According to data provided by the New York State Department of Health, an average of 136,913 people visit the emergency room following car accidents every year. After a major crash, injured victims need financial compensation to pay for medical care and to support themselves and their family.
Sadly, large insurance companies rarely make the claims process easy. If you or your loved one was hurt in an accident, you need to know how to deal with the insurance adjusters who will undoubtedly be trying to reach you on the phone. To help you protect your interests, our New York City car accident lawyers offer four tips for handling insurance adjusters.
Never Admit Fault for the Accident
First and foremost, you should never admit fault for a crash — even partial fault. New York is a comparative negligence state (N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 1411). If you are held partially liable for your accident, your financial compensation may be reduced proportionally. It is simply not your job to determine who was at fault for a car crash in New York City. Leave that determination up to your lawyer: avoid admitting or accepting blame.
Do Not Give a Statement to an Insurance Adjuster
Soon after a crash, you may receive a call from an insurance agent asking for a verbal statement. You should not give a statement before speaking to an experienced New York motor vehicle accident attorney. Insurance adjusters are trained to get you speaking on the record so that they can find something to use to undermine your legal claim. Under New York law, you are not required to give a statement to an opposing insurance company. It is in your best interest to avoid doing so.
Be Patient — You Deserve a Full Settlement Offer
Most car accident injury claims eventually reach an out-of-court settlement. As noted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), less than three percent of personal injury claims filed in the United States receive a jury verdict. While it is understandable that you want to reach a quick settlement, it is also crucial that you are patient. It may take some time to build a case to get the full settlement offer that you rightfully deserve.
Get Help From an Experienced New York City Auto Accident Attorney
Do not go up against the big insurance company on your own. The best way to protect your rights is to deal with the insurance company representatives through an experienced New York City motor vehicle accident attorney. Your attorney can handle all aspects of your case — from putting together the evidence needed to prove liability to handling settlement negotiations.
At The Dearie Law Firm, P.C., our New York motor vehicle accident attorneys are committed to helping clients recover the maximum available financial compensation. We are versed in handling insurance companies. To set up a free, strictly confidential personal injury consultation, please contact us right away. With three permanent office locations and three mobile offices, we serve clients in New York City and throughout the surrounding communities.