In the moments following a car accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Your adrenaline is pumping, your mind is racing and it can feel like so many things are happening at once. However, it is important to stop, pull over your vehicle to a safe area (if possible), call the police and collect yourself.
Unfortunately, there are a few things people commonly forget to do immediately after a crash, sometimes negatively affecting their ability to collect compensation. These include the following:
1. Checking on everyone
Before you start looking for property damage, make sure everyone who was involved in the accident is okay. If any other drivers or passengers have been injured, call for medical attention right away. If anyone reports neck or back pain or is unconscious, do not move the person until qualified medical personnel arrive.
2. Calling the police
In many cases, people either forget to call the police to the scene or try to avoid getting the police involved. However, having the police present is beneficial to everyone. They can maintain order, get the accident site cleaned up, provide assistance and take neutral notes about what happened at the accident site, creating an official report that you can later use as a part of your claim.
3. Taking photos
Take pictures of the entire accident scene, including damage done to both vehicles, the area in which the accident occurred, property damage, skid marks and debris in the road, the weather conditions and anything else that could be useful later on. These photos provide some extra evidence for your insurance adjuster to analyze.
4. Talking to witnesses
If other people saw the accident take place, get their contact information and take notes on what they witnessed. You will want to provide witness information to your insurance adjuster once you report the accident to your insurance provider.
5. Exchanging information with other drivers
Do not leave the accident scene without getting the contact and insurance information of any other drivers involved. Your insurance company will need to get in touch with the driver’s carrier. There’s also a chance you will need to get in touch with the other driver during the course of your ensuing claim, as well.
6. Keeping meticulous records
Keep track of everything related to your claim, including any medical care you receive and all conversations you have with insurance adjusters and medical providers. These records will help you during settlement negotiations or in court, if your case goes that far.
If you have been involved in a crash and would like to explore your legal options, consult an experienced New York auto accident lawyer with The Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn.