Car Accident FAQs

If you were hurt because of someone else’s actions or inaction, you can seek compensation for your pain and suffering.

The team at Harding Mazzotti understands that navigating the aftermath of a car accident and pursuing legal action can seem daunting and confusing. We want you to feel free to ask us any questions you have regarding your accident, the process of filing a claim, and beyond. Give us a call anytime, 24/7, at 1-800-LAW-1010.

I was just involved in a car accident. What should I do now?

If you are involved in a car accident, first check to make sure that you and others in the vehicle not been injured. If anyone is injured, dial 9-1-1 immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If you are able to do so safely, exit your vehicle and determine if persons in other vehicles or bystanders are injured. If so, call emergency services immediately. Be aware of any potential hazards, such as vehicle fires. Unless someone is in imminent danger, wait for emergency personnel before attempting to move an injured person.

Be sure to get yourself to a safe place and put your hazard lights on. Unless the accident appears to be minor and you are blocking traffic or you are endangered by oncoming traffic, avoid moving your car.

Take photos, gather information, and document everything about the scene and the accident, if you are able. And of course, contact an experienced auto accident attorney at Harding Mazzotti, LLP. For even more information, please read our blog on what to do if you’ve been in a car accident.

Should I take pictures after a car accident?

If you are able, we recommend taking pictures of the scene, vehicles, and any injuries you have sustained. However, it is important to be very careful when walking around your car so you do not endanger yourself or anyone else.

I was in an auto accident but I am only sore. Do I still need to see a doctor?

Yes. Often, the true severity of your injuries might not be understood until some time after the accident. Soreness can possibly be a small symptom of a much more serious injury. For example: herniated discs, traumatic brain in jury, cervical injury, or fractured/disclocated vertebrae.

If you don’t seek medical attention immediately after your accident, the insurance company will likely claim that the injury could have taken place after the accident. Without medical documentation, there is no proof otherwise.

What if I do not know who caused my accident?

New York is a “no-fault” state which means that regardless of who caused the accident, your own car insurance company will reimburse you for accident-related losses such as medical expenses, lost earnings, and other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as a result of the motor vehicle accident. If the paperwork is filed correctly and on time, you can still ensure that your benefits are protected whether or not you know who caused the accident. Please note that not all states are No-Fault states. 

The person who hit me does not have insurance. What do I do?

All insurance policies in New York have to have an “uninsured/underinsured motorists” coverage; submit the claim to your own insurance company.

How much time do I have after my accident to decide whether or not to sue?

Different cases have different time limits called “statute of limitations.” Generally, for most vehicle accidents are 3 years from D.O.I. (date of injury). Depending on the facts of your case, there may be shorter deadlines or varying time limits to file a personal injury claim. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to help you with the time limits and notice requirements so that you can file a lawsuit on time.

Do I really need to hire an attorney if I have been injured in a car accident?

Yes, it is our opinion that a represented party will benefit from representation, as licensed attorneys are familiar with the Judicial System and insurance companies. It is worth contacting a personal injury attorney as personal attorney gets paid on a contingent basis. In other words, you do not have to pay for an attorney in NY State for injuries you sustained in a car accident up front. We only get paid at the end from the settlement if we are successful on your behalf.

Can I still get my medical bills paid if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Yes. New York is a “no-fault” state, which means that no matter who caused the accident, your own car insurance company will reimburse you for economic losses such as medical expenses, lost earnings, and other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Learn more about No-Fault Insurance here. Again, please note that not all states are No-Fault states. 

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