Car accidents are unfortunately very common. As such, you may wonder when you need to hire an auto accident attorney and when you can work with your insurance company directly.
When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney
It would be best if you looked for an accident and injury lawyer in the case of any major car accident. You want to hire a lawyer if:
• Anyone is injured in the accident (even minor injuries if you will incur medical bills)
• There is significant property damage
• The insurance company contacts you directly
In the case of smaller accidents, such as minor fender benders, you may not need an auto accident attorney. That being said, hiring one can be helpful even in those cases. What happens if you have delayed injuries? What if the other party lies to their insurance company about who is at fault for the accident or the extent of their injuries? You never know when a seemingly minor accident will become more complicated.
There is also a strong possibility that hiring an attorney reduces your risk that the insurance company will take advantage of you. Remember, insurance companies want to maximize profits. The less they payout in claims, the more profitable they are. You may need a legal team to get fair compensation for your injuries.
Hire the Attorney Immediately
When you decide you need a car accident lawyer in New Rochelle, hire them as soon as you can. This decision is crucial as it prevents you from making potentially costly mistakes.
How Can an Auto Accident Lawyer Help Me?
The bottom line is that an auto accident attorney can help you prove that you were not at fault for the accident and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries or other damages. They will do so via several direct actions:
Look at Contributing Factors
One of the first things your lawyer will do is investigate all of the factors contributing to the accident. Even if you think the other driver was at fault, your lawyer can determine if poor road conditions, vehicle malfunctions, or improper signage may also be partly at fault.
This investigation is essential, as it helps ensure you receive proper compensation from all parties responsible. Remember that motor vehicle accidents could have several liable parties, each of which might be at fault for a portion of the accident.
Handle the Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies is a hassle, but your car accident attorney will handle them for you. This saves you time and stress, letting you focus on recovery. It also prevents you from making a mistake while talking to the insurance company.
Because of their experience, auto accident attorneys are excellent at helping you estimate the current and future costs related to the accident. This includes both medical expenses and repairs.
This step is essential, as you want to ensure your settlement covers future medical costs, not just immediate ones. Otherwise, you may miss out on the compensation you are entitled to and have to pay out-of-pocket for those expenses in the future.
Deal With Collectors and Bills
Unfortunately, debt collectors and hospitals may try to get you to pay for medical bills before your claim is settled. Your lawyer or the law firm staff, will handle them for you, letting you focus on recovery.
Negotiate With the Insurance Company
Accident injury lawyers also negotiate with your insurance company. Remember that insurance companies want to minimize their payments. However, lawyers are expert negotiators and know how to ensure the insurance company covers their responsibilities. You should never accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without your lawyer’s advice.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
Your car accident lawyer in New Rochelle can give you a full list of what not to do after a car accident. However, you must hire them before making a mistake.
To prevent issues, remember NOT to do the following things after an accident:
• Not call 911
• Let your emotions get the best of you
• Leave the scene
• Not document everything
• Not get medical treatment
• Underestimate your injuries
• Not contact your insurance provider
• Talk to the other person’s insurance provider
• Not have your car inspected for damage
• Not exchange information
• Admit fault
• File a lawsuit without an attorney
• Lie to your attorney
• Accept a settlement agreement without an attorney
Making any of the above mistakes can make it much harder for you to win your claim.
Is There a Statute of Limitations in New York?
One of the reasons to talk to an accident injury lawyer as soon as possible is to avoid missing the statute of limitations. In New York, generally the statute of limitations is three years for injuries from a car accident. It is just two years if someone dies in an accident also known as wrongful death.