General Car Accident Questions
Do you have general car accident questions that you want to run by a personal injury lawyer? We can answer your questions in a free consultation.
General Car Accident Questions | What are No Fault Benefits?
In New York State, everybody who is injured in a car accident is entitled to no-fault benefits. The innocent victim as well as the person who made the mistake or caused the accident, they all get the same initial bundle of benefits through no-fault. It’s your medical benefits, your wages, mileage reimbursement, things like that. People are only entitled to anything beyond that if they qualify as being what they call either seriously injured or a threshold injury in New York State. There are certain very specific categories that you must fit into as defined by law, and your attorney and you are the best ones to go over what categories you might qualify for after the records are in and the injuries have been determined.
General Car Accident Questions | Can I File a Claim if I Was Not Wearing a Seatbelt?
Sometimes clients call and tell us they were injured in an accident due to somebody else’s fault; either they forgot, they were in a hurry, or some people are just opposed to it still. What I tell those clients is you can receive compensation for injuries sustained in that car accident if the seat belt would not have prevented them. For example, if you’re struck from the side and you break your arm against the door, you have a valid claim for that injury. However, if by wearing a seat belt you would not have struck your head on the steering wheel, for example, then you are not protected. It’s called the seat belt defense. What would happen is, although we would claim all the injuries that were caused by the accident, the defendants can assert as a defense that because you weren’t wearing a seat belt those injuries should be either precluded or diminished because of your failure to wear that device.
General Car Accident Questions | Should I Take the First Settlement Offer?
My answer to that question invariably is absolutely not. To maximize recovery, the first thing I tell my clients as a Buffalo Personal Injury Lawyer, is that we must have patience; patience on behalf of the lawyer and patience on behalf of the client. We only get one shot at this. If we’re jumping at an opportunity to settle the case early on because of a timing requirement as opposed to maximizing the recovery, then the individual will end up walking away with less than they deserve.
To win it’s necessary for us to take those initial offers, counter those offers with a demand that is significant enough, and offers us the ability to bring that insurance company to a number that is appropriate for the case. It’s only after those negotiations (sometimes intense negotiations) that we’re able to get to a number that is proper for the injuries sustained in that case.
If you have any further general car accident questions, please call our Buffalo personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.