1. Should I talk to a lawyer?
Yes! We recommend calling an attorney after a car accident even if you think you do not have a case. Remember, insurance companies are in the business of making money, which means paying injured claimants as little as possible. It’s not uncommon that an insurance company will call you within days to offer you $1,500 to settle your claim by deceiving you about the strengths of your case. Do not fall into this trap. Call an attorney right away for a free case evaluation. The Buffalo Injury Law Firm will help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims so you can focus on getting your life back on track.
2. How Will My Car Accident Lawyer be Paid?
Our car accident attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis. This means:
- Your initial consultation is free and without obligation.
- We do not charge retainer fees or hourly rates.
- No out-of-pocket fees while your case is pending.
- If we recover compensation on your behalf, we only retain our fixed portion.
- If we do not win, you pay us nothing.
3. What To Do After A Car Accident?
Always call 911 and an emergency contact like a spouse. We also recommend that you check to see if anyone needs immediate medical attention. Whatever you do, don’t be swayed by the at-fault driver not to call the police. A police report is a critical piece of evidence. Documenting evidence after the accident can strengthen your case and improve your chances of recovery. Obtain information from the other driver including their name, address, insurance information, license plate number, and driver’s license number. Get contact information of any witness. Take photographs of the accident scene, including any vehicles that were involved, debris from the collision, and nearby traffic signs and lights. This will help you reconstruct the accident later on if the other driver begins to deny he or she was at fault for the crash. Get medical attention as soon as possible. Even if it appears you are not injured, it’s best to see a doctor since some injuries, such as closed-head trauma, may take hours or even days to appear. Take photographs of bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, swelling, and any other physical signs of injury. Contact a reputable injury attorney like The Buffalo Injury Law Firm so they can take over and notify your insurance company.
4. Who Pays My Medical Bills After A New York Car Accident?
In most New York car crashes, your medical bills will be paid by your own insurance company after an accident regardless of who was at fault. This is because every vehicle owner is required to purchase auto insurance that has Personal Injury Protection also known as No-Fault coverage. There are some exceptions and there are strict deadlines to file a claim with your own insurance company. Contact our office right away after a car accident to get help with your medical bills.
5. How to Strengthen Your Car Accident Claim?
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, what do you need to know? What do you need to do? What can you expect over the weeks, months and years to come? How can you make sure the insurance companies do not take advantage of you?
- Avoid Talking to the Insurance Companies – While it is ok to report your claim (and we recommend that you do this at the scene of the accident), you should not provide any additional information to the insurance companies. Your legal team will handle this for you to ensure that you do not provide a damaging recorded statement or get pressured into accepting a low-value settlement.
- Avoid Discussing the Accident – In addition to avoiding the insurance companies, you should also avoid discussing the accident in general. You do not want your family members or neighbors to be asked to testify, and you do not want your social media posts to be used against you.
- Keep a Journal – In addition to medical bills and lost income, your claim will also include compensation for non-financial losses. One of the best ways to document these losses is to keep a diary or journal. When do you feel pain each day? Was it worse today than yesterday? Did you have to miss a child’s game or a social event because you were too sore to go? These are all key details that can help maximize your financial recovery.
6. How can I reduce or avoid physical injuries?
- Practice defensive driving
- Regularly maintain and service your vehicles to make sure they are equipped with proper safety devices including front & side airbags, seatbelts, tires, etc.
- Wear your seatbelt
- If you have an adjustable headrest, be sure that it is properly fitted. This one adjustment can potentially make a world of difference.
- Put your phone away, and eliminate distractions
7. How do I become financially prepared in case of injury?
The best way to be prepared is to maintain proper health and disability insurance. After that, the most critical thing you can do today is to call an independent insurance agent to discuss available coverage options. You can follow this guideline:
- If possible, raise your Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) or Medpay limits. Both Florida & New York require all auto insurers to provide no-fault benefits with every standard policy – $10,000 in Florida, and $50,000 in New York. These limits can be raised.
- Raise your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (“UM/UIM”) limits as high as you are comfortable raising them – we recommend no lower than $100,000 per person limits on this coverage. UM/UIM benefits ensure that if someone with little or no insurance hits you, you will not be left on the hook for your own care.
- We regularly fight and litigate against insurance companies. We receive zero financial incentive for recommending that you raise your coverage limits. It is our experience and moral beliefs that we suggest raising your individual limits to appropriate levels as the easiest and best way to make sure that you are financially prepared for a serious collision.