Thousands of car accidents occur every year in the State of New York. It is very important to know what to do and what not to do if you or a loved one is involved in a car accident.
- Stay at the scene of the accident. Even if it was not your fault.
- Next, check to see if you, your passengers or anyone involved in the accident is injured. If anyone is injured, call 911 right away and request an ambulance. Even if you believe that it is a minor injury, it is better to get medical attention to make sure.
- Call the police immediately so that there is a proper investigation and documentation of the accident. Do not let the other driver convince you that there is no need to call the police.
- If you are undocumented you do not need to worry about your immigration status. The police will not ask you about your status.
- To the extent possible, get the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Also take photographs of the location of the accident, the position of the cars before they are moved, the damage to the vehicles and anything else that you think is important.
- Once the police arrive, explain to the police how the accident occurred. However, even if you think you may be at fault, do not admit fault.
- If you are injured, do not refuse the ambulance simply to stay with your vehicle. The police will have your vehicle towed and it will be secured by the tow company until you can come get it. Similarly, do not worry about the medical bills. The vehicular insurance company will cover most if not all of your hospital bills.
- Once the ambulance workers arrive, make sure to tell them all of your physical complaints, even the minor complaints. Do this at that hospital as well. Often accident victims will only have minor symptoms initially that turn out to be more serious problems later. It is important to document any and all injuries as soon as possible.
- Obtain a copy of the police report as soon as you can.
- Seek the advice of a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Do not speak with any insurance company representatives without first consulting with an attorney. After your health and the health of your loved ones, the next most important thing to protect are your legal rights. Only an attorney is qualified to give you legal advice about your rights, responsibilities and obligations following an accident.
DISCLAIMER: This information intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.