When Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were involved in a car accident, you might be concerned about adding the extra headache and hassle of hiring a lawyer, filing a lawsuit, etc. While you can legally handle a car accident claim on your own, if your case involved anything other than a minor fender-bender and a bit of property damage, hiring a lawyer is worth your while. Continue reading for a discussion of when you should hire a seasoned and effective New York car accident lawyer.
If you were injured
If your accident involved only minor property damage, then you can likely communicate with your insurance company and get covered without much hassle. If you were injured, however, the process can quickly become much more complicated. Under New York’s no-fault insurance system, you will first file your injury claim with your own insurance company. Still, you will only be covered for certain types of damages (medical bills and some lost wages, but no pain and suffering), and you are capped by the policy limit. Getting coverage for medical costs can be a difficult process, as insurance companies are always dragging their feet and minimizing claims in order to reduce or deny a payout. A personal injury lawyer can help you communicate with your insurance company to ensure that they pay you the full coverage you are owed.
A car accident attorney might also be able to help you get outside of the no-fault insurance system and collect additional compensation if your injury qualifies as “serious” under New York law.
If the proof is complicated or hard to obtain
To recover for a car accident injury, you must show not only that you were hurt in an accident, but also that the other driver was responsible. You may need to collect security or traffic camera footage, witness statements, and police reports. If that evidence is not available, or not decisive as to fault, you might need to hire experts on traffic safety, auto mechanics, or even the physics of a car crash to show why the other driver was responsible. Knowing what evidence you need and how to get it can be difficult without a practiced, knowledgeable car accident lawyer.
If you might also be at fault in any way
New York is a “comparative negligence” state. That means that you can bring a car accident injury claim even if you were partially responsible for the accident, but your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver but you were texting while driving at the time, a judge or jury might decide you were 10 percent, 20 percent, or more at fault for the crash. A dedicated personal injury lawyer can work to see that your percentage of blame is not overblown by the defense in an attempt to reduce or eliminate your damage award unjustly.
Trusted Advice and Representation After a Bronx Car Accident
If you or someone you love has been hurt by someone else’s negligence in New York, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the talented and knowledgeable New York car crash lawyers at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation, at 718-409-1200.