When car crashes occur involving multiple vehicles, there may be a conflict when it comes time to distinguish who was responsible for the multiple-vehicle accident. If you are involved in a multiple-vehicle accident, you might discover yourself facing various insurance carriers while attempting to guard yourself against accusations of blame following the crash.
You need not end up in such a dispute, though. Disagreements about liability can be particularly trying, particularly if you are trying to recover from injuries connected to your multiple-vehicle accident. An accident attorney at Cohen & Jaffe LLP can examine the details arising from your car accident and help you pursue compensation for the damages you face if someone else caused your accident. Our lawyers will focus on fighting for the best possible outcome of your case while you remain dedicated to your physical recovery.
In the immediate aftermath of a multiple-vehicle crash, there are some important pieces of advice that you should remember to follow.
What to Do at the Scene of the Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a multiple-vehicle accident, you should stop and contact law enforcement. If someone has been harmed or killed in a car accident, New York law requires individuals to stop either at or close to the site of the accident. Individuals are also required by law to provide reasonable help to any person who needs it. This often means that a person must call 911 as well as exchange personal details including their driver’s license and vehicle information. If injuries have occurred due to a crash, you should also avoid moving your vehicle.
If a crash has only resulted in damages to vehicles and not to participants, you should move your vehicle to prevent blocking traffic assuming you can safely move your vehicle. You should also remain at the accident scene and wait for emergency workers to respond. You should turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights to remain highly visible to other drivers.
Another thing that you should do at the scene of an accident is to capture as many photographs as you possibly can. Fortunately, this can often be done fairly easily nowadays due to the presence of smartphones. You should capture photos of the vehicles involved in the crash and the site of the accident. These photographs can help to support insurance claims or lawsuits. You should obtain photographs of anything that will help to show how an accident occurred. Some subjects that you should capture in the photographs you take include any damage incurred by any involved vehicles, the position of the vehicles in relation to the other vehicles involved in the crash, the presence of any skid marks, the location of any debris involved in the accident, any injuries you incurred, any injuries incurred by passengers in any of the vehicles, and the weather conditions at the time of the accident.
Collect Witness Statements
Ask anyone who was riding in your vehicle or any nearby pedestrians who saw the crash to allow you to make a quick video recording of that individual explaining their version of how the accident occurred. Request this person’s permission to be recorded as well as to have that individual state their name and contact details. If you take a written statement, request that the individual sign and date this information. You should do this while your passenger and any witnesses who saw the accident happen are present.
What to Do Following the Crash
You should make sure to report your accident to your insurance carrier. When conversing with your insurance carrier about the crash, you should avoid apologizing or acknowledging blame for the accident. Even if you think that you might bear liability, there might be factors involved in the crash about which you are not aware. Additionally, in multiple-vehicle crashes, multiple drivers might bear liability for the resulting crash. If someone suggests that you bear fault for the crash, it is a better idea to respond that a decision about fault has not yet been made. You also should avoid blaming anyone else for the accident.
When talking to the insurance carrier, you should avoid speculating about the crash. When asked about the accident, you should instead respond that you do not know how the crash occurred. Similarly, you should avoid guessing anything about the accident. Remember, anything that you say could later be used against you. As a result, you should be cautious about everything that you say.
Provide the details about how your accident occurred and no additional details when asked about how the accident occurred or what damage resulted. Instead of making guesses, let law enforcement perform an investigation and draw conclusions about the multiple-vehicle crash.
Do Not Minimize Your Injuries
If an insurance adjuster or police officer asks about your condition, you will likely feel the urge to say that you are okay. This is not always the best idea because you are essentially acknowledging that you were not injured. You do not want to minimize your injuries. If you are injured in an accident, you should see a physician as soon as possible and remember the diagnosis that is made. It is a much better idea to state your specific injuries when someone asks how you are doing after a multiple vehicle crash.
Avoid Accepting Settlement Offers Immediately
As an accident victim, you will end up facing various costs after a car crash, particularly those related to medical bills. You may be out of work due to your injuries and encountering some degree of financial pressure due to lost income. Insurance carriers often make quick offers to try to reduce that carrier’s liability. Beginning offers are made to sound like a great amount of money while making sure that the insurance carrier does not lose too much money. If you are still receiving medical treatment and have not resumed working, it is impossible to assess what your final costs will end up being.
Contact a Knowledgeable Multiple Vehicle Accident Attorney
Beginning with a free case evaluation, a lawyer at The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP will work with you to make sure that your rights are protected and that a strategy of your choosing is pursued. Our lawyers are focused, compassionate, and do not charge a fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. We have helped many accident victims pursue compensation, and are ready to help you, too. We represent accident victims throughout New York including those who have been involved in multiple vehicle accidents. Contact us today for assistance.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900