I Got Into A Car Accident, Now What?

Why hire a personal injury attorney?

When you get into a car accident knowing what to do next can be difficult.  We interviewed 3 of our attorneys and asked them the following 3 questions to help you know what your next move should be.

Attorneys Answer:
  1. Why hire a car accident lawyer?
  2. How much will a car accident lawyer charge?
  3. How can I find the best car accident lawyer near me? (What should I look for?)
Attorney Daniel P. Dagostino - Professional Headshot - Martin, Harding & Mazzotti 1800law1010

Attorney Dan Dagostino

Attorney Dan Dagostino attended the Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California.  He is currently a supervising attorney in the Case Management Unit of the Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti law firm.

1. Why hire a car accident lawyer?

Well if you’re involved in a car accident there’s a couple of really important things that happen. The first thing is, above hiring a car accident lawyer, you need to get medical attention. But the reason you’d hire a car accident lawyer is because when things like this happen you’re entitled to certain benefits, depending upon the state that the accident is involved in, and the first thing is in like New York State as in other states, you’re entitled to no-fault benefits and what that means is you’re able to get your medical expenses paid for, wages if you work, you know those are very important and there’s time limits and time constraints that are associated with them. With insurance companies and other groups and organizations out there, there’s a couple of things where time is imperative as well. Not only the no-fault, but investigation, a lot of times your involved in an accident and the insurance carrier rather than seeing if you’re ok or how you’re doing, they’re out there investigating to prove that either the person they’ve insured is not at fault, and basically that you are at fault. So even in accidents which seem straight forward it’s important to get that investigation going from our end so that we can protect your rights and preserve that. Also a lot of times insurance carriers will try and contact the injured party directly, and when they’re contacting the injured party directly they’re looking for things like recorded statements, written statements and those are things that even though you might not be at fault you really don’t want to partake in unless you have a car accident attorney with you or a car accident attorney advising you because sometimes your words will, they will try and twist your words, so that there is some fault on your part. I would say lastly medical treatment which is probably the most important that somebody gets, but having a car accident lawyer will help you get your medical treatment paid for and make sure that if there are any issues associated with medical treatment that they can help guide you in the direction that you should so that the insurance carrier isn’t trying to cut off your medical benefits or not pay you for them.

2. How much will a car accident lawyer charge?

Well the good thing about handling car accident cases is we work on what’s called a contingency fee basis, and what that means is that we charge, which is the standard fee in New York state and in other states, it’s 1/3rd of the recovery. We also will front the costs and expenses, and if were successful at the end of the case we do get our 1/3 attorneys fee plus any costs and expenses associated with handling the file.”

3. How can I find the best car accident lawyer near me? (what should I look for?)

That’s easy call 1-800-law-1010, that’s the best accident attorney near you (laughs). You know advising someone about who would be the best car accident attorney is, there’s a couple of things. 1 in today’s day and age you can go on the internet and you can search different car accident attorneys who handles this, who handles that, but really you have to ask yourself who do I know of, who have I heard of. Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti we’ve been around for a number of years. We have handled only personal injury types of cases, and we have a large group of attorneys that work for us that probably account for hundreds of years of experience all together. You know we have that, you’re looking for someone like that, somebody who you can trust that knows personal injury that has been established in the community and that has a good reputation.

Attorney Benjamin S. Barry - Professional - Martin, Harding & Mazzotti 1800law1010

Attorney Benjamin Barry

Attorney Benjamin Barry received his Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.  He is currently an attorney at the Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti law firm in our Plattsburgh New York office.

1. Why hire a car accident lawyer?

The short answer is to protect your rights. Individuals who experience a personal injury as a result of a motor vehicle collision have a dizzying number of issues to contend with directly after the collision. Doctor’s appointments, vehicle damage and storage costs, lost wages, insurance companies, No-Fault applications….and the list goes on. Within all of those responsibilities are rights that absolutely need to be protected by a well-trained attorney. At Martin, Harding & Mazzotti at the outset of our representation we focus on educating our client with respect to those rights and provide apt guidance and management to those rights and responsibilities to allow our clients to focus on their physical and mental recovery. Educating our clients on their rights and stringently protecting those rights during the lifespan of a personal injury claim furthers our absolute goal of securing meaningful compensation for our clients.

2. How much will a car accident lawyer charge?

It is very important that any attorney that is hired is open and communicative about the fee arrangement and is willing to discuss examples of how the fee agreement could impact a client’s recovery. In New York State a car accident lawyer will usually charge 33.3% percent of either the “gross” or “net” settlement amount. In my experience, a gross settlement arrangement appears to be a preferred arrangement. In that scenario a client does not pay upfront for costs associated with advancing their claim such as witness investigations, medical documentation fees, expert reports or otherwise. Instead in a gross settlement scenario those associated costs are paid by the client from their net settlement amount. As a client of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti you can expect that the fee agreement will be openly discussed by your attorney and our retainer agreement will provide clear examples of the two distinct fee arrangements that are available to our clients.

3. How can I find the best car accident lawyer near me? (what should I look for?)

There are several online entities that direct traffic to attorney’s experienced in various area of expertise. The NYS Bar Association is also a good resource. Aside from the initial impression an attorney makes on a potential client with their knowledge of the legal subject, the willingness of that attorney to spend ample time discussing the specific facts of that individual’s case, discussing the general legal principles applicable to the claim, and defining the broad and specific considerations a potential client should have in navigating their claim are all very important qualities that should be evaluated by an individual seeking representation. A compatible attorney should be willing to spend the time to evaluate all of these items prior to engaging in a formal agreement for representation. At Martin, Harding & Mazzotti we strive to lay a firm foundation with every individual that seeks our counsel. This foundation begins with a detailed evaluation of the specific facts of each case, an explanation of the legal principles and theories that apply to the facts and a discussion of the considerations our potential client’s should have going forward with their claim.

Attorney David J. Pollock - Professional Headshot - Martin, Harding & Mazzotti 1800law1010

Attorney David Pollock

Attorney David Pollock attended graduate school at Cornell University and received his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University.  David has litigated cases involving automobile accidents, premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice, construction accidents, motorcycle accidents, negligent prescription of drugs, wrongful death, and traumatic brain injuries.  He is currently a supervising attorney at Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti in our Vermont Office.

1. Why hire a car accident lawyer?

Well if the injured person, the injured person will be dealing with the car insurance company for the negligent tortfeasor* and generally that takes some expertise most particularly if there is a serious injury. Just to evaluate the injury itself and to know what damages are recoverable. Equally important is the familiarity and discovery of all available insurance because one is generally limited to recovery from insurance policies and sometimes that can be a bit complicated. And you know one would be unwise on a serious injury to try to settle the case without an attorney just like one would be unwise in any sort of major financial transaction to handle that without an attorney. On minor cases sometimes, it is possible but that would be on minor cases.

* Tortfeasor: “A person who commits a tort**.

**Tort: “A wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to civil legal liability.

2. How much will a car accident lawyer charge?

Generally, the lawyers charge on a contingency basis of 1/3rd. So generally, there is no recovery, there is no fee if there is no recovery. But if there is a recovery generally the lawyers charge a contingency fee of 1/3rd.

3. How can I find the best car accident lawyer near me? (what should I look for?)

Well presumably one would want to retain an experienced attorney. One who’s handled many cases before and also one that has trial experience because that is the ultimate power that the injured person has is the threat or the ability in any case to take the other driver or the other drivers insurance company to trial. So, the best way to find an attorney I guess would be by reputation. I’m not sure how you’d figure that out, other than talk to other people and do research, maybe talk to other attorneys. But that’s the type of attorney you want. How you go about finding that I don’t know, it would depend on the individual I would think.

Hopefully we were able to answer some of the questions you might have had regarding hiring a car accident lawyer and if hiring one is the best thing for you. If you have any other questions or would like to talk to someone don’t hesitate to utilize our live chat or call us at 1-800-Law-1010.