After a crash, you’re on edge, scared, and possibly even injured. It can be difficult to think straight and make sure you gather the information and evidence you need to support a claim for damages, either from your insurance or through a personal injury lawsuit. Read on to learn about what to do in the immediate aftermath of an accident, and contact an experienced New York personal injury lawyer with any additional questions.
1. Check for injuries and call for medical assistance
After making sure you aren’t in the way of oncoming cars, the most important thing to do after a crash is to check for injuries. Not only is it critical to call for emergency medical help right away if someone is seriously hurt, but you should also call the police to the scene of the crash.
Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt in an accident, it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention after a crash. This is in part because some injuries might not exhibit symptoms right away, and could be prolonged if they go untreated. This is also because it may be more difficult to prove to the court or insurer that the injuries were caused by the accident, rather than some other event, if you did not seek treatment for them right after the accident. It is also important to call the police. The report that the police take will be the most contemporaneous writing to the time of the accident. It will memorialize the parties’ statements and those of witnesses, and document any factors significant to your collision besides noting important information like names, addresses, plate numbers, and insurance companies.
2. Exchange information with the other driver
Exchanging name and insurance information isn’t just important for making a claim for damages; it’s the law. Be sure to ask to see the other driver’s license and car insurance information. If they do not carry insurance, you can still recover damages under your insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.
3. Take photos of the scene of the accident, and speak with witnesses
Document the damage to your car and that of the other driver. If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the position of the vehicles, and any damage done to surrounding property or debris strewn across the road. Also, speak with anyone standing nearby who may have seen the crash and might provide eyewitness testimony, should you need support for your claims.
4. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible
Don’t wait to take action on your claim for damages. The longer you delay, the better the chances that any evidence relevant to your case could be lost or decay. Witnesses memories may fade, and damage to cars that could be relevant to the nature of the crash may be repaired. Contact a skilled New York car accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome on your claim.
If you’ve been hurt in a crash, speak with a skilled and compassionate New York accident attorney and contact the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation, at 718-409-1200.