3 Important Reasons You Should Speak with a Car Accident Attorney
In 2022, just in the five boroughs of New York City, there were 100,508 vehicular accidents, with Brooklyn leading the statistics at 32,788 crashes. The leading cause of all accidents was distracted driving, which resulted in 28,753 events. The second leading cause—failure to yield right-of-way—accounted for only 7,823 crashes.
However you look at these statistics, many individuals and families in New York have to deal with property damage and injuries every year—which no doubt also means they have to deal with insurance companies. Insurance companies are for-profit institutions, which means that they don’t just dole out money freely. They have teams of claims adjusters whose job it is to protect the company’s bottom line.
Even in the face of these facts about how the system works, some people try to speak to insurance adjusters on their own, secretly hoping that the entire ordeal will just disappear. They’ll be tempted to accept the first offer the insurance company makes. However, this is not a wise choice. Your best bet after an accident is to seek out an experienced car accident/personal injury attorney to deal with all negotiations with the insurance company—and if necessary, to file a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can help you and your loved ones navigate the legal system with confidence.
In New York and on Long Island, rely on the 30-plus years’ experience of my legal team at Law Office of Steven R. Smith. I proudly serve clients in the neighboring areas of Hempstead, Westbury, Mineola, and New Hyde Park. Set up a one-on-one consultation with me to get started pursuing a path forward.
Reasons to Speak with an Auto Accident Attorney
There are many solid reasons for consulting and working with an auto accident attorney, especially if you or someone in your vehicle was injured. Even an initial consultation can give you clarity on key issues related to your case.
Let’s look at why, exactly, it’s important to reach out to legal counsel after a car wreck:
One primary reason to reach out to legal counsel is to have your attorney handle questions and requests from the insurance company’s adjuster assigned to the case. Though your insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is designed to reimburse you for medical expenses and any lost time from work, insurance companies are not apt to write blank checks, so to speak. They’re likely going to challenge everything. The claims adjuster may also email or send you a request to release your medical records. Often, this is to see if you had pre-existing conditions relating to your current claim. Let your attorney handle this. Don’t sign or submit anything without your attorney’s reviewing it.
The second reason to hire an attorney relates to documents and evidence. Allow your lawyer to assemble the documents and evidence you need to make your claim and pursue it successfully. This can include medical expense documents and test results such as X-rays (which can be put on a CD), along with anything relating to time lost from work. If you have any witness statements from the accident, these should be submitted as well, provided that they corroborate what you submit in your statement.
The third reason involves the importance of future medical considerations. Suppose your injuries are so serious that they require ongoing attention and treatment. Once you obtain a settlement from the insurance company, you can’t go back later and ask for more if your injuries flare up again. A settlement is final. Your attorney can make sure that future considerations are incorporated into any settlement.
If your medical and other expenses exceed your PIP coverage, this is where a personal injury lawsuit can make a difference. No party really wants to spend the time and money that it takes to fight it out in court, so settlements are generally the result—but not always, of course. Every situation is unique.
Things to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney
When you seek out a personal injury and car accident lawyer, be sure to enquire about their experience, among other questions. Be sure to ask:
How many years have they been practicing?
How many clients have they helped, and to what result?
Have they handled cases like yours—including the specific type of automobile—before?
What do fees look like?
Seek Trusted Legal Guidance Today
No one should have to go through the personal injury process alone—especially if their injuries were through no fault of their own. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto accident in New York City or on Long Island, contact us right away at Law Office of Steven R. Smith. Our focus is entirely on accidents and injuries and fighting for fair compensation for people who are injured. Your first consultation is free.