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What To Do After Your First Car Accident in New York

first car accident

Distracted driving was listed as one of the most common causes of car accidents in New York. Distracted driving often leads to personal injury and car accident claims.

If you’ve recently had your first car accident In New York, we encourage you to see an auto accident doctor as soon as possible.

Seeing a doctor is just one of many steps you must take after getting into a car accident. It is important that you do them in the right order to get well and properly document your injuries in an event of a personal injury claim.

Read on to find out exactly what to do after your first car accident in New York.

Assess Injuries and Move to a Safe Area

Once all vehicles have come to a halt, assess your injuries as well as the injuries of any passengers who were riding with you. If anyone needs immediate medical attention, call 911.

If everyone is able to get out of the car, do so. Move away to the sidewalk to avoid further accidents or injuries.

File an Accident Report

Because New York City is so dense, police officers are not always able to arrive on the scene of an accident. Citizens are expected to file their own reports online. In this report, you will need to include your information, the information of any other drivers involved, as well as details about the accident, itself.

Note that you only need to file this report if someone was injured, killed, or received at least $1,000 worth of property damage during the accident. If a parked vehicle was struck, you must call the police.

Exchange Information

Whether or not you need to file a report, it is important that you exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident. Make sure you receive the name and insurance information of the other drivers. It can be helpful to exchange phone numbers as well, although not all drivers are comfortable sharing this information.

If the police do arrive on the scene, make sure you get the number of the police report as well as the names of any officers who surveyed the scene.

Take Your Own Documentation

Although you have recorded some critical information in your online report, you should make sure to have your own documentation, as well.

Take photos of the scene. Back up and get a wide-angle shot that includes all vehicles involved. Zoom in to get closeups of any damage on the cars.

Right down the time, day, and closest intersections. It may seem like overkill but you want to collect any information you can that will help set the scene.

Get Physical Therapy After A Car Accident

Once you have all of the information you need, it’s time to see a doctor even if you don’t feel pain. We often go into shock after something like our first car accident and you may have received injuries you are unaware of.

To ensure that you are on the right path to recovery, seek out car accident physical therapy. Physical therapists specializing in auto accident recovery can assess the extent of your injuries and prevent further damage. They will also be familiar with the process of providing expert testimony for patients who are filing personal injury claims.

Inform Your Insurance Company

New York is considered a no-fault state. This means that regardless of what happens down the road, you will need to file a claim with your own insurance to cover your medical expenses and the damage done to your personal property. Ultimately, this can save you a lot of trouble because you can take care of your expenses without going to court.

However, you still have to prove the extent of your damages to your own insurance company.

This includes clear documentation of both the damage down to your car and the receipts of any work you had done to it as a result. It also includes clear documentation of your own injuries and the receipts of any medical bills you paid as a result.

Make sure you know your claim number. For the duration of this process, you will have to work with your car insurance company’s claim adjuster. A claim adjuster is the company’s representative who verifies the facts of your case to determine how much money the insurance company owes you.

Should You File a Claim Against the Other Driver's Insurance Company?

Because of New York’s no-fault laws, there are only certain circumstances under which you would file a claim with the other driver.

First of all, you must be able to prove that the other driver is at fault. In this case, negligence is key. In other words, the car accident must have been caused by the other driver’s negligence, whether they were distracted, drowsy, or ignoring traffic laws.

Next, you will need to prove that specific injuries resulted from a car accident. These include, but are not limited to, death, bone fractures, disfigurement, and organ failure.

Note that New York also abides by comparative fault laws. That means that if you are found to be partially at fault, you will not be compensated in full for your damages. Instead, you will be given a percentage that corresponds to the amount the other driver was found to be at fault.

Find a Physical Therapy Clinic Near You After A Car Accident

If you’ve had your first car accident, you need to find a New York no-fault doctor right away. You may have minor injuries that, without treatment, will become much worse over time.

We make it easy to find the right New York City medical professionals for your specific needs.

Call 1-800-897-8440 or out this form below, and we’ll match you up to an experienced doctor near you who specializes in the treatment you seek.


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