Each year in the United States there are appromixately12 million car
FACT: You or someone you know is likely to be involved in an auto accident.
Take a few minutes to read the answers to these frequently asked questions about accidents:
Q: What should I do if I am in an accident?
A: See information in the box below for a helpful checklist of “do’s” and “don’ts”
if you or a family member is involved in an accident. We recommend you cut
this checklist out and put a copy in every vehicle you own.
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Auto Accident Checklist
√ STAY CALM.
√ Move yourself and your passengers out of harm’s call. Call the police.
√ Assist anyone who is injured. Call an ambulance if necessary.
√ Get the name, address, phone number, and license number of the other
driver(s) and car(s). Exchange insurance information. DO NOT discuss
the accident (except with the police), but DO make notes of anything
the other driver(s) say about the accident.
√ Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses.
√ Get photographs of your vehicle, contact your insurance company,
and write down everything you remember about the collision ASAP.
√ Contact our firm 1-800-NYNY.Law to discuss your legal options
Information provided by Stephen Bilkis & Associates, Attorneys at Laws www.1800NYNYLAW.com
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Q: How are insurance claims handled?
A: As soon as possible after the accident, contact your insurance company.
— If the accident was the other driver’s fault, your claim should be paid by
his or her insurance company.
— If the other driver does not have insurance, or does not have enough
insurance, your insurance company may pay your claim, depending on what kind
of coverage you have.
— Some insurance companies will tell you that you don’t need an attorney to
represent you if you are injured in the accident. THIS IS BAD ADVICE!
— Never give an insurance company official statements about the accident
without consulting us so that we can protect your rights.
Q: What about property damage claims?
A: Most property damage claims are handled quickly and efficiently and
usually do not require a lawyer.
— If the accident is not your fault, the other driver’s insurance should pay to
fix your car, unless it would cost more to fix your car than it is worth.
— If that is the case, your car is “totaled,” and you will receive only the
market value of your car before the accident. Many repair shops will help
you by providing free repair estimates for insurance purposes.
Q: What if I am injured?
A: As with property damage, if the other driver is responsible for the accident,
he or she is also responsible for your medical bills. If you have been injured,
it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
— REMEMBER: An injury may not appear until long after the accident.
Q: Do I need an attorney?
A: If you were not hurt, or if the only damaged suffered is property damage,
you probably will not need an attorney. However, if you have been injured or
have missed work, you should contact us IMMEDIATELY to help you get our
fair due from the insurance company.
— Unfortunately, many insurance companies make it difficult to recover for
certain kinds of injuries (such as whiplash) without a lawyer’s help.
Q: How much will it cost to get legal help?
A: Most attorneys who handle personal injury lawsuits do so on a
— This means that you do not have to pay for the attorney’s services
out of your own pocket, but instead the attorney will receive a share
of the recovery if you are successful.
— If you don’t win, you don’t pay. We believe that you deserve
good legal help even if you do not have a lot of money.
Q: What is my claim worth?
A: The answer depends on a number of different factors.
— You should be compensated for your medical bills and lost wages,
both past and future.
— You also should recover something for the pain and suffering the
accident has caused you.
— If your injuries are serious enough, they may affect you for the
rest of your life, and so you should be able to recover for our
lost earning capacity.
Q: How long will it take to settle my claim?
A: Many cases settle quickly, to everyone’ satisfaction. Others continue
for months or even years, depending on whether there are disputed facts
and on the amount of medical treatment you require. Still other cases
cannot be settled without a trial, which may take longer.
Q: Who do I talk to?
A: If you have been in an accident and have questions about whether
you need a lawyer or whether you have a right to monetary
damages, call us. 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9528).
Decisions that must be made after an accident are very important.
We will be happy to talk with you about your case. Stephen Bilkis & Associates, with convenient locations throughout the New York Metropolitan area, can provide you advice on DWI-related incidents.