Don’t you just hate it when you see those tacky TV ads about accident lawyers? How about that obnoxious billboard you just passed on the highway showing a crashed car and someone being taken away by ambulance? Or what about those endless yellow page ads where they show a car driving off a cliff, and someone smiling in the foreground holding a nice big fat check with lots of numbers on it? It all makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?
Not. It makes me sick. Don’t get me wrong. Every lawyer in New York is permitted to advertise according to the Court rules (which were recently made stricter at the beginning of this year). However, there is something to be said for tasteful ads, and ads that are trying to sell you something.
When you’re in a car accident, the last thing you think about is finding a lawyer to sue the driver of the car that caused your accident. The first thing on your mind should be how to get better. You need to recuperate, regenerate and get your strength back. You need to worry about the important things in your life like putting food on your family’s table, and going back to work.
Well how can you go back to work if you’re still in the hospital after weeks of surgery and rehabilitation? Can you go on disability? Who will pay your medical bills? What if you don’t have medical insurance? How can you feed and clothe your family if you can’t work? These are all very important questions that often arise after a car accident.
In New York, your own car insurance will pay your medical bills- up to a maximum of $50,000. This is known as no-fault insurance. Once the details of the accident are resolved, to figure out who really caused the accident, the insurance companies settle up on their own regarding the medical expenses they had to pay.
But what about that often-heard phrase, “Pain & Suffering”? Aren’t you entitled to that as well? The answer is yes. However, in order to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering you will probably need to start a lawsuit against the owner(s) and driver(s) involved in your car accident.
How much time do you have to start a lawsuit for your injuries arising from a car accident?
In New York, you generally have only THREE (3) years from the date of the accident within which to start a lawsuit for your injuries. HOWEVER, YOU HAVE ONLY 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE ACCIDENT TO FILE A CLAIM WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY TO GET THEM TO PAY FOR YOUR MEDICAL EXPENSES!
A car accident is traumatic- no question about it. Your road to recovery is the most important part of events after the accident. Whether you have a valid and meritorious case hinges on many facts that only an attorney should be evaluating. Don’t rely on good-hearted friends and family to tell you their tales of woe when they were involved in an accident years ago. You need an experienced attorney who has handled cases like yours.
You need someone who has experience in Court and isn’t afraid to go to trial if the insurance company refuses to settle for an appropriate amount of compensation. You need a lawyer who can guide you through the minefield of litigation. Hopefully, with good legal counsel you’ll be able to make the right choices that will help you recover both emotionally and monetarily.