The first and most important thing to do after a car accident is to seek medical attention. Make sure you go to the hospital and/or doctor to get yourself checked out. The next step is to contact your insurance company and make a claim. Even though the car accident was not your fault, your medical bills will be paid by your car insurance.
Here is the way it works. Every driver in New York State is required to obtain car insurance in order to operate a motor vehicle. Included in the premiums that you pay for that insurance, is a portion entitled No Fault Insurance. No fault insurance is responsible for paying all of your medical bills and any prescriptions ordered for injuries incurred in the accident. No fault will also pay up to 80% of lost wages due to having to take time from work up to $2,000 per month. In addition to these benefits, no-fault will also pay for transportation to and from doctor’s visits so that the injured person can seek the medical attention they require; whether this transportation is for doctors, physical therapy, chiropractic, or diagnostic testing such as MRI’s or CAT Scans.
It is imperative that a person call their insurance company as soon as possible after the car accident. By law, you only have thirty (30) days after the date of the accident to file for No Fault Benefits. If a no-fault application is not filed within this thirty day window, the insurance company has the right to deny all benefits. Therefore this should be the very next thing you do after assessing your injuries and obtaining the appropriate medical attention.
Many times our clients come into our office and are shaken after their motor vehicle accidents and it can all seem very overwhelming. They are receiving a lot of mail from insurance companies, both their insurance company and the insurance company of the vehicle that hit them. Insurance companies have a tendency to try to obtain statements from the clients when they are really still in no condition to relate the facts of the accident. So, in order to protect the client, and their claim, we advise our clients not speak with any insurance company until they have retained legal counsel. Once they have retained legal counsel, the insurance company is no longer allowed to contact the individual directly and must go through their attorneys. Many times we will allow our clients to speak with their insurance company adjuster with respect to no-fault benefits only, after their no fault application has been filed.
A motor vehicle accident can be traumatic to all parties involved. If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, we request that you contact our office so that we can help take you through all of the necessary steps required to eventually file a lawsuit, if necessary, against the other vehicle. You can reach us at (914) 288-0800. We look forward to helping you through this difficult time and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed in the process which may prevent you from doing the most important step of all: taking care of yourself.