“I have bad headaches after hitting the windshield in a car accident in New York two days ago. I didn’t go to the hospital. What should I do?”

Some people think that if they do not seek medical treatment immediately following a car accident that they have somehow lost the ability to still seek medical treatment and have it paid for by an insurer. This is a misconception about New York law.

No Fault Insurance

  • The vehicle that you were occupying during this collision is required under New York law to be covered by an automobile insurance policy which provides no fault benefits. This insurer is known as the no fault carrier. The no fault carrier will pay for certain accident related lost wages, medical care and transportation
  • If you were injured while occupying a car that you own, immediately call your automobile insurance company. There will be a 1-800 number on your policy for you to call for this purpose. Explain that you were injured and either have or are going to be seeking medical care today. The insurer will give you a claim number. This number must be used for all accident related medical care that you will receive.
  • If you were injured while occupying someone else’s car, that vehicle’s insurer is responsible for providing you with no fault benefits. Get on the phone with the no fault carrier for that vehicle and report the collision.

Medical Care

  • It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible following an accident.  Go to a hospital or an urgent care center if you do not have a primary care doctor who can see you on the same day that you call and get examined. Give them the name the no fault carrier and the claim number that you received. Let the medical professionals determine what if any condition you are suffering from and what treatment you need. The doctor will give you a note if he or she determines that you cannot work. The no fault carrier will pay the hospital or other provider directly for your accident related medical bills so long as you timely submit the completed no fault application to the carrier.

Call a lawyer

  • Once you are back from obtaining medical care today, contact an experienced White Plains car accident attorney. There is no charge to speak with one of our attorneys for an initial consultation in such cases and those of us who handle personal injury cases will take your case on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we recover money for you from the insurer for the at fault vehicle.

Lost Wages

  • No fault insurance will pay your accident related lost wages. You will have to complete and return an application for no fault benefits and have your treating doctor complete a form in connection with this application. Additionally, the no fault carrier will contact your employer directly to verify your employment and wages. Your attorney will guide you through this process.

Starting a lawsuit following a New York car accident

  • Generally, you have three (3) years from the date of the collision to start a lawsuit against the owner and operator of the at fault vehicle. There are shorter periods of time for vehicles owned by a municipality or other government agency. You must have a serious injury within the meaning of New York state law in order to successfully sue for pain and suffering and other elements of damages.
  • Our lawyers take the time that is needed to explain all of these issues to our clients and provide them with the guidance that they need. We enjoy handling personal injury cases and look forward to serving the injured.