Why Should You Hire a New York City Car Accident Lawyer?

by Jay Scott Knispel on Oct. 26, 2022

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: You may wonder whether you need to hire a New York City car accident lawyer after your collision. Unless you fully understand your legal rights and how to handle a claim, an attorney can help you in many ways. They’ll investigate the accident, use their knowledge of the law to your advantage, and negotiate a settlement representing the fair value of your damages. Learn more here.

After a traffic accident, you might wonder whether you need to hire a New York City car accident lawyer. Filing an insurance claim and handling it on your own can be challenging. Unless you understand your legal rights and how to settle a car accident claim, you could receive much less money than your claim is worth.


Before you decide to go forward on your own, consider these reasons why you should hire a New York City car accident lawyer:


Investigating the Car Accident


New York personal injury laws require you to prove the legal elements of negligence to recover compensation for a car accident claim. 


You have the burden of proving:


  • The other driver owed you a duty of care

  • The driver breached the duty of care through their actions or inactions

  • The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries

  • You sustained damages because the other driver breached the duty of care


A lawyer has the resources, skills, and experience to investigate the cause of a car crash. They understand the evidence required to prove the elements of a negligence claim. Furthermore, a lawyer can hire accident reconstructionists, investigators, and other experts to assist with the accident investigation, if necessary.


Knowledge of Personal Injury Laws and Insurance Laws


It might be tempting to handle your car accident claim with the insurance company directly. However, it is impossible to protect your rights if you do not understand the law governing them.


In an ideal world, you could file an insurance claim and receive a fair settlement for your damages. However, the insurance company will likely use your lack of knowledge regarding personal injury law, damages, and insurance policies to undervalue your injury claim.


A Thorough Understanding of Damages 


Economic damages are financial losses incurred due to a car accident. They include medical bills and lost wages. 


However, they also include out-of-pocket expenses, paying someone to perform household chores, and the cost of nursing care. Many people may not know they can include these expenses and costs in a car accident claim.


Furthermore, you could be entitled to compensation for your “pain and suffering” and other non-economic damages. You may receive money for your emotional distress and physical pain. You could also receive compensation for permanent impairments and loss of enjoyment of life.


If you sustain a permanent disability, you could receive future damages. For example, you might receive compensation for ongoing care, medical treatment, and diminished earning capacity. 


The insurance adjuster will undervalue your damages. Hiring a car accident lawyer means you have someone looking out for your best interests who understands what damages you are entitled to and how to correctly calculate the value of those damages. 


Fighting Allegations of Contributory Negligence


A standard tactic insurance companies use to undervalue car accident claims is shifting some of the blame for the cause of the car wreck to the victim. Under New York’s pure comparative negligence law, your compensation can be reduced by your percentage of fault for causing the car crash.


Lawyers are familiar with this tactic and understand how to fight back to prove that the other driver was entirely responsible for causing the crash. An attorney can protect you from unsubstantiated allegations of blame for a car crash. 


Generally, it is best not to discuss a car accident with an insurance adjuster without first consulting a personal injury lawyer. Claims adjusters often try to get victims to say something that could be used to blame them for causing the car accident.


Negotiating a Fair Car Accident Settlement


Your lawyer will identify available insurance coverage and file insurance claims for you. They’ll handle all matters related to the insurance claim, including monitoring the progress of the claim, responding to the insurance company, and negotiating a fair car accident settlement.


Because the insurance company knows that car accident lawyers understand the law and damages, it may be more willing to negotiate a fair settlement. Hiring a lawyer could expedite the process so that you receive your money sooner than if you dealt with the insurance company alone.


Filing a Lawsuit and Representing You in Court


Many car accident cases settle without the need to file a lawsuit. However, you cannot be sure whether your case will go to court. The New York statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing car accident lawsuits. 


Therefore, it is best to talk to a New York City car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a traffic accident. If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit, you lose your right to pursue a claim against the driver who caused your accident. 

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