After an auto accident, your adrenaline may be high, and it can be hard to gather your thoughts and assess the situation. We hope you never end up in this unfortunate situation, but it is always good to be prepared. Read this blog post to learn about the first things to do after an auto accident in New York State.
First Things to Do After an Auto Accident
If you ever find yourself in an auto accident, there are certain things that you must do. The first thing is to stay calm, assess the situation, make sure that neither you nor anybody else near a vehicle requires immediate medical attention. Once you have done this, assess your position in the roadway. Is your vehicle in a safe area, or is traffic speeding past you on both sides? If it is possible, take photos with your smartphone or camera of the site of the accident. If it is safe to do so, you should look to maneuver your vehicle into a safe location until the police arrive. If your car is still drivable, it is your responsibility to get yourself and your passengers to a safe location.
Call the Police
Once you are safe, you should call the police and request a police report. Whenever there is damage more than $1,000 to any vehicle, or whenever anyone is injured to any extent, a report should be completed. While you are waiting for the police, you should take out any insurance and registration information, and you should retrieve information from all the other drivers who were involved in the accident. Witnesses’ accounts are also crucial to collect, and if a passerby stops and asks if you are all right, ask the person if he or she saw the accident. Many times, witnesses will gladly provide their names and phone numbers, giving their permission to be called in the future if their input is needed.
Collecting Evidence After an Auto Accident
It is common for the individual who caused the accident to adjust their story after the fact, after speaking to insurance companies, after consulting an attorney, or (in the case of younger drivers) after speaking with his or her parents. Before any external input can affect the situation, you should gather information to protect yourself.
We recommend that anyone involved in an accident should record everything that the driver behind the accident happens to say. This driver may admit fault or apologize then later deny having said anything of the sort. If the driver apologizes while other people are around, accounts from these witnesses are also helpful. Whenever a driver causes an accident and then makes comments against their interest, this action constitutes party admission.
Seek Medical Attention
The other issue that you should address when you make your emergency call is whether anyone involved in the accident requires medical attention. Response by the police is important, but you must also summon emergency medical personnel. The insurance for the vehicle in which you were traveling will cover any medical treatment that you receive, including a ride in an ambulance and a visit to an ER. If you are injured, there is no need to worry that a hospital will levy a hefty bill against you; accidents such as this are all covered by no-fault insurance.
Contact an Experienced Buffalo Personal Injury Lawyer
Local insurance companies are familiar with Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra PLLC’s team of lawyers, and they know all too well that we are willing to take all our cases to a jury trial. Unlike other attorneys, we will not accept a quick settlement simply so that we can move on to the next case. We will fight for every ounce of compensation that our clients deserve. If you have any more questions about the first things to do after an auto accident, please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.