If you were hit by a car, you should move to safety and notify the relevant authorities. Then, you can take steps to help preserve evidence and protect your right to pursue additional compensation later.
Our firm can help you navigate the claims process if you wish to take legal action against the liable party.
While at the Scene of the Car Accident
Whether in a vehicle, on a motorcycle or bike, or as a pedestrian, your priority after a car accident is to make sure you are safe and receive help.
Moving to a Safe Area
Pull off the road or into an area with less traffic to make sure another accident doesn’t occur. You may need to leave your vehicle and get to safety without it.
Calling the Police
The other party may try to avoid police and insurance involvement. Not only can this inaction backfire if your insurance company discovers you didn’t report an accident, but you may also face legal repercussions.
New York requires an accident report within 10 days for any crash involving injury, death, or over $1,000 in property damage (VAT § 605).
Seeking Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine, get checked out by a doctor. The adrenaline of an accident can mask symptoms and even low-speed crashes can cause damage. Seeking medical attention also proves that an injury exists, providing crucial evidence in your pursuit of damages.
Getting Contact Information
Exchanging insurance information is a standard practice of what to do after being hit by a car, but, if you are able, you can also ask for contact information from others at the site, including:
- All parties involved in the crash
- Witnesses and bystanders
- Police officers
Witnesses can help the car accident lawyers from our team identify who and what caused the crash. They can also attest to the accident’s level of damage and injury.
Police can verify what occurred as well as document evidence at the scene. Note their name and badge number and ask for information on retrieving the accident report from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) site.
If you are able, you can gather your own evidence, including anything related to:
- Road conditions
- Skid or tire marks
- Vehicle damage
- Time of day
- Cross streets
Context is key. Photos and video can be their own form of eyewitness testimony, while documenting the other factors, like wet roads or bad traffic, can provide crucial information about what led to the crash.
You don’t have to know how this evidence relates to your case yet. That’s your personal injury attorney’s job. By providing us with as much information as possible, we can then connect the dots between what happened on that road and the injuries you sustained.
What to do After the Car Accident
Reporting an accident to your insurance company accomplishes the same goal as reporting to police and seeking medical help: it underlines that an accident happened and that you were hurt.
While no-fault insurance coverage can pay for medical bills and lost wages through your own insurance policy, serious injuries could qualify for additional damages from the responsible party. Pursuing those damages requires proof and contacting your insurance helps support your case.
What to Say (and not Say)
You do not have to give an insurance company every detail of the crash right after it happened. In fact, you may not know those details yet. Don’t speculate on the record.
Instead, when initially contacting insurance, tell them:
- Where the crash occurred
- Date and time of the accident
- Who was involved and their contact info
- Make and model of the involved vehicles
Try to avoid statements of apology or regret, and don’t vocalize any assumptions. Keep your statement short and simple, relaying facts you know.
Consider Retaining a Car Accident Lawyer From Our Firm
If you aren’t sure what to say to an insurance company or are worried about saying the wrong thing, you can contact our team. We provide a buffer between you and insurance adjusters, negligent drivers, business representatives, and other lawyers.
In fact, you can contact us immediately after your crash, taking advantage of our free consultation to learn your options. Our personal injury attorneys do more than talk and file lawsuits. We help negotiate settlements, make appointments, and even coordinate repairs and transportation.
While You Recover From Your Injuries
The personal injury lawyers from our team can take over your case while you focus on healing. We support you by:
- Gathering evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Obtaining police reports
- Consulting experts
- Reconstructing the crash
- Assigning a value to your case
- Negotiating a settlement
- Filing a lawsuit
In other words, at this stage, what you do after a car accident is get better! We handle the rest.
Call Our Lawyers After Being Struck By Another Vehicle
What you should do after being hit by a car accident is protect yourself and your rights. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we can help by preserving evidence, contacting the necessary parties, and pursuing the care and compensation you deserve.
Call today for a free case review at (516) 358-6900.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900