Why Is It Beneficial To Hire An Attorney For An Auto-Accident Case?
It’s definitely not a good idea to let your insurance company handle everything. You only have 30 days to file a no-fault application for benefits and if you don’t file, you’re going to lose the benefits. So, what I’ve seen is a couple of times tragically where people thought they could do things themselves and they didn’t fill out the proper forms and their own insurance company denied them.
You’ve got to remember your own insurance company is not your friend when they’re being asked to pay for medical costs. They are there to try to save their money, not to help you get better. Certainly, your own insurance company isn’t going to go after the other insurance company to try and get you compensation or a settlement. So, a lot of times, unfortunately, if you wait too long or you don’t take action, you can lose your right through inaction.
How Do Attorneys Typically Get Paid In Auto-Accident Cases?
What happens is the attorney usually gets paid on contingency. In fact, our office always works on contingency. That basically means that we only get paid when and if our clients get a settlement. So, they don’t have to worry about compensating us if we don’t get them anything.
Should I Seek Medical Attention Prior to Meeting with an Attorney After An Accident?In this situation, you should always see a doctor first, but you should definitely, simultaneously or shortly after you see the doctor, make an appointment to see a lawyer. One of the first things your doctor is going to ask you is, “Is your insurance information set up, who do I bill, who’s going to pay for this?” So, you definitely need to get the claim set up and the best way to do that is through a lawyer.
In all law offices we have the forms available, we can have it done within the same day and we can have the claim set up for you the same day you come in. You should definitely see a doctor, especially if something hurts.
It’s never a good idea to wait to see a doctor or wait to see if the pain goes away because the insurance companies will just turn around and try and say that there is a gap in treatment or you really weren’t hurt or you saw a lawyer before you went to the doctor and all those sorts of odd things. Definitely go see a doctor, get checked out right away, but you also want to, within a week or two of an accident, always see a lawyer. In that way, your no-fault gets set up and you don’t get denied.
Would Keeping a Diary of Events Following An Accident Be Helpful?
I generally don’t recommend those, because once you start keeping a journal the other side can always get a hold of it. People have a pretty good memory, and then, you open yourself up to other things that you may not want other people to see that are personal in nature, so to speak, so I don’t think that’s really a good idea. I think going to a good doctor, a doctor is going to document what your complaints are, serves the same purpose and you don’t open yourself up to having to give the other insurance company lawyer your personal journal.
Can the Diary of Events be Misinterpreted and Used Against Me?
Correct. Because what happens is, unless you do it every day, they will turn around and say all the days you didn’t write it in, you didn’t have any pain. You always should be very careful of what you write down because the defense insurance industry lawyers are specialists in trying to twist and manipulate and turn your entries, your lack of entries.
If you put down today that your neck hurts, but you don’t write in specifically your back hurts too, they’ll take it as your back wasn’t hurting that day but your neck was. I know a lot of lawyers do recommend that, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth or it causes more problems than it helps or solves.
How Can a Person Constructively Spend their Time During the Waiting Period?
It can be frustrating not knowing what’s happening or waiting to see while your case is progressing. Sometimes, especially in New York and certain counties, to get a fair resolution, you have to file a lawsuit and you have to get right to the edge of trial to get a fair settlement. For example, in the Bronx or Brooklyn it could take five years. Manhattan tends to move on quicker, which is good.
We’ve had cases get from start to trial within three years, but you have to be willing to go the distance and you have to be patient and, in the meantime, you have to see your doctors and make sure you get the treatment you need.
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