The aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can be chaotic and confusing. From assessing your injuries to dealing with your damaged vehicle, the first things you do after a car accident on Long Island could have a lasting impact on your health and your case for compensation.
Many of these early steps are only the beginning of a larger effort. It is not enough to seek medical care, as you also need to keep up with your doctor’s orders. During a free consultation, we can explain how a personal injury lawyer serving Long Island can help.
Focus on Your Medical Care
Nothing is as important following a car accident as your physical health. Before you focus on repairing your vehicle or pursuing an injury case, it is important to see your doctor.
You should seek a medical evaluation for any injury suffered in an accident, even if it seems minor at first. Injuries stemming from car accidents can worsen over time, and your body’s adrenaline response could also mask any symptoms. Seeing a doctor right away could prevent your condition from worsening and reduce your recovery time.
Seeing a doctor after an accident is not enough. To protect your chances for a fair recovery, it is imperative that you follow the treatment plan set out by your doctor.
Notify the Police of Your Accident
If your accident involves bodily injuries, fatalities, or significant property damage, you must notify the police and remain at the scene of the crash. After you notify law enforcement, an officer will come to the scene to make a report and assist if necessary.
The police report could play a role during negotiations in a personal injury case. If the report contains errors, it is possible to request a correction.
Avoid Discussing Your Accident with Anyone
Some interactions are unavoidable following a motor vehicle accident. The law requires that you notify the police, and you are also required to exchange names and insurance information with the other motorist. Outside of these communications, an important step in the process is to avoid discussing your accident at all.
This starts with the other driver. You have to exchange important information, but you are under no obligation to discuss the facts of the case. Avoid saying anything that could be misconstrued as an admission of fault. Even apologizing for the accident could be used against you if your case goes to trial.
You should also avoid speaking with the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster is likely to call right away after an accident, so it is important to be aware of your rights. You are under no obligation to speak with the insurance company, even if the adjuster implies that it is necessary.
Develop Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
Your window of time to investigate the nature of your accident is limited. In a matter of minutes, your vehicles will be moved and the witnesses to the collision will disperse. Given this narrow window of time, it is important to secure as much evidence from the scene of the collision as possible.
One of the most important steps is speaking with potential witnesses and obtaining their contact information. When car accident cases go to trial, the testimony of a witness who has no connection to either party in the accident is usually given significant weight. Of course, your opportunity to secure their contact information is limited given that witnesses often do not remain at the scene of an accident for long.
Photographic evidence is also important. Take photos of the cars in the position where they came to rest, if possible. It is also helpful to photograph your injuries as well as the cars. Documenting the damage to each vehicle could be powerful evidence in a personal injury case.
Contact Your Insurance Company
One party you are required to speak with regarding your accident is your own insurance company. This is because most insurance policies include language requiring the driver to notify the insurance company of an accident. This is the case regardless of whether you intend to file a claim with your own policy or not.
One of the major benefits of hiring a Long Island car accident attorney is that your legal counsel could serve as your advocate when dealing with your insurance company. From resolving your claim to assisting with the investigation, your attorney could communicate with the carrier so that you do not have to.
Work with Our Firm to Seek Financial Recovery
When it comes to the first things to do after a car accident on Long Island, talking to a law firm is at the top of the list. Our team can take the burden of the legal process off your shoulders as you recover from your injuries.
The attorneys of Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP are proud to serve accident victims on Long Island. We are prepared to review your case and provide the compassionate legal services that you deserve. To get started, call for your free consultation. We can assist callers in both English and Spanish.