Regardless of whether you suffered injuries in a car accident, or a slip & fall mishap, you may have the scope to file a personal injury lawsuit. Truth is auto insurance requirements and personal injury laws in New York are inherently complicated and confusing. NY is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that you have to file an insurance claim with your own insurer first, to get compensatory damages, using your PIP coverage. However, there are also circumstances, when you can hold the at-fault driver responsible for your injuries.
Your best bet would be talking to attorneys with experience, such as King Law in Rochester and Syracuse, to know your options. Also, you must avoid the mistakes listed below for filing a personal injury case in NY.
- Not gathering evidence. At the accident scene, if you believe that the other party was at fault, you have to gather evidence. To win a personal injury lawsuit, you have to prove that your injuries are a direct result of the accident, and also that the accident happened because of the other party’s fault.
- Accepting the first insurance offer. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. As such, they don’t want to maximize your settlement. After you file a personal injury lawsuit, whatever offer is being made by the insurance company, it is likely to be lesser than what you deserve. Wait for an attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
- Giving statements. If you really want to win a personal injury lawsuit, do not give statements to anyone. The claims adjuster may ask for your statement, promising a fair compensation, but in the real world, this could be used against you. Your talks should be limited to your attorney.
- Admitting fault. New York follows the rule comparative negligence rule. If you had your share of fault in an accident, your eventual compensation will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. Don’t admit or apologize anything after the accident, which can otherwise impact your settlement.
- Not calling a lawyer. Many people believe that they can manage on their own and don’t need a personal injury lawyer. While this may be true for some cases, there are benefits of having an attorney that cannot be denied. Call a lawyer because they can evaluate if you have a personal injury case in the first place and the amount you should seek in compensation.
Don’t delay in contacting an attorney in NY after your accident.