Even though more than six million car crashes happen each year, it still comes as a shock when it happens to you. It is an emotional and overwhelming time, but Wittenstein & Wittenstein is here to help. Below is a checklist of steps to take immediately following an auto accident:

1. Try to remain calm.
2. If you are injured, stay in your car unless it is unsafe to do so.
3. Wait for the police and medical help.
4. Record all witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers, as well as those of any other drivers who were involved.
5. When giving your report of the events for the police report, be sure to confirm whether you were wearing a seatbelt.
6. If you are injured, insist on an ambulance ride to the hospital.
7. Obtain medical treatment immediately, even if you are unsure if you’ve been injured. Tell medical personnel everything that you feel might be physically wrong as a result of the accident.
8. Refrain from accepting legal referrals at hospitals.
9. Do not talk to insurance representatives until you have contacted a lawyer.

Of course, if you are visiting this page, you may have already been in such an accident. If this is the case, Wittenstein & Wittenstein can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. With over forty years of experience and a uniquely personalized approach to legal services, we are confident that we can help. Simply call 718-261-8114, and we can be there to help you.

Wittenstein & Wittenstein knows it takes mere seconds for a car accident to change your life. You may have been lucky enough to walk away, but that does not mean you did not have severe medical bills that might still be piling up today. Combine that with the time you may have been forced to stay home from work while rehabilitating, and you have experienced a serious financial loss. Wittenstein & Wittenstein wants to help right this wrong.

Car crashes occur literally almost every second of the day in the United States alone. As you likely know if you are reading this web page, these car accidents, when not fatal, can cause injuries ranging from the minor to the incredibly severe. Wittenstein & Wittenstein understands that car accidents happen to just about everyone, and we want to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have sustained, no matter how small or large. If you have been injured in a car accident and believe you may be eligible to file a lawsuit, contact us at 718-261-8114 or law@wittenstein.com so we can help you determine what your options are and figure out the best next step for you to take.

What is No-Fault? Simply put, it is a type of insurance that covers certain risks regardless of who is at fault when an accident occurs. If you are involved in an accident where you are not at fault, your own insurance must pay for your medical bills. The “No-Fault” name is based on the idea that even though, for example, someone else rear-ended your car while you were stopped at an intersection, your own insurance carrier is the party who must pay the fees for the ambulance, hospital, rehabilitation, and any other medical needs stemming from the incident. This may even extend to financial losses resulting from the injured party’s inability to go to work. However, it is the primary goal of No-Fault insurance to make sure that your health is taken care of without consideration to who is responsible for the accident.

It is important to remember that No-Fault insurance does not cover vehicular damage, only medical bills. Instead, it is the party at fault who may be legally held responsible for paying to fix your vehicle. Additionally, keep in mind that No-Fault has its limits: policies are only required to pay up to $50,000 for legitimate losses.

The following is important information you should know about the way No-Fault works in New York State:

  • In order to qualify for No-Fault benefits, you must file a No-Fault application (form NF-2) with the insurance carrier of the car you were in.
  • If you were a pedestrian, you should send the No-Fault application form to both the insurance carrier of the car that hit you and the insurance carrier of a car that you own (if you own a car).
  • No-Fault does have time constraints. If you are in an accident, it is especially important to file for the No-Fault Application immediately. You have thirty (30) days from the date of the auto accident to file the form.
  • Don’t put it off thinking that your injuries may get better or that your health insurance will cover the accident. Filing the application does not obligate you to commence a claim. Most health insurance does not cover personal injury resulting from a car accident, so filing the form is a matter of protecting your rights.
  • Make sure that you send the form to the correct insurance company. Even if the accident was the other car’s fault, the No-Fault Application gets sent to the insurance carrier for the car you were in.
  • If you have difficulty getting information from an uncooperative driver, get a copy of the police report. This should have a three digit code which will tell you the insurance carrier. If you still cannot find the insurance company, the new regulations do allow you to provide written proof of a “clear or reasonable” reason for missing the deadline. However, the insurance company is the party that decides if your reasons are sound, so it is not wise to bank on a late application being successful.
  • Send a notice right away to the New York State Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) if you are having trouble filing. MVAIC is a state run agency which steps into the shoes of the insurance company where there is no insurance. If you find out the identity of the insurance company after you file with MVAIC, you may always withdraw your claim. However, much like insurance companies, MVAIC will not pay without a fight.
  • If you are claiming lost earnings and out of pocket expenses, save all your receipts for car service, personal assistance, etc. and make sure that your employer sends in proof of your wages, disability and loss of income within ninety (90) days of the accident. Under No-Fault you are entitled to receive 80% of your accident related lost earnings up to $2000 a month paid over a maximum of three years.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding No-Fault regulations and believe you may be eligible to file under No-Fault, please contact us at 718-261-8114 or law@wittenstein.com so we can best assess your options and help you plan your next step.