Many people get word-of-mouth information about car collisions. Unfortunately, this information can lead to big misconceptions regarding Long Island car accident cases. These misunderstandings could be costly, especially if they prevent an injured person from seeking compensation following a collision.
Our law firm wants to protect your right to financial recovery. We hope that by providing clarity about collisions, you can make decisions that are right for you. Some misconceptions involve fault and the steps you should take after a crash.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-451-7900
“In a no-fault insurance system, it doesn’t matter who caused the collision”
New York requires no-fault auto insurance. Following a collision, you typically file a claim with your own insurance provider for basic economic loss including lost wages and medical bills.
Here’s what you need to know:
- In serious situations, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. As noted, you can also sue by starting a court action.
- Law enforcement officials, the insurers, and our legal team will assess fault using your case’s evidence.
- Fault matters because it affects your court award. For instance, suppose you’re filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you caused 20 percent of the crash, you could only recover 80 percent of your losses.
Being partially at fault doesn’t bar you from seeking compensation. However, as noted, it affects your case’s potential value.
“You don’t have to seek treatment for minor injuries”
Many drivers disregard medical care if they’re not seriously injured. Yet, seemingly innocuous injuries can worsen in the days and weeks following a crash. In some cases, a motorist’s adrenaline will prevent them from immediately noticing pain or any impairments.
You should seek medical help after being in a collision. Not only is your well-being important, but seeing a doctor can support your case. After all, you want to show that the collision caused your injuries and related losses.
“It’s too expensive to hire an attorney following a collision on Long Island”
Personal injury firms have a reputation for being expensive. However, that’s not true––at least with our firm. We render aid on a contingency-fee basis, so:
- You can get our help without paying anything up front.
- Our attorney’s fees come as a percentage of your settlement or court award.
- You don’t pay anything out of pocket for legal help.
While results aren’t guaranteed, you owe nothing if we aren’t successful. We will discuss our payment plan once you decide to partner with us.
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“Insurance companies are required to treat you fairly”
Insurance companies are not inherently required to treat claimants fairly. While New York has laws against bad faith insurance practices, sometimes, they do not stop insurers from:
- Denying valid claims
- Delaying cases for no valid reason
- Accusing injured claimants of causing their collisions
- Pressuring claimants into dropping their claims
- Passing the claim around from adjuster to adjuster, discouraging the claimant from action
Insurance adjusters know that many people are unfamiliar with their cases’ value. For that reason, insurance adjusters often make lowball offers, hoping that the injured parties will accept.
“The driver in the back is always responsible for rear-end crashes”
Evidence determines fault. If there’s supporting evidence that an involved motorist acted negligently, they can bear liability for any damages. This doesn’t matter where the driver is positioned.
“You have to file a lawsuit to seek compensation”
False. In fact, per the American Bar Association (ABA), most cases resolve through insurance settlements. You likely won’t have to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injury-related losses. However, if one is necessary, we can support you each step of the way.
“You can recover pain and suffering through an injury claim”
Basic no-fault insurance plans cover lost income and medical bills. They do not cover pain and suffering. To recoup that loss, you would have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. You may also file a claim with the other driver’s insurance policy, depending on the extent of their coverage.
Through a lawsuit, you can seek other non-economic damages, like disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
“You only have three years to file your insurance claim”
CPLR § 214 is New York’s civil statute of limitations. You generally have three years from your collision’s date to file a lawsuit—though some exceptions may apply. Your deadline for filing an insurance claim depends on the liable insurer.
Each insurance company has its own filing deadline. You should act as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation. Filing too late may prompt the insurer to deny or contest your claim.
“You need an attorney to manage your insurance claim or lawsuit”
In New York, you can represent yourself pro se––meaning without a lawyer. However, this can come with many disadvantages, including:
- You may not understand the full cost of your losses
- Insurance companies frequently take advantage of unrepresented people.
- Attorneys have access to resources that injured claimants don’t.
- You might mishandle your case by missing deadlines or misunderstanding courtroom protocol.
Again, it costs you nothing out of pocket to hire our lawyers. With that in mind, there’s no need to refuse legal aid.
“You don’t have options if you suffered harm in a hit-and-run”
The New York State Department of Financial Services reminds us that all drivers must carry uninsured motorist protection coverage. If you suffered harm in a hit-and-run crash, you can seek compensation from your uninsured motorist protection policy.
Your lawyers may also identify the negligent driver through traffic camera recordings, witness statements, and black box data.
Our law firm can manage all aspects of your insurance claim or lawsuit
Legal counsel could have a tremendous impact on your case’s outcome. From investigating your crash to navigating the claims process, our team is ready to help. Not only can we clear up misconceptions about car accident cases on Long Island, but we can fight for the compensation you deserve.
We offer free case reviews to claimants interested in exploring their options. Here, you can ask us anything about your case, including its potential value. To connect with Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P., call (631) 451-7900. We assist Spanish-speaking claimants.