After a car accident, it is often difficult to move forward and return to your daily life. Returning to normalcy requires you to be proactive. You must address any medical or legal issues to ensure you can return to the way of life you enjoyed before the crash. One of the first things you must do is report a car accident to your insurance. You should speak with an attorney if you have suffered some injury or other loss in an accident.
How to File an Insurance Claim
After a car accident, there is no reason to delay reporting the accident to your insurance carrier. While an accident is often a traumatizing experience, reporting the accident to an insurance company is relatively simple, so there is no reason to hesitate or delay.
New York utilizes a no-fault car insurance system. If you suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you file a claim under your insurance policy’s terms of coverage. You do so to seek compensation for medical bills and other out-of-pocket losses caused by your injuries, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Only if your injuries reach a certain threshold of severity can you bring a claim against the at-fault driver.
Contact your insurance company with these details:
- The location, date, and time of the accident
- The name, address, phone number, and insurance policy number of all involved in the accident
- Weather and road conditions
- Photographs of any damaged property, including the vehicle(s)
- Copies of any police or accident reports
New York law requires that in the event of an accident, you provide a written notice listing details sufficient to identify your eligibility for benefits. You must also provide information about the time and place of the accident and any other relevant circumstances.
New York law requires you to file your claim with the insurance company covering the vehicle you were occupying as a passenger or driver.
How to an File Insurance Claim Against the Other Driver
If you have a serious injury as defined by New York law, you can file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Or, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. A “serious injury” is any of the following:
- Any non-permanent injury that prevents you from performing your usual daily activities for at least 90 of the 180 days following the accident
- Bone fractures
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of an organ, member, function, or system of the body
- Permanent consequential limitation of the use of a body organ or member
- Significant disfigurement
Suing the at-fault driver in New York court can provide compensation, if you are successful, for a broad range of losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Mental and physical pain and suffering
- Lost income
How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim?
You must report an insurance claim as soon as reasonably possible but no more than 30 days after the date of the accident. If you do not report an accident within 30 days, you must submit written proof showing clear and reasonable justification for failing to comply with the 30-day deadline.
How Long Does an Insurance Claim Take?
New York law requires insurance companies to settle any insurance claim within 35 days of the claim being filed. Insurers have 15 business days to acknowledge the claim and send the policyholder instructions and paperwork. After receiving completed proof of loss forms, insurance carriers have 15 business days to decide whether to pay the claim. Once an insurer makes this decision, it has five business days to make the final payment.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Insurance Claim?
Although getting a lawyer is not required for you to file a claim with an insurance company, an experienced car accident attorney can improve your chances of getting compensation for your losses.
Should I Get a Lawyer
While the law does not require hiring an attorney to file an insurance claim, an attorney provides many valuable services. They can increase your chance of getting money to cover your injuries and losses. You’ll need an attorney if you cannot get an adequate settlement from the insurance company and need to file a lawsuit.
What Type of Lawyer Handles Insurance Claims?
Personal injury attorneys handle a variety of cases in which clients were injured, including car accidents. These lawyers can handle accident-related insurance claims. Most personal injury attorneys offer free, no-risk consultations.
Contact an NYC Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Once you report a car accident to an insurance company, it investigates your claim. An insurance company will also look for ways to pay as little as possible for a claim. You may need to file a lawsuit to ensure you receive money for your losses. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP possess the professional knowledge and experience to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (212) 779-0057 for a free consultation.