Being involved in a car accident is stressful, and adrenaline may prevent you from thinking straight. But it’s important to maintain a cool head and keep in mind some things you should not do in the aftermath.
Leave the Scene
You should never drive away from the scene of an accident, even if it’s a minor one. Under New York law it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident where there has been property damage and/or personal injury. If someone has been injured in an accident, you must report it to the police.
Fail to Call the Police
Under New York law you are required to report an accident with injuries to the police. It is also important to have the police at an accident so that the situation can be properly documented. Sometimes your insurance company will require a copy of a police report to process your claim. If the other driver is at fault, they may try to give you money to agree not to contact the police. You should never agree to this as your injuries may be more severe than you realize at first.
Forget to Document the Accident
You should never leave the scene of the accident without at least taking cell phone pictures of the vehicles involved. You should also take pictures of the area on the street where the accident occurred. Make sure to get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. If there are eyewitnesses to the accident, be sure to get their contact information as well.
Fail to Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you feel like you have not been injured, it’s still important to get checked out by a doctor after you’ve been involved in an accident. The stress of the accident can cause adrenaline to course through you making it less likely that you’ll feel pain immediately after the accident. In addition, some accident injuries can be delayed, and symptoms may not appear until hours or even days later.
Delay Filing an Insurance Claim
You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible if you’ve been involved in an accident and if you sustained injuries that may require treatment, your no-fault application must be filed within 30 days. You should never make an agreement with another driver not to file an insurance claim. Your damages may be more than you realize at first.
Hesitate to Call a Lawyer
If you’ve sustained injuries in an accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more opportunity that attorney will have to do a thorough and accurate investigation of the accident. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.