Do’s and Don’ts After an Injury
Accidents happen every day, but their commonality does not dismiss the devastating impacts they can have on people’s lives. After being involved in a traffic collision or any accident, a million questions may be running through your mind. What do I do next? Who do I call? What if I’m injured but don’t have insurance? How will I be able to afford medical bills?
The stress you may be feeling is completely justified. The actions you take after your accident directly affect the value of your injury claim and, thus, directly affect your ability to recover. Your future matters, and I’m here to help you protect it. I’m Steven R. Smith, a personal injury and car accident attorney who serves New York and Long Island, and I want the people in my community to be equipped with the knowledge and resources they need in the event of a sudden injury.
If you or a loved one needs immediate assistance from an attorney, call the Law Office of Steven R. Smith to get set up with a free case consultation.
After You’ve Been Injured in an Accident
Don’t leave the scene of an accident until you've exchanged information with others involved. Fleeing at the scene of an accident is illegal in every state. It's important to stay put so you can get everything you need and avoid any potential claims of a hit and run.
Don’t talk about the case, not even to your friends. This includes social media; do not post or share information about your accident or injuries while your case is pending. These communications may later be used against you during negotiation or litigation.
Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster first. Speak to a lawyer first so you understand your rights and options on how to best proceed with your claim.
Don’t accept the first deal you’re offered by the insurance company. It may be enticing to collect a large sum of money, especially if you already have medical bills piling up, but the first offer might not account for all your future costs, like unforeseen medical expenses and time missed from work.
Don’t neglect your injuries, even if you’re uninsured or underinsured. If you don’t have health insurance and have suffered injuries from an accident in New York, you can see whether you qualify for Medicaid.
Do seek medical help. Even if you’re not in any pain, it’s in your best interest to get help from a medical professional as soon as you’re clear to leave the scene of your accident.
Do contact a personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve and will advise you with your best interests in mind. I have over 30 years of experience representing victims of car accidents, trip-and-falls, slip-and-falls, construction accidents, and medical malpractice. Let me be your advocate.
Do keep records of everything. Keep every single medical bill, keep all doctor visits in your calendar, any messages between you and your doctor, and so on.
Do write everything down. Take notes on everything you can remember leading up to the accident, during the accident, and following the accident – all while it’s fresh.
Do record how this is affecting your work and ability to draw a paycheck, as well as your daily life. Physical injuries cause a lot of emotional anguish. Being able to attend family functions, spend time with your kids, and devote time to your hobbies are all important parts of your health, too. If your injury has restricted you in these ways, write that down. That documentation could serve as fuel for your compensation claim.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in New York
The above do’s and don’ts can apply to any accident victim in the U.S., but different states have different statutes of limitations to follow. I serve injury victims throughout New York and Long Island, where three years is the standard time limit for filing personal injury claims.
Since this is a general rule, there are exceptions to it. For example, if you lost a loved one and are looking to file a wrongful death claim in New York, the statute is two years instead of three. Or, if you were injured in a case of medical malpractice, you have two and a half years to get your lawsuit filed.
New York’s personal injury laws are complex, but I know them well. Get the help you and your loved ones need by contacting the Law Office of Steven R. Smith today.
What if I’m Injured But Don’t Have Insurance?
If you don’t have valid car insurance and get involved in an accident, you should still take proper action by following the do’s and don’ts outlined above. One of the most important things you should do is be careful of what you say to the other people at the scene. Don't admit fault for the accident or discuss any details about the crash.
Some states have a “no pay, no play” law in place, which prohibits uninsured drivers from collecting compensation after an accident, even if they weren’t the one responsible for the collision.
New York is not a state that has a no pay, no play law. But, if you’re injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, and you’re uninsured, there may be certain restrictions on how much you can recover against the at-fault driver. That’s why consulting with an attorney is extremely important.
Don’t Hire Just Any Attorney
A lot of personal injury attorneys go looking for lawsuits. Not me. I believe recovery should be your first priority after an injury, and the quickest route to recovery is negotiating a fair financial settlement. That’s why I work hard to shield my clients and their families from a lengthy trial process.
With over 30 years of practice experience, I know how to put your claim in an ideal position to be resolved outside of court. I understand what factors insurance companies look for and value in an injury claim. Let me put my experience and skills to work for you or your loved one — so you don’t have to suffer twice.
Recovery begins with a call. Whether you’ve been hurt in a car accident, construction accident, slip-and-fall, or an instance of medical malpractice, I’m here to advocate for you and your future well-being.
I proudly represent injury victims throughout New York and Long Island. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident or other incident in Hempstead, Westbury, Mineola, New Hyde Park, or a nearby area, reach out to my law firm — the Law Office of Steven R. Smith — today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your claim.