The Ten Most Important Tips If Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident
1. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and injured, call the police and an ambulance. If you have no documentation that an accident occurred and you suffered an injury immediately afterwards, it will be more difficult to prove a personal injury case. If the driver left the scene of the accident, you should call the police from the scene and obtain a police report to document the accident occurred.
2. Photographs are the best evidence for all types of accidents, and this is also true for auto accidents. You should ask someone at the scene to take photos for you and send to you, or if able, do so yourself. Photographs should be taken of all the vehicles involved, the damage to the vehicles, the license plates, and the position of the vehicles within the roadway.
3. Witnesses are the next best evidence to an accident. Try to obtain the names and contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident before they leave the scene. Ask them if they would be willing to also speak to the police officer about what they observed.
4. If you are still in pain after the accident, follow up immediately with a medical doctor. If you are not treating with a doctor or you wait too long to treat, the presumption is that you are not injured.
5. To get your medical bills paid for the treatment you receive related to an auto accident, you must file a No-Fault application within thirty (30) days of the accident with the correct auto insurance company. If you do not timely file the No-Fault application, you may lose all your rights to this health coverage. Your primary health insurance for a motor vehicle accident will be No-Fault insurance through the auto insurance policy, not your private health insurance company.
6. One exception however is if you were working at the time of the motor vehicle accident. In that case, Workers Compensation will be the primary health insurer and you should notify your employer and the Workers Compensation carrier within 30 days of the accident. However, a No-Fault application should also be filed within 30 days of the accident.
7. If any of the negligent drivers are employed by a municipality, that municipality must be served with a Notice of Claim within ninety (90) days of the accident before a lawsuit can be commenced. If the Notice of Claim is not timely filed upon the correct entity and with the proper information, you may lose your right to commence a lawsuit against that driver and municipality.
8. The Statute of Limitations is the law that determines when a lawsuit must be commenced and depends upon the type of action being asserted. In New York, a negligence action is typically commenced for a motor vehicle accident case. The time to commence a personal injury negligence action in a motor vehicle accident case in New York State is three (3) years from the date of the accident. Sometimes, a product liability action is asserted as well depending on whether the car was defective and this resulted in the accident. If a motor vehicle lawsuit is not commenced within three years, you will be prevented from commencing a lawsuit. Although there are some exceptions, the general rule is three years to commence the litigation.
9. Except for your doctors and immediate family, do not speak or give any statements to anyone about the accident, and especially an insurance company, until you have hired a lawyer. Insurance companies are not on your side and are more concerned about saving money, not paying out monies. Any statements you give can be later used against your interests.
10. Call and retain an experienced personal injury firm. In recent years, there are increasing numbers of lawyers who are practicing personal injury and many of these lawyers have little or no experience in personal injury law. Many inexperienced lawyers use large advertising campaigns to obtain clients. These inexperienced lawyers then refer the clients to other personal injury firms to take a percentage of the recovery without doing any work on the case. Many of these advertising lawyers claim multi-million dollar victories that are in fact won by other law firms, not themselves. At Brand Brand Nomberg & Rosenbaum (BBNR), every lawyer is a trial attorney with over 20 years experience in court, and we litigate our own cases. Our website lists many of our notable winning verdicts, settlements, appeals, and motions, with numerous testimonials by our clients. If you were injured in an accident, call Brand Brand Nomberg & Rosenbaum at 212-808-0448. Visit our website at www.bbnrlaw.com and like us on facebook. All consultations are free and there is no attorney fee unless we win the case.