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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

5 Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Crash

March 21, 2024 in

Car accidents can be frightening and life-changing experiences, but knowing what steps to take in the immediate aftermath can help get you the assistance you need and protect your rights. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or a newcomer to the bustling streets of New York City, preparation can make all the difference. Below, the experienced NYC car accident lawyers at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo share five essential steps to take immediately after a car accident.

1. Make sure everyone is safe.

Your top priority should be the safety of everyone involved. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately for medical assistance. Even if there are no apparent injuries, reporting the accident to the authorities is still essential. New York law requires that accidents resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 be reported to the police within ten days.

Once help is on the way, move to a safe location away from traffic if possible. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the accident scene.

2. Document the accident.

Gathering evidence quickly can make a significant difference when it comes to any potential legal proceedings or insurance claims. Take photographs of the accident scene from multiple angles, including vehicle damage, skid marks on the road, and any relevant traffic signs or signals. These photos can serve as valuable evidence later on.

At this time, you should also collect contact information from any witnesses who may have seen the accident occur. Their statements could prove invaluable in corroborating your account of the events.

3. Be respectful.

Emotions can run high in the aftermath of a car accident, but it’s essential to remain calm and composed. Avoid arguing with the other driver or law enforcement officers at the scene. Keep your interactions polite and respectful, emphasizing exchanging necessary information such as driver’s license and insurance details. Refrain from admitting fault or making speculative statements about the accident, as these could be used against you later.

4. Contact your insurance company.

Even if you believe you were not at fault, you must notify your insurance company about the accident. Most insurance policies require immediate reporting of accidents, and delaying this step could jeopardize your coverage, mainly if the other driver contacts your insurance company first with a different story.

Provide your insurer with accurate and detailed information about the accident, including the date, time, location, and the names and contact information of other parties involved. Be honest in your communication with your insurance provider.

5. Seek legal guidance from a NYC car accident lawyer.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, seeking legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney is wise. A skilled lawyer can help protect your rights and advocate throughout the claims process, including negotiating a proper settlement offer. We can help our clients seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

When selecting a car accident attorney in New York City, look for someone with a proven track record of successfully handling similar cases. They should deeply understand New York’s complex laws and regulations governing car accidents and personal injury claims.

Car accident claims are not simple, but following these five steps can make navigating the aftermath of a car accident a little easier. If you’re ever unsure about what to do following an accident, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team for a free consultation. 

Contact an Experienced NYC Car Accident Lawyer at SPBMCC Today

Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. is a reputable, full-service personal injury law firm specializing in various areas, including motor vehicle accidents. Our dedicated litigation support teams are committed to vigorously representing clients in 9/11-related illnesses, personal injury cases, car accidents, firefighter injuries, construction accidents, premises liability, and medical malpractice across New York City, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk counties, and New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

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