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, and property damage while managing your recovery can be stressful and time-consuming.

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

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 receive for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and future financial needs.

When deciding whether to hire a car accident attorney in New York, 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 it comes to 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 hiring 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:

1. The severity of your injuries & damages

If your car accident resulted in injuries or significant property damage, it's crucial to consult with a qualified car accident attorney as soon as possible. Serious accidents often involve complex legal issues that require expert knowledge and experience.

  • Fender benders: For minor accidents without any injuries or minimal property damage involved, you may not need an attorney's assistance in resolving disputes between parties or filing 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 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.

2. 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.

3. Fault disputes & insurance issues: The insurance company is blaming you

In any case, 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 amount of 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.

4. Time limitations for filing an injury claim

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies by state but typically ranges from one to three years after the date of 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.

Discussing your claim with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney will help you know if you are within the appropriate deadline and that 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 of the benefits associated with hiring an attorney after a car accident.

Benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney after a car accident

Is it worth hiring an attorney for a car accident in New York? Hiring a qualified car accident attorney after being involved in a crash can provide numerous benefits— from peace of mind, to recovering more compensation for your injuries.

Some advantages include the following:

  • Expertise in dealing with insurance companies: A skilled car accident lawyer understands how insurance companies operate, including their tactics to minimize or deny claims. 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, which necessitates having an expert lawyer directly representing 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 attorney 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.

6 Tips for Choosing the right attorney for your car accident claim

Having a personal injury lawyer to manage your claim after a car accident can increase the amount of money you get in a car accident settlement or verdict. Still, it’s critical to ensure you select the best lawyer for your situation, one with the reputation and resources in personal injury claims to get you the respect and results you deserve.

Here are some essential steps to help you select the best lawyer for a car accident:

  1. Research their experience and qualifications: Look for an experienced lawyer specializing in personal injury cases, specifically car accidents. Do they have many past client results? Have they received awards or peer recognition for their service? During your free consultation, ask if they’ve had a client with a similar situation as you. You can verify their credentials by checking with the New York State Unified Court System's Attorney Directory.
  2. Read client reviews and testimonials: Client feedback provides valuable insight into how well a law firm handles car accident claims. Check out online review platforms like Google Reviews or Avvo to see what past clients have said about working with potential attorneys. How many reviews do they have? What’s their average rating? Do they have video testimonials from past clients? Do they have any negative reviews, and how do they respond to them?
  3. Schedule a free consultation: Most reputable car accident lawyers offer a free lawyer consultation where they assess your case and provide legal advice on how to proceed. This provides an opportunity to assess the lawyer's communication abilities, ask questions and decide if they’re a good fit for your own claim.
  4. Analyze their track record of success: A proven history of obtaining favorable settlements or verdicts demonstrates that an attorney can navigate insurance claims and civil lawsuits effectively. During your free consultation, ask about specific examples of similar cases they've handled successfully.
  5. Evaluate their availability and responsiveness: A dedicated lawyer should be readily available throughout your case, promptly returning calls or emails when needed. Make sure they have enough time allocated towards handling your claim efficiently.
  6. Assess their attorney fees: It’s important to understand how prospective attorneys charge fees, whether they work on a contingency basis (meaning you only pay if they win your case) or charge hourly rates. Make sure their fee structure aligns with your financial situation and expectations.

By following these steps, you’ll be better equipped to find the right car accident attorney to help maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Remember, not all personal injury lawyers are created equal; it’s essential to choose one that has the experience, skills, and dedication necessary to fight for justice on your behalf.

Making the right pick for your case is a significant choice that must be given consideration, so it's vital to know all of your alternatives. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what happens after hiring an attorney following a car accident.

Key Takeaway: This article provides an overview of the essential steps for finding a qualified car accident attorney, such as researching experience and qualifications, reading client reviews, scheduling consultations to assess communication skills, and track record of success. Additionally, it also covers evaluating availability, responsiveness, and fee structure to ensure that you make the best decision possible when selecting legal representation.

The process of hiring an attorney after a car accident

  1. Research and gather recommendations: Ask friends, family members, or coworkers for referrals to reputable car accident lawyers in your area. You can also search online directories and read reviews from previous clients.
  2. Schedule consultations with potential attorneys: Most personal injury law firms offer free initial consultations to discuss your case. Take advantage of this opportunity to assess their experience, expertise, and communication style. To schedule a consultation an auto accident lawyer at Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, call us at (212) 268-3222 or complete our online case evaluation form below.
  3. Evaluate the attorney's qualifications: Before hiring an attorney, ensure they have the necessary experience handling cases similar to yours. Look for certifications from professional organizations like the American Bar Association or local bar associations to indicate their competence in personal injury law.
  4. Determine fees and payment structure: Understand how the lawyer will charge for their services. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case through settlement or trial verdicts. Make sure you're comfortable with this arrangement before signing any agreements.
  5. Sign a retainer agreement: Once you've chosen an attorney who meets all your requirements, sign a retainer agreement that outlines both parties' responsibilities during the representation.

Remember, a witness’s memory can fade, evidence can be lost, and medical expenses can add up quickly, so timely action is key to a successful personal injury claim or lawsuit related to your car accidents.

Having an experienced car accident attorney to advocate for you can greatly improve the chances of receiving maximum compensation.

Hiring a car accident attorney doesn't have to be a hassle; just do your research, schedule consultations with potential attorneys, and evaluate their qualifications and payment structure before signing the retainer agreement. Don't wait — get an experienced lawyer on board quickly for maximum compensation.

Thousands of New Yorkers have trusted Raphaelson & Levine for legal advice for their car accident case. From serious injuries to fender benders, our team of award-winning lawyers provides a voice to the injured and has the results to prove it.

Benefits of working with a car accident lawyer at Raphaelson & Levine

When it comes to 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.

Learn more: What Can You Sue for in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Over 300 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 a daunting decision, 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 that justice is served.

Key Takeaway: Our team of experienced New York City car accident attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine have successfully recovered over $800 million for our clients, earned over three hundred five-star reviews from satisfied customers, and are backed by an award-winning legal team. Plus, we offer a free consultation and no fee guarantee, so you won't pay any fees unless we win your case.

So, should you get an attorney for a car 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 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).

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