What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

Take the right steps to protect your rights

Knowing what you should do after a car accident is vital in various ways. There are steps you should take to protect your health and your legal rights. In addition, knowing what to do can help you overcome the confusion and trauma of the accident.

What are the first and most basic things you should do?

If you are injured, seeking medical attention is the first thing you should do. This is true in the case of an injury that would require emergency medical assistance. Not only are you safeguarding your health, but if you file a claim, it will also help your claim. With a serious injury, you must prove your injury was serious and resulted from the accident. Immediate medical treatment provides documentation as evidence.

What should you do if your injury is not serious, requiring immediate help?

If you don’t require emergency medical help, then you should stay at the accident scene. Gather the insurance and contact information of the other parties involved in the accident.

If you are able to, should you gather evidence?

Photos and videos can serve as evidence in a claim. It is a good idea to take pictures of the positioning of cars in the crash, vehicle damage, road debris, the scene surrounding the crash area and any injuries you sustained. If your accident occurred in an intersection, take photos of the stop light or stop sign and the vehicles’ position in relation to it. It is wise to get a copy of the police report. Also gather the contact information of witnesses who saw the accident.

Should you report the accident?

Regardless of who was at fault, you should report the accident to your insurance company. Failing to report it could result in an inability to bring a claim. If the accident caused injuries, death or substantial property damage (over $1,000), you must report it to NY law enforcement within 10 days of the accident. To meet the filing requirements, you must fill out and file the Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (PDF) (MV-104). If you fail to do so, the DMV can suspend your driver’s license. Call 911 immediately for a serious accident. Even if the accident seems minor, depending on the circumstances, it can be helpful to have the police come to the accident scene. Their investigation might support your claim.

Who was at fault for the accident?

In New York, when injuries are serious or damages amount to more than $50,000, you can pursue a claim against the party or parties at fault for causing an accident. In accidents involving multiple vehicles, more than one party may be at fault. In addition, if a professional driver of a company vehicle was at fault, their employer might also be a defendant in your claim.

Should you hire an attorney to help with what you should do after a car accident?

If you are seriously injured, have incurred significant damage or have lost a loved one in a car accident, you should seek legal help. A skilled car accident lawyer can be invaluable for protecting your rights. Also, based on New York Insurance law, if you meet the serious injury threshold, you can recover fair compensation for damages. To arrange a free consultation, contact Fazzinilaw.com. Call us at 631-547-8989.

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The Long Island Law Office of John Fazzini represents clients throughout New York City and surrounding areas, such as the Bronx, Brooklyn, Huntington Station, Brentwood, Central Islip, Huntington, Amityville, Woodbury, Northport, Commack, Dix Hills, Oyster Bay, Bayville, and Hauppauge; Suffolk County and Nassau County.

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