There are thousands of car accidents across the country every single day. Be it due to texting distractions or drunk driving, reckless drivers are always on the road and causing mayhem. Due to the commonality of car accidents, it makes sense that rumors about them would start to spread.
Here are five car accident misconceptions you have probably heard and should not believe:
- You get full compensation if you didn’t cause your crash: New York does require you to carry current Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance that will pay you a certain amount for damages after a car accident, no matter who caused the crash. However, there is no guarantee your own insurance company’s PIP policy will cover all your damages. Most often, it will not. If you need more compensation for your damages, like medical bills and lost wages, you will have to file a third-party claim against the other driver who hit you. Getting the help of a car accident lawyer will improve your odds of succeeding in that claim.
- Police reports are always going to prove liability: The police should be called to any car accident scene that involves a serious injury or that disrupts traffic flow. While there, the responding officer should create a report of what they saw and what they were told by the parties involved. While this police report can be useful, it doesn’t prove liability. The officer might not even indicate who they think is to blame for the crash to try to remain neutral and objective. Police reports become more useful when placed in the hands of a personal injury attorney who knows how to read, interpret, and use it for a claim.
- Rear-end accidents always put all the blame on the rear car: Were you hit from behind while waiting at a stoplight? You might think you’re technically lucky because it should be obvious that the other driver is at fault. However, there are times when the front car in a rear-end accident has contributory liability. For example, the other driver might say you cut them off, that your brake lights weren’t functioning, or that you even reversed into them. While this can be frustrating, it does mean that you could make the same arguments if you are ever the rear car in a rear-end accident that you don’t think was your fault.
- Insurance companies offer fair settlements: You might be understandably excited to get a letter from the other driver’s insurance company that starts talking about a settlement offer. But don’t get so excited that you accept the settlement and give your signature right away. Insurance companies have a long history of offering lowballed settlements for claims they know they aren’t likely to win in hopes the claimant accepts the lower amount. Always run any settlement offer you receive from an insurer by your car accident attorney first.
- Lawyers are too expensive to hire: If you are living on minimum wages, you can’t afford a car accident lawyer, right? Wrong. Personal injury attorneys, including car accident lawyers, work for contingency fees. You won’t have to pay any attorney fees unless your case ends with you receiving a settlement or verdict amount. You also only pay them a percentage of your winnings, like 25-to-40%. Basically, you pay nothing upfront for an injury lawyer’s services and you never have to pay them more than you can afford.
Have more questions about car accident claims? Need to file one for yourself? Get answers and guidance from Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices. Our highly experienced legal team is here to help you sort the facts of your case from fiction, so you can build a strong claim in pursuit of fair, maximized compensation. Call us at (718) 690-3132 to begin with a no-cost consultation.