The Bronx is one of the busiest boroughs in the City, and thus a very common place for car accidents to occur.
What do I do if I’ve been injured in a car accident?
- Call 911.
- Go by ambulance to a hospital if necessary.
- Tell all medical providers – doctors, physical therapists, hospital staff – that you were injured in a car accident and the treatment will be paid for by no fault. (Do not attempt to use your health insurance to pay for treatment from a car accident. See below)
- Take pictures of everything: the damage to your car, the damage to any other cars that were involved in the accident, your injuries if they are visible.
- Get the names of all drivers and witnesses involved.
- Do NOT speak to an insurance company adjuster even if it’s your own insurance company.
Why can’t I speak to my own insurance company?
Because your own insurance company might end up becoming your enemy. Let’s say you are severely injured by an at fault driver who has only $25,000 of insurance. Maybe your injuries are worth much more. If you own a car, you may have underinsured motorist coverage which could come into play. Underinsured motorist coverage pays you for injuries when an at fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance.
Let’s say you have an underinsured motorist limit of $100,000. This means that in theory, you could make a claim against your own policy for the difference between $100,000 and $25,000. In other words, your own insurance company might end up owing you $75,000.
With such large sums of money at stake, rest assured your insurance company will not be reaching for the check book. They’ll do everything they can to avoid paying you. One way is to make it seem like the accident was your own fault. They can try to accomplish this by secretly recording your statement, and tricking you into saying things that actually hurt your case. In New York, it is legal for one person to record a conversation without telling the other person.
What do I do if my insurance company threatens to withhold payments of medical bills or property damage if I don’t cooperate?
Call an experienced Bronx accident lawyer. Only a lawyer can advise you on when to speak to an insurance company and what to say. There are times when it is necessary to speak with an insurance company, but you should never do so without consulting a lawyer first.
What can a lawyer do to help me after a car accident?
The aggressive yet compassionate lawyers at Haicken Law will help you get your life back on track. We have been through this before. We know a serious car accident can derail your life. We can:
- Timely send your application for no fault benefits (medical insurance for car accidents) to the correct insurance company
- Get you in touch with medical providers who accept no fault insurance
- Quickly obtain a copy of the police report and start investigating the accident.
- Interview witnesses and determine out how much insurance is available
- Start building your case for trial
Why can’t I use my health insurance to pay for medical treatment from this accident?
Every health insurance policy in New York has an exclusion for any treatment related to injuries caused by the “use or operation” of a motor vehicle. If you ask that your bills be submitted to a health insurance company, they will be rejected. The health insurance company has people who comb through the records looking for anything related to a car accident. Once they determine that a car accident caused your injuries, they will (correctly) deny all of your bills. You’ll be stuck with them. The best thing to do is make sure that all of your doctors send the bills to the proper car insurance company to be paid via No Fault insurance.
It is important to speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
If I was partly responsible, can I still get money?
Yes. New York is a comparative fault state. That means you can get money for your injuries, but the amount you get will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the jury awards you $100,000, but finds you 25% responsible, your award will be reduced by $25,000 and you will walk away with only $75,000.
What can I get after an accident?
We have experience fighting like hell to get you as much as possible. We aggressively pursue all potential defendants. We will fight to get you compensated for:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Disfigurement from scars (from surgery or lacerations sustained in the accident)
- Mental anguish
- Damage to your bicycle and other property (A laptop in your backpack, your iPhone)
Is there a deadline?
Yes, there are several. The application for no fault benefits must be filed within 30 days of the date of accident. This is to ensure all your medical bills get paid.
The time to file a lawsuit is 3 years. If a government entity or authority (Port Authority, Transit Authority) is involved, a notice of claim must be filed within 90 days, followed by a lawsuit within a year and 90 days of the accident.
Is there a fee to call a lawyer?
No, we get paid by the insurance company. You never have to pay us. When the case settles, we get one third of the settlement. For example, if the case settles for $90,000, we get $30,000. You do not pay us by the hour. If we were to lose your case, you would owe us nothing.
In order to ensure that your rights and benefits are protected, it is best to call our office as soon as possible.