Car accidents are an unfortunate reality in New York, with thousands occurring every year. When an accident takes place, victims face numerous challenges, including dealing with insurance companies, understanding the legal process, and securing the compensation they deserve. A crucial aspect of this process involves the role of the insurance adjuster. This article will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the insurance adjuster’s role, the tricks they use to deny, diminish or delay claims, and how to navigate the New York car accident claims process.
Car Accident Claims Process in New York
When you’ve been involved in a car accident, the first step is to report the incident to your insurance company. This initiates the claims process. The insurance company assigns an insurance adjuster to your case, who is responsible for investigating the accident, determining fault, and assessing the damages. The adjuster’s primary goal is to minimize the insurance company’s payout while adhering to New York state law.
The car accident claims process in New York involves the following steps:
- Reporting the accident to the police and your insurance company – Ensure you report the accident to the police within 10 days and notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Keep a copy of the police report and the information exchanged at the accident scene.
- Contact our attorneys – After an accident it is crucial that you protect your legal rights by speaking with one of our experienced car accident attorneys.
- Gathering evidence and documentation – Collect evidence, such as photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, and medical records. Keep a record of all medical expenses, lost wages, and any other accident-related costs.
- Providing a statement to the insurance adjuster – The adjuster will ask you for a detailed account of the accident. Be factual and consistent, but avoid admitting fault or providing unnecessary information.
- Evaluating the initial settlement offer – The adjuster will review the evidence and calculate a settlement offer. Consult with an attorney before accepting any offer to ensure it’s fair and accounts for all your damages.
- Negotiating the settlement amount – If the initial offer is insufficient, your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to reach a more favorable settlement.
- Accepting the settlement or pursuing legal action – If negotiations fail or the statute of limitations is nearing, you may need to file a lawsuit to secure the compensation you deserve.
Tricks Used by Auto Accident Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators, and they employ various tactics to protect their company’s interests. Here are some tricks they use to deny, diminish, or delay accident claims:
- Requesting unnecessary documentation to prolong the process – Adjusters may ask for documents that aren’t relevant to your claim. Consult with your attorney to determine which documents are necessary and avoid delays.
- Offering low initial settlement offers, hoping victims will accept without knowing their rights – Adjusters often propose low settlements, expecting victims to accept out of desperation. Work with an attorney to understand your rights and the true value of your claim.
- Misrepresenting policy coverage or New York laws – Adjusters may incorrectly inform you about your policy limits or state laws. Always verify information with your attorney to avoid being misled.
- Trying to establish shared fault or suggesting a pre-existing condition caused the injury – Adjusters may attempt to place some blame on you or claim your injuries were pre-existing. Be prepared to counter these tactics with solid evidence and expert testimony.
- Pressuring victims to provide recorded statements that could be used against them – Adjusters may pressure you into giving a recorded statement, which they can later use against you. Always consult with your attorney before providing any statements.
New York Car Accident Statutes, Laws, and Forms of Monetary Compensation
New York is a “no-fault” state, meaning that each party’s insurance covers their losses, regardless of fault. However, in cases of severe injury or death, victims can pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Compensation types include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages encompass quantifiable losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the responsible party in cases of extreme negligence or recklessness.
New York follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 20%.
This is a very important reason why accident victims need legal representation.
Statutes of Limitations and Finding an Attorney
In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from car accidents is three years from the accident date. This means you have three years to file a lawsuit, or you lose your right to pursue compensation. It’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney who understands New York’s complex car accident laws and can help you navigate the claims process.
When searching for an attorney, look for someone with a successful track record in handling car accident cases. Check their credentials, experience, and client testimonials. Schedule a consultation to discuss your case and determine if they are the right fit for your needs.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in New York, don’t let insurance adjusters take advantage of your vulnerability. Protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve by partnering with an experienced legal team. Parker Waichman, LLP, has a proven track record of successfully representing car accident victims in New York. Don’t wait – the clock is ticking on your right to file a claim. Call our toll-free number 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today for a free consultation.
Understanding the role of the insurance adjuster and the car accident claims process is crucial for securing the compensation you deserve after an accident. Be aware of the tricks insurance adjusters use to minimize your claim and know your rights under New York law. By working with an experienced attorney like Parker Waichman, LLP, you can ensure your interests are protected and maximize your chances of a successful outcome. Don’t hesitate to reach out to their team at 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for expert guidance and representation.
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation