What to Do After a New York Car Accident?
Being involved in a car accident is a scary, painful, and confusing experience. It can be difficult to know what to do or who to talk to in the hours, days, and weeks following a crash in New York. Hiring an experienced New York car accident attorney can ensure that you do everything possible to preserve your claims to compensation after an accident. There are certain steps that you can take to protect your case and your rights to damages from those responsible for the crash. At The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel, our team of highly qualified legal experts is here to help if you have been injured in a New York car accident. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your claims.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The first step that you should take after any accident is to seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. This is important for many reasons and is a critical step regardless of how minor or severe you believe your injuries to be. The first reason to seek immediate medical treatment is to have a healthcare professional assess your injuries and begin the healing process. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding or organ damage, are not always immediately recognizable after an accident but require urgent medical care. By going directly to a healthcare professional after a crash, all known and unknown injuries can be identified and treated.
The second reason for seeking immediate medical treatment after a car accident is to create contemporaneous documentation about the extent of your injuries at the time of the accident. This can be crucial evidence in a later lawsuit for damages, especially if the insurance companies try to claim that you were not actually as injured as you claim in the crash.
Gather Evidence From the Scene
The next step to take after a car accident in New York is to collect evidence from the scene. This can include photos and videos of the location of the crash, the extent of the damage, and anything else that may be helpful to your case, such as the weather conditions, traffic signs or signals, and information about the other people involved in the accident. If there are witnesses to the car accident, get their contact information so that your attorney can get their statements later. Request a copy of the police report and any other accident reports taken about the crash. All evidence from the scene may be helpful later in your case.
Keep a Record of Receipts
In the days, weeks, and months after the car accident it is important that you keep a record of your receipts associated with the incident. You should keep all receipts related to medical bills, property damage, rehabilitation, and transportation costs. As part of your compensation claim, the out of pocket costs are calculated into your final award and keeping a record of all receipts will ensure that you are receiving the full value of your economic losses.
Track Your Medical Progress
At the same time, you should also be keeping a record of your medical progress after the accident. Write a daily journal that details the extent of your injuries, all medical treatments and medications taken for the injuries, rehabilitation and physical therapy appointments, and the general progress or lack thereof in healing from your injuries. Keeping this record of your recovery can help make the argument for greater noneconomic compensation. Noneconomic damages refer to the payment for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life. This journal can serve as powerful evidence during your case about the lasting effects of the accident and the injuries you sustained.
Do Not Speak To Insurers
It is critical that after a New York car accident you do not speak to the insurance companies on your own. Insurance adjusters may reach out to you within hours after the accident to try and get a statement about what happened in the crash. Insurance companies, including your own, do not have your best interests at heart. Their goal is to settle your claim as quickly and for as little money as possible. Oftentimes, the insurers are trying to get you to make a statement against your own interests in order to mitigate or eliminate your claims for damages. When you hire a New York car accident attorney with experience handling the insurance companies you are protecting your rights to compensation.
Have an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
One of the most important steps that you should take after a New York car accident is to hire an expert lawyer in car accident cases. Hiring an attorney to represent your interests after a crash protects your claims and defends against other interested parties who want to lessen or eliminate your case for damages. First, when you hire a lawyer after a car accident, the insurance companies are required by law to send all communication about your case through the attorney. This includes all requests for statements, settlement offers, and negotiation. Your lawyer will handle the back and forth with the insurers while you focus on what is most important, your recovery.
Your attorney can also be present when you make a statement to the insurance adjuster about the crash. This ensures that your rights and interests are protected during this interaction. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to review the evidence in your case and determine the full and fair value of your claims to protect you against accepting a settlement worth far less than you deserve. Finally, if the insurers refuse to offer a fair settlement for your injuries, an attorney can take your case to trial.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
If you would like to speak with an expert in New York car accident cases about your claims, call or contact The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel today to schedule a consultation.