It is not uncommon for a person to be involved in a car accident at some point in their lives, according to statistics. Knowing ahead of time how to act in the immediate aftermath of a car accident can save you a headache later on and go a long way towards building your claim for financial compensation.
The Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli has almost 20 years of experience fighting for the victims of car accidents and can offer you 24/7 legal support when you are injured because of another driver's negligence.
Taking certain steps just after a car accident, and in the days that follow, can ensure your legal right to pursue a personal injury claim.
Call the police—even if you believe you are relatively unharmed and there is little to no property damage, and even if the other party is willing to accept fault and exchange information, a police report is the only way to protect your rights. The other party may change their minds later if they initially acknowledged fault, and having the details of the accident on record can be extremely helpful to your attorney.
Do not move your car—unless instructed by police, you should keep your car where it is. Only move your car if it is impeding traffic.
Obtain the names of witnesses—and make sure you hand this information to your insurer and attorney. Documenting the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all other parties involved in the accident is vitally important should you take legal action.
Collect insurance information—this includes the name of the other party's insurance company and policy number.
Document the scene—take pictures of where the accident took place, any property damage, and injuries you have sustained. The latter is very important since injuries heal with time, and photos can go far in recovering fair compensation.
Do not admit any responsibility—only discuss your accident with the police. Even then, you should refrain from admitting fault, even if you believe you were to blame. Admitting to anything can be used against you by the insurance company.
Get medical attention—some injuries are not noticeable in the wake of an accident but present hours or even days later. Make sure you retain a copy of all documentation you receive from a doctor or hospital where you were treated to be used in your injury claim.
Speak with your insurance company—since New York is a no-fault insurance state, insurance providers will cover your medical expenses.