What NOT To Do After A Car Accident
After a car accident, you may not be thinking clearly. Pain and fear can cloud your judgment. When you are not sure what you should do, there are some common mistakes you cannot afford to make.
Refuse to Hire an Injury Lawyer
It is never a good idea to file a personal injury lawsuit without using a reputable and experienced accident attorney. It is also not in your best interests to assume a personal injury case would not apply to your current situation. Traffic accidents in the state of New York tend to be complex with multiple parties needing to get involved and a lot of legal hurdles to overcome.
- The legal process is complicated. You should not try to navigate the legal system alone.
- If another driver who was involved in the accident has an attorney and you do not, you would be in a vulnerable position. As one example, you could be held responsible for an accident that was not your fault.
- The full extent of injuries are not always clear immediately after an accident. If the severity of your injuries is not known until a later date, you may not be able to take legal action and ask for compensation. Do not depend on the statute of limitations simply because you currently feel your injuries are minor.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Never leave the scene of a car accident. If you know or believe the accident has caused property damage or physical injury, the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 600 (1) requires you to wait for the police to arrive. You are required to provide your name and address, driver’s license number, and proof of insurance to the police.
If you leave the scene without reporting the accident and providing this information, the fine can be up to $250. You may also spend time in jail. Even if the accident seems relatively minor, take the sensible approach and obey the law.
If you feel you were responsible, or partially responsible for the accident, do not admit this to anyone. It can cause a wide range of complications if you make such statements to the other driver, witnesses, an insurance agent or the police. Whether the accident occurred on I-87, the Henry Hudson Pkwy, in University Heights or anywhere else in New York City, do not admit fault to anyone other than your car accident lawyer.
Forget to Call 911
It is essential to call 911 even if the accident was relatively minor. You will need to speak with a police officer so he or she can document the facts of the accident. You and others involved in the accident should have injuries checked by paramedics, and be transported to an emergency room. Ignore anyone who tells you it is unnecessary to call 911.
Forgetting to Document the Scene
After you call 911, take steps to document the scene of the accident. Write down all the information that is relevant to the accident. This includes the contact information of everyone who was involved in the accident, the time and date, license plate numbers, and relevant road or weather conditions. Include a short statement to describe what occurred.
Use your camera phone to take photos of the accident scene and damages.
These few steps can help you avoid many unnecessary complications. However, you will still should still bring in legal representation you can count on. Call 718-796-7900. The Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, P.C. can protect your rights after your car accident.