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What to Do After a Car Accident: 7 Vital Steps to Take

Car accidents happen more frequently than we realize in America. According to the Bureau of Transportation’s statistics, over six million auto crashes occur annually, resulting in more than three million bodily injuries and 40,000 fatalities. In 2021 alone, the National Highway Safety Administration estimates that 42,915 people died from motor vehicle accidents. 

Key Takeaways

  • Six million auto crashes occur yearly in America, with over 40,000 fatalities as a result. 
  • After an auto crash, try not to panic. Instead, check for injuries, move to a safe location and call 911. 
  • You should also get the contact and insurance information of the other driver, gather evidence from the accident scene, and contact your insurer and car accident lawyer to report the incident and file your claim. 

Panic is often the first response of many car accident victims. However, while panicking is a common reaction after a frightening event like an auto crash, it can jeopardize your safety and health. 

With that in mind, what constructive steps should you take if you’re involved in a car crash? More importantly, when should you contact a car accident attorney in Yonkers, New York after a car crash? Here are seven vital things to do after an accident to ensure your safety: 

  1. Check for Injuries

Car accidents can be severe. As such, the first thing to do at an accident scene is to check yourself for injuries. If you feel like you’re unhurt, confirm if other passengers and drivers have sustained any injuries. 

Next, call 911 if there’s anyone sustained injuries, no matter how minor. Even if you don’t notice injuries on yourself and others around the scene, it’s best to still call for medical help. 

Accidents can trigger an adrenaline rush that makes it difficult for victims to spot injuries immediately. Medical experts are often in the best position to execute objective diagnoses and determine if there are wounds from the crash. 

  1. Get to Safety and Call the Police

If you’re able to move after the crash, get to a safe location after calling for help. Try to get everyone else who’s not seriously injured and in an unsafe area into a more secure space. However, don’t provide medical help that’s beyond your capabilities. 

Furthermore, if other victims sustained severe wounds and you’re unsure how to move them to a safe spot, it’s best to wait for medical experts to do this. It helps to also move your vehicle out of the way (if it’s still drivable) if it’s obstructing traffic or causing further hazards. 

Finally, you should call the police. If you’ve called 911 for an ambulance, law enforcement is also probably on its way. However, some states mandate that you call the police or submit an accident report if property damage exceeds specific amounts. In New York, if any one person’s property damage exceeds $1000, the accident must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  

Since you can’t estimate damage costs on the scene, it’s best to call law enforcement immediately. 

  1. Exchange Contact and Insurance Information With the Other Driver 

If there’s a second driver involved in the crash, obtain their contact and insurance details, such as their name, license plate number, insurance company name, and insurance policy number. It is also important to obtain their address, vehicle make and model and their driver’s license number.

It helps to also get pictures of their driver’s license. These details will help when you file your compensation claim. However, don’t discuss fault with the other driver. You can determine fault during your auto accident litigation consultation with your car accident attorney in Yonkers, New York. 

  1. Collect Evidence

After getting the other driver’s contact details, you should gather evidence of the auto crash. Take pictures of both vehicles, ensuring you capture the damage that was caused. Get photographs of the other driver’s license plate number, as well. 

You should also take pictures of the accident scene, including traffic signs and skid marks. Furthermore, talk to witnesses and obtain their contact information. 

Finally, crosscheck if the area has any surveillance cameras. You may need to acquire the footage as additional evidence. Ideally, you should have sufficient evidence of the crash before you begin searching for car accident lawyers in Yonkers, New York. 

  1. Document the Incident

Document the time and location of the crash alongside the names of the other driver and victims.

  1. Contact Your Insurer 

Call your insurance company or agent as soon as possible to report the claim. It’s mandatory to inform your auto insurer early about any accidents your policy covers. If you don’t contact your insurance company early enough, it might affect your coverage. 

If you contact a personal injury attorney immediately, they can contact your insurance company on your behalf and allow you to focus on treating your injuries. 

  1. Contact a Lawyer

If your accident involves personal injuries, you should contact an attorney to file a claim and get you the compensation you deserve. 

Don’t discuss anything with the other driver or sign documents with any insurance companied or their lawyers until you’ve contacted your own Yonkers, New York, personal injury lawyer and gotten advice on the claim’s process. 

Conclusion

Auto crashes can be devastating occurrences. If you’re ever involved in an accident, some constructive actions to take include checking for bodily injuries, getting yourself and other victims to safety, and calling 911 and law enforcement. 

Gathering evidence of the crash and contacting your insurer and a car accident attorney in Yonkers, New York are also helpful, especially if you’re injured. 

In need of legal services for an auto accident claim in Yonkers, NY? Contact us today at Stufano Law, PLLC to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Not sure if you can get compensation? We’ll schedule a free consultation to evaluate your case and determine your options. Contact us today! 

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