Personal Injury in New York
In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident that results in injuries to you or anyone else, you have 10 days to notify the New York Department of Motor Vehicles using Form MV-104 (Report of Motor Vehicle Accident) to avoid having your driver license suspended.
Unlike accidents that cause only minor property damage, you must also report injury accidents to the police, who will file their own report with the DMV. Whether the accident is your fault or not, it will appear on your driving record and that of any other drivers involved.
If you were injured in an auto accident, you should now focus on recovering and wait for an insurance payout for your medical bills, right? Actually, the insurance company is not necessarily your strongest advocate in this case. Its job, after all, is to minimize its own liability, and it will put its adjusters, investigators, and attorneys to work to do so.
Furthermore, while your medical costs are easy for you to quantify, your pain and suffering are not―and you may be entitled to compensation that the insurance company won't offer up front. In many cases the suffering extends beyond the original injury; an accident victim can suffer lasting pain, lost wages if they are unable to work, and emotional distress from the entire experience.
Therefore, it could be in your best interests to retain a personal injury lawyer to advocate for you to the insurance company. Personal injury lawyers specialize in New York State laws written to protect those who have suffered physical or emotional damage due to the actions or negligence of others. This field presents an entirely different set of legal issues from property damage.
If you engage the services of an attorney right away who is an expert in this type of work, he or she can prevent you from making mistakes early in the process of filing your claim that could negatively affect your settlement:
- A personal injury lawyer can interview witnesses and preserve evidence to prove liability.
- An attorney can ensure you get the right medical care.
- A lawyer can help you receive full compensation by helping you properly document your injuries.
So, it's wise to think twice before accepting the first settlement offer you get from the insurance company. A personal injury lawyer can make sure you receive the maximum compensation allowable under New York law.
For a good place to start, check out our list of attorneys on this site.