Your life after a car accident can feel like a whirlwind. There are various steps and legal options you can choose from, and it is important to understand the timeline of events. An attorney can help you get compensation for your injuries by following the timeline one step at a time.
You must first deal with the accident scene itself. Ideally, you should exchange information with any other drivers involved in the collision and snap some pictures of the accident scene to use later. Next, you need emergency medical treatment, even if you do not believe you need it. Once you have received the necessary medical care, you should speak to a lawyer about assessing your damages and gather evidence to support your claims for damages. Your attorney can help you file an insurance claim, personal injury lawsuit, or both if necessary.
There is much work to do after an accident, and our Westchester car accident attorneys are here to help guide you through this complex legal process. For a free case review, call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.
What Happens After a Car Accident in New York?
There is no single answer to the question of what happens after a car crash. To put it bluntly, many things happen after a car accident, and injured drivers sometimes buckle under the pressure of trying to keep up. One of the best things you can do is hire an attorney as soon as possible to handle your case. Our Mount Vernon car accident attorneys have experience with these kinds of cases and can help you through to the end.
What to Do at the Scene of the Accident
Your legal journey begins at the scene of the accident. Car accidents are traumatic, and it is easy for drivers and passengers to become overwhelmed and panic. It is important to try and keep a level head after a crash. The first thing you need to do is call for help. Call 911 and get emergency medical personnel and the police dispatched to your scene. Someone nearby can make it for you if you are too badly injured to make the call.
Try to exit your vehicle and walk about the accident scene if you can. If the scene is along a major highway or in the way of oncoming traffic, move to a safe place away from the road. You should exchange information with other drivers to use when you file an insurance claim or lawsuit. You should also try to document as much of the scene as possible. Law enforcement will clear the scene away quickly, and photos or videos of the crash site might be crucial to your case.
Getting Medical Treatment
Shortly after the accident, medical personnel should arrive on the scene. You must get medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. In many cases, drivers are so injured that they do not even remember the crash or anything from the accident scene. Once you have received medical treatment, you should contact our New Rochelle car accident lawyers about how to begin preparing for your insurance claim or lawsuit.
There are two very important reasons you should get immediate medical attention after an accident. First, you must ensure your physical health is taken care of. Second, you must keep your medical records as accurate as possible for your insurance claim or lawsuit. You must have evidence of your injuries, and your medical records are an important piece of the puzzle. If you waited to get medical attention or never went to the hospital, your medical records will be less accurate and more easily challenged.
Our New York car accident attorneys can begin helping you to assess the damages in your case. Your damages reflect all the losses and injuries you experienced from the accident. Damages may be economical and represent actual money spent or lost by injured drivers. They can also be non-economic and represent subjective experiences surrounding the accident.
Our legal team can help you accurately assess and calculate your damages, so you do not risk missing out on any financial compensation. Your calculations should add all your economic damages, including medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost income from missing work. Non-economic damages, like pain, suffering, humiliation, and damage to your reputation, must be evaluated so we can determine their value in your case.
Filing Insurance Claims
For many injured drivers, an insurance claim is the first choice of legal action after an accident. New York is a no-fault insurance state, meaning injured drivers file claims with their own insurance to cover their damages. Drivers must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, and they may be covered regardless of who is at fault for the crash.
Unfortunately, your PIP insurance might not meet all your needs. Perhaps your damages exceed your coverage limits, or you have non-economic damages that are not covered. Our White Plains car accident attorneys can help you figure out how to get your damages fully covered.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
You can file a personal injury lawsuit after your car accident and potentially claim more damages than insurance normally covers, but there are a few hurdles to jump through first. Typically, drivers must file insurance claims with their PIP insurance first. They can file lawsuits if they meet certain legal requirements.
According to ISC Law § 5104(a), injured drivers can file personal injury lawsuits after accidents if they have “serious injuries.” A serious injury is defined under ISC Law § 5102(d) as any of the following injuries:
- Significant disfigurement
- Bone fractures
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss or limitation of a bodily organ, member, function, or system
- Any other injury that prevents someone from performing normal daily tasks
If your PIP insurance does not cover all your needs, our Yonkers car accident attorneys can help you prove your case meets the serious injury requirements so you can file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the accident.
Contact Our New York Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation
The judicial process of getting financial compensation for your injuries after a crash can be long and complicated. Our Westchester personal injury attorneys can help you through this difficult time and hopefully get you the most compensation possible. For a free case review, call The Martello Law Firm, PLLC at (914) 685-6950.