The moments after a car accident can be very confusing, and you may not know where to even begin handling it. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself, and give yourself the best chances in any future litigation. Here are five important things you should do after you get into a car accident:
- Take pictures of the accident, if you can
- One of the most important things you can do when you get into a car accident is to take pictures of the accident right afterwards, if you can. While people used to keep disposable cameras in their cars for this purpose, a cell phone camera works just fine. You should make sure to get any critical details, including the point of impact, the location of the accident, and anything else that might be relevant to the case.
- Collect insurance and contact information from other drivers and witnesses
- Once you are done taking pictures, make sure to get contact information from everyone at the scene of the accident. This includes any drivers who were involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses who saw the accident, whose testimony may be relevant to any litigation later on. You should also make sure to get insurance information, which will be important for filing a claim.
- File an accident report, and obtain a police report
- Under New York law, you have ten days to file a report after a car accident, which means you should file your report as soon as possible. If the police responded to your accident, you should also obtain the police report as well. This will help you with both your insurance claim, as well as with any negotiations or litigation that might occur later on.
- Go see a doctor and get a medical examination
- Even if you feel completely fine after an accident, it is wise to get examined by a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. Not only is this important for your personal health, it can also be important for proving any injuries in the event of a settlement or trial. Typically, such an examination should occur within 48 hours of the accident, or else insurers may cast doubt on whether the accident is the origin of your injuries.
- Speak to a lawyer
- Insurance companies prefer it when victims of car accidents are not represented by a lawyer. This is because unrepresented victims are more likely to accept less money for a settlement, more quickly, than they would if a lawyer were there to argue on their behalf. A personal injury attorney with experience handling car accident cases can help you to understand your rights, and help you get the best possible outcome in your case.
For more than 40 years, the Drucker Law Firm has been providing personal and quality legal services to individuals, universities, and corporations throughout the New York City and Tri-State area. We have represented three generations of clients in personal injury cases, as well as immigration and general litigation matters. If you have a legal issue related to personal injury law, please give us a call at (718) 458-1489 to schedule a consultation or visit our contact page.