Q: I have heard a variety of dos and don’ts when you are involved in a car accident, but if I am ever involved in a car accident what do I need to do? Initially, determine if anyone is injured in your vehicle. If possible, immediately contact the police or have someone at the scene do so. Next, if you have a cell phone, take some photographs of the damage to the vehicles involved and their location at the scene. Obtain the names and cell phone numbers of any witnesses at the scene.
If you or a passenger in your vehicle is injured, have emergency personnel brought to the scene or seek immediate care for the injuries. There are certain steps that you need to take to protect your rights. New York has no fault insurance which will pay your medical expenses and loss of earnings. However, there is a limited time period in order to insure payment of your medical bills and lost earnings.
A no fault application must be filed with the insurance carrier of the vehicle that you or the injured party was in, and the application must be received by that carrier within 30 days of the accident. You must contact that insurance carrier to advise them of the accident and request the necessary no fault application to be filed with them. Failure to properly and timely file your no fault application would result in jeopardizing your benefits.
Navigating the New York no fault system can be a daunting challenge, and failure to properly and timely file could result in jeopardizing your benefits. If you are ever injured in a car accident, you should seek further advice from an attorney.
Click here to view other ‘Ask the Lawyer’ Q&A prepared by Meyer Suozzi attorneys.