Most people never expect to file a personal injury claim. These types of accidents are unexpected, though often life-changing. It’s hard to know when you should file a personal injury claim and how to do it. Many people don’t know their rights after getting injured, whether in a car accident, a slip and fall, or another type of accident.

That’s why we’ve created a step-by-step guide for filing a personal injury claim in NYC. This will help you understand the personal injury process and what to do after getting hurt in an accident in New York City, NY.

Seek Medical Treatment

After getting hurt in any accident, the first step is to seek medical treatment. You must take care of your injuries before filing a personal injury claim. Not only is this in the best interest of your health but also for your future claim for damages

When you seek medical treatment immediately after an accident, you are creating a record that can be admitted at trial to prove your injuries. 

If you delay medical treatment, the defendant may argue that you weren’t actually injured or that the injuries are not as severe. If you wait too long, they may even argue that your injuries were caused by something other than their negligence.

To avoid this, you should always go to the doctor or call 911 after getting hurt.

Gather Evidence 

In some situations, you may have time to collect evidence to support your case. If you aren’t seriously hurt in a car accident, for example, you might be able to take photographs of the damage to your car or identify witnesses on the scene. This is all a valuable part of proving your personal injury claim. 

If you aren’t able to stay on the scene, you can still collect evidence like medical records or police reports. You can use this evidence to your benefit when negotiating with insurance companies or during a lawsuit.

Hire an NYC Personal Injury Attorney 

It’s never too early to hire an NYC personal injury lawyer after getting injured. A lawyer can help you file insurance claims, collect evidence, and understand your rights. Most personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee. You won’t pay them until the end of your case. Even then, you only pay them if they win. 

That means there is no downside to hiring a lawyer sooner rather than later. It’s better to rely on their advice from the get-go than to make a mistake because you don’t know the law. In fact, your lawyer can help you keep track of important deadlines, like the statute of limitations, to ensure you don’t lose your opportunity to recover compensation.

Calculate Your Damages 

You should take time to calculate your damages early on in your case. This is important before filing an insurance claim. After all, you need to know what you are asking for before asking for it. If you have hired a lawyer, they will help you calculate your damages.

Damages in an NYC personal injury claim often include:

Some people may be entitled to punitive damages. These special types of damages are awarded if a defendant acted with a conscious disregard for the interest of others. It is hard to recover punitive damages, but a personal injury lawyer in NYC can explain if they may apply in your case. 

File Insurance Claims and Negotiate With Insurance Companies

Most personal injury cases will involve an insurance claim. 

Common types of insurance in personal injury cases include:

  • Car insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • General liability insurance 
  • Workers’ compensation insurance 
  • Corporate insurance 

You need to identify if the person responsible for causing your injury has an insurance policy that applies to your case. If they do, usually the first step is to file a claim with their provider.

The insurance process can be a headache, but it can also be better than going to trial. In the best cases, insurance claims are resolved quickly and result in money going into your pocket faster than at trial. However, many insurance companies try to get out of paying for your full damages or may deny your claim in full.

Steps in an Insurance Claim Process

When you file an insurance claim, the first step is typically to contact the insurance company and provide them with a statement about your accident. You will also include information regarding your injuries and any relevant evidence that shows the policyholder is responsible. You must make sure that you never admit responsibility to the insurance company.

After you file the claim, the insurance company will investigate it. This may include speaking with the policyholder and witnesses and collecting other evidence. Then they will decide to either accept, deny, or partially accept your claim.

Most insurance companies will offer less than you deserve at first. You have the right to negotiate with the insurance company and ask for the full amount. If you have a lawyer, this is when they come in handy. An attorney can help you talk with the insurance company and convince them that you are entitled to the full amount.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Go To Trial, When Necessary 

If you file a lawsuit, it means you are asserting your legal rights in court. You’ll need to hire a lawyer at this stage to understand the nuances of the legal process. 

Your New York City personal injury lawyer will help you review discovery, negotiate with the defendant, and go to trial. 

While it’s often better to resolve a personal injury case with insurance, sometimes that isn’t possible. You shouldn’t be afraid to go to trial to get the compensation you deserve after an injury.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in New York City

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Manhattan, NY, and need legal help, contact our New York City personal injury lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.

Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
100 Wall St 15th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 514-5007