Common Steps to Take After a New York Motor Vehicle Collision
When you are involved in a motor vehicle collision in New York, exactly what steps you should take after the accident might not be obvious if you have never filed a car accident claim in the past. In order to ensure that you remain eligible to obtain compensation and that you have sufficient evidence to file a compelling lawsuit if necessary, there are a number of steps you should take after you have been involved in a collision. Most importantly, you should seek advice from a New York car crash lawyer about filing your insurance claim and determining your eligibility to file a car accident lawsuit based on the severity of your injuries.
Move Out of Harm’s Way and Seek Help
If the accident occurred in the middle of a major road or highway, you should move out of the road and to safety. You want to do everything you can to avoid a secondary car accident. If you or anyone else was injured, you should also call 911 for help.
Obtain Evidence and Information at the Scene of the Accident
You should do everything you can after a collision to gather evidence for use later in your insurance claim, and if necessary, in your car accident lawsuit. Do not forget to take photographs at the scene of the crash and to obtain contact information from anyone involved—either in the collision or as a witness. You should also seek a medical assessment to gather evidence for your medical records.
File a No-Fault Auto Insurance Claim with Your Auto Insurance Company
Most injury victims who are harmed in car collisions in New York will file an auto insurance claim. Before filing a claim, you will need to report the accident to your auto insurance company—typically as soon as possible after the collision. While you do not need a lawyer to report the accident, it is important to have legal counsel to advocate for you during the insurance claims process. No matter how much your insurance adjuster makes you think your insurer will help you, it is essential to remember that your insurance company is not an advocate for you or for any other policyholder.
Determine Your Eligibility for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
Since New York is a no-fault state for car accident and auto insurance purposes, New York law only allows a person who is injured in a motor vehicle crash to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the injured party’s injuries rise to the level of a “serious injury” as it is defined by state law. There are many different forms of a “serious injury” that can be sufficient to meet this threshold, but you should discuss the specific facts of your case with an attorney who has experience handling car accident cases.
Contact a New York Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyer
If you were injured in a car wreck, it is critical to seek advice from a New York car accident attorney as soon as possible. Even if you only plan to file an auto insurance claim, it is important to have an experienced advocate on your side who can handle the auto insurance company and negotiate for a reasonable settlement on your behalf. If the insurance payout you receive is insufficient to cover your losses, your lawyer can then discuss whether you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information about how we can help with your car accident case.