New York Auto Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Auto accidents are both traumatic and confusing. At Goldberg Sager & Associates in Brooklyn, we empower our clients with the knowledge and representation they need to obtain a fair recovery. Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients concerning auto accidents are these:
What should I do to protect myself legally if I’m in a car accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident, your first priority should be to seek medical attention. This will not only aid your physical recovery but help form the legal basis for any claim you wish to file. If you can do so at the accident scene, you should take down contact and insurance information for the other driver, get the names and phone numbers of any police officers present, and use your cell phone to photograph the scene.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
For most injury or property claims arising out of an auto accident, you have three years from the date of the accident to file or risk losing your right to sue.
How can I know if I have a recoverable claim?
We will explain the legal elements necessary for you to succeed with an accident claim. Even if you bear some responsibility for the accident, you still can recover under New York’s comparative fault rule. Our firm will apply the facts in your case to the legal standards and discuss the settlements and verdicts we’ve seen in similar cases.
What are the advantages to settling before a trial?
Each case must be evaluated on its own merits, taking into account numerous factors. Even in the most meritorious cases, going to trial presents some risk. We help our clients calculate the potential added compensation over the defendant’s settlement offer and measure that against their chances in court. We also factor in the time, effort and stress associated with a trial when making our recommendation.
How do insurers determine a settlement amount?
Insurers will often try to exploit your fear of going to trial or leverage the financial pressure you face, hoping to force you to accept a substandard recovery quickly rather than wait for full compensation. We submit an appropriate settlement demand based on your injuries, recoveries in similar cases and any other relevant facts.
What damages can I recover for my car accident?
Types of damages that may be recoverable include reasonable medical expenses, loss of income and other economic damages, disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life.
Can I recover even if the liable party has no insurance?
Yes, but it might be difficult to collect from that party if they have no other assets. However, you can make a claim under your own uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
Who is responsible for any medical bills and lost wages?
Your own no-fault insurance carrier is responsible for paying any medical expenses and lost wages you suffered, subject to certain limits. If you suffered a serious injury, as defined by New York law, you can also bring a claim against the negligent driver.
What is no-fault coverage?
No-fault insurance is a system used by New York that requires your own insurance policy to pay your damages, unless you suffered a serious injury. If you did, you may sue the negligent driver.