What To Do After a Car Accident
You may feel shaky, confused, and even in pain after a car accident. Your first priority is to make sure everyone is okay, and to call emergency help for anyone that needs it, including yourself. If you or a passenger has been hurt, you should know that you have rights. Depending on the actions you take, you could make it easier or harder to bring a successful claim for financial recovery later on. A New York car accident lawyer can help you put together the strongest case possible, and if you take a few precautions at the accident site yourself, you may be able to make a big difference in the outcome of any future personal injury lawsuit.
Here are some general guidelines of what to do after a car accident in New York.
First things first
After you make sure that everyone has the medical attention they need, do everything you can to clear the roadway. If injured victims can’t be moved, set out flares, put on flashers, and have someone direct traffic around the scene. Next, call the police so that they can file a proper police report.
Avoid admitting that the accident was your fault, however, and don’t discuss the accident with other drivers or witnesses. Even saying something as simple as, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you,” may later be seen as an admission of guilt or liability.
Next, call your insurance company, and ask them for any advice they may have while you’re on the scene. Exchange insurance information with the others involved in the accident. Once you’ve completed these steps, it’s time to gather all the information you can.
When considering what to do after a car accident in New York, think primarily about recording the scene of the crash.
Take these steps after a car accident to provide an accurate and timely picture of what happened:
- Sketch the scene of the crash. Use an insurance form, a piece of paper, a camera, or your cell phone to take pictures and record the position of the cars and the surrounding objects. Photographs are best if you can take them. If you are injured, ask a fellow passenger to record these details for you, or contact a friend or loved one that may be able to help.
- Get car details. Write down the model, make, year, and color of each vehicle involved, as well as the license plate number. If you can, get the VIN numbers as well. Then describe the damage to each vehicle as best you can. Add information about the driver and passengers in each vehicle.
- Take names. Get the basic contact information for all passengers, witnesses, and police officers. Ask for badge numbers and a report number from the officers, as well, and try to get a copy of the police report. If EMT personnel arrive, try to get at least one name from them, or at least a company name.
- Write it down. After the accident, go somewhere quiet as soon as you can and write a detailed report of everything you can remember, while it’s still fresh in your mind. Include the time of day, the road conditions, any construction sites, obstacles, and other details.
- Record your injuries. If you were injured in the accident, take pictures of the injuries if you can to provide proof later on.
Stay at the scene until the police give you permission to leave. If the damages are extensive or if you or a loved one is hurt, call a lawyer. He or she can help watch out for your interests as the insurance companies begin dealing with the accident. If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, refer them to your insurance company or attorney.
NY car accident lawyers can help
After the accident is over and the police have left, arrange for the storage of the damaged vehicle. An investigator will want to look it over for insurance claims.
At this point, a New York auto accident lawyer from The Sanders Firm can be very helpful to you. Gather all bills related to the accident and any medical care into a folder for your attorney, keep a list of all medical problems and injuries, and withhold any recorded statements from your insurance company until you’ve spoken to your lawyer first.
At The Sanders Firm, we work to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve by representing you or your loved one in a New York car accident lawsuit. Call us for a free initial consultation at 800-FAIR-PLAY (324-7752), and let us show you how we can help.