If you were hurt in a car accident in New York, it's important to take certain steps in the aftermath to protect your legal rights. Building a strong case for compensation can be a complex and overwhelming process, and it's easy to make mistakes that can hurt your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
For help getting started, here are a few “dos and don’ts” to keep in mind:
Do Seek Medical Attention Right Away
It’s imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don't think your condition is serious, get checked out to ensure there are no underlying injuries that could worsen over time. Additionally, seeking medical attention will create a record of your injuries that can be used as evidence in your case.
Don’t Admit Fault or Accept Any Portion of the Blame
Be careful about what you say after a car accident. Avoid admitting fault or apologizing, as it could be used against you down the road. Stick to the facts, and refrain from making any statements that could be interpreted as admissions of guilt.
Do Collect Evidence
Compelling evidence is the foundation of every strong car accident claim. This usually includes photos of the accident scene, statements from eyewitnesses, and official police reports.
You should also preserve evidence of any damages you plan on including in your claim, like hospital bills, paystubs logging missed work, and receipts for essential replacement services.
Don’t Sign Anything Without Consulting an Attorney
Insurance companies or other parties involved in the case may try to get you to sign a waiver of rights or premature settlement agreement. It’s wise to review any such contracts with an attorney before signing them to ensure your best interests are being protected and you're not signing away your rights to future compensation.
Do Enlist Legal Help
Even if the opposing party doesn’t pressure you into signing anything, it’s still advisable to hire an attorney. Having a seasoned lawyer by your side will essentially level the playing field, so you have a greater chance of securing the compensation you deserve. Your legal team will investigate the accident, gather evidence, track damages, and negotiate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
Don’t Delay in Filing Your Claim
There’s a good chance that much of the evidence you’ll need to build your claim will be time-sensitive. As such, you’ll want to get your case underway as soon as possible.
It’s also worth noting that if you and the opposing party cannot settle, you’re going to have a limited amount of time to take them to court. Should you delay the proceedings and then attempt to file a suit after the statute of limitations has passed, the judge will inevitably dismiss your case.
Speak with a New York Car Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a wreck and you want to file a personal injury claim, you can count on the tenacious team at Leitner Varughese. We represent clients in New York City, Long Island, and throughout New York State. Call 855-585-2969 or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our New York car accident lawyers.