Car accidents happen every day, multiple times a day, in New York City and Rockland County. Attentive, defensive driving can help to reduce the chance that you will cause an accident, but you have no control over the actions of anyone else on the road. Because accidents are so commonplace, it is vital to know what to do if you are involved in a collision — especially one that results in bodily injury.
First off, get out of harm's way and, if you are able, help others do the same. If it is possible, move your car out of traffic. Then, call the police.
When it is safe to do so, collect the following evidence:
- The other driver's auto insurance provider and policy information
- The other driver's name and address (ask to see their license)
- Photographs of any damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Names, email addresses and phone numbers of eye witnesses
You may also want to use your cell phone voice recorder to record everything you remember about the accident.
Give your account of the accident to the police responding at the scene but not to anyone else. If your vehicle is not drivable, allow the police to arrange for towing. If you feel any pain or sign of injury, arrange for transportation to a hospital or trauma center to have yourself checked and treated. This will create a medical record that may be useful during the process of seeking financial compensation.
As soon as possible, notify your own insurance company. Provide all the facts you can recount to make sure your perspective is on the record regardless of what the other driver claims. Also, you are required to notify the DMV within 10 days of any accident that causes bodily injury or that results in property damage exceeding $1,000.
New York is a “no fault” insurance state, meaning that drivers are required to first seek accident compensation for medical care and lost wages from their own personal injury insurance (PIP) no matter who caused the accident. However, you may be able to claim against another driver or their insurance carries for serious injuries that go beyond your PIP coverage. Fractures and significant disfigurement are among the types of injuries classified as “serious” in New York. The actions you take immediately after an accident can have a great bearing on successful pursuance of such a claim.
The experienced personal injury attorneys of Orak & Associates, PC in Pearl River, New York represent individuals hurt in Rockland County, New York City and Northern New Jersey car accidents. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 917-216-8819 or contact us online.