Car accidents occur frequently in New York, but especially for those who have never been involved in one, the process can be scary and confusing. Taking a few important steps can ensure that the situation is handled as quickly and effectively as possible.
No matter who caused the car accident, it’s important that both parties stop immediately. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal and can lead to license revocation, fines, and/or a jail sentence. Once you’ve stopped, check with each passenger in your vehicle for injuries before making contact with the other driver to determine their condition and exchange information, including name and address, insurance information, vehicle registration, license plate number, and driver’s license number.
Call the Police
If the accident involves an injury or death, you’re required to call 911 immediately. The New York City Police Department and other first responders will arrive to assess the scene, determine the cause of the accident, and provide care for those who have been hurt. In the event of a minor accident involving no injuries, the police may not even be dispatched to the scene—but it’s still critical to report the information. If you hit a parked, unoccupied vehicle, leave a note on the car with your information and call the New York City Police Department to explain what happened.
In addition to information regarding the other driver’s insurance and vehicle, gather as much information as you can about the other passengers in the vehicle, including names, ages, and suspected injuries. Also, check the scene for witnesses to the accident. Police and attorneys value firsthand accounts, and witnesses can be useful in the event that someone in the accident provides misinformation to authorities. In addition, you should contact your insurance provider so that they can use the information gathered at the scene for your claim.
Contact an Attorney
Once the police have been contacted, injuries have been attended to, information has been exchanged, and a claim has been filed, call an attorney as soon as possible. If you have an injury as a result of someone else’s reckless driving, a legal representative may be able to help you seek compensation for your medical bills and time away from work. Conversely, if you’re accused of causing injury to another person or driver, an experienced attorney can represent you through your case.
If you’ve been in a car accident in New York, the dedicated legal team at Leav & Steinberg LLP can help. We have years of experience helping our clients take their cases to court and have the results to prove it. Contact us today at 212-766-5222 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our convenient Manhattan or Bronx office.