Stop & Notify the Police
The law requires that the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident stop at the scene. Do not move the cars unless their position causes a dangerous condition. Call the police immediately so that a proper police report can be made documenting the accident. Do not admit responsibility or fault, even if you think you were to blame. You could be wrong and admitting fault may be used against you by the insurance company.
In New York State, if you are involved in a vehicle accident causing injury to person or property, you are required to stop and give your name, address, and show your driver’s license and insurance identification card to the person who is injured or whose property is damaged, or to a police officer. The failure to report at the time and place of the accident can make any future claim much more difficult.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
If there are injured people you must immediately call for an ambulance. Dialing 911 will get you both the police and an ambulance. It is very important to document the fact that you were injured in the accident. If you delay in getting treatment, it can affect any claim you may bring seeking compensation for your injuries.
Every driver is required to exchange their name and address and the name and identification number of their insurance company with the other drivers involved in the crash. Ask to see the other drivers’ license, registration and insurance card. Copy down all information on the license including the driver’s identification number on his license. When the police arrive find out the name, badge number and precinct of the police officer.
Make No Statement
Except for exchanging the required information with the other drivers, do not have any discussion with the other drivers. Do not engage in arguments with the other drivers. In the heat of the moment you may say something that is inaccurate which can be used against you in the future. Be sure to tell the police officer your version of the accident.
Witnesses are crucial to the successful prosecution of your injury claim, especially if there is any question of liability involved. Attempt to get the name, address and phone number of any witness to the accident.
Photographs speak a thousand words. If you can do so safely without putting your safety at risk, take photos of the damage to all vehicles as well as the accident scene.
Get your injuries cared for immediately at the emergency hospital or at your personal physician’s office. Tell the examining doctor every complaint and injury you have, no matter how minor you may think it is. A serious injury to the neck or back may not cause you symptoms until several hours or days after your accident.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Whenever you are in an accident involving an injury or property damage; notify your insurance company. If you fail to notify your insurance company IMMEDIATELY after the accident, you may forfeit your entitlement to coverage under your policy. Write down the claim number and insurance adjuster’s contact information. Do not give a recorded statement until you have spoken with a qualified personal injury lawyer.
Notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles
The law requires that the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident in New York State in which a person is killed or injured or one which damage of the property of any person, including him or herself, exceeds $1,000 must file a written report with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the accident. If the operator is unable to make such a report, another participant must make it within the prescribed period. Your local police station or insurance agent can help you prepare the necessary forms (MV-104).
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
At Spinner Law Firm, we focus on car accident law. No matter what, do not sign anything or give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company until you have spoken with an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Spinner Law Firm, we focus on car accidents and all other accidents resulting in serious injury or death. Let us deal with the insurance company so you don’t have to. We’ll walk you through the process and work hard to recover the largest possible settlement in the shortest amount of time.
Contact us today online or by telephone at 855-LAW-SPIN.