Category Archives: Accidents

Can I Settle My Own Accident Case Without a Lawyer?

Can I settle my own accident case without a lawyer? Yes, you do not need a personal injury lawyer to settle your own accident case if it only involves damage to your car. You need a personal injury lawyer if you are injured.

Can I settle my own accident case without a lawyer? That's what this man is thinking.

Insurance companies tell you that you don’t need a lawyer because they’ll treat you fairly and take good care of you. But find out why you should not try to settle your own case without a lawyer if you are injured and why you should notify your insurance company if you were not injured.

What Will Happen If I Try To Settle My Own Case Without a Lawyer?

Insurance companies typically settle for 2–10% of your injury value if you don’t have a personal injury lawyer. We call this nuisance value.

One of the tactics insurance companies uses to settle with people before they call a lawyer is a letter about a computer program called Colossus created for insurance companies to evaluate your injuries. It’s a great tool to sell a low-ball settlement offer because if a computer computes the value of your injury, it must be correct, right? Of course, not.

Why Will The Insurance Company Delay if I Don’t Have a Lawyer?

If you’re looking for more money, the insurance company will delay and waste time

  1. so you give in and accept a settlement amount in the lower range
  2. so a lawyer won’t take your case anymore because too much time has gone by
  3. so the statute of limitations expires and you lost your right to get money

You will eventually give up and look for a personal injury lawyer when you find out that the insurance company is not going to settle for a fair amount.

We have seen people negotiate with an insurance company for as long as 2-3 years before calling a lawyer.

People who waited two years, called us after they couldn’t find another lawyer willing to take the case because there wasn’t enough time to work on the case before the statute of limitations expired. Depending upon the type of accident, personal injury lawyers typically want a case at least 6-24 months before the statute of limitations expires.

People who called us three years after their accident found it was too late because they missed the statute of limitations.

Should I Settle My Own Personal Injury Case If I Just Need a Quick Settlement?

You don’t need to lose out on a lot of money and risk ruining your personal injury case because you need quick money after your accident. When you’re injured in an accident and need quick money we can get you a lawsuit loan.

One of our clients needed money and would have settled his case for a broken thumb but we got him several cash advances totaling $50,000 and we settled his case for $1.2 Million!

Will My Case Be Hurt If I Try To Settle On My Own Before I Hire a Lawyer?

When you try to settle on your own, you risk the following:

  • Wasting 6-24 months before you give up.
  • Not knowing about some of your injuries (see below about our client who tried to settle for four broken ribs and didn’t know he had a concussion-we got him $1,000,000).
  • The insurance company will make you sign a release for a fraction of what your injury is worth. A lawyer will NOT be able to reopen your case.
  • Making it harder for your lawyer to obtain a settlement because of statements you made.
  • Possibly destroying your case.
  • You may find that no lawyer will want to represent you.

What Happened When Someone Tried To Represent Himself Without a Lawyer

Injured Victim Settled Broken Hip Without a Lawyer For Too Little

We settled a case for $45,000 for a woman who injured her knee in a car accident but did not need surgery. The woman and her husband were very happy. A year later, her husband broke his hip in a car accident when a car ran a red light and hit his car.

He immediately called us but was asking for advice because he wanted to settle the claim on his own to save the legal fee.

The insurance company admitted 100% liability, there was a $300,000 insurance policy, and told him they would treat him fairly. He thought they would be fair because their driver ran a red light.

I told him that he would never be able to get as much money as we could but he insisted on trying. I told him to call me before accepting any settlement offer and he said he would.

Two years later, he called to tell me that he was very happy that he settled his case for $60,000! He thought that was a lot of money. He actually did quite well for someone who isn’t a lawyer. I didn’t think they would ever pay him more than $45,000.

How much could we have settled for? We probably could have settled the case for the entire $300,000 Insurance policy in just six months without filing a lawsuit because the insurance company admitted 100% liability. $250,000 is at the low end of the settlement value for a broken hip.

How much money would he have received if he hired us?

$300,000 Gross settlement
-$100,000 legal fee
-$1,500 case expenses (approximately $150 to $1,500 but let’s assume $1,500)
= $198,500 to our client instead of $60,000

What if we could only get a $250,000 settlement without filing a lawsuit and our client wanted to take it?

$250,000 Gross settlement
-$83,333 legal fee
-$1,500 case expenses (approximately $150 to $1,500 but let’s assume $1,500)
= $165,166 to our client instead of $60,000

Missed His Main Injury — Thought He Only Had 4 Broken RIbs

In this case, we had a client who broke four ribs and tried to settle his case on his own for three months. He would’ve been happy if he got $40,000 but, fortunately for him, the insurance company wouldn’t pay him more than $10,000.

When he came to us three months after the accident, we realized that he had a much more serious injury, a concussion that caused memory loss. But we couldn’t get the insurance company to pay for that injury because the claim rep said, “I’ve been speaking with him for months and he sounds fine.”

Three years later, the insurance company offered us only $150,000 to settle but after another year we went to trial and they had to pay $1 million.

Just before the trial, the insurance company attorney hired an expert doctor who testified that our client suffered memory loss and was not a faker. He testified that memory loss was due to smoking marijuana for years but he was unable to submit any evidence to prove that.

How much more money did he get because he hired a lawyer?

$1,000,000 Gross settlement after trial
-$333,333 legal fee
-$44,619 case expenses
= $622,048 to our client instead of $10,000

Can I Settle My Own Accident Case Without a Lawyer If I Don’t Have a Serious Injury?

You can but, again, a personal injury lawyer can get you a lot more money and you may have more serious injuries that you weren’t aware were caused by your accident.

Example with a small injury in a car accident: When Lia was hit in the rear and bit her lip, the insurance company offered her $150. We settled her case for $16,000. That’s 106.66 times more money or a 10,566.7% increase over what the insurance company offered.

How much more money did she get because she hired a lawyer?

$16,000 Gross settlement
-$5,333 legal fee
-$0 case expenses
= $10,667 to our client instead of $150

Take a look at some of the injuries we represent clients for and the injuries you may not think are serious.

What Happened When a Personal Injury Lawyer Tried To Represent Himself?

Who was the personal injury lawyer who tried to represent himself? Me! Phil Franckel.

As Abraham Lincoln stated, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client”. And that goes for personal injury lawyers too. Even a lawyer can’t represent him or herself.

I broke my nose in a hit-and-run accident and tried to represent myself. Why? It was an easy case!

I settled dozens of cases with a broken nose and hit-and-run accidents are easy. It’s an uninsured claim on my own insurance policy and since no one can testify against me it’s a 100% liability claim.

The insurance company knew I was a personal injury lawyer (they know who every lawyer is), so they should just pay me what my injury was worth. Right? That’s what I thought but I was wrong.

Because they knew I’m a lawyer, they made a “generous” (for settling without a lawyer) offer of $7,000 for my broken nose but I settled that injury many times before for $50,000.

My insurance company would not offer a fair settlement and I had to hire a friend who charged me a legal fee but he gave me a 1/3 discount.

See why my insurance company would not make a fair settlement offer, in the next paragraph.

Why Won’t An Insurance Company Pay a Fair Settlement Without a Lawyer?

First, let’s look at why my insurance company wouldn’t pay a fair settlement to me even when they knew I was a personal injury lawyer. That’s because they knew I was trying to save the legal fee. The insurance company wants to save that money. They didn’t want to give it to me.

So, if you’re trying to save the 1/3 legal fee, the insurance company will want to keep that money for the company. They won’t give it to you. See what our 1/3 legal fee includes.

That means if you have a claim worth $100,000, the most the insurance company will offer you is $66,666.66 because you wouldn’t get more than that after legal fees.

But wait, the insurance company will never offer you that much.

Since you’re not a personal injury lawyer, they know you don’t know what your injury is really worth, you don’t know how to prepare your case, you don’t know what to do if they don’t offer more, and there’s nothing you can do about it anyway.

If the insurance company sees you’re trying to avoid hiring a lawyer, they know they have a good shot at paying you nuisance value, 2–10% of your injury value because

  1. you’re trying to avoid the legal fee
  2. you have no idea what you’re doing, and
  3. there’s nothing you can do without a lawyer
  4. they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by stringing you along for as long as possible

What Does The Insurance Company Gain If They Don’t Pay a Fair Settlement?

Time, money, and more money. The more time the insurance company keeps your money, the more money they make with your money.

If the insurance company can delay long enough, you may not be able to find a personal injury lawyer willing to take your case anymore and you may even miss the statute of limitations legally preventing you from ever filing a lawsuit.

The insurance company will either settle for pennies on the dollar, pay nothing at all, or you will eventually get a lawyer, and the insurance company saved time.

How Much More Money Can I Get With a Lawyer Than if I Settle My Case Without a Lawyer?

Consider these facts from a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council. The Insurance Research Council website says they are “an independent, nonprofit research organization supported by leading property and casualty insurance companies and associations.”

  1. If you have a serious injury, just speaking to a lawyer about your rights can get you almost 40% more money than not talking to a lawyer.
  2. If you have a lawyer, you could get 3 1/2 times more money on average from your insurance settlement than without a lawyer when comparing gross settlement amounts.
How much more money can you get with a lawyer than without a lawyer?

This chart from our 1-800-HURT-911 TV ad shows you the difference, on average, between settling without a lawyer vs. with a lawyer

How Much More Money Can I Get If You’re My Lawyer?

We have always been able to get many times more money than what insurance companies offered our clients and many more times what they offered us, often hundreds of thousands more! Take a look at some of our trial verdicts, arbitration awards, and settlements.

In one case, we got $465,000 for a knee injury when GEICO offered us only $10,000. That’s 46.5 times more money than the insurance company settlement offer!

In another case, our client tried to settle his case on his own and gave up after three months when he couldn’t get the insurance company to pay a settlement of more than $10,000 for 4 broken ribs. We realized that he had a much more serious injury, a concussion that caused memory loss. After a trial, the insurance company had to pay $1 million.

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When Don’t I Need a Lawyer When I’m Injured?

If you can’t find a personal injury lawyer to take your case and the insurance company is offering to settle for nuisance value, usually a few hundred dollars, then you don’t need a lawyer.

As an example, if you were hit in the rear in a car accident and bit your lip, you may not be able to find a personal injury lawyer to take your case because the injury is too minor.

However,  we took cases when someone bit their lip. We got $25,000 for this injury when our client bit his lip and $16,000 for another client who only had a mark as small as the one circled in purple. It’s not likely that you can settle your own case without a lawyer and get a settlement like that.

Can you can settle your own case without a lawyer and get a $25,000 settlement for this scar inside your lip?

If you have an injury that is substantially more valuable than the limit of the insurance policy(s) of the people responsible for causing your injury, you may not need a lawyer to get your money but you may need a lawyer for other reasons.

Example: you broke your leg and had surgery when you were a pedestrian hit by a car with a $25,000 insurance policy.

The car’s insurance company should not give you a difficult time offering the entire $25,000 insurance policy. But call a personal injury lawyer who may be willing to give you advice for a small fee.

Other Considerations Requiring a Lawyer

Besides the amount of your settlement, there are many other considerations that may require a lawyer.

Can You Get More Money from Additional Insurance Policies and Assets

A lawyer can determine if there are any other possible insurance policies and whether the driver, registrant, and owner of the car have enough assets to go after. We search for additional insurance policies and assets when our client has a valuable injury.

Release

The release that an insurance company will have you sign protects them very well but doesn’t do anything to protect you.

For instance, the insurance company release will allow the insurance company to pay any company that comes after them for liens such as reimbursement of medical and other expenses. The release also allows the insurance company to then go after you to get that money back. We do not allow our clients to sign an insurance company release without modifications.

Protecting Government Benefits

There may be government benefits affected by your settlement. We have been contacted by people who settled claims on their own only to find out that they either had to repay the money to the government or lose their benefits.

There are ways to protect your settlement money and keep your government benefits but once you settle your case, it’s too late.

For instance, a lawyer can place your settlement money into a special needs trust or a pooled trust but this has to be done before you receive your settlement money. You will then be allowed to spend your settlement money on almost anything you want without any effect on your government benefits.

We frequently have clients with government benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), housing, etc. and we protect their settlement money so they can keep their benefits. Some of our clients have only $25,000 settlements while others have settlements of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

When our client has a settlement of only $25,000-$50,000, we usually use a pooled trust. We usually use a special needs trust for settlements of more than $50,000. There are many differences in cost and use between a special needs trust and a pooled trust which require a discussion with our client.

What should I Do If I Was In An Accident But Wasn’t Injured?

If You Were Not Injured and Your Car Was Damaged

Your insurance will pay to repair your car if you have collision damage coverage. If you do not have collision damage coverage, you can file a lawsuit in small claims court or hire a general practice lawyer.

Find out if you can accept a settlement and deposit a check if the other driver’s insurance company offers to pay you.

You must always notify your insurance company when you are involved in an accident because other people may file a claim or lawsuit against you for property damage or injuries even if you think it was their fault and no one was injured. If you don’t notify your insurance company, you may lose your coverage and a free lawyer to represent you.

Personal injury lawyers typically do not represent people for collision damage. We will represent you for collision damage if you were also injured.

If You Damaged Someone Else’s Car

Do not try to settle your accident on your own. If you settle an accident claim without notifying your insurance company, you could have a problem if the other person goes to a lawyer later. Your insurance company could disclaim coverage. Just notify your insurance company and let them handle it.

What to Do If You Are Being Sued for Injuries or Property Damage

If you are being sued for injuries or property damage, your insurance company will represent you after a claim is filed and before a lawsuit is started.

Once a lawsuit is started, your insurance company will assign an attorney to represent you. It is rare that you will need to pay a lawyer to represent you in addition to your insurance company lawyer.

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Have Substantial Property Damage?

If you have substantial property damage or damage to your house or building, you may need a lawyer. You can file in Small Claims Court for up to $5000.

How much is substantial property damage? In New York, probably more than $15,000 if you hire a general practice lawyer which could cost several thousand dollars. If you had property damage of more than $100,000, call us for a free consultation.

See What type of attorney do I need if someone damaged my property or building?

Related Articles

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Am Being Sued for an Accident?

Do I have to notify my insurance company when I have an accident but there was very little damage to my car?

Should I Save Money With a Legal Plan Lawyer for My Accident?

How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

How to Compare Personal Injury Lawyers in New York

How Long Does an Accident Case Take?

Visual timeline of a personal injury case and lawsuit

If I Sue My Family, Relative or Friend Will Their Insurance Premium Go Up?

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Phil FranckelPhilip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website.

Mr. Franckel is a personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York, President of 1-800-HURT-911, Inc., and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a 10 Avvo Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews,  and Avvo Top Contributor. See Mr. Franckel’s bio.

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  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
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You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
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Am I Better Off In A Big Old Car or A Small New Car With Safety Features?

Do you think you’re safer in one of those big old cars that were tanks?

My Head-On Crash Between a Pontiac Tempest And A Cadillac

In high school, I had a 1968 Pontiac Tempest which was a tank. I was making a right turn when a woman in an even bigger car, a Cadillac, made a left turn on the wrong side of the street. Her Cadillac had a head-on collision with my car.

From the driver’s seat, I saw that the front of her large Cadillac was completely destroyed. The Cadillac was totaled. I got out and to my shock, my Pontiac Tempest didn’t have any damage, not even a scratch or a broken headlight!

Which Is Safer, A Big Old Car Or A New Small Car?

But what about a crash between one of those old large tanks and a much newer small compact car with modern safety features? Which car do you think you would be safer in? Maybe it’s the old tank or maybe the newer small compact car.

First Video Of A Crash Test Between An Old Car And A New Small Car

Nigel Latta did the first and one of the only crash tests between an old car and a newer small compact car. The video is broadcast on Curiosity Stream but you can watch the video below to find out which car you’re safer in.

So, which is safer, one of those big old cars that were tanks or a new small car? Watch the video

This is another video showing crash tests of old vs new cars and old large cars vs new cars. You may have to slow down the video to really see the damage to the cars.

Is A Large Modern Car Safer Than A Small Modern Car?

When comparing cars of the same years with almost equal safety features, bigger is still better. People in bigger heavier cars are safer than people in smaller lighter cars. Take a look at this crash test video using the same small car as Nigel Latta’s video of the crash test between an old car and a newer small car.

Is An SUV Safer Than A Car?

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Should I Use The Insurance Estimate App To Send a Photo of My Car Damage for an Estimate?

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Phil FranckelPhilip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website.

Mr. Franckel is a personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York, President of 1-800-HURT-911, Inc., and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a 10 Avvo Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews,  and Avvo Top Contributor. See Mr. Franckel’s bio.

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Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

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Do I have to notify my insurance company when I have an accident but there was very little damage to my car?

A. Yes. Even if both cars do not have any damage an occupant of a car can have a serious injury. If you do not timely notify your insurance company and you are sued for personal injuries, you can lose your insurance coverage which includes money to pay a lawyer to defend you and pay the claim against you if it is a legitimate claim. We have many clients who were injured in car accidents with little or no damage.

Why Do I Need to Notify My Insurance Company When There Was No Damage to the Car?

You paid your insurance company to defend you and pay any claims against you if you have a car accident. You might as well get what you paid for.

If you notify your insurance company, you will get two very valuable benefits which could cost you a lot of money if you don’t have insurance.

The first benefit is to defend you. This means that the insurance company will pay a personal injury defense lawyer to defend you. If someone files a lawsuit against you and you had to hire a personal injury defense lawyer, it could easily cost you as much as $50,000 or more.

You may also be sued for causing property damage to another car or other property. You want to make sure your insurance company will defend you and pay any money you are required to pay.

The second benefit is to pay the claim made against you. This is actually two benefits in one. Let’s assume that you have an insurance policy with a $100,000 liability limit.

First, The insurance company will pay the claim so you don’t have to. if the person, who you thought wasn’t injured, actually had surgery because of the accident, your insurance company should offer to settle the claim for the entire $100,000 limit so you don’t have to pay out of your pocket.

Second, your insurance company will not agree to pay the $100,000 unless the person making the claim against you signed a release that releases you from any further liability. When your insurance company settles the claim, you’re completely off the hook.

Car Damage

What do you have to do to be protected against someone who sues you?

  1. Pay your insurance premium on time.
  2. Promptly notify your insurance company of an accident, claim and/or lawsuit against you.
  3. Cooperate with your insurance company by giving them a statement and appearing for a deposition if you are required to because a lawsuit was filed.

Tip: Don’t lie to your insurance company about how the accident happened. You may be afraid that your insurance premium will increase your insurance premium if they think the accident was your fault but your premium may not increase. More importantly, if the accident really was your fault or partially your fault and you claim it wasn’t, your insurance company will probably not agree to settle the claim. This will cause a personal injury lawyer like us to file a lawsuit and go after your personal assets. Some New York personal injury lawyers like us may refuse to accept a settlement at the time of trial. Lying to your insurance company can put your personal assets at risk.

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Read
Can I Sue for Injury If There Was No Damage to the Cars?
Should I use an insurance damage estimate app?

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Phil FranckelPhilip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website.

Mr. Franckel is a personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York, President of 1-800-HURT-911, Inc., and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a 10 Avvo Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews,  and Avvo Top Contributor. See Mr. Franckel’s bio.

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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

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How Do I Pay for Funeral Bills after a Car or Motorcycle Accident?

FAQ: Paying for Funeral Bills after a Car Accident

Q. If someone dies in a car accident, does insurance pay the funeral bills?

A. Partially. The New York no-fault insurance death benefit amount for funeral bills is only $2,000. Additional money to pay funeral costs is also available from other sources. Money can be obtained immediately with a cash advance on a lawsuit.

The defendant and the defendant’s insurance are also responsible for all damages and costs, although a lawsuit might need to be started to get money from the defendant.

The $2,000 New York no-fault insurance death benefit is available for the following types of accidents: car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents when someone is killed when struck by a car, truck, or bus. The New York no-fault insurance death benefit is not available to motorcyclists and passengers on a motorcycle but is available to pedestrians hit by a motorcycle.

Please call us and we will be happy to let you know how we can get money from other sources to pay for the funeral bills and how we can help you.

Funeral

Funeral of Attorney Phil Franckel’s dad Alex Franckel

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Q. How much does a funeral cost?

A. The average cost of a funeral in New York is approximately $8,000-$10,000. If someone else was even partially at fault for the car accident, call us and we can arrange to get the additional money you need to pay for the funeral.

All of the minimum amounts regulated by New York insurance laws are significantly less than they should be and have not kept up with inflation. This is certainly one of them because the cost of a funeral today is far more than $2,000.

Q. Does the insurance for the car which caused the accident pay for the funeral?

A. The owner and driver of the car which caused the accident or is even partially at fault for causing the accident are responsible to pay all damages including funeral costs. However, while it might be possible to get the insurance company to pay for the funeral upfront, it’s usually not likely.

When a wrongful death case is settled, the New York Surrogate’s Court will issue an order stating that the funeral bills must be reimbursed from the settlement to the person who paid them.

Q. The accident was a Hit and Run. Will insurance still pay for the funeral?

A. Yes. The estate is entitled to receive money when there is a hit-and-run accident and there is also a $2,000 death benefit for funeral bills. Call us immediately because there is a very short time deadline to file a claim.

A claim with the New York state crime victims compensation fund may also be filed when the death was caused by a crime such as with a hit-and-run accident, drunk driver, drag racing, or a stolen car.

Q. Does the $50,000 no-fault insurance coverage pay for the funeral?

A. No. The $50,000 minimum no-fault coverage and optional increased coverage (OBEL) pays for medical and other bills. See what no-fault pays for in New York.

Q. No-fault won’t pay for the funeral because the $50,000 no-fault limit was paid

A. The $2,000 death benefit is in addition to the minimum $50,000 PIP (Personal Injury Protection) available from no-fault insurance in New York State. Insurance company claim representatives have tried to tell me that the $2,000 comes out of the $50,000 minimum PIP, but this is incorrect.

When a State Farm claims representative sent a letter stating they were paying $2,000 out of the $50,000 PIP, I used that to our advantage to get State Farm to pay a total death benefit of $4,000 for funeral bills.

Q. What New York law states that no-fault insurance has to pay for the funeral?

A. Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law § 5103. Entitlement to first-party benefits (a) (4) states, “The estate of any covered person, other than an occupant of another motor vehicle or a motorcycle, a death benefit in the amount of two thousand dollars for the death of such person arising out of the use or operation of such motor vehicle which is in addition to any first-party benefits for basic economic loss.”

Consequently, if all of the minimum $50,000 PIP no-fault benefits have been paid out and there is no money left, do not let the no-fault insurance claims representative tell you that they cannot pay you the $2,000 death benefit because there is no more money. But your lawyer should be taking care of these problems for you.

Q. Will New York no-fault insurance pay funeral bills for a motorcycle accident?

A. No. Motorcyclists and passengers on a motorcycle are excluded by law from no-fault insurance but we can get you the money you need to pay funeral bills.

A pedestrian killed by a motorcycle is covered by New York no-fault insurance.

If you have a family member who was killed in a car accident in New York, we will take care of all of these problems for you.

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Phil FranckelPhilip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website.

Mr. Franckel is a personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York, President of 1-800-HURT-911, Inc., and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a 10 Avvo Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews,  and Avvo Top Contributor. See Mr. Franckel’s bio.

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Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

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How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Before You Make a Mistake

Know What You Want Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Before we tell you how to hire a personal injury lawyer, we’ll help you figure out the three most important things you want when you hire a personal injury lawyer.

All personal injury lawyers in New York give a free consultation, charge a 1/3 fee, and do not charge a legal fee if they don’t get you money.

So, what do you really want when you hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?

  1. Personal service – you don’t want a senior partner coming to see you with a retainer and then after they have your case, all you can do is speak with a paralegal.
  2. Asking questions when convenient for you – You’ll have questions from time to time but you may have a job and not be able to call or text your personal injury lawyer during the day. You want a personal injury lawyer you can call or text at night and on weekends.
  3. Bigger settlements – You want a personal injury lawyer that gets bigger settlements quicker and can get you money now if you need it.

12 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Personal Injury or Accident Lawyer

  1. Does the lawyer provide a free consultation without any obligation from you? Hire a lawyer who provides a free consultation without obligation.
  2. Does the law firm practice in any other field other than personal injury? Hire a law firm that only does personal injury.
  3. Has the lawyer had cases with your type of injury and accident? For instance, most personal injury lawyers have little or no experience representing motorcyclists. We are probably the largest lawyers in New York for motorcycle accidents.
  4. Will the lawyer take your case on contingency which means that you don’t have to pay any legal fees unless your case is successful. In New York, your legal fee should be 1/3 of what your lawyer gets you and is paid at the end of your case. See our fees, expenses, and services.
  5. Will the lawyer represent you for collision damage to your car or motorcycle? If yes, will there be a legal fee for the money collected for your collision damage? We do this for free when we represent someone injured in a car or motorcycle accident.
  6. Will the lawyer advance all case expenses so you don’t need any money?
  7. Will you be charged for legal research, fax, copying, postage, messenger fees, travel, computer storage, case file data backup, case file archiving, storage fees, shredding, telephone, and other similar charges?
  8. Will you be responsible to pay any case expenses if the lawyer does not get you money?
  9. Will you be charged interest on the money advanced for case expenses? We never charge clients interest.
  10. Will the lawyer ask you to get any accident reports, medical records, or other documents? Hire a lawyer who will do everything for you. We get these records for you.
  11. Will you be able to call the lawyer, not a paralegal or secretary, when you have a question which you prefer to ask the lawyer? Hire a lawyer who is willing to speak with you personally when you have a question. We let our clients text or call our cell phones 7 days/nights!
  12. Does the law firm ever represent defendants? Hire a law firm that does not represent defendants and only represents plaintiffs. We never have nor will represent defendants!

How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?

Now that you know how to hire a personal injury lawyer, we hope you’ll call us for a free consultation.

Call the 1-800-HURT-911® New York Personal Injury Lawyers where you can have it all. You can always speak with one of the Founding Partners, Rob Plevy and Phil Franckel and we get larger settlements.

Call or chat now for a free consultation (7 days/nights) with Founding Partner, Attorney Rob Plevy

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1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner Attorney Rob Plevy, Esq. says find out how to hire a personal injury lawyer

Articles Related to How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

See How to Compare Personal Injury Lawyers in New York

See How Do You Know If You Can Trust Your Personal Injury Lawyer?

Reviews of 1-800-HURT-911® New York Personal Injury Lawyers

Read reviews written by other clients of the personal injury lawyer. Please read our personal injury reviews.

Does the personal injury lawyer have reviews from other personal injury lawyers? Please read our reviews from other personal injury lawyers.

Listen To Nyda Morales, a Former Client and Now a Friend

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Phil FranckelPhilip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website.

Mr. Franckel is a personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York, President of 1-800-HURT-911, Inc., and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a 10 Avvo Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews,  and Avvo Top Contributor. See Mr. Franckel’s bio.

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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

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What NOT to Do After an Accident

A lot of personal injury lawyers tell you what to do after an accident. Call 911. But that’s pretty obvious. (We tell people to call 911, then call 1-800-HURT-911®)

This article will tell you what not to do after an accident, which is not obvious.

The quick answer:

  • Don’t take money from anyone to see their lawyer or doctor
  • Don’t speak to anyone who contacts you about medical treatment
  • Don’t speak to anyone who contacts you about a lawyer
  • Don’t speak to any insurance company

Someone Offers You Money to Go to a Doctor

You may be offered as much as $1,500 to see a doctor. It may sound like a good deal, especially since you need to see a doctor anyway.

What Not to Do: DO NOT accept money from anyone or agree to go to the doctor being recommended! Find out why taking $1,000 now, can ruin your personal injury case and cost you tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars later.

taking money from someone to see their lawyer and doctor

The Hospital or Doctor Calls You And Asks You to Come In

You may receive a call on the day of the accident or the day after the accident from someone claiming to be calling from the hospital or medical clinic telling you to come in for a follow-up appointment.

This is not the hospital calling. This is a scam run by a medical clinic, similar to the one mentioned above when someone pays you money. You can ruin your personal injury case if you go to the medical clinic. Find out why someone calling you from the hospital or medical clinic is a scam.

What Not to Do: DO NOT go to the clinic. Do not make an appointment. Just HANG UP THE PHONE! If you need to see a doctor, go to your own doctor. If you need emergency medical treatment, go to the emergency room at a hospital. If you do not know a doctor to see, we will be happy to give you the names of doctors near you.

Someone from Your Insurance Company Calls You

Either you will get a call from an insurance company claims representative or you will call your insurance company.

The claims representative will be very nice to you and so sorry to hear about your accident and injury. It may feel nice to know that your insurance company cares. But, guess what, they don’t!

Your insurance company only wants to get the information they can use to reduce the amount of money your claims will cost them. The insurance company even has manuals telling the claims representatives what to say to you.

When you speak with anyone at your insurance company, your call will be recorded and what you say will probably hurt you, even if you think you’re smart enough to know what to say.

You will be asked about your accident and how it happened. You will also be asked about your injuries and how you are feeling. The insurance company doesn’t really care how you are feeling. They want to manage your medical treatment so it doesn’t cost them a lot of money. for instance, they may be able to prevent you from getting an MRI.

What Not to Do: DO NOT speak to anyone at your insurance company before speaking with a personal injury lawyer. If you receive a call, simply say “I can’t speak right now and I will call back.” Then, call us 7 days/nights for a free consultation with no obligation at:

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call to action 196x370 1Call Founding Partner Rob Plevy right now for your free consultation!

Rob will call you back within minutes!
1-800-487-8911

Call to get your Free Consultation Right Now button

click to chat button to get your free consultation right now

No Win — No Fees
— No Expenses
GUARANTEED! ™

 

When you fill out claim forms, you may not include important information and may include information that can hurt you. When you call us, we will speak with your insurance company for you and we will fill out and file all of the insurance company claim forms which they require.

Someone from Someone Else’s Insurance Company Calls You

The other insurance company will also try to call you to get information to protect them by reducing the value of your claim. They will say they just want to hear your story about how the accident happened.

Telephone conversations that insurance companies are always recorded. The claims representative is trained by the insurance company to get the information they need to reduce or eliminate your claim.

There are many tiny details in the law that they know about and you don’t, which can ruin your claim. For instance, in a hit-and-run accident, they will always ask you if you were cut off. If you say yes, they will deny your claim.

What Not to Do: NEVER speak to anyone at someone else’s insurance company! NEVER give a statement!

It’s possible that the claims representative will say that you don’t need a lawyer, that they will treat you fairly and that attorney’s fees will cost you a lot of money. This is absolutely not true. While research by insurance companies has shown that on average, people can get 3 1/2 times more money with a lawyer than without a lawyer, most personal injury lawyers can probably get you 5-10 times more money.

Insurance companies would love for you to be unaware of your rights. However, it’s unlikely that a claims representative will tell you that you don’t need a lawyer because it’s illegal. But Allstate was criminally convicted after doing that. It saved them so much money that, apparently, they did it again and were criminally convicted a second time.

Find out what you need to do before you use your insurance company’s collision damage app, read Should I Send a Photo of My Car Damage for an Insurance Estimate.

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Phil FranckelPhilip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website.

Mr. Franckel is a personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York, President of 1-800-HURT-911, Inc., and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a 10 Avvo Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews,  and Avvo Top Contributor. See Mr. Franckel’s bio.

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1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Lawyers "As Seen On TV" ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, , WOR, WPIX logos

Get the 1-800-HUR-T911® Dream Team™ on your side and become a member of our family!

“Knowing I had a team of great lawyers on my side gave me a sense of power and peace of mind. They took care of everything for me. When a settlement was negotiated, I saw the difference a team of lawyers makes.”
—Lia Fisse

No Win — No Fee — No Expenses — Guaranteed!

Personal Injury Lawyer Screened by Google

Attorneys who can get you the most amount of money AND provide personal service!

Free Personal Injury Consultation call button  Chat to get your free Personal Injury consultation right now button

Please take a look at some of our:

What will happen when I call 1-800-HURT-911 or chat?

  1. Our call center operators and chat operators are available 24/7.
  2. Just give your contact info to our operator and Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. will call you within 5-10 minutes for your free, no-obligation consultation during the hours of 8 am – 10 pm. After hours, Rob will call you in the morning or at the time you want.
  3. Then just text or call us any time you want during your case!

Because any delay could cause you to lose viable rights and benefits, please call HURT-911® Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq. right now for a free consultation to find out your rights days/nights/weekends.
1-800-HURT-911
1-800-487-8911

You can speak, text, or email with us whenever you want throughout your case and afterward, days/nights/weekends, and experience our famous personal service. You’ll even get our personal phone numbers so you can call or text anytime!

Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™


Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.

Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

Get the HURT911® Dream Team on your side!
Call Attorneys Rob Plevy & Phil Franckel days/nights/weekends for a free consultation
1-800-HURT-911

1-800-487-8911

New York Serious Injury Lawyer logo

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