When To Get An Attorney For A Car Accident

Howard Raphaelson
Partner, Attorney
an illustration of a car crash in new york city

When it comes to car accidents, the aftermath can be overwhelming. 

Dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, economic damages and property damage while managing your recovery can be stressful and time-consuming. 

Knowing what to do next and when to get an attorney for a car accident can be challenging. 

Whether you have "minor injuries," like whiplash, or face a catastrophic injury, hiring an experienced New York car accident lawyer can significantly affect the injury claims process and the value of the settlement offer you may receive for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and future financial needs. 

This guide will help you understand what factors to consider before taking legal action, the benefits of legal help, and tips for selecting the right law firm to handle your motor vehicle accident claim. 

Additionally, we'll outline the process involved in hiring a car accident lawyer after being involved in an accident and highlight why our law firm stands out as the best choice when handling your car accident lawsuit. 

If you have questions about your legal rights or want to discuss your next steps with an attorney at our firm, call 212-268-3222 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.

What to Consider When Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident in New York

Determining when to enlist the services of a lawyer following a motor vehicle crash can be daunting, particularly in light of what has happened. 

To help you make an informed decision, consider the following factors:

The Severity of Your Injuries & Damages

Suppose your car accident resulted in injuries or significant property damage. In that case, consulting with a qualified car accident attorney as soon as possible is crucial. Serious accidents often involve complex legal issues that require expert knowledge and experience.

  • Fender benders: For minor accidents without injuries or minimal property damage, you may not need an attorney's assistance to resolve disputes between parties or file insurance claims. However, even if you have a "minor" injury (with no immediate long-term impacts), it's still worth getting medical care and the free opinion of a personal injury lawyer before you make any decisions about your case. 
  • Minor injuries can turn serious quickly, and the insurance adjusters will make any excuse not to pay you maximum compensation — they may even try to argue that not getting medical treatment made your injuries worse. 
  • Car accidents with injuries: If you or a loved one sustained car accident injuries, it's crucial to seek medical attention immediately and consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The insurance company doesn't have your best interests in mind, and an attorney will hold them accountable and ensure they take your injury seriously.
  • Missed work and/or medical bills: If you missed time from work because of the crash or its impact on your health, if you're worried about the cost of medical treatment, or if the other driver's insurance doesn't cover your medical costs or lost wages, you need a lawyer.

Were Multiple Parties Involved?

In cases involving multiple parties, unclear liability, or disputes over damages and compensation amounts, hiring a skilled car accident lawyer becomes essential for navigating through the complexities of a lawsuit.

Fault Disputes & Insurance Issues: The Insurance Company is Blaming You

Obtaining a police report after an accident can provide valuable information about fault determination and other details that may impact your claim.

In cases where the fault of the crash is being disputed or denied, or if there are complications with insurance claims, hiring an injury lawyer becomes essential for protecting your rights and interests — especially with New York's no-fault laws, which could seriously reduce the compensation you receive. 

We've seen it all, from incorrect police reports to motorists denying fault, lying about a stop sign or red light, and even conflicting eyewitness statements. We often enlist the expertise of a crash deconstructionist and conduct a thorough investigation to shed light on the truth and navigate through negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf.

Time Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Claim

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies by state but typically ranges from one to three years after the car accident injury occurred; however, New York has specific deadlines depending on who the claim is being filed against. 

The statute of limitations for a car accident injury claim in New York is generally three years from the date of the accident, per New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 214; however, claims involving New York State (such as MTA accidents) must be filed with a much shorter timeframe. 

Consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help determine if you are within the appropriate deadline and ensure all necessary paperwork is submitted within these time constraints.

Key Takeaway: After an auto accident, evaluating your injuries and any applicable deadlines for initiating a claim should be considered when seeking legal counsel. If the fault is disputed or insurance issues arise, having legal representation can be essential for protecting your rights and interests. Ultimately, consulting a knowledgeable attorney familiar with the intricacies of personal injury law is often free and will help you understand your legal rights and next steps.

When selecting an attorney after a car accident, it is essential to explore all potential options to guarantee you secure the most suitable representation for your case. With that in mind, let's look at some benefits of hiring an attorney after a car accident.

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney After an Auto Accident

For a car accident victim, hiring a qualified car accident attorney can provide numerous benefits and peace of mind. Some advantages include the following:

  • Expertise in dealing with insurance companies: A skilled car accident lawyer understands how insurance companies operate, including tactics the insurance adjuster will use to try to minimize or deny your claim. They will negotiate for the maximum compensation on your behalf, ensuring you receive a maximum settlement. The New York City personal injury lawyers at our firm have helped past clients recover over 10X more compensation than the insurance company's initial settlement offer.
  • Determining liability & gathering evidence: Car accidents often involve multiple parties, making it difficult to determine who is at fault. An experienced personal injury attorney will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, gather crucial evidence such as police reports and witness statements, and build a strong case proving negligence on the part of the at-fault driver.
  • Evaluating damages accurately: A knowledgeable car accident attorney can assess all aspects of your losses resulting from the incident from current and past medical expenses, lost wages due to missed workdays, pain & suffering to appropriate compensation for both current and future needs like medical treatment or rehabilitation, changes to your home to accommodate a handicap, and loss of earning capacity.
  • Filing a civil lawsuit if necessary: If negotiations with insurance providers fail or are insufficient to cover all costs associated with recovery from your car accident injuries, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be required, necessitating having an expert lawyer directly represent you during this complicated process.
  • Peace of mind: Hiring professional representation also offers peace of mind, knowing someone well-versed in navigating car accident claims is on your side. This allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries while your attorney handles all legal aspects of your case.

Key Takeaway: Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can be invaluable for navigating the complex legal process and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation. An expert lawyer will protect your interests, determine liability, gather evidence, evaluate damages accurately, and file a civil lawsuit if necessary — giving you peace of mind while allowing you to focus on recovery from injuries.

Benefits of Working With a Car Accident Lawyer at Raphaelson & Levine

When selecting the best New York personal injury law firm for your car accident claim, reputation, resources, respect, and past results are essential. 

At Raphaelson & Levine, we pride ourselves on our success in handling all types of personal injury cases and are committed to helping our clients recover maximum compensation. 

Here's what makes our firm the best choice for car accident victims in New York:

Over 30 years of experience handling personal injury claims

Our extensive experience in handling personal injury claims for motorists hurt in a crash allows us to tackle complex insurance policies, negotiate with insurance adjusters and insurance companies effectively, and create advanced lifecare and medical treatment plans to build strong cases that maximize compensation.

$800 Million in settlements & verdicts won for our clients

We understand how crucial financial recovery can be for you and your family after a car accident. We fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive every penny you deserve for your current medical bills and expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering as well as the financial resources to cover all of your future financial needs.

Over 400 five-star reviews

Many law firms make empty promises or claim to be the best or the biggest, but the proof is in the results, and the stories past clients share about their experiences.

With hundreds of five-star reviews from satisfied clients across various platforms such as Google Reviews or Avvo Ratings, it's clear that our dedication to providing exceptional service has not gone unnoticed by those who matter most — our valued clientele.

In addition to client testimonials praising our work ethic, professionalism, and results, our experienced car accident lawyers have also received numerous accolades within the industry, including being named "Super Lawyers", "The Best Lawyers In America," and "Best Car Accident Lawyers in New York City." 

MORE: View our Recent Awards

Free Consultation & No-Fee Guarantee

We understand that hiring a lawyer can be daunting, so we offer a free consultation to discuss your case. 

During this initial meeting, we encourage you to ask questions and learn more about how our firm can help you. Plus, with our no-fee guarantee, you won't pay any legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in New York City, don't hesitate to contact us for expert guidance and representation. 

Our qualified car accident attorneys are ready to fight for your rights and ensure justice is served.

So, Should You Get an Attorney For Your Automobile Accident?

Hiring a car accident attorney if you've been hurt in a motor vehicle crash can be beneficial in many ways — especially after you've been suffered an injury.

An experienced legal professional can offer insight into your legal rights and ensure you the best chance at recovering maximum compensation.

Hurt in a car accident? Call Raphaelson & Levine, the voice of the injured. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have the reputation, resources, and respect to get you the results you deserve.

NEXT STEP: Call 212-268-3222 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Howard Raphaelson
Partner, Attorney
Howard A. Raphaelson founded Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. in 1992 after graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, NY. With over thirty years of experience as a personal injury lawyer, he has earned a trusted reputation from his peers, judges, and top leaders, including recognition among the top 5% injury attorneys as a “Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) and “New York’s Best Lawyers” (New York Magazine).

Free Consultation.
No Fees Unless We Win.

Overwhelmed with medical expenses, lost wages, pain, & suffering? Don't settle with an insurance company for less than you deserve. We're here for you.
We’re available to you 24/7
You'll have direct access to a paralegal, a dedicated attorney, and a dedicated partner
30 years of experience getting maximum compensation for our clients (up to 45X more than your initial offer)
For immediate legal assistance, please call our Manhattan office.
Live Chat
Our highly trained support team is available 24/7/365 to assist with your legal needs.
Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C.
14 Penn Plaza Suite 1718
New York, NY 10122