What to do after a car accident?

A car accident, even a seemingly minor one, can leave a driver feeling disoriented and overwhelmed. For this reason, it’s best to have a plan in place beforehand in case you’re involved in a collision. The steps you take (or don’t take) in the moments following your accident can make the difference between winning compensation for any injuries or damage to your property, and being left with debilitating bills and possibly even legal judgments against you.

New York Car Accident

By following the steps outlined below, you can significantly increase your chances of being awarded due compensation for your injuries and damages done to your property, especially if you follow the last step and contact a car accident lawyer.

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR INJURIES

When you’ve been involved in an accident, your priority must always be your physical welfare. Even minor automobile accidents can result in injury, and sometimes in serious injury. The extent of an injury sustained during an accident is not always readily apparent. For this reason, it’s good practice to have any, and all injuries looked after as soon as possible. Not only will a doctor or medical professional be able to assess your condition better, but you’ll have an official record of your injuries, which may be of great help should you need to pursue damages or compensation in the future.

DOCUMENT THE FACTS

If you’re able, make sure to collect all available information about the other motorist(s) involved in your accident. Be sure to record names and relevant insurance information. Also, you’ll want to note the make, model, and license plate number of any vehicles involved in the accident. These days, most of us have phones equipped with cameras. If possible, photograph any damage to your car and the other vehicle(s) involved in your accident. Snapping a picture of the other vehicle’s license plate is a quick and convenient way to have that information readily at hand. Remember, the more information you can document, the better off you’ll be should you need to pursue legal recourse.

GET WITNESS INFORMATION

Eyewitness accounts of your accident can be extremely beneficial should you find yourself in court. If you’re able, obtain names and contact information from any witnesses to the accident who may be willing to make a statement or, should the need arise, appear in court.

FILING A POLICE REPORT

No matter how small or insignificant an accident may seem at the time, it’s always advisable to call the police. Having a police record of your accident can help protect you, should you develop more severe injuries, or if you are taken to court by another party to your accident. A police report will document the extent of the damage to your car, and to the other vehicle(s) involved, so any further damage cannot be ascribed to your accident.

You should never admit fault on a police report, to another motorist involved in the accident, or to any eyewitnesses to the collision. Even if you believe you are at fault, it does you no good to say so on the record. The moments following a crash can be confusing and overwhelming–this is not the time for a careful evaluation of who may or may not have been at fault. Studies show that motorists often remember crucial details about their accident hours and sometimes even days or weeks afterward. For this reason alone, it is better never to admit fault at the scene.

CONTACT AN INJURY LAWYER

If you’re injured in a car accident or being sued as a result of an accident, be sure to contact a Queens car accident lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney will be invaluable to you as you navigate the often confusing legal process and will make sure you are as well-protected as possible during the ordeal. A car accident attorney is also your surest bet for getting any compensation you deserve.

Don’t wait until the moments immediately following an automobile accident to decide how best to handle the situation. By having a plan in place and following the steps outlined above, you’ll be protecting yourself from undue liability, and you’ll increase the likelihood of winning the compensation you deserve for your injuries and any damage to your vehicle and your personal property.

Car Accident Injuries: Explained

Sometimes having a New York car accident lawyer can be more important than you might think. Did you know that motor vehicle accidents are the eight leading cause of death around the world and according to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016 alone 34,436 car accidents resulted in 37,461 deaths. That’s an average of 102 deaths a day and it includes pedestrians who happened to be in the vicinity of the accident as well as the occupants of the car. Since 2008, the percentage of pedestrians to die as a result of a car accident rose from 12% to 16%. These numbers only represent the fatalities and don’t even touch on the millions of lives that are impacted or changed irrevocably because of car accident related injuries, whether physical or psychological.

A car accident and the aftermath of the accident is never predictable by any means and any number of things can happen during, right after or months and even years later. A car accident can result in something small and relatively simple like a dented bumper and unscathed passengers to something fatal and catastrophic.

While the outcome of a car accident cannot be predicted, there are some common injuries, which can happen because of an accident such as:

  • Whiplash, neck and shoulder injuries:
new york whiplash accident lawsuit
New York Whiplash Accident Lawsuit

Most commonly caused because of the back and forth jerking motion of the head and body when the car collides and strikes another car or something else. It’s extremely important to get a through check up at the hospital after an accident because the after effects of whiplash and neck injuries can creep up months later and lead to lifelong issues like arthritis or muscle pains. But if you take immediate action, these injuries can be treated successfully with physiotherapy, massage therapy and exercise.

  • Broken bones, brain or head injury:
new york car accident head injury 1024x683 1
Brain Injury

Upon impact during a car accident, your body can be flung in a multitude of directions and ways. You might hit the dash, you might hit something that flies at you from the outside because the door has been ripped open or the windshield has shattered. This can lead to broken bones or something worse like a head injury. Your brain is like an egg in a cup, sudden unexpected movements and jerking can move your brain and lead to swelling or bleeding. Often times there may be no obvious symptoms such as a cut or gash so it’s important to get everything checked out at a hospital following a serious car accident. Broken bones are generally easy to heal and treat with braces, casts and rehabilitation but those injuries must also be treated asap.

  • Internal injuries and bleeding:
new york car accident internal injury

Similarly to broken bones or a brain injury, internal injuries and bleeding can also be hard to detect immediately but can lead to serious health issues. The impact from a car accident can puncture organs like the heart or liver and without immediate medical treatment can be life threatening. If you have been unable to visit the doctor right after a car accident, make sure to keep an eye out for any symptoms or changes in your body such as fatigue, inexplicable abdominal pain or cramps, feeling lightheaded, nauseous or dizzy. If you experience anything unusual, go to the emergency room right away.

  • Spinal cord or back injuries:
new york car accident spinal cord injury

Another common type of injury, which can result from a car accident are spinal cord and back injuries. In mild cases you might just suffer from back pain due to pressure or bruising and starting on a treatment plan right away with medication, therapy and exercise will help you heal and recover. But in a more serious case, the bruising and trauma can lead to partial or total paralysis of the body or loss of reflex. Unfortunately, if that happens there is no guarantee the effects can ever be fully reversed and the degree of success in treating the injury is varied and based on individual cases.

  • Psychological trauma:
new york car accident psychological damage

Last but not least, the emotional and psychological aspect of being in a car accident cannot be discounted either. Often times a traumatic event like an accident can leave lasting emotional damage, lead to depression, anxiety, PTSD or other mental issues. This may be especially pertinent if the accident resulted in serious, fatal injuries or the loss of a loved one. If you find yourself exhibiting any fear or emotional distress over the accident, it’s very important to seek mental health treatment so you can get better. If left untreated it can have a debilitating impact and affect the quality of your life forever. 

The aftermath of being in a car accident can be a confusing, distressing and painful period. One of the first things you should always do for any car accident, except the most minor bumps is to get a medical check up to ensure your physical health. But once the dust has settled, you may have a lot of questions about your rights and what you can do, especially if you have suffered a tragedy or a serious injury. You may be looking at financial difficulties, loss of employment or a host of other unforeseen problems. Rather than try to navigate everything on your own, consider seeking some professional legal advice.

An experienced car accident lawyer can guide you with authority on what you can or cannot do, what kind of damages you can seek and how best to approach the situation so your life doesn’t have to be in total shambles.