How an Automobile Accident Attorney Can Help

automobile accident attorney

An automobile or car accident can be a life-altering experience. Oftentimes, a crash is just the beginning of a painful, excruciating, and long-drawn affair, with one having to deal with getting treatment, paying medical bills, filing insurance claims, and if required, seeking compensation the legal way. In such a scenario, an automobile accident attorney can tell you exactly where you stand legally and can also assist you in getting compensation for your suffering.

Bear in mind that automobile accident lawyers and attorneys specialize in personal injury law, and more often than not, they handle different types of personal injury cases.


Who Was at Fault?

Determining fault is crucial in seeking compensation for automobile and car accidents, although this is no easy task. When it comes to “What does a car accident lawyer do?” this is among the most important steps.

Automobile accident lawyers/attorneys tend to start by looking at police reports and then move to collecting witness statements. Photos of the accident scene, video footage from surveillance cameras, and the extent of damage to a vehicle can also help determine fault.

One factor that links the best car accident lawyers/attorneys in NYC is their ability to accurately determine fault. Once they can successfully establish and prove fault, seeking compensation becomes considerably easier.


Does Insurance Cover Your Claim?

Another reason to get a lawyer after a car accident is to easily assess the viability of your claim by checking if there are insurance policies that can help cover your losses. For instance, your lawyer/attorney can determine if the at-fault driver’s auto insurance carries adequate coverage to take care of your medical bills, vehicle damage, lost income, and other expenses that result because of the crash. You stand a better chance of succeeding if this is the case.

In case the errant party is underinsured, getting the compensation you seek might not be easy.

According to data released by the Insurance Information Institute, the average auto liability claim for bodily injury stood at $24,211 in 2022. For property damage, it was $5,313. While the average collision claim in the same year was $ 5,992, the average comprehensive claim stood at $ 2,738.


What if Insurance Does Not Cover Your Costs?

New York is among the states that follow a no-fault insurance system. As per this, motorists in the state need to carry personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault insurance. People who have this coverage have to file claims with their own insurance companies, irrespective of who is a fault.

In case the maximum amount you can get through your insurance fails to meet the expenses that you incur because of the accident, you are at liberty to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In this case, the answer to “Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault?” is a resounding yes because you stand to benefit by using professional help when filing a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

automobile accident lawyer

Is the Window to File a Lawsuit Open?

Before filing a lawsuit, one of the first aspects an automobile accident lawyer will look at is if the window to do so is still open. If your accident occurred a few days, weeks, or months ago, you’re good to go. According to the statutes of limitations in New York, you get up to three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Once this period ends, you lose the right to take your case to court.

Even if you plan to settle your case out of court, it’s important to keep the three-year deadline in mind. This is because your power to negotiate for a settlement wanes greatly after this period ends.


What Damages May Compensation Cover?

Coming up with a suitable compensation amount to seek after looking at the intricacies of your case is another way how an accident lawyer can help you. Compensatory damages help put a monetary number to different types of suffering that arise because of an automobile or car accident.

Juries look at damages of all types before arriving at settlement accounts. While actual damages compensate you for expenses linked directly to the accident, general damages cover pain, suffering, and more.

  • Medical costs. You have the right to claim all medical expenses incurred because of the accident. These include, but do not limit to, hospitalization, tests, medications, in-home services, therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages. Having to deal with physical injuries can be bad enough, and matters may get considerably worse if you add lost income into the mix. Fortunately, you may include lost wages in your claim. If an accident results in your inability to get a promotion that you could otherwise, your automobile accident attorney can factor this into your claim too.
  • Vehicle/property damage. While an automobile accident lawyer/attorney might handle a property/vehicle damage claim separately from a personal injury claim, you still need to go through the process of seeking compensation. If the damage to your car after an accident is beyond repair, you might be able to claim its fair market value. You might also be able to seek compensation for other belongings damaged in the accident.
  • Non-economic damages. These refer to compensation for non-monetary and subjective losses that can come around because of pain, suffering, emotional anguish, inconvenience, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of activities. In New York, there is no maximum amount that one might claim as non-economic damages.
  • Wrongful death damages. If an accident results in loss of life, one’s claim might seek damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life/activities.



Is it worth getting an attorney for a car accident? The short answer is yes. After all, dealing with everything that comes after an automobile/car accident on one’s own can be quite an uphill task. Not only will you have to learn the legal intricacies that surround your case, you’ll need to know how best to negotiate. Besides, the entire process will take considerable time and effort.

With an experienced NYC attorney/lawyer by your side, you can rest easy knowing that someone well-versed in local laws will take care of the negotiations on your behalf. Besides, your attorney will also represent you in court, should the need arise. What you need to do to increase the odds of success is get the best automobile accident attorney or lawyer possible to handle your case.