Feeling overwhelmed and unsure what to do after a truck crash in New York is normal. You might wonder when it’s the best time to retain a lawyer if you’ve been hurt in a truck wreck. The simple answer is as soon as you can after your accident.
Even with the generous statutes of limitations, insurers may have shorter deadlines for filing claims before they’ll fight giving your compensation. If you need a lawyer for a truck accident in New York, it’s better to get one sooner rather than later. Here’s why, and why you may wish to delay.
New York’s Statute of Limitations
The big deadline for filing a truck accident lawsuit is the statute of limitations. This is a deadline for when you can start a lawsuit after an accident. If you try to file beyond this deadline, your case will get thrown out.
In New York, the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit is three years. For wrongful death cases, it’s two years. If your accident involved a government vehicle in any way, you have far less time and should speak with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to stop the clock.
Insurance Companies Won’t Wait to Offer a Settlement
If your injuries are serious, the trucking company’s insurance company may try reaching out to your first. You are under no obligation to speak with them and you should have a lawyer do it on your behalf. They are looking for ways to pay you less.
While you do need to call your own insurer to report the incident, you also can hire a lawyer to handle the negotiations on your behalf. They know how to word a claim correctly, so insurance companies have little wiggle room to deny you compensation.
Personal injury lawyers can also advise you on how to act so that you don’t give insurance companies evidence they can use against you in a lawsuit. Also, once you have a lawyer, you can let them do all the talking for you.
Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help With Gathering Evidence
You may wish to speak with several lawyers before choosing one, and this is a wise decision. It’s good to hire someone you feel comfortable with and has the right mix of experience for your truck accident.
One way to improve your consultations is to gather evidence before you visit. This includes:
- The motor vehicle accident report
- Pay stubs
- Medical bills related to the accident
- Any photos or video you took of your injuries, the car, the accident scene, etc.
- Medical records
- Witness statements or contact information for witnesses
- Details of conversations you’ve had with an insurance company
You don’t have to get all of this, but the more you have, the better your consultation will go. Your New York truck accident lawyer will have the information they need to assess your chances and give you better estimates on compensation.
Don’t Wait for a Complete Picture of Your Injuries
One error that we’ve seen is waiting for all the medical bills to come in before finding a lawyer. Some injuries take weeks or months to fully reveal themselves, but a competent lawyer can adjust their strategy if new injuries appear.
By the time you get a full picture of your injuries from your truck accident, the insurance companies will already have a strong case they could use against you. We can work with your doctor to get future medical records so that you can focus on healing as soon as you have a lawyer on your side.
Beyond taking time to get enough evidence to help lawyers decide if you have a case, there’s little reason to wait before hiring one. The insurance companies won’t wait, and neither should you.