If you’re involved in a New York car accident, the weeks following the incident may be challenging in several ways. You’ll no doubt experience pain and suffering from your injuries and may have emotional trauma, as well. The police will want to speak with you; this conversation might be brief and take place at the scene or be more in depth over time, especially if they believe the other driver was under the influence. You’ll also be making decisions regarding insurance issues, such as whether to accept an initial settlement offer.
Keep in mind that acquiring certain information is the key to making well-informed decisions regarding insurance settlements. You’ll want to speak with someone experienced in collision claims. Insurance companies often make “lowball” offers. It’s important to understand the full costs associated with your injuries so that you can make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Don’t end up with unpaid medical bills after a collision
It’s understandable that you want to put the accident behind you as soon as possible and focus on recovery and moving on in life. However, the last thing you need is to get stuck with a bunch of unpaid medical bills, which can happen, especially if you rush to accept the first settlement offer an insurance company makes. Avoid thinking that any offer is a good offer.
This can lead to all the money running out with bills unpaid. To avoid this problem, it’s critical that you receive a complete valuation of all expenses associated with the collision and the injuries you suffered. It’s also wise to check whether your insurance policy includes a “betterment” clause, which is essentially a way insurance companies avoid payouts when repairs are going to increase the value of a vehicle.
New York is a no-fault state, which has insurance implications
If you’re in a collision on a New York roadway, then state laws apply. This is a no-fault state, which means your own insurance company covers medical bills and damage regarding the accident, no matter who was at fault. You can only file a lawsuit for damages that exceed no-fault benefits, as well as for non-economic damages (i.e., emotional trauma).
Carefully review settlement terms and get final offer in writing
Rather than accepting the initial settlement offer following a New York collision, you have a right to negotiate. Do not let an insurance company push you into an agreement, and always request the final offer in writing. Instead of blindly accepting the claims adjustor’s valuation, you can conduct a similar process, preferably enlisting assistance from someone who understands state laws and knows how to assess damages in a motor vehicle accident.