Car accidents occur every day in New York, Westchester and the Bronx. If you were injured in a car accident, you should learn your rights and avoid the common mistakes that the insurance companies hope you will make. It is important to consult with an attorney immediately. Call Tomkiel & Tomkiel for a free confidential consultation about your accident and possible insurance claim. It is important that someone injured in a car accident knows what to do, and more importantly what not to do:
- Understand the system. New York is a “No-Fault” state. This means that if you are injured in a car accident, regardless of fault, your own car insurance covers basic economic loss, including medical bills. Your health insurance does not cover medical bills for motor vehicle accidents where there is No-Fault coverage available. You must apply for No-Fault benefits within 30 days. If you delay, the insurance company may use lateness as a basis to deny your otherwise valid claim. Talk to an attorney at Tomkiel & Tomkiel for free and learn how to protect your claim.
- Get proper medical care immediately. The full effects of an injury may not be obvious at first. If you think you may be hurt, do not decline medical treatment. When a person declines medical care at the scene of an accident, that fact is recorded in the police report and often it will be used against them by the insurance company.
- Choose the right doctor or medical provider. Your family doctor might not accept No-Fault insurance. Many medical practices are not set up properly to deal with No-Fault billing and record keeping. The No-Fault carrier wants to cut off coverage as soon as possible and sometimes that will prevent the injured person from receiving the tests they need before their coverage is cut off. You need to treat with a doctor who understands this.
- Avoid speaking with the other diver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster for the negligent driver may call you. They may ask you to give a recorded statement, or they may simply record their conversation with you without informing you, which is legal in New York. Anything you say will be used against you. The questions they ask are geared towards minimizing their claim expenses. Sometimes they will intentionally misconstrue what you say.
Adjuster: How are you today Ms. Smith?
Mrs. Smith: I’m fine, unfortunately my arm was broken in the car accident.
Adjuster’s report: “Claimant states she is fine, no complaints of pain.”
- Don’t sign anything. Sometimes the insurance carrier will ask you to sign a document releasing them from liability for a small sum of money. People are often tricked into signing away their rights without realizing that by signing a release with the insurance company they are waiving their right to seek further compensation. Contact Tomkiel & Tomkiel for a free consultation about your car accident BEFORE you have any conversations with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
- Don’t wait. There are deadlines and procedures that must be followed in order to make a claim. There are some deadlines that cannot be extended, and you will lose your claim if you wait too long. Talk to a local accident lawyer at Tomkiel & Tomkiel before answering questions, making a statement, or accepting a settlement offer. You can call Tomkiel & Tomkiel for a free consultation to find out the best way to proceed.
Damages for a Car Accident in New York, Westchester & The Bronx
While the No-Fault carrier is responsible for covering your basic economic loss, the insurance company for the negligent party may be required to compensate you for those damages beyond no-fault benefits, including pain and suffering. However, insurance carriers are businesses. They do not make money by paying out claims, and they will not voluntarily pay where they have no legal obligation to do so. The injured person must show why the other driver was negligent: what rules of the road were broken and what sections of the vehicle and traffic laws were violated. This is something the lawyers at Tomkiel & Tomkiel have been doing for three generations.
Additionally, the injured person must show that the injuries are serious and were caused by the car accident. Even where the injured person winds up undergoing surgery for the injuries sustained in the collision, the insurance carriers will often try to argue that it was due to a pre-existing or degenerative condition rather than from the trauma of the car accident.
Tomkiel & Tomkiel Will Protect Your Car Accident Claim.
Tomkiel & Tomkiel will provide you with a free consultation about your car accident, and what you can do about it. Call now to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. During the free consultation, we will explain your rights and help you determine the best way to proceed based on your individual circumstances. Time to file a claim is limited, so take action today to help secure your future! If you are suffering from injuries and other negative effects of a car accident, call Tomkiel & Tomkiel, the car accident attorneys in New York, Westchester and the Bronx. We are here to help.
The “Eddie” Eyyad Almargi Pedestrian Awareness Scholarship
The attorneys at Tomkiel & Tomkiel are passionate about making a change to enhance pedestrian safety on the roads. By improving the relationship between vehicles on the road and pedestrians crossing the streets, we are hoping to minimize the number of accidents. This year, we are excited to announce The “Eddie” Eyyad Almargi Pedestrian Awareness Scholarship. This scholarship will reward one student with $1,000 for their essay describing safety precautions for pedestrians. Please visit our scholarship page for more information on how to apply.