Understanding Your Rights After a Car Accident in New York

Car Accident Lawyer in Queens NY

Over 100,000 car accidents happen each year in New York City, many of them resulting in severe injuries, steep expenses, and significant life changes. If you are the victim of an NYC car accident, you know how stressful and expensive it can be. Learning about your rights after a car accident can help you know how to proceed. 

If you’re wondering, “What are my rights after a car accident in NYC?” continue reading for more information. 

What Are Your Rights After a Car Accident? 

Car accidents are serious legal situations that often involve extensive money and injuries. As a result, you may be nervous about making any wrong moves after your accident, wondering, “What are my rights after a car accident?” 

Like all New York City accident victims, you have several rights that you can uphold after a car accident. Understanding these rights can help you build an accident case to seek sufficient compensation for your car accident injuries, property damages, and emotional suffering. 

The Right To Call the Police 

The at-fault driver may advise you to avoid calling the police after the accident, instead suggesting that you keep the accident between the two of you. But you have the right to file a report with a police officer, and doing so is a wise idea, even if you don’t know whether you’ll file an insurance claim. 

The police report provides valuable evidence about your accident that you can use should you seek compensation through legal channels. Police departments also want to know about accidents to change road safety measures. 

The Right To Document the Scene

If the other driver knows they were responsible for the accident, they may tell you not to take photos or videos. They may even say, “You’re not allowed to take pictures!” or “Put the camera away!” 

However, you have a right and a responsibility to document the accident scene. Valuable evidence exists at the accident scene that disappears once the tow trucks haul the vehicles away. Taking photos immediately after the accident (or asking another person to take them for you) can help prove the other driver’s negligence and strengthen your compensation claim. 

The Right To Seek Medical Treatment

New York sees as many as 12,000 hospitalizations each year due to motor vehicle traffic-related injuries. As an accident victim, you also have the right to seek medical treatment after an accident, even if you don’t initially notice any significant injuries.

You can call an ambulance at the accident scene if you want or need to. Otherwise, you can visit a hospital, urgent care, or other medical provider after the accident to seek treatment. 

Don’t worry about the expense of the medical care. Your Queens car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation, whether through your insurance adjusters or from the at-fault driver, to more than cover these costs. 

The Right to Time Off Work 

Under New York labor laws, you may have the right to take time off work during your recovery. You may qualify for temporary or permanent disability; in many cases, your employer cannot fire you while accepting disability. If your employer tries to deny your ability to take time off work while recovering, talk to a car accident lawyer in New York about your options. 

The Right To Seek Compensation

You also have the right to seek compensation after a car accident. This compensation may come from your insurance provider or the at-fault driver, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

New York is a no-fault state, meaning each party involved in an accident files an insurance claim through their insurance provider regardless of who was at fault. If your accident meets the “serious injury” threshold or leads to more than $50,000 in economic losses, you may have the right to a personal injury lawsuit. 

The Right To Appeal an Insurance Claim Denial 

You don’t have to settle for an insurance claim denial. If your insurance company denies your car crash claim, you have the right to appeal this decision. Your attorney can help you build a case showing that the denial was in error and proving that you meet your policy’s requirements for a payout. 

The Right To Pursue Legal Action 

If your accident was severe, you may have the right to pursue legal action from the at-fault driver. Your case must be worth at least $50,000 or you must have suffered a serious, life-altering injury to qualify for legal action. 

Examples of serious injuries include:

  • Fractured bones
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of use of a body part

Unfortunately, as many as 38% of accidents in NYC involve a fatality or significant injury. 

Protecting Your Rights After an NYC Car Accident 

Now that you know the answer to “What are my rights after a car accident?” consider the following tips to help you protect those rights: 

  • Don’t admit fault: Avoid admitting fault or even saying “I’m sorry” after a car accident. Instead, keep the talking to a minimum. 
  • Take pictures at the scene: Take photos of all angles of the wreckage and collect as much evidence as possible after the accident. 
  • Document your damages: Record details about your injuries, request medical documentation from your healthcare provider, and seek repair estimates to better understand the damages you may want to seek in a lawsuit. 
  • Speak with an auto accident attorney: An experienced attorney can help you understand and protect your rights after a car accident. 

Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, PC: Your Queens Car Accident Lawyers 

Upholding your rights after a car accident can help you seek adequate compensation to begin moving forward from this traumatic event. At Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, PC, we’re dedicated to helping you understand and protect your rights while walking you through the compensation process. 

Now that you know “What are my rights after a car accident in New York?” call us today at 888-ASK-ELLIOT (888-275-3554) for your initial consultation with a car accident lawyer.