Wrongful death compensation for unmarried persons with no dependents
- Car crashes where the injured person rear-ended the other driver
- Personal injury cases filed against government agencies
- Cases based heavily on psychological and emotional harm
8. You Increase Your Chances of Higher Compensation
When a New York personal injury lawyer seeks justice on your behalf, he or she does so in the form of compensation. Consequently, most of the arguments he or she makes come back to this important factor. Experienced attorneys know what components of a case might lead to more compensation and therefore what to emphasize during negotiations or inside a courtroom.
When injured persons hire attorneys, it is said to result in on average three times more compensation than those who choose to fight for compensation alone. The researchers in the survey only considered people who won cases. They also accounted for personal injury lawyer fees when estimating how much more money people receive when they hire attorneys.
9. Your Financial Risk Is Small or Non-Existent
Contingency fees remain an industry standard in the personal injury practice area. This means that your New York personal injury lawyer does not charge you upfront for services. Instead, he or she tackles the case entirely at the expense of the law office. You only pay if your personal injury lawyer in New York City wins your case. This type of retainer significantly reduces the financial risk for injured persons who often need all of their resources to focus on recovery or repairs.
To reduce the level of risk , law firms generally only pursue cases they believe are feasible. Some larger law firms might decline to work on cases they believe might not yield big payments, but they often recommend clients with smaller cases to boutique law firms.
In some cases, injured persons might have complex cases that promise big wins if successful. However, attorneys might worry the chances of winning are slim. Continue to shop your case around. Eventually, you might find a New York personal injury attorney ready and willing to take on the challenge.
10. You Protect Your Future
When you think of the hassle of negotiating with insurance companies and going to court, not filing a case at all might begin to feel tempting. However, if you do this and later change your mind, it could be too late to recover damages. Even if you are within the statute of limitations, you could run into other difficulties:
- The business might no longer exist.
- The negligent person may have passed away.
- The surveillance footage could have been discarded.
- Relevant parties might misplace or lose records.
- Witnesses might not remember events clearly anymore.
- Witnesses might no longer wish to come forward.
Acting as soon as possible to protect your future ensures financial stability for yourself and your family. Whether you have dependents to care for or have yourself become a dependent, you have a much better chance of securing the positive outcomes you seek with a New York personal injury lawyer by your side.
When To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer New York City Professional
No matter how trivial your case might first appear, only an experienced attorney can realistically assess its true worth. An attorney might uncover facts in the case that could completely change its nature and improve its worth. Consequently, it’s a good idea to call a personal injury lawyer in New York City regardless of the facts to explore your options.
Sometimes insurance companies immediately make what seems to be a good offer. You might feel tempted to take the money, pay off your bills and move on, but this could cost you thousands or even millions of what your case is actually worth. These are the times when you most strongly could benefit from a personal injury attorney.
Your Case Involves Rideshare Accidents
When accidents involve rideshare services, attorneys must determine whether the driver’s insurance company or the rideshare service’s insurance company should pay. This might come down to whether the driver was responding to a ride request at the time. Even in these cases, rideshare companies and their insurers try to deny claims or submit low-ball offers.
Whether the negligent parties ignore your attempts at moving forward on purpose or made legitimate errors, you need an experienced attorney to resolve the issue. If you had an attorney before who failed to move things along, cases sometimes benefit from a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective.
The Insurance Company Denied Your Claims
If the insurance company denies your claim, your New York personal injury lawyer might help you fight that denial. In cases where your own insurance company fails to pay, such as in hit-and-run car accidents, your attorney might decide to pursue a bad faith claim against the insurance company.
You Suffered Catastrophic Injuries
The more serious your injuries, the more complex the medical procedures become. No matter how serious your injuries might feel to you and how apparent they seem to loved ones, you need strong physical evidence to prove this to the court. An experienced attorney can work with your health care provider to document the injuries and predict whether the injuries might worsen over time.
You Have Long-Term or Permanent Disabilities
If you suffer long-term or permanent disability, life as you know it could change drastically. You might lose some independence, lose your lifelong career and might even need to give up your hobbies. The injury can have devastating effects on your quality of life. Identifying the importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer in New York City can help you better show how the permanent injury or disability affects the rest of your life.
Your Loved One Did Not Survive the Incident
If you lose a loved one to the negligence of another party, you might have the opportunity to file a wrongful death claim. A competent attorney can help you determine whether you qualify or who can legally represent the dependents in the case.
Statute of Limitations Are Closing In
Three years can fly by quickly when you’re focused on recovery and you can rack up a lot of medical bills during that time. You can also change your mind, even after originally deciding against filing a claim. With the deadline to file closing in, working with a committed attorney increases the chances of getting all the necessary paperwork in on time.
You Suspect Corruption
If the negligent party in your personal injury case is wealthy, famous or in a position of power, you might find your case hitting several roadblocks along the way. You need an experienced New York personal injury lawyer to overcome these hurdles and move the case along.
How To Find Dedicated NYC Personal Injury Lawyers
At Sattler Law Group, our team of experienced attorneys knows tort law inside out. We have dedicated decades of our careers to fighting for justice for injured persons across the state. Call today for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys handle cases that span a wide range of injuries, such as car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents and unsafe premises.
We have recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and look forward to reviewing your case. Contact us at any time for a free consultation so that we may review your case and match you with a New York personal injury lawyer that will assist you and ensure that you receive full and fair compensation. Our team is available 24/7 to provide assistance.