A car accident can result in serious injuries, some of which might be long-term or permanent. Fortunately, in New York, we have a no-fault insurance system. This means that you can file an insurance claim for medical expenses, lost earnings, and other costs related to the car accident regardless of who was at fault. However, the steps you take after your car accident can impact your eligibility for compensation or reduce the value of your claim.
At Finz & Finz, P.C., our highly skilled and compassionate personal injury attorneys have served clients throughout New York. We take on insurance companies that refuse full and fair compensation for injury claims. We know how to prepare lawsuits against the at-fault driver if you have sustained a serious injury. Our New York car accident lawyers will help you recover the compensation you need and deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call now at 855-TOP-FIRM for a free initial consultation.
Avoid these nine common mistakes following a car accident:
1. Not Calling the Police
Police who arrive at the scene of the accident can collect evidence that can work in your favor. The work of the police can be an important launching point for your injury claim. Police do things like gather witnesses, take pictures, and look for road hazards. The police prepare a report that documents vital information. Also, if the other party gets a traffic violation, that can be a start to proving that they are the one at fault for the collision. If you don’t call the police, the insurance companies might wonder why you didn’t think you should ask for an investigation.
2. Failing to Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you sustained any major injuries in the accident, you should still see a doctor to determine if you suffered any damage. Find out which injury symptoms you need to be aware of in the weeks following the accident. Insurance companies often deny claims by arguing the car accident victim had prior injuries that were not due to the crash. However, your medical records can prove your injuries are the direct result of the car accident.
3. Not Documenting the Accident Scene
Recording the details of your accident is an important component in proving the other driver’s liability and pursuing your injury claim. The more evidence you have, the more likely you are to protect yourself from any allegations coming from the at-fault party and secure a fair settlement to cover all your losses.
Photos can prove your lack of fault in a car accident claim. Try to document as much as you can by taking plenty of photos with your phone or camera of the following:
- Injuries you suffered
- Property damage of the vehicles involved
- Skid marks and any road defects or construction work that might have contributed to the accident
- Traffic lights or traffic signs at the scene
- Weather conditions
- Lighting conditions
Also, be sure to collect statements from witnesses. Record the contact information of all the motorists involved.
4. Leaving The Accident Scene
It’s against the law to leave the scene of the accident. If you are involved in a car accident in New York, try to remain calm and say on the scene until police arrive. Even if the other driver does not want to report the accident, if you leave without exchanging information, you could be accused of a hit and run.
5. Admitting Fault
It’s natural to want to apologize for what happened. However, apologizing is not advised following a car accident. This could negatively impact your case. Your best bet is not to say anything to anyone. Let your attorney do all the talking.
6. Missing Deadlines
Keep in mind that there are some legal deadlines you have to deal with. When you are making a claim to an insurance company, there are specific rules you will have to abide by. Make sure you submit everything before the deadline to avoid losing your chance for a full and fair settlement.
7. Providing Too Much Info to the Insurance Company
Trusting the insurance company is another mistake that can ruin your accident claim. Insurance adjusters are not on your side. The job of an insurance adjuster is to maximize their company’s profits. They will do everything they can to pay you less. Don’t provide them any details they’re not entitled to. Don’t talk about fault or your injuries, and never give a recorded statement.
8. Speaking to Insurance Companies Without a Lawyer
Insurance adjusters can be Avoid giving insurance companies any information besides basic details before consulting with an experienced New York car accident attorney.
9. Settling the Accident Claim Too Soon
Insurance companies do not want to pay the maximum value of your accident claim. They will go to great lengths to reduce their liability as much as they can. Insurance companies will offer you a quick settlement. If you accept their initial offer, it will likely leave you struggling to cover the cost of your future medical bills and other expenses.
Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents are confusing and traumatic. With all the turmoil following an accident, it can be easy to make a hasty decision that could negatively impact your injury claim. Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best thing you can do. A lawyer will protect your legal rights and handle all the critical legal tasks, including negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company. This will allow you to focus your time and energy on your health and recovery.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident in New York, call Finz & Finz, P.C. at 855-TOP-FIRM now for a free and confidential consultation. Our New York car accident attorneys will fight tirelessly for the compensation you need and deserve.