Some steps you should take immediately after a car accident are:
- Do whatever you can to put yourself in a position of safety from further injury
- Report the accident to the police.
- Seek medical attention if you or anyone else at the scene was injured.
- Get information from all involved parties and document the accident.
- If you can do so safely, take photos of all involved vehicles: (This is discussed in more detail below.)
- Consider hiring a personal injury lawyer from our firm if you suffered injuries and damages.
This article will discuss more things to do and consider should you get into a car accident that resulted in bodily injuries, death, or property damage.
- Key Things You Should Do Immediately After a Car Accident
- Information About the Car Accident You Should Keep Track of
- Evidence to Collect After a Car Accident Occurs
- Consider Hiring Our Attorney to Help You Build a Case About Your Injuries
- Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., Today for a Free Case Evaluation
Key Things You Should Do Immediately After a Car Accident
After you get into an accident, give yourself a “SEC” to gather yourself and do priority tasks first:
Stop Your Vehicle and Assess the Damage
When an accident happens, the first thing you should do is stop your vehicle. Check whether you or anyone else in your vehicle has been injured. If you or someone else has suffered a severe injury, call 911 immediately to receive medical attention.
For minor accidents, it may be best to pull to the closest shoulder or a safe place to avoid obstructing traffic. If you are unable to do so, try to stay within the traffic lane and keep careful not to step out into traffic.
Once all involved vehicles are stopped, assess any damage that occurred, such as injuries, fatalities, or property damage.
Exchange Information with the Involved Parties
New York law requires people involved in an accident to exchange their information. The conversation should be kept to a minimum. You do not want to admit any liability. Simply exchange information and get:
- The driver’s name
- The driver’s address
- The driver’s phone number
- The driver’s insurance information, which should include the name of the insurance company, policyholder, and policy number
You also want to get a description of the driver’s car, their license plate number, and their “VIN” or vehicle identification number (The VIN is usually located on a small plate on the driver’s side dashboard, where the dashboard meets the windshield and on the frame of the driver side door.)
Call the Police to Report the Accident
If you are physically able, call your local police and tell the dispatcher that an accident has occurred, and provide information about your location.
Once the police arrive at the accident scene, cooperate with the reporting officer and provide information when asked. The reporting officer will make a report about the accident, which may contain important information for your case. You can ask to receive a copy of the crash report from the officer or a number to refer to when picking up a copy at your local precinct.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
Information About the Car Accident You Should Keep Track of
The impact of a car accident can be jarring. Make sure all details of the accidents are obtained. Also, take care to be as detailed as possible in either writing or recording the accident.
After an accident, you want to record the following information about your car accident:
- The exact location of the accident (main street and any cross streets)
- The date and time of the accident
- The direction you were traveling
- The direction the other car was traveling
- Any notable features (stop sign, red light)
- Weather visibility
- Any obstruction such as work crews, constructions, or barriers
- The number of passengers in both cars
- Write down or record on your phone what happened
- Write down witnesses’ names and contact information
- The name, badge number, and contact information for any police officer
If you were injured in a car accident and were not able to keep track of this information, you could work with a lawyer from our team. We will investigate your accident to discover key information about how the events took place that led to your injury.
Evidence to Collect After a Car Accident Occurs
If possible, try to collect evidence after getting into a car accident promptly. Some key pieces of evidence include:
Pictures tell the story of the accident. Take photos of all vehicles involved and try to capture:
- The vehicles’ license plates
- Property damage that occurred to the vehicles
- Points of impact
- Position of the vehicles in roadway
- Damage caused to property other than cars
- Views that show the roadway for perspective
Many cars now have “dashcams,” i.e., video cameras mounted on dashboards. Pictures reveal the truth of the accident, and when available, videos are decisive. If you or another driver involved in the accident has a dashcam, retain a copy of this footage.
Our team will also help you pursue other types of video footage, such as from surveillance cameras or traffic cameras nearby that captured the accident.
Make Sure Your Medical Records Mention the Car Accident
Medical treatment should be sought right after an accident. Go to the emergency room of a hospital as soon as possible if you are experiencing any pain, bodily function disturbance, or other symptom(s).
Documentation of your injuries is needed for the insurance adjuster. You want to keep track of your:
- Medical treatment
- Medical expenses
- Time lost from work
- How the accident has impacted your daily life
Your medical records might show the severity of your injuries and show the correlation between your injuries and the date of the car accident.
Consider Hiring Our Attorney to Help You Build a Case About Your Injuries
If you intend to pursue compensation via a personal injury claim or lawsuit, consider hiring a lawyer from our law firm to help you build your case. Even if you were not able to retrieve evidence or even relevant information about other parties involved in your case, there are ways to obtain this information and hold negligent parties accountable.
Our team will review your case for free and see how one of our personal injury attorneys will be able to serve you. Once you become our client, our team will then:
- Keep you updated on the progress of your case as it develops
- Identify the liable party or parties involved in your accident
- Speak with involved parties on your behalf, which includes involved drivers and their insurers or legal teams
- Retrieve evidence to support your case outside of the evidence you provide us (if any)
- Calculate your damages to determine an approximate value of your case
- Work to negotiate a potential settlement for your case
- Represent you in court if necessary
Our personal injury attorneys also work on a contingency-fee basis, and there are no out-of-pocket fees. This means our team will not charge attorney’s fees unless and until we reach a settlement or verdict for you.
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Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., Today for a Free Case Evaluation
Our attorneys are dedicated to achieving fair financial recovery for accident victims like you. Give us a call today for a no-obligation case review and free consultation at (516) 932-0400.