If you ever find yourself in an auto accident, there are several things you need to remember. Maybe you or someone else is injured. If you were drinking, you might panic and feel the urge to escape the scene. Maybe you fear what you’ll do next. The most important thing is to stay calm, contact New York car accident attorney, and remember the following steps.
Don’t Leave the Scene
Once you have exchanged information with everyone involved in the crash and got permission from an officer you should leave the scene of the accident. Leaving before is illegal and you are at risk of a hit-and-run charge.
Check Potential Injuries
Accidents, no matter how small, can cause you injuries. Check if you’re injured, and then check if your passengers. If it’s safe to exit your vehicle and check on other drivers and passengers. If you find that you or another person is injured, immediately call 911. Even if you believe that things are fine, call 911 anyway.
Do not give help that is beyond your training.
Call the Police
If there are injuries and you’ve already called 911, expect a police officer to arrive at the scene. If no one has any injuries, it’s right to report the accident to local law enforcement. Report the accident, no matter how minor it is. The presence of an officer would help you if it turns out if the other driver was drunk, or drove without car insurance.
Get Insurance and Personal Information
Identify any other drivers involved in the car accident and get their name, contact information, driver’s license number, and car insurance details. Since this is a stressful moment, try to take a picture of the other driver’s documents. If there are any witnesses to the accident, write down their names and contact info. Your insurers or attorney may call these people for their testimony. It’s a good idea to get the name and badge of the officer that arrives at the scene.
Collect Potential Evidence
Keep in mind that everything related to the vehicles involved in the accident like the model, year, license plate number, general description. Take photos of any damages to your vehicle, area conditions, traffic signals, skid marks. Check for cameras (traffic or security). Note their location and ask who you should contact to get a copy of the footage.
Be Careful About Your Words
You can be angry, furious, or scared, but that should not lead you to say things you would regret later. Don’t admit any fault, nor try to explain who is at fault. Even if you truly believe you’re responsible for the accident, you may be wrong. If you admit that to the officer at the scene, these words may be used against you later. We don’t say you should lie, but simply try not to talk before your attorney arrives.
Notify Your Car Insurance Company
Your car insurance company should be informed about the car accident. Notify your car insurance company as soon as possible, regardless of who is liable for the accident. Your policy requires you to immediately inform your insurance company of any incident that could trigger coverage. If you fail to timely notify your insurers, you could risk your coverage.
Keep in mind that reporting the car accident to your insurance carrier isn’t making you file a claim.
You have a responsibility to cooperate with your car insurance company’s investigation into the accident. You should answer their questions and give them any evidence or information you got after the accident.
If you believe that your car insurance company is wrongfully denying your claim, or that you may have criminal liability for the accident, it’s time to contact an attorney. You’ll probably need to answer some questions to your insurance company, but your lawyer will make sure you don’t say anything that can put you in bigger problems later.
The best way to go through this process is to hire a skilled and experienced car accident attorney. Make sure you don’t panic and stay at the scene. Collaborate with the officer, tell them your name, but avoid explaining what happened. If you believe you caused the accident, stay quiet. If you’ve been drinking, you can avoid taking the field sobriety test or the breathalyzer test (although your driver’s license will be suspended and you’ll be arrested).
If you were involved in a car accident in New York, our team at Cellino Law is here for you.