You've Been in a Car Accident: Now What?

Car accidents occur each day, ranging from minor to devastating, especially in a very populated state like New York. More than 12,000 people are hospitalized each year due to motor vehicle-related injuries, so it is important to understand what to do in the days following a car accident and how to receive compensation for your injuries, if possible.

What many people are unaware of is that any motor vehicle accident in New York must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of the accident if the damages that resulted exceed $1000 or if a person is harmed or killed. The following information is crucial to record and report at the time of the accident and can be completed by the individual, an insurance agent, or legal representative:

  • Place and time of the accident
  • The names of both drivers, address, and date of birth
  • Both drivers’ driver license information including state and license number
  • The license plate numbers and state of both drivers
  • The name and address of policy holders and the name of insurance
  • The name and address of everyone involved in the accident
  • An explanation of any damages to the vehicles
  • A diagram that illustrates the scene and outlines the cause of the accident, such as the type of turn made

If an injury or death occurs as the result of a car accident, it is required by law that one of those involved in the crash notify the police. Further, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in an injury or death is a crime in New York state. In other instances, one is required to notify police of any motor-vehicle related accident that causes damage to a parked car or other property or injury to a pet.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it is important to also keep records of your injuries. Things you should record and hold on to include:

  • Details of pain or inconveniences caused by your injury
  • E-mails and notes from phone calls with doctors and other medical professionals
  • Medical bills and receipts including for prescriptions, medical equipment, and co-payments
  • Travel expenses for medical appointments

Not only are these things important to keep note of for insurance, but they can also be used as evidence if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been injured in an accident and are considering filing a personal injury case, contact an experienced NY Personal Injury or Accident attorney.