Steps To Take After A Car Accident
The Augusta Free Press reports on the steps you should take immediately following an accident.
New York is like many states in that it has laws that direct a person should stop after an accident. This is especially the case if the accident causes property damage, injuries, or results in a death. While leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage or minor injuries may just be a misdemeanor, leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injuries or a fatality can be charged as a felony. Failing to stop and exchange information can also affect your ability to be properly compensated for any injuries or property damage you suffer as the result of an accident.
To ensure that any claim you may have for compensation for injuries and property damage following an accident remains viable, you should take the following steps:
- Assess your immediate safety. If you are on a busy roadway, stay in your car unless there is a more impending hazard, such as leaking fuel or a fire.
- Call 911. The 911 dispatcher will send emergency services to the scene. Stay on the phone with the dispatcher and give any pertinent information so it can be relayed to emergency services.
- Even if you feel fine, allow emergency responders to give you a cursory examination at the scene. If the paramedics want you to be taken to the hospital to be checked out, heed their advice.
- If it does not interfere with the jobs of the first responders, take pictures of the accident scene.
- Within 24 hours, make an appointment to follow up with your doctor. Injuries from car accidents may not appear immediately.
- Contact your insurance company. As a “no-fault” state, you will file your initial claim with your own insurance company.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. The sooner that you contact an attorney, the sooner your case can be reviewed and the sooner you can get your settlement.