Question

What Do I Do If I Am Seriously Injured In A New York Car Accident?

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Thomas J. McManus - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Thomas J. McManus

Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C.
New York, NY
Phone: 212-732-9000
Fax: 212-266-4141

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Answer

The initial moments after a car accident are chaotic, and getting an injury in such an extreme circumstance only clouds your judgement. There will be time for consideration and thought later, your first action when you are hurt is to get medical attention as soon as possible.

The Medical And Legal Importance Of Treatment

Getting treatment, aside from being the first step to recovery, is also a legal consideration. This is not the time to minimize your pain. Many decisions will be based on your initial treatment, so if there is a complaint later about an injury you never reported, it may complicate your treatment and compensation. You should be open and honest with your doctors about the full extent of your injuries.

Seeking Legal Guidance

After your initial treatment has ended, it may be necessary to contact a lawyer. This step is for your protection, because while it may seem like everything is going well in your treatment, it is possible you are being taken advantage of in some way. Your lawyer should have a complete understanding of your rights and they will know what to do after your accident to put you in the best position.

Typically, your attorney will start by gathering information such as:

  • Your personal experience of the accident
  • Taking video of the scene as soon as possible
  • Looking for any available surveillance footage
  • Contacting and interviewing witnesses
  • Taking photographs of vehicles before repairs begin

Additionally, your lawyer will provide important guidance to you during the claim filing process. This is important because New York has a no-fault car accident collision law. This means that when you are in an accident you must file your claim first with your insurer. There is a time limit of 30 days to complete the no-fault filing, so it is necessary to move quickly when you are able.

In certain circumstances that meet New York’s threshold laws, you may file a lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company. These circumstances include severe injuries such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Loss of the use of an organ or limb
  • Limited use of your body
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement

Furthermore, if these threshold-meeting injuries are the result of an accident with an uninsured motorist, you will have to notify your insurance of your intentions.

Take Care Of Yourself. Get The Help You Need.

The best thing anyone can do when suffering from serious injuries after an accident is to get help. It is not a weakness to recognize the limits of your knowledge. It is simply the first step in getting better.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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