Whether or not you ultimately decide to pursue a lawsuit, the choices you make after a car accident are extremely important. Even routine auto insurance claims can fall apart if essential details are forgotten or partially reported. It’s crucial to have the right information, the first time.
After A New York City Car Crash
But obviously, accidents are stressful. It can be hard to keep a level head, especially if you’re injured or your car is damaged. That’s why acquainting yourself with the proper steps to take ahead of time is so valuable. Every time you press the accelerator, you’ll know just what to do.
1. Stop Driving
Whether you’ve struck another vehicle, a pedestrian, cyclist, or inanimate object, it’s best practice to stop driving and pull over immediately. In fact, it’s New York State law. Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting property damage is a Class A Misdemeanor. Drive off without reporting personal injury and you’re guilty of a felony.
You can find the law’s full text on the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ website here.
2. Notify The Authorities
Call 911 as soon as you can and inform the dispatcher of your location. Make sure to mention any injuries that resulted from the accident, so the proper services can be sent to the scene.
If your accident was relatively minor, the NYPD may not come at all. In that case, you should file a report by mail within 10 days. Follow the link to find a PDF version of the DMV’s “Report of Motor Vehicle Accident.”
3. Collect Information
While you’re waiting for the authorities to arrive, take stock of the situation. Check with everyone involved in the collision, and gather the following details from the other driver:
- Name and Date Of Birth (DOB)
- Home Address, Phone Number, and Email
- Driver’s License Number and Expiration Date
- Auto Insurance Company
- Vehicle’s Make, Model, Year of Manufacture, and License Plate Number
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
This information will be necessary in filing an insurance claim, and can assist a personal injury lawyer if you decide to pursue legal recourse.
4. Document The Accident Scene
Make a detailed diagram of the accident scene. Include street names, the direction in which involved vehicles were traveling, and approximate speeds. If it was raining, or another environmental factor may have contributed to the accident, write that down, too. Finally, explain the events that led to your crash, and anything else you may have noticed.
5. Accept Medical Attention
When the police arrive, cooperate fully. Using your notes as a guide, describe the accident as accurately and comprehensively as you can. Numerous insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits have been bolstered by a police officer’s thorough accident report. Request a copy of the report when it’s finished.
If you are injured, accept offers of medical attention. If you feel fine, accept the offer anyway. A trusted medical professional’s opinion will become crucial if you choose to seek legal counsel.
6. Contact A New York City Car Accident Lawyer
Dealing with auto insurance companies is difficult. Remember that insurers are businesses, and profit is their priority. In fact, many insurance adjusters actively minimize the appearance of injuries in order to limit payouts. The personal injury lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C. offer a solution.
Our New York City car accident lawyers are dedicated to representing the rights of NYC’s injured victims. Over more than 100 years of combined experience, we’ve developed a unique level of legal expertise and built a proven track record. Visit “Verdicts & Settlements” to learn more about our recent legal victories.
Were you injured in an NYC car accident? You may be entitled to far more than an insurance company will ever offer. Our personal injury attorneys always work on a contingency-fee basis: you only pay if we win. In addition, we offer a free consultation to all victims seeking more information on their legal options. Call 212-285-3300 or complete our contact form here.