A modern approach to dealing with an automobile accident.
With the advent of technology you can benefit from obtaining video footage that may be available from exterior cameras from buildings and on traffic control devices.
A summary by point headings of how to deal with an automobile accident.1. Keep Calm
Do not panic. Try not to become overly emotional. Stay on the scene and wait for the police. Make sure that the police have been called. Do not make statements to the other driver or to witnesses at the scene.
2. Collect information.
Now is the time to use your smart phone. If you are able calmly take pictures of your car showing the damage as well as the other vehicles involved. If there skid marks or import details in the roadway take pictures of them. Take pictures of any traffic control devices at the scene. If need be make a sketch of the Accident Scene. Have your own insurance information in your glove compartment to be able to provide it the other vehicle involved and to the police.
3. Obtain driver and witness information.
Always carry a pad and pen in your car. Obtain information on the other vehicles involved. Take down license plates. Obtain name and insurance information from other vehicles involved. Try to get names and contact information for any witnesses. Do not get into arguments with anyone on the scene. If possible take pictures of the license plates. If a witness is willing to allow you to film them use your smart phone to record a video of their statement.
4. Cooperate with Police Officers on the Scene.
Do not argue with the police officers. Cooperate as much as possible. If you feel that you are going to be blamed for the accident and it may become criminal in nature advise the police that you wish to confer with an attorney before you can answer any questions. Find out from the police officer on the scene how you can obtain an official copy of the report. Many police officers either wear a body camera or have a dash board camera with a microphone on the officer. Be careful as to what you say as you may be being filmed.
5. If you think you are hurt seek medical attention.
If you believe you are injured in the accident seek medical attention as soon as possible. Document your injuries through your doctor or emergency room or medical provider. Contemporaneous medical care documenting all potential injuries is helpful down the line in proving your case if you were injured in the accident.
6. Notify your automobile insurance provider regarding the accident.
If you have followed the steps above you should be able to promptly contact your automobile insurance carrier as soon as possible to provide them with the information to start a claim. If you are working at the time you are hurt remember to notify your employer's workers compensation carrier if applicable. In addition, you made need to notify your home owner's insurance and any umbrella carriers you may have.
7. Do not delay in seeking out legal counsel.
Most lawyers in New York offer a free initial consultation. Use this to your advantage to meet with an Attorney to see if you need to retain one to protect your rights. It should not cost you a dollar to get initial sound legal advice.
SummaryStay calm, use technology to your advantage. Take pictures, Take video. Obtain video from other outside sources if available. You can even be a passenger in a vehicle and film the roadway approaching where the accident occurred from different angles to prove who was at fault.