Despite the high volume of traffic and seeming street chaos in many parts of New York City, most drivers are responsible and safe. But serious accidents do happen in Brooklyn. You or someone you care about may have just been involved in one of them.
Nobody expects to be injured in a car accident, and few of us are prepared to handle the complicted mess that can ensue. If you or someone in your family was hurt, there are things you should know about how to proceed -- things to do and things not to do.
Important Steps You Should Take
Here are five essential steps you should take after an automobile accident:
1. Get Proper Medical Care Right Away
This seems obvious, but many people neglect to see a doctor because:
- They think their injuries may not be severe enough.
- They are worried about the cost of care.
- They feel like they're too busy (because of work or family obligations) to go to the emergency room.
If you're not sure how badly you're hurt, err on the side of caution. Even if you're not bleeding or in pain, you may have sustained a head, neck or back injury that should be checked out. This will serve your health and the strength of your legal case if a personal injury lawsuit becomes necessary.
2. Document The Accident
Obtain personal information (name, driver's license number) and insurance information from all the other drivers in a collision. Get witnesses if possible. Make sure a police report is filed, and get the name and badge number of the officer(s) who are involved.
3. Take Photos With Your Phone
Almost all of us have mobile devices with good cameras. If at all possible, use your phone to photograph damage to your vehicle and your injuries as clearly as you can. Take multiple shots from different angles. These images can be helpful especially if a negligent driver later denies what happened.
4. Don't Talk To Anyone Else's Insurance Company
This is important. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and paying out as little as possible on claims against their insureds. If another driver's insurance company contacts you asking for a recorded statement or offering you a check, you'll do well to talk to an attorney first. They may be lowballing you or looking for other ways to build a case against you.
5. Get Legal Advice If You Were Hurt, Even A Little
If you or someone you love was hurt by someone else, talking to an attorney can help tremendously. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Every Car Accident Is Different
Every accident is unique. You may or may not receive compensation following your accident, but it is important to protect your rights. Get your questions answered by a personal injury attorney if you believe someone else's negligence or carelessness caused your accident.