While a person may file a personal injury claim for many different reasons, there are generally two categories for pursuing compensation: fault and no-fault. The process for these two methods differ and the type of accident will typically determine the type of claim. New York is one of 12 no-fault states in the U.S., however, this method only applies to automobile accident claims. No-fault insurance refers to the fact that if you are involved in a car crash, you may seek payment from your own insurance company, regardless of who was “at fault” for an accident. Other injuries, such as from a slip and fall or a defective product, focus on determining fault and proving negligence. Below our blog outlines the process in a typical bodily injury claim.
Steps in a bodily injury claim include:
- Initial investigations: When you file your claim, an insurance adjuster will begin to investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident. Depending on your type of accident, this can mean taking photographs of the scene, talking to witnesses, and discussing the case with the potentially liable party. The adjuster will be looking to see if the negligent actions of the accused did or did not lead to your injury. Any evidence you gather during this time can also help support your claim.
- Settlement offers: After an adjuster has reviewed the evidence and all applicable policies, the insurance company representing the accused will offer you a settlement for your claim. It is important to understand that insurance is a business which may have profit in mind and initial offers can leave room for negotiation. You do not have to accept an initial settlement if you believe that it is less than what you deserve.
- Acceptance or denial of a claim: If the negotiation process leads to an acceptable claim, both parties will agree on the terms of a settlement. However, when an insurance company fails to pay a fair amount or attempts to deny your claim, it may be time to head to court. Adjusters are professional negotiators and having an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner can help to protect your interests.
When an injury occurs may also affect the eligibility of a claim. While you may be able to file a claim for past injuries, there is a strict time limit known as the statute of limitations. In New York, victims have only three years from the date an injury occurred to take legal action. Missing this deadline can result in the forfeiture of your right to compensation and if you think you have a claim, it is important to act quickly.
HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED? CALL (585) 270-8882
If you have been injured in an accident, knowing the personal injury claims process and what to expect can be critical to the success of your case. Dealing with the stress of an injury missed work, and medical bills can difficult enough without also having to worry about the legal process. At King Law, clients always come first and the firm can work to see that you understand exactly what is going on in your case. Rochester personal injury attorney Robert King has nearly a decade of legal experience and has helped numerous clients to seek the restitution that they deserve.
Schedule a FREE consultation with the firm today and talk to an attorney about your case.