DO'S AND DON'TS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
You Were In A Car Accident: Now What?
After you’ve been in a car crash, it can be hard to think straight or know what to do. If you plan to try to recover compensation after your accident, however, you must take certain steps to improve your chances of a fair recovery.
If you’re injured, go to the hospital for immediate medical assistance. If necessary, call 911 for an ambulance. If you don’t require emergency treatment, it can help your case to gather information from the accident scene.
If possible, do the following immediately after the accident:
Gather Information and Take Notes
The more information you can collect about your accident, the easier it will be for your attorney to reconstruct what happened and secure evidence to be used in your case. This includes everything from (safely) taking pictures of the accident site to speaking to witnesses about what they saw.
If possible, you should write down the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other driver or drivers involved in the crash. You may also want to record the names and information collected by the officer at the scene, as well as any paramedics who responded to a call.
Take Pictures of Both Cars
After an accident, it’s important to remember to take pictures not just of your car but of the other car or cars involved, as well. These photos can serve as important evidence to help investigators determine what happened and who was at fault for the accident.
Be Thorough with Your Doctor
If you go to the hospital, keep track of the medical professionals you consult with and write down what is discussed at each appointment. It can also help to keep a journal to keep track of your injuries and how your accident is affecting your life over time. Let your doctor know whether your injuries may be affecting your ability to work in any way, and make sure to complete the full course of treatment recommended by your doctor.
Know How to Handle Insurance Companies
As soon as you are physically able, connect with your insurance company to let them know what happened. If, however, an insurance company subsequently contacts you to discuss your accident, refer those calls to your attorney.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney in Queens, NY
This is an essential step that can help you determine what to do after a car wreck. At Davidoff Law, our Queens car accident attorneys can advise you on what to do after your collision, helping you navigate the medical system and property damage you may have suffered after a crash. We can help you anticipate what a lawsuit might entail. If cost is a concern, remember that we work on contingency, which means you pay us nothing until we recover money for your recovery.
What NOT To Do After An Auto Accident
In addition to knowing what you should do after an accident, it’s important to know what not to do after a car crash. Don’t compromise your claim!
Here, we’ve compiled some things you should keep in mind after the accident:
Don’t Assume You’re Fine
Whether you think you’ve been injured or not after an accident, it’s best not to make any assumptions. Sometimes, a car accident can cause injuries that may not show up until later. If you announce that you’re fine to anyone within earshot at your accident scene, this could potentially be used against you later if you try to recover compensation for injuries that showed up later.
If you go home and postpone going to the doctor for a few days or weeks after your injury, it can be harder for your attorney to prove that your injuries are a result of the accident and not a result of something else that happened later. Similarly, don’t minimize (or exaggerate, for that matter) your symptoms to your doctor. Both your doctor and your attorney need to know the full extent of your injuries to provide the appropriate care and to pursue the maximum possible settlement.
You should also make sure to complete the full course of treatment ordered by your doctor. Stopping treatment early because you feel better can hurt your case.
Don’t Abuse the Attorney-Client Privilege
If you hide information from your auto accident attorney or share with your doctor anything that your attorney told you, this can compromise your case.
Don’t Sign Anything
Oftentimes after an accident, insurers will make you an initial offer that might sound good—especially if it means that you get much-needed money right away. However, that offer is likely to be low. Insurers hope you will take their offer because you don’t know you could be getting much more.
Similarly, don’t sign any medical waivers or any other documents anybody puts in front of you before consulting an attorney. Even a verbal statement to an insurer can be recorded and used against you to deny or minimize your claim. It’s important to talk to an attorney who can put your situation in context, help you avoid mistakes, and lay the groundwork for a more robust settlement.
Don’t Share Details on Social Media
Assume that the things you write on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites can be captured and seen by anyone. Anything you write on these sites can be used later against you in court and could compromise your claim.
Don’t Postpone Getting Help
Waiting to talk to an attorney about your car accident can give an advantage to those whose goal is to pay you as little as possible. Waiting can also mean you could remain in pain longer than you have to. After an injury in Forest Hills, Queens, or the surrounding New York area, contact Davidoff Law for a free initial consultation. After the first consult, we work on contingency, which means we only get paid once you receive compensation for your injuries.