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What to Know Before You File a Personal Injury Claim


Suffering from an accident-related injury is never easy. Whether you’ve been injured in a car crash, a slip and fall, or another accident caused by someone else’s negligence, pursuing a personal injury claim can help you get the compensation you need to move forward. But before you can recover your lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs, there are a few things you should know.  

  1. It’s Critical to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Sooner Rather Than Later

After seeking immediate medical attention, the next thing you should do is contact a personal injury attorney. They can advise you regarding your rights and protect you from making inadvertent mistakes in your case, such as providing the defendant’s insurance company with too many details or saying something that could be misconstrued. In addition, the sooner you are represented by counsel, the more likely you are to remember the specifics about the accident — and the more likely it is that crucial evidence has not yet been lost or destroyed.

  1. Accident Victims Represented By Counsel Recover More Compensation

Dealing with insurance companies is hard if you are unfamiliar with the traps and tactics they use. Often, accident victims do not know how to properly value their injuries and the insurance company will try to get them to settle early on in the case before they have completed their medical treatment, when the full extent of monetary losses is still unknown. A skilled personal injury attorney will know how to negotiate on your behalf and obtain a fair settlement or verdict. 

  1. You Only Have a Limited Amount of Time to File a Claim

It’s vital to be aware that there are specific statutes of limitation that begin running from the date of the accident. There is a three-year statute of limitations in New York for personal injury matters, but the time frame is shortened to one year and ninety days for accidents involving a municipality. However, it’s important not to wait until the last minute to file a claim. Not only will your attorney need time to investigate the case, but by waiting too long you also run the risk of evidence being destroyed, witness memories fading, and mistakes being made.

  1. Not Every Case Goes to Trial

A big misconception many people have before they bring a personal injury action is that their case will go to trial. While not everyone wishes to have the details of their injuries made public or go through a lengthy trial, it’s vital to understand that most cases settle outside the courtroom. Only a very small percentage of personal injury cases go to trial. Usually, a case will be tried in front of a jury when the insurance company refuses to provide a fair settlement offer and a better outcome would be obtained by arguing the case in court.

  1. The Most Important Thing Is Your Medical Treatment

Before you file a personal injury lawsuit, you need medical documentation to support your claim. It’s crucial to get the medical help you need right away and to continue treatment in accordance with your doctor’s orders. In addition to being necessary for your health, medical treatment is also vital to the success of your case. Your documentation will establish the extent of your injuries and how they impact your daily life. Significantly, the defendant will try to use any lack of medical documentation or gap in treatment against you.

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

A personal injury matter can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s best to have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side from the beginning who can help you navigate the process and work to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has been providing reliable representation to accident victims in New York for more than 30 years. We have an established history of securing favorable outcomes in clients’ cases. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.