What You Do and Don’t Do After a Car Accident Can Impact Your Legal Rights
So, you or a family member has been involved in a car accident. Depending on whether you have been in one before, you are probably unsure about what you should or should not do. If you have sustained injuries in a car accident, there are things you can do to help protect your legal rights and gather evidence, should you need it for a claim against another driver or third-party.
What to Do After a Car Accident
- If you are conscious, remember to stay alert. Check your surroundings. If you see any smoke or anything burning, especially if it comes from your vehicle, immediately leave your car.
- Make sure to seek medical assistance before doing anything else. You might have serious injuries, some of which might not appear immediately. If you can, dial 911 for medical assistance as soon as possible.
- Call the police or ask someone to call them for you. Make sure that they are the scene of the accident so proper records can be filed and prepared.
- Answer the questions of the first responders and cooperate with whatever they need. They are there to help you.
- Get the names or ask someone to get the names of witnesses around the area, including their addresses and phone numbers. Try to do this before they leave the accident scene.
- Inform any applicable insurance companies. This includes your car insurance, health insurance, or any other kinds of insurance that cover these types of car accidents and injuries.
- Keep a record of work you have missed, all medical appointments, prescriptions, invoices, records of medical treatment, including a journal of how you feel both physically and emotionally due to your personal injuries.
- Take photos of:
- The accident scene from multiple angles
- The vehicles involved, if applicable.
- The surrounding area
- What caused the car accident
- Your injuries, including a day-by-day photo journal to show how much time they need to heal
- Any property damage, such as, but not limited to, traffic lights, poles, and any other items around the area
What You Should Not Do After a Car Accident
- Try not to move your vehicle when you are involved in a car accident. Do not tamper with the accident scene unless absolutely necessary (for safety) until the authorities arrive.
- Stay at the scene until the authorities permit you to go. This is, of course, not applicable if you need urgent medical attention.
- Try not to throw away any potential evidence. Keep everything – even car parts that came off during the impact or clothing that gets torn. They might provide important evidence to support your claims for negligence and personal injury against another party.
- Try not to argue with anyone at the scene, especially the one who possibly caused the car accident. You might do or say something that can compromise your future claims.
These lists are not exhaustive but are good to follow if ever you get involved in a car accident.
Of course, even by doing all these things, there are still some instances when it is best to defer to the knowledge and experience of car accident lawyers. Lawyers can help you claim damages and compensation for injuries you have sustained in a car accident, either by filing a lawsuit or by negotiating a settlement with the other party.
There is usually a statute of limitations applicable to lawsuits involving personal injury, so do not sleep on your legal rights. Consider getting a lawyer right away. A lawyer can help claim damages that you deserve for injuries arising from your car accident.
Call Our Long Island Car Accident Lawyers at Levine and Wiss, PLLC.
If you get hurt in a car accident on Long Island, our experienced personal injury lawyers are here to help you. We can help you file a lawsuit and claim damages or negotiate a settlement with the other party that caused the injury.
Schedule a free consultation today by calling 888-GOT-HURT and take the first step in protecting your legal rights after suffering injuries in a car accident.