If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then there are many things on your mind. You will have to focus and prioritize during this stressful time. Therefore, the first thing on your mind should be the damage caused by this accident. Was anyone hurt? Does anyone need immediate medical attention? Do you immediately need an ambulance? Is there a fire or a risk of conflagration? Once you have determined what situation you are in, call the police, if you have not already done so. Calling 911 or another number posted for highway patrol is essential. The operator will call an ambulance, if necessary, and send a police officer or state trooper.
An article by the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute published on InsuranceNewsNet.com explains many of the steps outlined below and offers additional information on insurance claims.
The police will help you objectively fill out a report. The police may or may not give you a copy of the report right away, so be sure to get the officerâ€™s name and badge number and the address of the police station where you can pick up your report. If a police officer cannot come to the scene of the accident, then be sure to file an incident report with the police as soon as possible.
If there have been damage to cars, or if drivers or passengers have been injured, then it is important to fill out an accident report in the event of a lawsuit in the future.
At the scene of the accident, you will need to be organized. It is best to keep a small pad of paper and a pen in your glove compartment. You should take note of:
- The other driverâ€™s name and contact information
- The other driverâ€™s license information
- Car registration information
- Insurance ID card information
- Vehicle makes and models
- Date and time of accident
- Weather conditions at the accident scene
- Witnessâ€™ names and contact information
If you have a camera or a smartphone with a camera, then you can take photos of the accident scene. In addition to photographing the damage and the position of the vehicles, take photographs of any road signs and obstructed road signs in the area. These signs may play a role in determining liability should you hire an attorney to represent you in court or to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Be careful in taking photographs so that you are not in a dangerous location.
If you describe the accident to a police officer or write it on the report, be factual and honest. This is not the time for your emotions to take control of you. Brevity is also important as you are not obligated to provide a long story that may or may not help you down the road.
You will need to make an insurance claim. Some insurance companies require that you report an accident to them within a certain number of days. Do not miss that deadline. Some insurance companies offer apps for smartphones and tablets to file claims, simplifying the process. Other companies require you to speak with your local insurance agent. At this point, it is also wise to contact an attorney. A lawyer can evaluate your accident and determine if you have a case. If you were injured, then you may be entitled to monetary compensation for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering; all past, present and future. Jayson Lutzky has over 31 years practicing law in New York State. He has helped many highly satisfied clients recover millions after accidents. Free in-office consultations are available in Mr. Lutzkyâ€™s Bronx office. Home and hospitals appointments are available if you have been seriously injured. Call 718-329-9500 to set up an appointment and visit http://www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com/bronx-car-accident-lawyer/ to learn more about car accidents.