The most recent available traffic accident statistics for New York are from 2014, but in that year in this state, there were more than 29,000 traffic accidents every month, an average of 820 traffic collisions every day, and 34 crashes every hour. Traffic hasn’t improved since 2014, either.
The point is this: As Bronx car accident lawyers, we know it’s not difficult to be involved in a traffic accident in the state of New York. Everyone needs to know exactly what to do in the first moments after a traffic crash. You also need to know what mistakes to avoid after you’ve been injured in traffic by a negligent driver.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IN THE AFTERMATH OF A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?
Take these steps if you’re involved in a traffic accident in the state of New York:
- Summon medical help at once if you or anyone else has been injured. Unless you’re treated at the accident scene or taken to a hospital, have a medical exam within 24 hours. Failing to be examined is one of the mistakes you must avoid after an accident.
- Whenever someone is injured in a traffic crash in New York, that accident must be reported to the police.
- Unless you are unconscious or incapacitated, exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver or drivers, take photos of the accident scene and the vehicle damages, and try to identify any eyewitnesses and get their contact information.
- Within 24 hours, inform your auto insurance company that an accident has occurred and your vehicle has been damaged. Say no more to the insurance company at this time.
- As soon as you’ve been examined and or treated by a medical professional, contact an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and options – which may include filing a personal injury claim.
WHAT MISTAKES MUST BE AVOIDED IN THE AFTERMATH OF AN ACCIDENT?
Your health is a priority. If you file a personal injury claim and seek reimbursement for your medical expenses after an accident, a good personal injury lawyer can handle the legal side of your case, but you must be pro-active about regaining your health.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent motorist in New York, don’t make the three mistakes briefly discussed here. Making these mistakes will hurt your health – and reduce your chances of winning compensation with a personal injury claim.
MISTAKE #1: FAILING TO BE EXAMINED AFTER AN ACCIDENT
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, seek medical attention immediately. Traffic collisions are usually the kind of experience that sends adrenaline pumping through your body, and adrenaline can mask your pain. Don’t decide to just “brush it off.” See a doctor.
Some injuries are latent and difficult-to-detect. Some injury symptoms may not emerge for days or even weeks after an accident. In that time, you may develop a serious medical condition. Even if you feel perfectly fine, have a medical examination in the first 24 hours after a traffic collision.
A prompt medical examination not only protects your health, but if you need to seek compensation and file a personal injury claim arising from the collision, a medical exam provides some of the documentation that you’ll need as evidence.
MISTAKE #2: FAILING TO TELL THE DOCTOR EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED
Your healthcare providers cannot provide for you properly or effectively if they don’t know precisely how you suffered your injury. Tell the doctor everything that you can remember about the crash. Even small details might make a difference.
MISTAKE #3: FAILING TO FOLLOW DOCTOR’S ORDERS
When you’re treated for an injury that you’ve sustained in a traffic accident, you must adhere to the doctor’s directions and recommendations. Failing to follow your doctor’s orders can hurt your health, and it can also make it more difficult to obtain the compensation that you’ll need.
By avoiding these three all-too-common medical mistakes, you’ll be doing the right thing for your health, building evidence to support your personal injury claim, and putting yourself in the best position to move forward positively and constructively after your accident and injury.
WHAT ABOUT LEGAL MISTAKES?
You can make legal mistakes as well as medical mistakes after being injured in traffic, and these are also mistakes that you must avoid if you seek compensation for a personal injury or injuries.
The two most common and most serious legal mistakes that an injured victim of another driver’s negligence can make are:
- dealing directly with an auto insurance company
- failing to obtain a personal injury lawyer’s help promptly
If you’re not injured in a collision and all that you’ve suffered is vehicle damage, it’s usually quicker and more convenient to file a property damage claim and deal directly with an auto insurance company regarding auto repairs.
WHY DO YOU NEED THE HELP OF AN ACCIDENT LAWYER?
But if you’ve been injured, and if your health and future are potentially at risk, let a personal injury lawyer – a trained negotiator who routinely handles personal injury claims – negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Don’t make any formal recorded or written statement to an auto insurance company regarding your accident or injury. After you’ve notified your own auto insurer that an accident has occurred, let your attorney do the talking, and refer all questions to your attorney.
Don’t take a quick settlement offer either, even if you’re under pressure and the offer is tempting. A first offer will almost inevitably be for an amount far below what your personal injury claim is actually worth. Your lawyer can almost certainly negotiate a better agreement.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM IN NY?
Contact an injury attorney as soon as you know that you’ve been injured in a traffic collision. Don’t think about the statute of limitations (it’s three years for New York personal injury cases). You need an attorney gathering evidence and speaking to witnesses as quickly as possible.
The injured victims of negligence in the state of New York are entitled by law to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and all related damages arising from an accident and injury.
But you can’t make any medical or legal mistakes. Compensation is yours only if you can prove that you are entitled to it. You’ll need the help of an experienced Bronx personal injury attorney. If you’ve been injured by negligence in New York, that is your right.