Important Steps to Take After an Auto Accident
After individuals are involved in automobile accidents, there are several critical steps people should take to protect their rights. Some of the steps drivers should take include the following:
- Obtaining the name, address, and contact information of the other drivers and any witnesses
- Obtaining the insurance policy information of the vehicle owners
- Getting medical attention for yourself and others who may be injured
- Taking photographs of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles, road conditions, and lighting conditions in the event a personal injury lawsuit is filed against the other party later on.
After an accident it is always a good idea to:
- Call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene of the accident.
- Exchange the following information with the other driver: name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, name of insurance company, and policy number;
- Take down the names of passengers, including their address and phone number;
- Take down the names of witnesses with address and phone number;
- Find out the name of the owner of the offending vehicle, if not the driver, including address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible.
- Obtain a copy of the police report from the precinct of the responding officers. You should do this within 30 days of the accident, otherwise, the report is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Albany and it becomes very difficult to procure a copy.
As the number of automobiles on the road steadily increases, so do the number of car wrecks, particularly in New York. With millions of car accidents occurring in the United States every year, your chance of being a victim of a car accident in New York increases every time you get into the car. Car accidents in the United States result in more than 2 million permanent injuries and 40,000 deaths per year with more than 75,000 occurring in New York alone. Many of these collisions are not, in fact, “accidents” at all, but are actually the result of negligence, including reckless driving, driver distraction or impairment, mechanical failures or defective products due to manufacturer negligence, and various road conditions.