Car crashes are frightening and stressful. There are many things you have to consider if you were the victim of an accident, and your legal rights should be one of them. Before you leave the scene of the accident, follow these steps to protect your rights. 

Then, contact an experienced car accident attorney on Long Island. Carner & DeVita will help file your claim and ensure you receive the compensation you need for your medical bills and other expenses.

Of course, if you are seriously injured, you should visit the hospital. If you or your passenger’s injuries are not serious, taking the following steps will help your case immensely.

How to Protect Your Rights

Call the police. 

This is a crucial step you should always take at the scene of an accident. When the police arrive, they write an official report which may provide evidence of who was at fault. Never take money from the other driver or allow them to convince you not to call the police.

Take photos of the scene. 

Documenting the scene of the accident will help validate your claim. Take photos of any damage to your car, belongings, or person, as well as the location of the accident (street, highway, or intersection). Make sure you can easily reference the date that the photos were taken.

Speak with witnesses. 

Witness testimony is powerful in making a claim and can be used as evidence against the at-fault driver. Because you may be in shock or confused during the accident, you should obtain witness information. Don’t forget their contact information – you may need to give it to your insurance company and car accident attorney.

It’s just as important to understand what you shouldn’t do after a car crash as what you should do.

Mistakes To Avoid

Don’t trust or speak with the at-fault driver unless you absolutely have to.

The driver who caused a car accident isn’t looking out for you or your interests. They’ll probably try to convince you not to call the police so they won’t get in trouble. Don’t fall for any persuasion tactics — you should call the police, and you should remember that the other driver isn’t looking out for you. Try not to speak to them unless you have to, such as to make sure they’re physically alright. If you speak with them openly, you may accidentally say something that would harm your case.

Don’t speak with the other driver’s insurance company unless you’ve met with a lawyer.

The reasoning for this point is similar to not speaking with the other driver. Their insurance company doesn’t have your best interests in mind. If the driver’s insurance company calls you, don’t answer until you’ve hired an attorney. Insurance may try and get information out of you that could harm your case or make the settlement much lower than it should be.

Don’t underestimate your injuries.

Imagine this scenario: you’re in a car accident, but everything seems fine afterwards. You aren’t in pain or lose consciousness. You accept an offer from the insurance company and go on about your life. A few weeks later, you experience severe pain and go to the doctor, who tells you you had a latent injury in the accident and have just started showing symptoms. Now you have to pay for expensive treatment for an injury you didn’t even know about when the insurance company gave you money.

This is a fairly common mistake, but it can be the difference in recovering the money you deserve and being cheated out of the compensation you need. That’s where a New York car accident lawyer comes in — Carner & DeVita will protect your rights and make sure you receive a full examination to rule out latent injuries. We’ll speak with your doctor or medical team to ensure we have a full idea of the cost of future and past care.

Call Your New York Attorneys Today

Because car accidents can be emotional, confusing, and financially draining events, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Long Island car accident lawyer. The at-fault driver and their insurance company aren’t looking out for you; their goal is to give you the lowest amount of compensation possible.  Carner & DeVita will protect your rights, recover the compensation you deserve, and help you move forward after your accident. Contact us for a free case consultation today.