2020 New York Car Accident Checklist
- December 30, 2019
- By Gerard Devita
No one expects to be involved in a car accident when they leave the house. People tend to feel in control behind the wheel and feel as though they are safe. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone every day. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye and can strike anyone.
When you are involved in a wreck in Long Island, it’s important that you take certain steps. You need to protect your rights should you decide to pursue action in a court of law. Use the following as a checklist if you are the victim of a car accident in the New Year, and be sure to call our Long Island car accident lawyers at (631) 543-7070 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Steps to Take After Your New York Accident
Step 1: Check for Injuries
The first step to take once your head clears and you can process what has happened is to check yourself and other passengers in your car for injuries. Once you have determined whether or not anyone has suffered injuries, call 911.
The operator is going to want to know where you are, how many cars were involved and a general description of the scene. Try to remember to only report facts. Do not admit fault or give your opinion of what happened.
Step 2: Gather Evidence
Get out of your vehicle if it is safe to do so. Gather as much evidence as you can. Take still pictures and videos of the scene. Make sure to get pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved, current road conditions, and the weather if you can.
Get information from the other drivers. You will want the License Plate number of their vehicles, as well as pictures of their driver’s license and insurance card if possible. You can also collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident and stopped to offer assistance.
Step 3: Speak to Officers
Officers will respond to the scene and ask questions. You have a right to not incriminate yourself. Provide the police officer with factual information such as your name and address. If you are asked about fault or any type of criminal activity, you have a right to cease answering questions.
Step 4: Call Your Agent
In most cases, you have a limited amount of time to report your accident to your insurance company. Once you get home, you will want to contact your agent within the timeframe specified in your policy.
It’s not unusual for people to think that they do not have to speak with their agent if the accident wasn’t their fault. This is not the case. Call your agent no matter what. The insurance company will want to conduct their own investigation into the incident.
Like a few other states, New York law requires every driver to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This means that your own insurance will cover costs associated with your injuries regardless of fault. This is not the case in some other states, where the at-fault party’s insurance coverage is the first to kick in.
Step 5: Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Your next step should be to contact a Long Island car accident attorney. You only have three years from the date of your accident to file a claim in court. The clock starts ticking the moment the accident occurs. If you decide later that you want to file suit and seek compensation, you may have waited too long.
Our personal injury attorneys offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact your Long Island car accident lawyer today online or call us at (631) 543-7070 to schedule a free case evaluation. We don’t believe that seeking expert legal advice should cost you a thing. Our team is on your side — reach out to our office today.
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