What to Do After a Car Accident
on May 31, 2014 by George Panagiotopouloson May 31, 2014
While there are thousands of accidents in New York annually, most people have little experience in dealing with the aftermath of the accident. The skilled New York attorneys at Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt have substantial experience helping people with their accident claims. As a result, we recommend the following to ensure that your rights are protected. Keep in mind that these are recommendations — if you missed some of these steps, don’t worry, we can still help you.
At the Accident Scene
- Make sure everyone is OK. If anyone feels hurt, emergency services should be called to respond to the scene.
- Get Information from the other Drivers. Take down all relevant information from the others involved in the scene. You should, at a minimum, get names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and insurance policy information from the other drivers.
- Get Information from Witnesses. If you notice people who may have seen the accident, try to get their names and telephone numbers.
- Document the Scene. If you have a phone with a camera, take pictures of the accident scene, the cars, the damage to the cars, and any other details you notice.
- Document the Scene. If you have a phone with a video camera, take video of the scene. While you are taking the video, do not try to describe what happened. The video should be a “walk around” of the scene, so that the accident can be seen from all angles.
After the Police Arrive
- If the Police are called, give the police the information they request. Always cooperate with the Police when they are on the scene.
- Make sure you get the Incident or Report number so that the full report can be obtained later.
- Make sure you get the Officer’s business cards or names.
After the Police Leave
- If the car is still safe to drive, continue on with your day to the best you can. Make sure you document the condition of the car once it is parked.
- If the car needs to be towed, make sure you get information on the Towing Company.
- Call your insurance agent and report the accident.
- Call your attorney to schedule a meeting.
- If you are hurt, seek emergency care.
At the Doctor’s Office
- Once at the Doctor’s office make sure you explain to them how the car accident occurred.
- Make sure that you explain how you feel to the doctor.
- Make sure you identify all of the aches and pains you are suffering – just because your neck is most painful does not mean you should not mention other aches or pains caused by the accident.
- Make sure you take the Doctor’s business card.
- Make sure you understand and follow the Doctor’s recommendations for follow up care or treatment.
At the Repair Shop
- Make sure you are comfortable with the repair shop and its owner.
- Make sure you have pictures of the car before and after the repairs.
- Make sure you receive a full statement detailing the various repairs to the car, including parts and labor.
- After the accident begin a journal of your daily life after the accident.
- The journal should note how you feel throughout each day after the accident.
- Note specific things you could not do, or found difficult to do, after the accident.
- Note days off from work, out of pocket expenses, and other costs you are paying.
simple steps can help you and your attorneys’ ensure you are fairly compensated for your damages caused by a car accident.
If you have been hurt by another party’s negligence, you need help. Contact Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you recover the damages suffered by your personal injury. We proudly serve individuals throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We can be contacted by phone at (201) 820-6001 in New Jersey or (212) 692-0200 in New York. We can also be found on the Internet, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube. And remember, we handle all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay our fees unless we recover for you. Like us on Facebook.