If you’ve been in a car accident, there are several things you need to do as soon as possible. These steps are not only necessary to protect your legal rights, but they can also help you get the maximum compensation from your insurance provider.
First, report the accident to law enforcement. This may seem like a simple step, but it’s important to do it as quickly as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and that your claim can be filed correctly. In some states, drivers involved in accidents involving property damage, personal injury or death are required to call the police.
The police report carries a great deal of weight with insurance adjusters and attorneys, so you should not skip this step even if it seems like a minor accident. This is especially important if you are injured, as it can be easy for an insurance company to argue that you weren’t hurt during the crash or didn’t suffer injuries that resulted in medical bills.
Second, see a doctor as soon as possible to receive treatment for any injuries you’ve suffered. This is important because many injuries take weeks or months to show up, and you want to be able to have medical records in hand that demonstrate the extent of your injuries when you file a claim.
Next, take photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles involved in it. These pictures can be used in court to prove your damages and help you obtain the best settlement possible.
Third, keep detailed notes of the accident and your injuries. Taking note of how the accident and your injuries affected your life and your work will give you a much better idea of what to expect when it comes time to negotiate with your insurance company or attorney.
Fourth, make sure that you get all of the information from the other driver’s insurance company and their lawyer. This includes your insurance policy number, the names and contact information of the other driver and their insurer, as well as the date, time and location of the accident.
Fifth, speak with an experienced New York car accident attorney as soon as you can to get the process started on your behalf. This will give you the peace of mind that your case is moving forward and that you are getting all of the compensation you deserve for the accident.
Sixth, collect witness testimony and surveillance footage if available. This will allow your New York accident attorney to re-create the events of the accident and reconstruct how it occurred, which can be a crucial part of determining fault.
Seventh, seek out multiple repair estimates for any damage to your vehicle and its parts. This will give you an idea of how much your insurance will cover for repairs and replacements.
Eighth, record any other information that you find during your investigation of the accident. This could include the names and contact information of any witnesses.