Unfortunately, car accidents happen all the time, and it seems the rate of occurrence continues to steadily increase due to distracted drivers and hazards on the road. In New York, Newsday has identified Suffolk as the leading county in the state when it comes to vehicle related fatalities and crashes in 2021. Even if you’re a careful and alert driver 100% of the time, there is still a possibility that you can be the victim of a crash and it’s important that if so, you know what to do. To help you navigate a scary car accident, keep reading to learn some basics about what you should and shouldn’t do according to Mark Freeley, the North Shore Injury Lawyer.
Call the police
The very first thing you should do if you’ve been in a car accident is call the police. This is so you can ensure a formal report is prepared with the details of how the accident occurred and the identity of the driver, owner, and insurance company of the other car are all properly documented. With a police report in hand, everything will go much more smoothly when trying to prove fault to obtain compensation for your car damage and/or any bodily injuries.
In some cases, the other driver(s) may try to convince you that they will “take care of it” but it’s important that you avoid any confusion or issues later on down the line by getting law enforcement involved from the beginning. Oftentimes, people who want to avoid the police are the ones who would most likely change their story when you leave the scene without making a report.
If the accident involves a hit and run where the other vehicle leaves the scene, you must notify the police and have a report made within 24 hours.
Get all the important details
Since car accidents are often stressful, it can be hard to think clearly but it’s important that you still focus on getting the important details like the other drivers’ health insurance information including the policy number. Make a note to yourself about how and why the accident occurred and any other important information while all the facts are fresh in your mind and take photographs at the accident scene, the position of the cars as well as the damage done to each of them.
Other important details to get include obtaining the name, address, email, and telephone number of any and all potential eyewitnesses. Additionally, if you are injured it’s important to document your pain and problems as soon as possible by seeking medical attention. This will help you to establish a causal connection of your injuries to the accident and can come in handy if your injuries turn out to be more serious than you initially thought.
Call your insurance company
As soon as you can, you should call and report the accident to your insurance company. Provide them with all of the details that you gathered at the scene and directly following the accident. It’s also incredibly important if you have any pain and are injured to advise your insurance company up front and file a No-Fault benefits application form within 30 days of the accident date. Your insurance company is responsible for paying all of your medical bills and loss of wages resulting from the accident, regardless of whose fault the accident was.
While you should do your best to contact your insurance company quickly, it’s equally important to avoid speaking to the other person’s insurance company as they represent the other person’s interests and not yours. Because their job is to help their interests, they will likely record your conversation and ask you many questions in an effort to help their insured. Speak to a personal injury attorney before you proceed any further with the other person’s insurance company, and make sure not to sign anything for them without an attorney reviewing it first as you could be waiving some of your rights.
The North Shore Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident, it’s important to quickly contact a trusted attorney who can properly guide you and increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. With over 30 years of experience fighting insurance companies on behalf of his clients, the North Shore Injury Lawyer Mark Freeley is ready to help. Give him a call at 631-495-9435 to discuss your accident directly with Mark.