Practice Areas > Automobile Accidents

There are a number of issues that confront a victim of a car accident. First, of course, is the immediate concern about your health and the extent of the physical injury you suffered. Many of our clients are taken immediately from the scene of the accident to a neighboring hospital by ambulance. Understandably, one does not think about insurance coverage. Unfortunately, the insurance companies do.

What most people don't know is that insurance companies have placed strict limits on the amount of time you have to file a claim after a car acccident. In New York, a victim of a car accident typically has only thirty (30) days from the date of the accident to file a No-Fault claim. A No-Fault claim will, in most cases, compensate a victim for medical expenses and lost wages up to the maximum amount under the law or your policy, whichever is greater. If, however, you do not timely file the application for benefits, coverage may be denied and you will be compelled to seek reimbursement for your expenses from other sources, i.e. your heath insurance. What you must know, however, is that in most cases your health insurance will NOT cover expenses resulting from a car accident if you do not attept to file No-Fault first. Health insurance carriers will ask you, in usually one of the first questions on their claim form, whether your loss stemmed from a car accident. If so, they will typically disclaim coverage, until you can prove that your No-Fault claim has been exhausted.

Even if No-Fault is timely filed, most No-Fault insurance carriers strenuously oppose your continued treatment by sending you to their physicians soon after the accident. The purpose of these examinations is not to treat you or make you better, but to provide reports to the carrier that are typically used as a basis for cutting off your coverage. For those individuals fortunate enough to have their own health insurance, medical treatment may continue. For those who do not have health insurance, necessary medical treatment is stopped.

These are just some of the concerns involving insurance coverage following a car accident. Please keep in mind that we have only addressed issues involving No-Fault insurance coverage. There is also the issue of "pain and suffering" sustained by accident victims and their families.

Pain and suffering, usually defined as the loss of enjoyment of one's life brought about by injury, may only be adequately adressed through a separate lawsuit against the driver and owner of the vehicle that was responsible for your accident. No-Fault, even if timely filed, DOES NOT compensate an accident victim for "pain and suffering". Accordingly, Friedman & Moses typically will file both No-Fault claims and institute lawsuits on behalf of our clients.

It is critical to seek out an experienced attorney to assist you with the numerous challenges you will face in the days following an accident. For many years, the trial lawyers of Friedman & Moses have been successfully representing clients who have been seriously injured in car accidents. Please feel free to contact us for any questions or concerns you may have about your case.