After a car accident, you may think you need to do nothing more than work with insurance companies. Even if the at-fault party does not have coverage, you could have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The danger in relying on insurance companies is they do not always have customers’ and victims’ most favorable interests.
Hiring a car accident lawyer fills the gaps left by the insurance companies. Leaving a car accident in an insurance provider’s hands could cause more financial harm. Injured motorists have several reasons to turn their case over to a New York auto accident attorney.
How Accident Attorneys Help With Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
A car accident case’s success could hinge on securing the proper legal representation. Car insurance companies have their legal representatives, so car accident victims should, too. That way, the legal playing field becomes balanced. Motor vehicle accident attorneys advocate for their clients, representing them before a judge, jury, and insurance companies.
Communicate With the Insurance Company
We believe that auto insurance companies may not offer fair settlements, even for legitimate claims for car accident injuries, because they want to save money for their shareholders. In our experience it seems that insurance adjusters may go out of their way to avoid paying a claim’s total value. Worse, the injured person may not realize their claim’s worth and accept the initial offer. Sometimes, adjusters use victims’ words against them to deny their claims. That is why victims should not speak to insurance representatives without consulting with an attorney.
Those inexperienced in dealing with insurance businesses may not know the tricks companies use or learn to look out for their interests. After getting into car accidents, victims should focus on recovering, not arguing with insurance carriers. A car accident lawyer in New York can take over the case and create a strategy to help recover every penny of compensation the injured party needs and deserves.
When legal representatives communicate with insurance companies, they focus on negotiating with adjusters. Attorneys also take over all details of the victim’s claim and draft verbal and written statements to support their case.
Receive Medical Care
After a car accident, a victim could require additional medical treatment. Injuries could worsen, or the person may suffer further harm related to the auto accident. By notifying their legal representative, clients will help secure their medical benefits and they could increase their chances of getting the proper care and recovering faste.
Prove Liability for the Car Accident Victim’s Injuries
Harmed victims bear the burden of proof in motor vehicle accident cases. That means they must gather evidence that shows the at-fault party’s negligence caused serious injuries and harm. Of course, negligent individuals attempt to shift blame or demonstrate how the injured party’s actions contributed to their injuries. Rather than split their focus between collecting proof and recovering, those injured benefit from letting experienced legal representatives prove liability.
Car Accident Lawyers in New Rochelle, New York
Car accident lawyers have the experience and resources needed to build a solid case against negligent parties. New York injury attorneys make powerful arguments by consulting expert health care professionals to validate client injuries. They may need to consult with other professionals to establish fault. Lawyers may also investigate the accident details and gather witness statements to determine what happened during the collision. A client’s accident report and medical records also help build a case.
While proving liability, it may turn out that the victim contributed to the car accident, which is contributory negligence. Bearing partial fault may not prevent harmed parties from recovering damages. Despite contributory negligence, a person could still recover compensation. Whether a victim recovers damages after contributing to an accident depends on the state.
Car Accident Damage in New York
In pure contributory negligence states, if a person bears even 1% fault for a car crash, they cannot receive damages. In pure comparative fault states, parties could recover compensation equal to the other party’s fault percentage. For instance, if the at-fault party is 60% at fault and the injured party suffered $100,000 in damages, the injured party can only recover 60% of those losses from the at-fault party, which equals $60,000.
Get Faster Compensation
If a car accident victim does not accept an insurance company’s initial offer, they could wait to recover. This makes sense, but waiting could cost them. While healing, the victim may face a mountain of medical bills, unpaid debts, and unmet financial obligations. The person’s financial health could take a severe hit, leading to more complications. Legal representatives can save victims time and help them receive compensation faster. Legal representatives will also take all necessary steps to fully understand the full extent of the injuries involved and how much to seek in damages. Lawyers also help victims understand New York’s statute of limitations, limiting how long a person has to take legal action.
Resist Scare Tactics
To force accident victims to submit to low-ball settlements, insurance providers may resort to scare tactics. Injured individuals may not have the energy to argue, and some medications make it hard to think clearly. Experienced lawyers understand underhanded strategies and the know-how to defuse them.
Calculate the Full Value of a Victim’s Injuries
Insurance companies may try to get away with offering unfair settlements by undervaluing the victim’s injuries. For instance, say a person gets into an accident and suffers physical injuries and car damage. While the insurance provider may offer a fair settlement to repair the damaged vehicle, their bodily injury settlement may fall short. Some injury symptoms take days or weeks to appear, meaning victims may not understand the full scope of their harm until much later after the collision. If they accept an insurance adjuster’s initial offer, they could cheat themselves out of compensation for future medical treatments.
After getting into a motor vehicle accident, a person may need to take time off work. An insurance settlement may account for the first two weeks an injured victim takes off, but the person could need more recovery time. Depending on the severity of injuries, harmed individuals may qualify for pain and suffering damages. Injuries could cause anxiety, PTSD, depression, or stress, any of which could increase the victim’s extent of losses.
Offer Peace of Mind
Even after a minor car accident, a person may have several questions and uncertainties to navigate. Having access to someone experienced with motor vehicle accidents may bring accident victims peace of mind. Attorneys help victims manage their stress and understand where to focus their energies. Without this guidance, injured parties could suffer considerable mental and emotional unease.
Negotiate a Balanced Settlement
Insurance companies look out for their interests, and car accident attorneys look out for their client’s interests. Not only do experienced legal representatives negotiate with insurance providers, but they also work with the at-fault party’s attorney. With so many parties at play and so much at stake, those injured deserve someone on their side. Motor vehicle accident lawyers know the facts and issues insurance companies and other attorneys make priority to win a case. This knowledge helps car accident attorneys mount a counterattack.
Break Down Relevant Regulations and Laws
Motor vehicle accident victims should understand how insurance policies work. That way, they know whether an insurance carrier acts in good faith and honors a contract’s contents. Legal jargon may easily overwhelm uninjured persons, let alone accident victims. Harmed individuals cannot afford to waste a moment on their legal case, making it essential to consult with a knowledgeable legal professional. An experienced NYC car accident attorney will know how to untangle agreements and connect them to relevant laws and regulations.
Having a legal background helps attorneys explain a client’s legal options. Their experience also lets them help their clients make well-informed decisions. That way, injured parties feel confident about their choices and understand how to protect their legal rights.
File a Personal Injury Suit
Depending on how negotiations go, an auto accident victim may need legal action against the at fault driver. That could mean filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver whose insurance provider was unwilling to compromise on a settlement. Sometimes, at-fault parties do not offer fair compensation until harmed victims take legal action.
What To Expect When Meeting With an Accident Attorney
Victims may wonder what to expect during the first meeting with their lawyer. Knowing how to prepare for the initial meeting can maximize a victim’s time with an attorney. Such insights also help injured parties take full advantage of the benefits the attorneys have to offer.
After an initial phone consultation, lawyers must sit down with injured parties to understand the case thoroughly. Meeting face-to-face lets victims explain the accident’s circumstances and damages. An attorney may ask a few questions after the individual gives their account:
- Did the person speak with insurance representatives? If so, what did the person say, and whom did the person speak with?
- Did anyone witness the collision? Does the victim have the witness’s contact information?
- Did the injured person speak to anyone else about the collision?
- Does the victim have health insurance or car insurance?
Attorneys also get answers from medical documents, police reports, car repair estimates, and photographs. Victims should bring these items with them for their first meeting.
Harmed individuals must remember their attorney wants to help them, not judge them. Clients should not hold back information or lie about what happened during the accident. Embarrassing or potentially harmful details could become essential to a case. Withheld information could also compromise an issue, so it makes sense to share it. Victims must remember that they have attorney-client privilege, which protects details exchanged during the case.
Declining a Case
An attorney may not accept a person’s case, but that does not mean the person has a valid claim. The lawyer could have a conflict of interest, or they could have a full workload. Some legal professionals lack the resources and experience a specific case requires. However, you can always seek a second opinion from a different lawyer concerning your claim.
Accepting a Case
After an attorney accepts a case, victims may ask about likely outcomes. It makes sense that they want to know their case’s worth and when they should expect to receive compensation. Attorneys cannot accurately predict a claim’s resolution. Uncontrollable factors and variables influence car accident claims, and attorneys cannot foresee them all.
Deciding To Work With a Legal Representative
Even if the best car accident lawyer accepts a case, the client must agree to participate in the process. Clients must feel they can trust their lawyers and feel comfortable working together. To make a decision they feel satisfied with, injured parties should ask themselves a few questions:
- What kind of history does the lawyer have with similar car accident cases in New York City?
- Does the attorney have trial experience? If the case goes to trial, what are the attorney’s chances of winning?
- Who handles the case? The lawyer or an associate?
- Who covers litigation costs? How much does the lawyer charge in legal fees?
Potential clients should also understand the representation or fee agreement they sign. The document establishes the lawyer as the client’s legal representative. To access treatment records, clients could need to sign medical release forms.
Contact Car Accident Lawyers Experts Near You Today!
If you were injured in a car accident in New York City or Westchester County, do not take your chances with taking the first settlement offer from an insurance company. Sattler Law Group wants to help you protect your legal rights and build a solid case against the at-fault party. As you can see from our Google reviews, we successfully represent our clients who have been in motor vehicle or motorcycle or pedestrian accidents to get the best results possible.
Please schedule a consultation as soon as possible with our New Rochelle office by calling 914-239-4900. If you prefer, fill out and submit an online form. Let us put our experience and dedication to use to help you recover fair compensation for another’s negligence.