WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR AN ACCIDENT

 One of the main reasons why you should hire an attorney after you have been involved in a motor-vehicle accident, is there are many different but tedious steps and procedures involved to ensure you receive the compensation and benefits you are entitled to.

The first step to make sure you don’t miss out on any benefits or compensation is to hire an attorney. Hiring someone who has prior experience handling Personal-Injury cases increase your chances of receiving everything you are eligible for after being involved in a Personal Injury incident. A lot of people ask, “How do I know If I need an attorney?” the short answer is it is always going to be a safe option to hire an attorney.

When someone gets involved in a motor vehicle accident there are different injuries sustained in an accident, “soft tissue” or something more medically severe. Whether it is a motor vehicle accident that has “soft tissue” injuries such as muscle strains, sprains to muscles or tendons, smaller degree burns, cuts, bruising, whip-lash, or other financially smaller medical and therapy bills, as opposed to more significant injuries such as breaks, fractures, higher degree burns, stitches, head or body trauma, which leads to substantially higher medical bills and treatment. If you choose to represent yourself for more significant injuries you run the risk of settling your case for an amount that is considerably less than what an attorney could have helped you receive. Furthermore, when individuals talk to insurance companies, the adjuster will be trying to get facts that are helpful to the insurance company or the defendant. The goal for the insurance companies is not necessarily to help you receive compensation for the injuries you sustained due to someone else’s negligence, their goal is to get you to accept the smallest offer they can give to you to settle your case out. Insurance companies don’t have your best interest in mind like an attorney would if you hired one.

If you choose to represent yourself for “soft tissue” injuries, you can discuss your claim with the insurance company, however, you still run the same risk of settling your case out for an amount substantially less than what an attorney could have gotten you. The reason being is an experienced attorney knows how to discuss and negotiate with the insurance company much better than someone with no experience. The insurance companies know that without an attorney the adjuster can give you a final offer and that is it. You can’t leverage with them further after that, it’s the end of negotiations, and you can either take the offer or reject it. However, if you reject it, you get nothing. These scenarios apply to more significant injuries as well, and in that case you can run into the same problem but with a lot less money for a lot worse injuries. That is why it is so important to hire an experienced attorney that can help you receive your entitled compensation.

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There are also many different forms that need to be filled out in order to receive all the benefits given for No-Fault. Some of these forms include No Fault Insurance Benefits Application, Notice and Proof of Claim for Disability Benefits, Mileage and more. Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” covers medical costs, economic losses, and death benefits, if you fail to fill out these forms then you run the risks of not receiving said benefits. The New York State No-Fault Application can be downloaded from the New York State Department of Financial Service’s website. It is very important that the No-Fault claim gets sent to the right insurance company, if it gets sent to the wrong one it will be denied.  Furthermore, if you were the passenger in a car that was involved in a motor vehicle accident, just like if you were driving it needs to be filed to the insurance company of the car you were in. You may also file a claim with the other driver’s insurance if they were at fault in order to pay for the medical bills and lost wages that exceed PIP’s $50,000. However, if you were the driver or passenger of a motorcycle and you were to get involved in a motor vehicle accident, No-Fault does not apply and you will have to receive treatment through your private health insurance. These different forms can be confusing and hard to understand, it would be beneficial to hire an attorney to take care of all the forms involved in No-Fault so you don’t end up missing out on the compensation that you are entitled to.

There are some instances however, where an attorney really isn’t needed. Such as, when someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident where there are no injuries and strictly property damage. It wouldn’t be worthwhile to pursue a personal injury claim if you are not claiming injuries, just damage to your car. However, it’s important to be very careful about deciding on if you believe you don’t have any injuries at all. While at the time you may feel okay with no injuries, these can develop into more serious injuries. Consequently, it’s important to keep an eye on your injuries so it doesn’t turn out to be an issue later down the road. Getting cleared from a doctor would be helpful to ensure your injuries won’t develop into something more serious.

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Further info:

New York State Serious Injury Threshold

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