Important Actions to Take When Involved in a Car Accident
Knowing what to do after a New York car accident can help you deal with the accident stress and feel more in control. No one expects to get into a car accident, and when you do, it can be unsettling, especially if you suffer from serious injury.
Stay at the Accident Scene
New York law requires individuals involved in an accident to stay at the accident scene when injury, death or personal property damage has occurred. You must report the accident to the police for injury, death and for property damage over $1,000. You must also exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. Information includes:
- Your name
- Residence address
- Insurance company policy
- Driver’s license number
If another party is injured, you should offer reasonable assistance. Furthermore, leaving an accident scene can result in hit-and-run charges, which have serious consequences.
If you crashed into a parked car and the owner is not around, report the accident to the police and leave a note with your information and how to contact you on the vehicle.
Seek Medical Attention if Injured
If injured, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. With serious injuries, medical treatment is vitally important.
Gather Evidence at the Accident Scene
If possible, take photos of the vehicle damage and photos of the road conditions (skid marks and the area where accident occurred). Also get the phone number of the other driver and any passengers in the other car. If witnesses were present, write down their names and contact information.
Report the Accident to the DMV
You have up to 10 days to report the accident to the DMV using form MV-104, if any of the following occurred:
- Property damage over $1,000
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
New York requires most drivers (not motorcyclists) to carry no-fault insurance. Under this type of insurance you are covered for minimum liability, which covers:
- $25,000/$50,000 for injury
- $5,000/$100,000 for death
- $10,000 for property damage in any one accident
Regardless of who was at fault, your insurance company covers injuries you sustained due to an accident in the above amounts. It will not cover damages if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or involved in criminal activity that caused the accident.
When damages exceed the above limitations or your policy limits, you may be able to sue the party at fault for causing the accident.
When to Speak with an Attorney
If you are seriously injured or the damages are considerable, contact an attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you take the best course of action.