When should a personal injury lawyer be used?
When you suffer an injury in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, the law allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your loss. Before you decide how to handle your case, it’s judicious to consult a personal injury lawyer in New York who can explain your legal rights and help to review your claim. Using the information they provide, you can then decide whether to proceed on your own or to engage their services to handle your injury lawsuit.
What Help Can You Get from a Personal Injury Lawyer in NYC?
When you consult with an experienced New York personal injury attorney, they can help you in the following ways:
- They explain the rights you enjoy under the law and the type of actions that are open to you to recover compensation for your claim
- They can investigate your case independently and identify which all parties are at fault for your injury
- They help you collect evidence that can be used to prove the fault of the other party
- They guide you about what actions to avoid so that you do not hurt your own claim
- They calculate the accurate value of your injury claim and help you file for maximum compensation
- They work to document the damages you sustained and file your claims
- They can advise you on how to avoid being duped by the tactics used by insurance companies in bad faith
- They help you negotiate with health insurance providers and medical professionals to lower medical liens.
- They hire medical and financial experts to give testimony in your favor
- They negotiate with the insurance company to make sure you get a fair settlement
- They can help you file a personal injury lawsuit if necessary to get the justice you deserve
When Can You Handle a New York Personal Injury Claim on Your Own?
Not all types of injuries require you to hire a lawyer to manage your personal injury claim. If the injuries you suffered were very minor and you healed on your own after a day or two, you are not likely to require a lawyer to represent your case.
Accidents in which you have not suffered an injury but you only need to have your car fixed do not call for a personal injury lawyer either. All you need to do is to communicate the accident details to your insurance provider and take things ahead to recover damages.
If you have suffered minor injuries due to the obvious fault of the other driver, you can file a personal injury claim with their insurer and handle the proceedings yourself.
When you have to decide whether to hire a New York City personal injury attorney or not, think of whether their expertise is really required to deal with the case. This is important because the attorney’s fees will also come out of the damages awarded to you and you need to do the math to figure out how much benefit you will be left with at the end of the proceedings.
When Do You Really Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?
Every accident is unique and therefore, you need to consider the specifics of your case to decide if you would be better off by retaining a personal injury lawyer. Here are a few situations in which it is best to engage an accomplished attorney to handle your New York personal injury claim:
If the other side has legal representation
When you file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver at fault for your accident, their insurance company will do the best they can to reduce the amount awarded in damages. For this, they will have the best attorneys to represent and fight their case and when you are up against such expertise, it is not advisable to try and handle the case on your own. Having a skilled NY personal injury lawyer on your side will send across the message that you are serious about even going to court if necessary, and this can definitely influence how reasonable the other side is in dealing with your case.
If your injuries turn out to be more serious than you initially anticipated
When it comes to accident injuries, you may initially find that your injury is not serious. When all you suffered is minor bruises and scrapes and a little pain, you may not think it worthwhile to engage a lawyer especially if the offer from the other driver’s insurance company appears to be quite reasonable.
However, you must consider the possibility of a minor injury later changing into something more serious. Once you accept an offer and sign a release signaling your acceptance, there is no possibility of re-opening the claim at a later date when you realize that your injuries are more deep-seated than you initially believed.
That is why all capable lawyers usually advise that accident victims wait for a few weeks to understand the full extent of their injuries before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company.
If your injuries come under the category of ‘serious injury’ under New York law
Under New York law, the following conditions are termed as a “serious injury”:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss inability to use a body function, organ or system
- A significant limitation inability to use a body system or function
- A non-permanent impairment that prevents you from performing your daily activity for not less than 90 days during the 180 days soon after your initial injury
If you or a loved one has suffered a grievous injury that falls under any of these categories, you undoubtedly need to engage a competent personal injury lawyer in New York. This will ensure that you get the entire spectrum of damages to which you are entitled. Being experts in negotiation with insurance adjusters, a claim being represented by a lawyer will be taken more seriously than one being handled by the injured person themselves.
If your accident is quite complex
Not all accidents are simple and there could be difficulty in determining who was at fault for the crash. If there is the tiniest possibility that you could be blamed for the accident, it is crucial to get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer at once. Accidents that involve multiple parties, or those in which a government body is involved can also be quite complex and you must seek legal representation to ensure that your rights are protected. You may also be better off with a lawyer on your side if the other side does not have insurance or if their insurance company refuses to pay up.
What is the Role of Insurance Companies in a NY Personal Injury Case?
Buying insurance is one thing, and putting your insurance to good use is quite another. Often, accident victims believe that the fact that they have insurance coverage or that the other driver does is enough to recover damages. It’s fundamental to understand that by their very nature, the objective of the claimant and that of the insurance company are totally opposed to each other.
As the injured victim, your intention is to recover maximum compensation while that of the insurance company is to do all they can to enhance their profit by paying you the minimum possible amount. In order to achieve their objective, insurance providers are known to use tactics that serve to discredit or challenge the claims of the injury victim.
When you engage a seasoned personal injury lawyer in NYC, the insurance company realizes that they cannot get away with such strategies and this immediately makes them more reason to negotiate a fair settlement in your favor. In fact, a study by the Insurance Research Council shows that settlements are close to 3.5 times greater when accident victims hire a personal injury attorney as compared to those who decide to handle the case on their own.
Act Now to Protect Your Legal Rights
As per the New York statute of limitations, you get three years from the day when you were first injured to claim compensation for the losses you suffered. Investigating an accident and determining who was at fault and the entire process of getting the necessary paperwork completed and negotiating with an insurance company all takes a lot of time.
Before you realize it, the three years deadline may be up. So it is important that once you have got the required medical treatment and begun the recovery process, you must not wait for very long to have a case evaluation from a trusted personal injury lawyer.
Our seasoned and dedicated attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP offer free case reviews and if you want us to handle your case, you only need to pay our fees after we have succeeded in recovering compensation for you. To find out how we can help you get the damages you deserve, get in touch with us at the earliest at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential case evaluation.