What Happens After I Hire Your Firm?

The information below will discuss what happens after an injury victim hires our personal injury law firm to represent themselves or a loved one after a serious accident, and steps you can take to help recover a successful personal injury claim.

Important Info for New Clients

Do not discuss your case with any individual that is not a Raphaelson Law Firm attorney or employee.

  1. Do not fill out any forms.
  2. Any forms you receive should be forwarded to our office by mail, fax or e-mail.
  3. Do not fill out any insurance papers.
  4. Do not speak with the defendant's insurance company.
  5. Do not speak with any investigator unless specifically instructed to do so by the law firm.

Please Provide the Following

  1. Names and addresses of witnesses
  2. Copies of all photographs of the scene of accident
  3. Copies of all photographs of your injuries
  4. Copies of all photographs of damage to any personal property including but not limited to automobiles
  5. Copy of police report

Critical Advice

  1. Make sure your medical injuries are documented.
  2. Police must be immediately notified of an accident within 24 hours of the accident.
  3. Do not speak with the other insurance company.
  4. Be careful of surveillance by the defendant's insurance company.
  5. Notify our office of any address or telephone changes you have
  6. Please read and closely follow the information in all letters that are sent to you by our firm.

Personal Diary

  1. All miscellaneous expenses that should be recorded
  2. All physical complaints
  3. Names and addresses of all medical providers
  4. Dates of all medical treatments
  5. Activities you are unable to physically perform and the time period of said disability
  6. Lost earning information
  7. Periods of confinement to hospital, home and bed
  8. Lost time from school

What We Need From You, Our Client

You play a vital role in assisting our law firm in reaching a successful outcome in your case. Therefore, it is very important that you keep us updated regarding the information we have identified below.

  1. Change of address, telephone number or e-mail address.
  2. Copies of all birth certificates or marriage certificates
  3. Dates you were out of work or school, as a result of the accident.
  4. A complete diary of the names and address of all doctors, hospitals and medical doctors that have treated you.
  5. The date and place of scheduled surgery.
  6. Copies of all bills including medical, car service to doctors, household help, medicines, medical supplies, property damage.
  7. Copies of all letters, correspondence and any other related bills or documents received by anyone regarding your accident.
  8. Regular updates regarding your injuries and physical complaints, including the results of any X-rays, MRIs or other medical testing.
  9. The names and addresses of any witnesses or individuals with information about how your accident occurred, your injuries or any other aspect of your life that has changed as a result of the accident.
  10. Copies of your last 3 years of tax returns if you have lost time from work as a result of the accident.
  11. Complete copies of any insurance policies that relate to your accident.
  12. Photographs of your physical injuries, your property damage and the scene of the accident.
  13. Estimates for the damage to your automobile.
  14. Any and all police information, including the precinct and or name of the precinct.

Medical Injuries

  1. Your injuries must be medically documented.
  2. Treatment, as prescribed by medical doctors, is a critical part of the success of your case.
  3. Hospital, medical and doctors records are necessary to prove your case.
  4. In automobile accidents, New York Law provides compensation only for:
  • broken bones
  • permanent disfigurement
  • permanent injury
  • Without a broken bone or permanent disfigurement treatment and proof of disability is necessary to prove a permanent injury. Being out of work for 90 of the first 180 days after an accident is helpful to your case.
  • In accidents that are not auto-related, the greater the medical proof and treatment, the greater the recovery.

Insurance Policies

Any and all insurance policies that may relate should be provided to our office immediately. This includes:

  1. Household insurance policies
  2. Automobile insurance (Speak to your broker about having uninsured/underinsured limits of at least $100,000.)
  3. Umbrella insurance policies

Medical Bills

Please Forward Any and All Accident-related Bills to Our Office. This Includes:

  1. Medical bills
  2. Hospital bills
  3. Insurance bills
  4. Property damage bills/estimates

Wage Loss

Please forward all proof of lost wages including:

  1. Name and address of employer
  2. If self-employed, names and addresses of any individuals that can support business loss
  3. Copies of all tax returns
  4. Copies of any information regarding lost employment benefits

Property Damage

If you are involved in an automobile accident and have sustained property damage to your car, please follow these simple steps in order to expedite the process of settling your property damage claim:

  1. Make sure you advise our office of where the damaged car is being kept.
  2. Make sure the car is being kept in a place that is accessible to an insurance appraiser who may want to inspect the damages to your car.
  3. Take photographs of the damage to your car if possible.
  4. Obtain an independent appraisal of the damages to your car if possible.
  5. You may freely allow any person, whether employed by your insurance company or the other party's insurance company, to inspect the damage to your vehicle for appraisal purposes.
  6. You may speak with the other party's insurance company if they contact you for the sole purpose of scheduling an appointment for them to appraise your car; however, all you should tell them is when and where your car can be inspected. Do not discuss any details about the accident or your injuries.
  7. Please remember that although we understand your immediate need to get your car fixed and will make every effort to expedite this matter, in many cases it does take time to resolve your property damage claim. This is because we are dealing with the other party's insurance company whose interests are adverse to yours. While we are concerned about the resolution of your property damage claim, we must also make 100% sure that the settlement of your property damage claim will have a positive bearing on your bodily injury claim. This is especially important since in most cases your bodily injury claim is worth significantly more money than your property damage claim. Following the procedures above will help us expedite your claim.

No-Fault Benefits

No fault benefits are insurance benefits that you are automatically entitled to in the event of an accident. They include $50,000 of coverage that includes:

  1. Payment of all medical bills
  2. Lost wages up to a maximum of $2,000 per month
  3. Medication bills
  4. Medical equipment
  5. Miscellaneous necessary and related expenses at a maximum of $25 per day

    If you have any questions please contact our office 212-268-3222 and we will walk you through any questions you may have.

Howard Raphaelson
Howard A. Raphaelson founded Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. in 1992 after graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Established in New York, NY, his personal injury law firm has obtained numerous million-dollar verdicts. With over twenty-five years of experience as a personal injury attorney, 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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