A car accident can be devastating and cause you injuries, traumas, property damage, and mounting hospital bills. In Long Island, a car accident claim can be settled before it goes to court.
You can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company to compensate for the driver’s negligence. A professional car accident lawyer on Long Island can help obtain all the documents required to claim a successful settlement.
Filing a Claim
After you’ve been injured in a car accident due to the driver’s negligence, you should file a claim with the driver’s insurance company for compensation.
In Long Island, NY, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to sue, and if the liable party is a government entity, the time is much shorter.
However, you should not wait for three years to file a claim. By then, you or your witnesses may have forgotten important details or lost documents. You can file a claim even when undergoing treatment.
Building a Claim
For the settlement to be successful, you will need to support it with evidence. Building a claim involves gathering evidence to prove liability and damages.
Your attorney can help you with this. They will obtain the following evidence:
This is obtained from the investigating officer. Although it’s not admissible in court, it contains photos and notes from the investigating officer on the accident scene.
People who saw the accident first-hand can be witnesses to your case. Even though you may have taken their details, your attorney can approach them again to get their side of the story and see if you missed something.
The lawyer can also find any other witness you may have missed. If your case goes to litigation, these will make your case solid.
You can take pictures of the scene immediately after the accident to show the damage’s extent. You can also take pictures of your injuries after the accident and during the recovery process.
If there were surveillance cameras around the area, your attorney could obtain them as they might have a recording of what happened and help prove liability.
These are important to show the extent of your damages. A lawyer can help you obtain records of any tests carried out on you: labs, scans, X-rays, and obtain doctor’s notes on your injuries.
Your medical records must link your injuries to the accident caused by the at-fault driver.
Keep an injury diary to document any pain, traumas, and emotional distress you might be experiencing. Make dated entries to document any nightmares, pain levels, dependence, and inability to work for a living. Ensure you don’t make entries about anything you’d not want a jury to read.
Settling the Claim
The settlement process in Long Island involves both parties coming together and agreeing to settle the case.
The insurance company and their attorney start a discussion with the plaintiff and their attorney. This process can go on for weeks or even months.
It involves the presentation of evidence from both sides to prove liability and injuries. The evidence gathered when building the claim is essential here.
Sometimes, the case is settled midway by litigation through mediation or arbitration. The client is always the one who approves the settlement, although they usually rely on their attorney’s experience to determine fair compensation.
The attorney and their client agree on the amount to settle for. If both parties agree, the settlement is made. If not, the case can proceed to a lawsuit.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Settlement can be a long process. A car accident lawyer can help you with all the processes and documents required to ensure you get your rightful compensation.