You’ve Just Been in a Car Accident – NOW WHAT?
For starters; don’t panic! Your safety is paramount. See if it is safe to pull over and out of oncoming traffic and do so if you can. Next, call the police. Following a car accident, your Adrenalin is most likely coursing through you. You may very well be injured and not realize it until you calm down.
Exchange insurance and other car information with the other driver(s) including, registration, driver’s license, and insurance. TAKE PICTURES of the damage to your car and the other car. It is best if you take pictures from all four sides of your car. In fact, it can’t hurt to use your phone to take pictures of the other driver(s)’ license, insurance card, and registration.
Wait for the police to arrive unless you are removed from the scene by ambulance. When you speak to the police, don’t be a martyr. If you have pain let the police officer know. Pain you feel immediately after a car accident will usually increase in severity before it improves.
If you are taken to a hospital or if you drive directly to your doctor, make sure you tell your doctor that you were just involved in a car accident. Report to whoever treats you ALL of your symptoms. Don’t leave out something because it is not bothering you as much as other pain you are experiencing.
If you have visible injuries it is important to document those injuries as soon as possible. Take pictures of any visible bruises, cuts, black and blue marks, etc. It is helpful if you have a newspaper in the background to establish the date you are taking the photos.
In New York, you MUST submit a New York No-Fault Application for no-fault benefits within thirty (30) days of your car accident. If you don’t the responsible insurance company will use your failure to submit the No-Fault Application to deny payment of your medical treatment.
Should you Hire a NY Personal Injury Attorney?
If you were injured in an auto accident and you’ve taken the actions above you are not done. Don’t expect to simply focus on your recovery and wait for an insurance settlement.
Car insurance companies are not your strongest advocate in this case. In fact, they are your worst advocate. You are NOT in good hands with an insurance company if you want that company to pay a fair and reasonable sum of money to you for your injuries, and pain and suffering. The insurance company’s job is not to be your good neighbor, after all, the insurance company wants to minimize its own liability, and it will put its adjusters, investigators, and attorneys to work to do so. So no matter how much you may like the Gecko in commercials, the Gecko is not looking out for you.
Don’t wait – contact an attorney who goes up against car insurance companies every day.
Questions, please feel free to contact the attorneys at Cheriff & Fink, P.C. One of our attorneys will speak with you directly. You will never be relegated to discussing your case with a paralegal, secretary or some other so called “no-fault” specialist in our office.