Peters Burger Koshel & Goldberg Will Fight For You
Auto accidents are stressful, and oftentimes, panic sets in. We know Brooklyn traffic is bad enough, but getting in an accident only makes things worse. Knowing what to do if you are in an auto accident can help prepare you in case the event happens. Take a few moments to read over this list of what to do in case of an auto accident, brought to you by the auto accident lawyers Peters Burger Koshel & Goldberg in Brooklyn, NY
Step 1: Get Help by Calling 911
The first thing you should do immediately following an accident is call 911. You’ll need to notify them of the accident, so they can get to the scene. You should also let them know about any serious injuries you or your passengers have suffered. You’ll need a police report for your claim, so don’t agree to “not get the police involved” if another driver mentions that. You also should not accept any type of immediate settlement from the other driver. They may offer you cash to make the accident “go away.”
Step 2: Seek Medical Care
Some auto accidents result in severe injuries, while others may escape without a scratch. It’s often difficult to determine the extent of injuries right after an accident has occurred. Your body has increased adrenaline levels, which can numb the pain. Just because you can walk and aren’t in pain doesn’t mean you are injury-free. If you or anyone else involved is seriously injured or appears to be, don’t hesitate to call 911. If there are no apparent injuries, it’s still important to get checked out by any EMTs who arrive on the scene or by your primary care physician. You can also visit an emergency room or urgent care center if you develop symptoms after the accident.
Step 3: Take Pictures of the Scene Before Leaving
You’ll need to move your car out of traffic if you can, but first, you should take photos of the scene. This documentation can be important later, as auto accidents are often cases of, “he said, she said.” If you are seriously injured, do not attempt to push or drive a severely damaged vehicle. Use your smartphone to take some photos of your car, the other car, and the location. You can even take pictures of any visible injuries to you or your passengers. Take photos of debris or skid marks from the crash as well.
Step 4: Exchange Contact & Insurance Information
You should exchange information with the other driver if you are both able to. That information should include names, phone numbers, addresses, work information, and insurance information. This may seem like a lot, but you need to be able to identify the driver. Be sure to only “talk business” with the other driver. Do not argue or admit fault.
Step 5: Obtain a Copy of the Police Report
The police report will be an essential piece of information for your case. You should be able to obtain a copy of the police report at the precinct the day after the accident. Ask the police officer on the scene to verify. Your attorney may also be able to get the copy for you.
Step 6: Gather Information About Your Injuries
Keep a detailed journal about your injuries from the car accident. Write down any injuries you suffered, whether they were apparent immediately, or not until later. Keep notes about your diagnoses and treatment, including the name of the doctor and practice and when you visited. This information is valuable, and it’s easy to forget over time.
Step 7: Contact Your Insurance Company for a Claim Form
You’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. You’ll want a no-fault insurance application so that you can cover your vehicle repair costs and medical expenses. You should get an estimate for repair costs from an authorized dealer or your regular mechanic. Your insurance claim will need to be submitted within 30 days.
Step 8: What if I am Partly at Fault?
In New York, you may be able to collect money for damages, even if you are partially at fault. The state uses the pure comparative negligence system, meaning all involved parties are assigned a portion of negligence. This system is quite complex, which is why you need an experienced attorney like Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg to handle your case.
Step 9: Determine Medical Costs & Other Damages
Medical costs for severe injuries can add up fast. Some injuries may require surgery or extended treatments. There are plenty of additional medical expenses, including prescriptions, ongoing care, and rehabilitation. Also, damages can include money for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and lost wages. Legal action is highly recommended to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Step 10: Contact Your Attorney
You need an experienced Brooklyn, NY attorney who understands the local laws and can fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We can help you with all the questions you might have, like “how long do you have to see a doctor after an auto accident?”, “How much money will I get from my auto accident settlement?” and “How long do I have to file a claim after an auto accident?”. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys in Brooklyn, NY today for a free initial consultation.