Q. How do I choose a car accident attorney?
A. To select a car accident, you must consider the lawyer 's trial experience, results on similar cases. It is important to select an attorney who has experience and wins most of his cases. The best lawyer is the one that you feel comfortable and confident working with on your case.
Q. What steps should I take after an accident?
A. Immediately following a car accident, call the police or 911. Exchange car accident information with the other driver and obtain a police report as soon as possible. You must file a no-fault claim with your insurance company within 90 days following the accident, for payment of your medical expenses. If possible, take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle to show points of impact. If your case is against a municipality ie The City of NY, or the NYC Transit Authority (if your accident is with a NYCTA bus), then you must file a notice of claim with MABSTOA and or the New York City Transit Authority within 90 days and commence a lawsuit against them within 1 year and 90 days following the accident. In 2 vehicle accidents with privately owned vehicles or an accident when you are a pedestrian crossing the street and struck by a vehicle, the statute of limitations in New York is 3 years following the accident, unless the pedestrian is an infant, then it is extended to 3 years following the infant's 18 birthday. In a wrongful death case, your administrator of the estate must bring the action within 2 years from the date of death for the wrongful death claim.
Q. When and Why do I need an experienced accident lawyer following an accident?
A. You should hire an experienced attorney after an accident. The attorney can file or assist in filing your No-Fault claim (with your insurance company) so your medical bills can be paid. Also, he or his team of investigators can conduct an investigation of the scene and review of the police report for admissions, and witnesses' statements.
Q. What type of injuries of the injured party does the law require to obtain a monetary award?
A. In New York you must sustain a serious injury in order to recover money. That includes either 1) a fracture, 2) death of a fetus, 3) a significant limitation of use of a body function or system or permanent consequential limitation of use of a body a medically determined injury of a non-permanent nature that prevents the injured party from performing his or her usual activities for at least 90 out of the first 180 days following the accident. Your attorney will be able to evaluate your medical reports and injuries to see if you qualify for the " serious injury threshold " He or she can then negotiate the case for settlement after finding out the liability limits of the offending car and determining if you had any comparative fault for the accident.
Q. Can I settle my case without hiring a personal injury lawyer?
To negotiate a car accident settlement without a lawyer, you'll have to prove that the other party was to blame for your damages and negotiate with a claims adjuster from the insurance company of the offending car. You can put together a package of evidence at the scene to support your claim, including witness statements and photos. Seek medical treatment for your injuries immediately. Retain and exchange receipts for out-of-pocket accident-related costs, and proof of lost income due to the accident before beginning negotiations. However, most claims adjusters will give you low numbers of offers since you are not an experienced attorney. Also, you need to obtain the policy limits of the offending car in writing.
For further information contact Ed Lemmo Esq. of Lemmo Law. I have recovered millions of dollars for injured victims in car accidents and have tried hundreds of cases to verdict or settlement.