Steps After an Auto Accident
I Was Just in an Auto Accident! What Do I Do Now?
The moments after an auto accident can be overwhelming. Another vehicle has crashed into you. You may have an injury. Your passengers may be wounded. There may be shards of glass. You may not be able to get out of your car. Once you gain your bearings, you must cooperate with all emergency personnel and get yourself and your passengers to safety. Only after you have begun to receive medical attention should you concern yourself searching for Rochester personal injury attorneys or with next steps.
1. Collecting Evidence Is Your Number Two Priority.
So much in an accident case depends on the evidence. Recording or remembering as many of the particulars of the accident as possible will help you later on. When you can, write down the other driver’s name, address, telephone number, and date of birth; the other driver’s license number, insurance company name, and insurance policy number; the attending police officer’s name and badge number; and names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses.
2. Use It or Lose It.
You can also take numerous steps to aid your memory and strengthen your case. Visit a hospital as soon as possible to ensure that your injuries are treated and documented. Put together a diagram of the car accident, noting the street layout, the arrangement of the vehicles before and after the accident, and the position of any witnesses. Jot down any other notes regarding the car accident as soon as possible.
3. Know That You Can File Several Types of Claims.
Auto accident claims fall into three categories: pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Any pain and suffering, physical or mental, that you have endured because of your accident could qualify for a claim. All medical expenses directly resulting from your accident qualify for a claim, including short-term treatment (such as a trip to the emergency room or a surgery) and long-term treatment (e.g., physical therapy, chiropractic, or even counseling). For this type of claim, you would need medical documentation proving that the injuries or conditions treated were a direct result of the accident. You may also be able to make a claim for wages lost during any time an injury has kept you away from work.
4. You Will Have the Same Responsibilities if You Are in a Bicycle Accident.
Bicycle accidents are still far too common, and they often result in debilitating injuries or even death. Rochester law states that bicyclists have to follow the same rules as motorists: stopping at red lights, keeping to the right, and taking common sense safety precautions. After a bicycle accident, you should take the same measures as you would in a car-on-car accident: take pictures of the scene; draw up a diagram of the roadway marking the position of the cars; take down the driver’s name, address, and insurance information; and connect with witnesses.
5. Drunk Driving Accidents Can Have Longer-Lasting Consequences.
Those who drive drunk and are caught will be subject to serious criminal charges, but their legal punishment has nothing to do with your injury. Long after a drunk driver has gone to criminal court for sentencing, injured parties will still be suffering, recovering, and wading through significant medical expenses. In Rochester, drunk drivers are liable for any injuries or deaths they cause.
After an accident, time is of the essence. But once you are safe and you have received necessary medical attention, you must begin building your case. Write down names, take photographs, speak to the police and emergency personnel, and record everything related to the accident. In order to receive the damages that you deserve, consult our Rochester personal injury attorneys as soon as possible.
Check out our New York Personal Injury Guide for immediate answers to your questions.