After being involved in an accident you may literally, or even figuratively, be in complete shock, making it difficult to think clearly. Once you have called the authorities and taken action to seek medical treatment for your injuries, it is crucial that you act fast in contacting a personal injury attorney.
Choosing the right attorney is key to the healing process and helps lighten the burden facing an injured party. By allowing a trained professional to investigate the accident, navigate legal options and deal with insurance companies, you can gain peace of mind during a difficult and scary time. In addition, you can avoid making “rookie” errors while handling these issues for the first time, errors which a seasoned personal injury lawyer would not make in dealing with insurance carriers.
1. Investigation: After a car accident, fall or even a dog bite, lawyers have a limited amount of time to conduct a thorough investigation. Information such as photos of the scene before it changes, documentation of tire marks, surveillance footage, a car’s black box data and witness reports must be collected early on. Environmental factors such as rain or snow after an accident could erase crucial evidence. Surveillance footage often loops within 24 to 48 hours, which means that it could be taped over if not retrieved immediately following an accident. A car’s black box data can help determine whether the defendant applied the brakes before impact but may be destroyed or erased if not retrieved right away. Once you get in touch with an attorney, you will need to provide him or her with all of the information you have about the accident while your memory is fresh, including your recollection of what happened, contact information for all involved parties and witnesses, the police report and medical documentation of your injuries. As you can see, many details surrounding the accident are incredibly time sensitive, which is why getting in touch with a personal injury attorney should be one of your first steps.
2. Limited time to file suit: There is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit following an accident due to a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. After a certain amount of time has passed, you will no longer be able to file a claim to receive compensation for your injuries. In New York, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. Although this may seem like plenty of time, it could pass quickly, especially if you are recovering from a more serious injury. Special statutes are in place that apply to municipalities such as counties, towns, school districts and law enforcement related accidents, which further narrows your window to file what is called a Notice of Claim. In some instances, a Notice of Claim may need to be filed in as little as 30 days after the accident, and if it is not timely filed, you may lose your right to sue for your injuries. The quicker you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner you can begin the recovery process and formally file a claim.
3. Peace of mind: Following an accident, you may feel overwhelmed. By quickly contacting a personal injury attorney, you can relieve some of the stress of recovering from an accident and gain peace of mind knowing that a trained professional is hard at work protecting your interests. Experienced lawyers will provide expertise and consultation including help with insurance documents, legal paperwork and advice for dealing with law enforcement. A personal injury attorney will seek justice and compensation for your pain so you can focus on what is truly important – recovery.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact Feldman, Kleidman, Coffey & Sappe LLP (FKC&S) to discuss your case by visiting visit www.fkcs.law or calling (845) 897-5199. For 35 years and counting, FKC&S has been dedicated to advocating for the legal rights of its clients. Based in Fishkill, NY, its attorneys have successfully tried cases at all levels of state and federal courts throughout the Hudson Valley and Capital District. Recognized for excellence in the areas of Medical Malpractice Law and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants by The Best Lawyers in America© for 12 consecutive years, the firm specializes in the practice of personal injury law and professional liability defense.