In the aftermath of a serious car accident, there are several options for how to proceed. You can file a claim with your own insurance company, seek compensation from another party’s insurer, or take legal action. All of these steps require their own in-depth processes, and trying to figure out what to do while recovering from severe injuries can be overwhelming.
Many car accident victims hire attorneys to help them navigate the steps after a car accident. However, you may be unsure when to hire a lawyer after a car accident or whether you need legal assistance.
Learn the circumstances that warrant legal assistance after a car accident. Then, call an NYC car accident lawyer for your free consultation.
When To Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident
You don’t have to meet specific criteria to hire a lawyer after a car accident. If you think you would benefit from an attorney’s assistance, you can hire one. That said, there are a few instances in which hiring a car accident lawyer is a good decision.
You Have Significant Injuries
Car accidents often produce significant injuries. In 2021, car crashes across the country led to almost 2.5 million injuries and almost 43,000 deaths, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
If you experienced serious injuries from your car accident, you’re likely also facing hefty medical bills. An attorney can help fill out the proper forms in order to get medical bills covered.
Often, auto accidents that produce severe injuries warrant legal action against the defendant in order to get compensation. Having legal assistance from the beginning can help you determine the best way to proceed after your serious car accident.
Your Accident Involved Multiple Parties
Accidents involving multiple parties can become complicated quickly. New York follows a contributory negligence policy that allows insurance companies to assign a percentage of fault to all parties involved in an accident. As a result, knowing whose insurance company to file your claim with or how to seek compensation can be confusing.
Car accident attorneys have extensive experience navigating all kinds of car accident cases. Your attorney can help you understand how to file your insurance claim and can even communicate on your behalf with the insurance adjuster and all parties involved.
The Insurance Company Is Not Cooperating
When you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you expect it to provide the payment you need to cover your accident expenses without issue. However, insurance companies are in the business of making money, and they sometimes offer insufficient payouts or even deny claims outright to save money.
If the insurance company isn’t cooperating, you may need an attorney to negotiate for a higher offer or appeal a wrongful claim denial. Your car accident lawyer in Queens, NY, can help you collect further evidence to provide the insurance company as part of your claim, such as the police report, witness testimonies, and video footage.
If the insurer still refuses to cooperate, you may need to sue. An experienced attorney can guide you through this process.
You’re Considering Legal Action
Taking legal action against the at-fault driver or their insurance company may get you a more substantial payout after a serious car accident. Even if the insurance company fully cooperates with your claim, the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage may not be enough to cover your expenses. You may also want to pursue non-economic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Through a lawsuit, you can seek compensation beyond what you may qualify for through an insurance claim. Even so, suing the at-fault party on your own may be futile. You need an experienced car accident attorney to guide you through the legal process, help you gather compelling evidence, and represent you in court.
You Need Help Navigating the Compensation Process
Even if none of the above are true, having knowledgeable guidance after a car accident doesn’t hurt. You may feel stressed, overwhelmed, and traumatized, and the thought of filing an insurance claim or even talking about your accident may feel unbearable. An attorney can take this burden off your shoulders, helping you move forward.
Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, PC: Your Queens Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re still unsure when to hire a lawyer after a car accident, schedule your initial consultation with a car accident lawyer to learn how they can help you. At Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, PC, we offer free consultations for car accident victims. We will examine your accident case and explain how we can assist you, allowing you to make an informed decision about hiring an attorney.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you seek punitive damages if a car accident involved an intoxicated person?
You may qualify for punitive damages if the at-fault party was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Unfortunately, DUIs are all too common. As many as 35% of fatal motor vehicle accidents are due to impaired driving.
How do you calculate pain and suffering?
Judges use several methods to calculate pain and suffering in a car accident case. One method is to multiply the actual economic damages by a number ranging from 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of the injuries. Another method is to estimate the number of days your pain persists and multiply that by a rate equal to your daily wages before the accident.
Are car accident fatalities common in New York?
Car accident fatalities are relatively common in New York, with nearly 300 deaths occurring each year. Following proper road safety guidelines can help prevent some accidents, but the worst accidents can occur without warning. Knowing when to hire a lawyer after a car accident can help you determine how to proceed in the aftermath of a serious accident, whether it involved fatalities or not.