Getting into a car accident is always a stressful experience. Even minor fender-benders can cause severe anxiety and an adrenaline spike. But it’s important that you keep your cool while at the scene and take certain steps to give your subsequent claim the highest possible chance of success.
Here are a few tips for handling the immediate aftermath of a wreck:
- Call the Police
Depending on the circumstances, the other motorists or passengers involved may try to convince you not to call law enforcement; however, it’s always a good idea to contact the police after a collision. Responding officers will direct traffic safely away from the scene, obtain statements from eyewitnesses, conduct chemical tests, and draft an official report, which the insurer may require in order to process your claim.
- Don’t Apologize
Apologizing at the scene could be interpreted as an admission of fault. It’s wise to avoid discussing liability altogether with the other parties involved. Instead, just be polite, find out if anyone was injured, call emergency medical services if needed, and save any comments about fault for your conversation with the responding officer.
- Photograph the Wreckage
Once it’s safe to walk around the scene, photograph the vehicles that were involved from all angles. Be sure to capture skid marks, broken glass, deployed airbags, and bloodstains. You should also record the weather and road conditions.
- Record Pertinent Details
Don’t assume the responding officer will gather all the information you will need to file the claim. Take a proactive approach by recording the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses and the registration details of each vehicle involved. Also, take photos of the other motorist’s insurance card and driver’s license.
- Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Generally speaking, it’s wise to accept medical care at the scene if emergency responders are present. Regardless of whether you received treatment at the scene, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible for an official diagnosis. Even if you feel relatively fine, you may have sustained serious injuries that have subtle or latent symptoms.
Seeking prompt medical care will ensure your injuries are properly documented, which will be essential when it comes time to file the claim. Also, getting treatment right away will demonstrate a commitment to mitigating your damages, which will contribute to the strength of your claim.
Call 212-421-0300 for a Free Consultation with a New York City Car Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a car accident caused by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. Our personal injury lawyers have more than a century of combined experience in legal practice.
Let us handle the logistics of your claim so you can focus on your health. Call 212-421-0300 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident attorney in New York City. We can come to you if you’re unable to come to us.