Steps to Take After Car Crash
Our New York Personal Injury Lawyers Help Victims Protect Their Rights After Car Accidents
There are millions of car accidents each year in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of injuries result. Statistics suggest that approximately one-third of all motor vehicle crashes cause harm to the driver or passengers. Of that number, roughly two of every ten accidents lead to fatal injuries. Nearly all car accidents result in significant property damage.
If you have been in a car accident, you know that the immediate aftermath is filled with confusion and emotion. If you or someone else is hurt, the situation can be especially tricky to navigate.
Your first priority should be to make sure that you get help for any injuries. Your safety is most important.
Once you are safe, as difficult as it may seem, you have to think about preserving evidence of the scene. You may wish to file a claim (or may have to defend yourself against one) to collect monetary damages from the party at fault for your accident. You must know what to do in the event of an accident to make sure you protect your legal rights.
Contacting a personal injury lawyer like the ones at Alonso Krangle, LLP can help you navigate the claim process. Do you want to seek a settlement from an insurance company? Do you want to take your case to trial? Having our experienced accident attorneys on your side can make the difference between getting less than you deserve and receiving fair and compensation.
Here are Things to do If You are Involved in a Car Accident
Considering how many accidents occur each year, it is reasonable to prepare yourself for one. Familiarizing yourself with what steps to take immediately following a motor vehicle crash may ease some of the anxiety felt by many accident victims. Consider the following tips:
Get to a safe place. Is it safe to wait in your car? Move to the side of the road or sidewalk if you are in danger of being hurt by passing cars or causing additional risk to others. Try to leave the vehicles where they are if possible.
Stay close. Don’t leave the scene of an accident, even if it seems to be a minor one.
Do what you can to protect the scene of the accident. Set up flares if you have them, keep your flashers on or use a flashlight to warn others that a crash occurred.
Call the police. If there are serious injuries, minor injuries, or none at all, it is a good idea to call the police. Your insurance company or that of another driver may want a police report to process your claim. Making a police report is an excellent way to make a record of the accident.
Create an accurate record. Tell the police what happened to the best of your recollection. Be honest and stick to the facts. If you are hurt, tell them. If you are not sure if you are injured, tell the police that too. Injuries from car accidents don’t always appear immediately. It can take hours for pain and injuries to become apparent.
If other people were involved in the accident, make sure the police take accurate statements from them as well.
Take photographs. If possible, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and visible injuries. You may also want to photograph the surrounding areas if there were other cars, debris, irregular pavement, or weather that may have contributed to the crash.
Exchange information with the other driver. If the police are at the scene, they will collect information. If the police are not involved, be sure to obtain the name, address, and contact information of everyone involved in or witnessed the accident. Get insurance information such as policy number, company name, and phone numbers. If you have a cell phone, you can take photos of the insurance card and driver’s licenses in case there is a mistake down the road. If there is a police report, you can ask for a copy for your records.
Contact your insurance company. Notify your insurance company that you had an accident as soon as possible. Ask about your coverage and understand your benefits.
Get medical attention. Even if your injuries are not visible, consider seeking the opinion of your family doctor or visiting the emergency room. Injuries from car crashes are not always apparent, and pain may not begin for days. Spinal injuries, concussions, and back injuries are common after car accidents. You should be examined to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.
Make a file. It is a good idea to keep all of your documents in one place, such as a folder. Your accident-related materials should include:
- Police report
- Insurance claim numbers and adjuster information
- Receipts for rental cars or other expenses that result from the accident
- Receipts for medical treatment, medication, therapy
- A record of any missed work
- Medical records
Call Our New York Personal Injury Attorneys at Alonso Krangle, LLP
Protect your legal rights by calling personal injury lawyers with experience handling car accident claims. We can make sure your evidence is protected, your injuries are documented and that you receive quality legal advice as you proceed with your claim. We want to make sure that you collect damages that reflect the true and fair value of your physical and property injuries.
Call us today for a free evaluation of your car accident case. You can reach us at 516-350-5555. Find out how you can collect compensation after a motor vehicle accident.