An Attorney’s Guide to Handling New York Personal Injury Cases

In some areas of life, a do-it-yourself approach is admirable. In other matters, such as a personal injury claim, trying to represent yourself may turn out to compromise your legal rights and keep you from receiving the compensation that you deserve. That’s why you need the services of an experienced New York personal injury attorney if you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident.

When an injury occurs, you’ve already got enough on your mind.  Insurance company attorneys may be asking you to sign papers. The police may look to question you about the circumstances of the accident. It’s vital that you have a New York personal injury attorney standing beside you during this difficult time

The Process of a Personal Injury Case

If you’re involved in an accident, remember the following:

  • Collect the names of others involved, contact information of witnesses and any documentation such as photos. If a motor vehicle was involved, get the plate number and insurance information, if you are able.
  • Write down all the details of the accident while your memory is fresh.
  • Keep records of initial medical costs, doctor bills and lost pay at work.
  • Advise your insurance company that you have been in an accident.
  • You do not have to speak to an insurance adjuster or investigator for the party who caused your injury.  You should retain a lawyer to represent you and let your lawyer handle these communications.

Be aware there are time limits and vital deadlines that must be met in filing a claim for personal injury. In some circumstances deadlines can be as short as 30 or 90 days. If you fail to act within those limits, you may well forfeit your rights to any compensation. You’ll need the services of a New York personal injury attorney to advise you on these limitations and ensure that all necessary papers are filed on time.

How a New York Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

When it’s time to meet with a New York personal injury lawyer, he or she will have a number of questions for you. First and foremost, your attorney will want to know your current medical state and whether the treatment you are receiving is adequate. In addition, the following issues will be brought up:

  • The attorney will ask you to provide all of the information necessary to obtain accident reports, witness statements, photographs and anything else necessary to evaluate and prepare your case.
  • The attorney will ask you to sign an authorization so he or she can access the medical records related to your accident.
  • The attorney will inquire about your own insurance coverage and will want to know if you’ve been contacted by representatives of the other party’s insurance company, or anyone else, and about any comments you might have made to them about the accident
  • The attorney will tell you about the firm and it’s experience with the type of case you have, explain the process of bringing a claim and lawsuit, and answer any questions you have.

Once a New York personal injury attorney decides to take your case, you will be asked to sign a retainer contract. The attorney can discuss with you the likely time frame of your case and explain the stages of a typical case.

Settling Your Personal Injury Claim

In many cases, personal injury claims are resolved by a settlement before a trial. This usually involves an offer from the defendant’s attorney or insurance company. A skilled, experienced attorney like one from the offices of Carro, Carro & Mitchell, LLP will offer important advice about whether the settlement offer is fair, taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Often there are many steps to settlement negotiations, and the defendants will only make their best offer if they know your lawyer has a successful trial record.  Many law firms imply that they are experienced trial lawyers, but if they are unable to settle your case, they send it to a firm with proven results – called trial counsel.  Many lawyers use Carro, Carro & Mitchell as their “trial counsel” for their biggest cases.  Before you chose a law firm, be sure they try their own cases, and have a record of obtaining successful verdicts.  You can see some of the results we have obtained on the Verdicts and Settlement page on this website.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact us now at (212) 213-5005 for a free consultation.

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