Whether you just moved to New York City or have been living in the city for some time, you have likely recognized the many hazards on the roads. From speeding vehicles to aggressive bicyclists and pedestrians, you must be constantly alert to safely arrive at your destination.
That being said, there may be times where you can’t avoid these hazards on the road. You may get into a car crash—even if you don’t think you are a safe or overly conservative driver.
Car crashes can be life-changing—even if you aren’t incapacitated. Because of this, it is important to take the time now to think about the steps you should take after a car crash. From documentation to hiring an accident lawyer, being proactive can help you stay safe, minimize stress, and get through this traumatic period of your life.
A Brief Checklist on Staying Safe After a Car Crash
One of the first things that you’ll want to do after a car crash is to take an inventory of your own health. By this, we mean checking yourself for injuries immediately after the accident occurs. You’ll want to check your own health before checking the health of others in your vehicle.
From there, make sure that you are getting to a safe location. If you and the other cars are still operational, try to move them off of the road and onto the shoulder. If some (or all) of the vehicles aren’t driveable, however, you will need to leave them where they are. To reiterate, your personal safety is the most important thing after a car crash occurs. If you have them in your vehicle, you can warn other drivers by placing reflective emergency triangles near your vehicle.
Next, you’ll almost always want to call 911. Even if you and the other passengers in the vehicle have only suffered minor injuries, it is never a bad idea to make the call. If you or others have suffered serious injuries, however, you will definitely want to call 911. When speaking with the dispatcher, try to calmly explain what occurred, where you are located, and the extent of any injuries.
While you are waiting for the authorities to arrive, you’ll want to gather information after the crash. As a starting point, make sure that you exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved. It is also a great idea to document everything you can about the crash. For instance, think about documenting things like the other driver’s telephone number, any photos or videos from the car crash, the name and information of police officers that arrived at the scene, and your own notes and impressions of what occurred. While this may seem like overkill at the moment, doing this work right after the crash, getting this information now can help your accident lawyer.
Once you have gathered this information, you will want to reach out to your auto insurer and start the claims process. Your insurer will certainly have documentation that you will need to complete. In the meantime, however, don’t hesitate to call your auto insurance company at the scene of the accident. A representative from the insurance company will tell you everything you need to know about the claims process and what information you’ll need to submit. You can be sure that the other drivers will be doing the same.
Finally, you will want to seriously consider working with an accident lawyer. This is especially true if you have suffered minor or major injuries from the accident. It may be tempting to represent yourself throughout the claims process, but by doing so, you are seriously limiting your chance of a full and just recovery.
Ultimately, your accident lawyer can help you throughout the claims process. Your attorney can do everything from analyzing your insurance policy, gather additional evidence, negotiate on your behalf, and even litigate your claims if necessary. Not only that, but your accident lawyer can provide some much-needed peace of mind. Your attorney can handle all necessary parts of your claim, letting you focus more on your health and recovery.
Keep These Steps in Mind
While any type of car crash is traumatic, you can make the experience somewhat less traumatic by remembering these steps. They will not only keep you safe amidst so much uncertainty but will help you maximize your odds of receiving compensation for your injuries.
Finally, we encourage you to contact us if you are looking for an accident lawyer. Our lawyers are experienced, talented, and will work hard to help you receive full compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.