- The first step with an accident case is to determine who is liable for an injury. This includes, for example, in an automobile accident case, obtaining a police report and conducting other investigation. Most police reports can be requested online, which is true for New Rochelle and/or Yonkers, and they use a website called “CRASHDOCS” (see link https://secure.crashdocs.org/#/) However, some city police departments, such as Mount Vernon, which is located at 2 Detective Christopher Ridley Way, Mount Vernon, New York (2 North Roosevelt Square Mount Vernon, New York in GPS) require that you come in person to request the report. You may call 914-665-2504 (or 2505) to see if you can make other arrangements to obtain the report.
- Once we have the information about the person who is liable we would reach out to their insurance company, and/or send out a letter of representation to them, so that they could forward it to their insurance company. This would formally begin the communication between our firm and the insurance company in an effort to settle the case.
- In a car accident case, we also would work expeditiously to help you obtain Personal Injury Protection or “No-Fault” benefits, which is the insurance that applies in an automobile case in New York State. In most cases, these benefits will cover medical treatment that is necessary for injuries resulting from the accident, and may also enable you to collect lost wages if you are out of work. It is important to note that No-Fault benefits apply to pedestrians and bicyclists as well as drivers and passengers involved in automobile accident cases, however they do not apply to motorcycle accidents. These benefits are extremely important so that you can get the medical treatment that you need to help you recover and help to pay your bills are paid if you are unable to work. It is important to note that there is a 30-day deadline to submit the application for No-Fault benefits.
- Next, we obtain all treating records and documents from your medical providers. These records contain very important information to document your injuries and provide evidence of damages. It is also helpful if you have pictures of the damage to the vehicle or the accident scene and/or any injuries that you have sustained. Once we receive these documents, we would forward a copy, along with an outline summary of the case, to the Insurance Company representing the other vehicle involved in the accident. We would then begin the process of settlement negotiations with the Insurance Company.
- If we are unable to resolve the case by a settlement, the next step would be to file a complaint with the Supreme Court and commence an action. For example, for accidents that took place in New Rochelle, Yonkers or Mount Vernon, the Complaint might be filed in the Westchester County Supreme Court. However, the location of the Court where the action is filed, which is also called the “venue,” can be based on a number of factors including where the plaintiff resides, or where the defendant (the person that we are suing) resides, or where the accident occurred.
- After the complaint is filed it is then served upon the Defendant, who would then forward it to his or her insurance carrier. Thereafter the attorneys representing the defendant would serve their “ANSWER” to the complaint.
- At that point we would begin “DISCOVERY” where information regarding the accident is exchanged with the representatives of the other vehicle. This information includes documents such as HIPPA authorizations to obtain medical records, witness information, photographs, etc. Also, during that time there would be several Court appearances where the discovery issues are discussed, and efforts are made at resolving the case.
- After ‘DISCOVERY” is complete we would file a “NOTE OF ISSUE” and “CERTIFICATE OF READINESS” with the Court which documents that the case is ready for trial. Following that date a Court Conference would normally be held wherein the parties try to resolve the case. If the case cannot be settled, it would proceed to trial.
If you have any questions regarding our process, or what it entails, please call us at 914-239-4900 for a free consultation.