You are in your car, on your way to work or to pick up your children and suddenly, without warning, you are struck by another vehicle. Most of the time, this involves a disruption in their life for a short period of time and involves property damage only. However, in a small percentage of cases, someone involved in a car accident is injured, sometimes very seriously. In such instances it is important to know your rights and responsibilities.
Compensation for auto accident cases
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced earnings due to long-term injuries
First and foremost, it is very important to exchange with the other driver information, addresses and insurance companies. If this is not possible due to your injuries, most often this information will be obtained by the investigating police officer. Make sure, as soon as possible, to report the accident to your insurance provider. If this is not done, insurance coverage for benefits may be denied.
In New York there are mandatory No-Fault insurance benefits which entitle you to receive (depending on your policy) up to $125,000 of medical care for medical treatment rendered as related to injuries suffered in this particular accident and lost wages. It is important after the accident, to contact your insurance company and obtain a No-Fault application form. You and your doctor must fill it out in some detail and return it to your insurance carrier promptly. Like any legal claim, there is a statute of limitations which applies to motor vehicle accidents. You have three (3) years from the date of accident in which to bring a legal claim. If you do not bring a legal claim within that time period you will be barred from bringing a lawsuit against the defendant driver.
What to do after a car accident
- Contact the local police authorities and file an auto collision report. By filing this report, you are able to document the facts quickly after the accident to avoid error and help ascertain the party at fault.
- Receive proper medical care for any injured persons. Call an ambulance if necessary or visit an emergency care facility as soon as you leave the scene of the accident. It is important to note, some injuries may not be immediately apparent – for this reason, it is crucial to be examined by a doctor.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident until you have gathered all of the necessary contact information from all people involved such as names, phone numbers, addresses and the insurance information. In addition, gather the names and contact information for any witnesses.
- Do not discuss the accident or your injuries to anyone other than the police, your doctor or your lawyer. Giving statements to insurance representatives without speaking to your auto accident lawyer first can damage your legal case.