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Have you been in a auto accident in New York City? It’s possible that you have suffered serious injuries or lost tens of thousands of dollars in property. Without proper planning, these losses can be a burden on you for the rest of your life.

The best way to protect yourself is to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you recover funds that you’ve lost to medical costs and other expenses. They will also work to protect you from liability and criminal charges that may result from your role in the accident.

You should start by scheduling a consultation as soon as possible. You may still have some questions before you begin. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about car accidents in New York.

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What should I do after a car accident?

After an accident, you may find it difficult to be focused. However, the decisions that you make following the collision can have a profound impact on your case.

If you make the wrong statement or engage in illegal behavior, you may give up your right to claim compensation from your insurance company or any other party.

Taking the correct next steps can be challenging, especially if you have been injured. In the following sections, you’ll learn what you should do at the scene of an accident, what needs to be done in the coming days, and what you should avoid if at all possible.

What to do immediately after an accident in New York

Immediately after an accident, you should take the following steps:

  • Stay at the scene
  • Cooperate with emergency response personnel
  • Collect the insurance information from the other driver
  • Collect contact information from witnesses
  • Collect evidence that may not be available later

It’s important to understand why all of these steps are necessary, including what it may cost you and your case if you don’t comply with them.

  • Stay at the scene
  • New York, you are required to stay at the scene of an accident if you are the operator of a motor vehicle and have any reason to know that property damage or injury has resulted from an incident involving your vehicle.

    You are required to provide your license and insurance information to other motorists involved and/or law enforcement who arrive to assess the scene.

    Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious violation covered under New York Vehicle & Traffic Code § 600.

    If you leave the scene of an accident that only involves property damage (including to other vehicles, city property, or buildings), you may be charged with an infraction. If you are convicted, you may face:

    • A fine of up to $250 and surcharges up to $93
    • 3 points on your license
    • Up to 15 days in jail
    • License revocation (if you are a CDL driver)

    If you leave the scene of an accident that involves a personal injury, the consequences are far more
    severe. If convicted, you may face:

    • A fine of up to $5,000
    • License revocation
    • Up to one year in jail
    • A criminal record

    Being convicted in either scenario will make it difficult for you to pursue any claims, even if you were not at fault. Your actions may be construed as an admission of guilt, and you may also lose your insurance coverage.

  • Cooperate with emergency response personnel
  • Cooperate fully with emergency response personnel who arrive at the scene of the accident. Follow their instructions and allow yourself to be taken to the emergency room if possible.

    Do not make any assumptions about your condition, even if you feel well enough to leave the scene. Not all serious injuries present themselves immediately after an accident.

    If you choose to refuse medical care, it may be used by other participants in the accident as proof that your injuries were not as severe as you claim.

    If you accept medical care, call a friend or professional to the scene to collect any evidence that may be needed to prove your role in the accident.

  • Collect the insurance information from the other driver
  • Collect the insurance information from any other participants in the accident. Make sure that you record their identity and insurance policy number for later use. Take a picture using your mobile phone if you have no other way to record the information.

  • Collect contact information from witnesses
  • If anyone witnessed the accident and has remained at the accident scene, attempt to collect contact information from them, including their name and phone number.

    Witness statements can be very important to any claims that you make. Such statements may be used as evidence in trials, and they may be key to getting payments from your insurance companies or from other drivers.

  • Collect evidence that may not be available later
  • Try to collect as much evidence as you can from the scene of the accident. You can help out your lawyer by taking pictures as soon as possible after any collision.

    Use your mobile phone to take pictures of the area around the accident. Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle and to any other objects that were damaged. Your images may help your lawyer create your case.

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    If you’ve been injured and believe another party to be responsible,

    You may have a lot of questions, such as how to file a lawsuit, prove liability, and potentially ask for workers’ compensation. Our seasoned New York attorneys have years of experience working in personal injury law and can help you through your journey. 888-BIG-WIN-LAW Today.