Car accidents happen every single day. In New York, they’re the leading cause of injury-related death in the state.
A New York car accident isn’t like other types of car accidents. In Manhattan, bus accidents, taxi accidents or pedestrian and cyclist accidents are likely to occur.
If you suffered any type of injury in a car accident, it’s critical to take the appropriate steps after your accident to maximize your potential to receive damages.
Read on to find out what you need to do in case you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of a car accident in New York.
Check for Injuries and Report the Accident
In any type of accident, you want to make sure that everyone, including yourself, is OK. At that moment, it’s important to remain calm and clear. Put on your hazard lights and try to be as close as you can to the accident and remain safe.
Your adrenaline is running high and you may not even notice any of your own injuries at first. Check to make sure that you’re OK along with others involved in the accident. Keep in mind that some injuries aren’t apparent until well after the fact.
Drivers have the responsibility to stop, pull over and call 911 to report the accident. You’ll want to report the location, whether or not there are any injuries, and whether or not traffic is being blocked at the scene of the accident. This will let operators know if they need to send paramedics to attend to injuries and/or police to help clear the accident.
If you’re involved in an accident while driving a vehicle, even if it’s not your fault, you need to exchange insurance information, driver’s license information, car registration, name, address, and the license plate number with the other driver.
If you’re injured in the accident, you need to make sure that the paramedics examine you at the scene of the accident. That’s because any delay in examination makes it more difficult to prove that your injuries are due to the accident.
Did the accident cause injuries or cause damages of more than $1000? You need to report that accident to the New York DMV by filling out form MV-104.
Document as Much Information as Possible
When you’re at the scene of a car accident, you want to be sure that you document as much as you can. The reason why this is so important is that if you are going to take someone to court over the accident, it’s your responsibility to prove negligence or that you weren’t at fault.
This may be difficult to do when you’re injured. However, if you’re able to take photos of the scene of the accident, document the time when it occurred, and what the road and weather conditions were like at the time of the accident.
Were there a lot of potholes in the area or wet roads due to rain? Then those are the types of things that you need to make note of.
There’s also electronic evidence that needs to be considered, too. For example, a vehicle can contain information such as speed, steering information, and engine information. In some cases, the data recorder can be destroyed, unless you act quickly.
Stick with the Facts About Your New York Accident
Getting into a car accident is a stressful and emotional time in the moments and weeks after the accident. You’re liable to say things under stress or be reactive in those moments.
It’s absolutely critical that you keep your head and say as little as possible, as anything you say could be held against you down the road. Don’t admit fault and don’t say anything that can hurt you later on.
One other thing that’s important not to say at the time of the accident is that you’re OK or you’re not injured. Some injuries have symptoms that appear hours or days after the fact. Muscular injuries, sprains, or soreness can reveal issues well after the fact.
Think of it like working out. Sometimes, you don’t feel sore right after the workout, but you do 1-2 days later. That can happen after car accidents.
If you say that you’re OK at the scene of the accident, it may be difficult to prove that your injuries are due to the accident.
Report the Accident to Insurance
If your car was damaged in an auto accident, you’ll need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. New York is a no-fault state, and you have to report the incident to insurance in 30 days to be eligible to claim no-fault benefits.
A claims adjuster will do a thorough review of your case and may offer to settle your case. At this time, you’re not obligated to accept the settlement offer. You want to make sure that you’re not getting the runaround from insurance, which is where a personal injury attorney can help.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
One of your first calls should be to an experienced personal injury attorney who can quickly evaluate your case and take immediate action to protect you. For instance, they can send out a letter to ensure that the data recorder in your vehicle or the other person’s vehicle is preserved and held for evidence in your case.
Dealing with insurance companies, medical providers, and the aftermath of a car accident isn’t always easy. What an experienced personal injury attorney brings to the table is protection. You can be sure that your rights are protected, and you get a settlement you deserve. You have someone who will fight for you in court.
Get Your Case Evaluated
When you’re in a car accident of any kind, it can be overwhelming, and you may not know what to do first. It’s important to keep calm, follow the law, and document as much as you can at the scene of the accident.
If you find yourself in a New York car accident, you want to make sure that your rights are protected and you’re in the best position possible to receive recovery damages.
Contact Michael J. Redenburg Esq. P.C. today for a free case evaluation and find out how our law firm can help you.