How Soon Should I Contact an Attorney After a Car Accident?
There’s always a lot to do in the aftermath of a serious car accident. Although your top priority should be your health, it’s not always easy to keep up with doctor’s visits and other obligations when you’re dealing with severe injuries.
With so much on your plate, it can be tempting to put off your consultation with a personal injury attorney. And since New York is a “no-fault” state, injured parties often assume there’s no point in seeking legal counsel because even if another person was responsible for the accident, victims can usually turn to their own insurance provider for compensation.
However, insurance companies have just as much incentive to deny first-party claims as they do third-party claims. Also, there are scenarios in which a car accident victim can bypass the state’s no-fault laws and sue the liable party for damages. This may be the case if you incurred more than $50,000 in economic damages or sustained a “serious injury.”
New York law defines a serious injury as one that results in:
- Significant disfigurement;
- Loss of a fetus;
- Loss of use of an organ or system;
- Limitation of use of an organ or system;
- Disability for at least 90 days; or
Whether or not you have the right to sue the at-fault driver, you should consult an attorney to determine the most strategic way to proceed with your claim. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can make sure all insurance companies involved—including your own—treat you fairly. Your attorney can also calculate your damages so you don’t wind up accepting a low settlement.
To discuss your case in a free consultation, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. Call 212-421-0300 to speak with one of the top car accident attorneys in New York City.
Let’s explore a few reasons to consult a lawyer immediately following a collision:
- The Insurance Adjuster May Try to Manipulate You
Insurance adjusters often use devious tactics to get claimants to make compromising statements that jeopardize their cases. If you hire an attorney right away, though, you can avoid having to talk to the insurance adjuster at all because your lawyer will handle this correspondence on your behalf.
- Critical Evidence May Be Time-Sensitive
In many car accident claims, some of the most important evidence will not be available indefinitely. Examples include dash cam footage, surveillance recordings, and black box data. Additionally, eyewitness testimony becomes less reliable as time passes. By seeking counsel right away, your legal team may be able to gather time-sensitive evidence while it is still available.
- You Have a Limited Amount of Time to File a Lawsuit
In the state of New York, car accident victims who are unable to secure a settlement from the liable party’s insurer have a limited amount of time in which to file a formal lawsuit. The statute of limitations is typically three years; however, there are several exceptions to this deadline, so it is wise to seek legal counsel immediately. If you want to name a government entity in your claim, for example, you have just 90 days to commence the proceedings.
Call 212-421-0300 to Speak with a Car Accident Attorney in New York City
If you want to file a car accident claim in New York, turn to The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. Our legal team has recovered more than $100 million for clients in successful settlements and verdicts. Call 212-421-0300 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer in New York City.