Police officerAlbany, NY- The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 2.3 million emergency room visits in the U.S. each year are attributed to car accidents. And, unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who drive are going to be involved in at least one accident during their lifetimes. But many people have no idea what to do in the aftermath of their accident. That is why our team of accident lawyers in Albany, New York wanted to talk about the steps you need to take following a traffic accident.
Car accidents may be fairly routine to police and insurance adjusters, but for motorists, an accident can be jarring and distressing. Things that are said and done at the scene of an accident can have a huge bearing on the settlement amount an accident victim receives. There are things an accident should and should not do following a traffic accident.
A past survey from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) found that accident victims don’t know what information they need to share with the other driver or with the police. Many of the survey respondents assumed they should share their personal information such as their phone numbers, addresses and driver’s license number with other involved motorists. The only party an accident victim should provide that personal information with is the responding police officer. And the only bits of information you need to share with another motorist at the scene is your name and your insurance information.
Photos and eyewitnesses can be very compelling evidence in a personal injury or wrongful death case. That is why if you are able, you should get the names and numbers of any witnesses. You should also take photos of the accident scene. Photos can show the extent of a victim’s injuries and can be valuable during settlement negotiations.
There are many apps available for smartphones that guide accident victims through the steps they should take immediately following their car accident. Some of these apps create accident reports, give you instructions for taking the best photographs and allow you to take make notes about your collision.
USAttorneys would also like to warn you not to apologize or admit fault to anyone other than police. Other motorists and insurers will be working to limit their liability, so only speak to police.
Once the initial shock of your accident wears off, you may decide you want to file a claim against the at-fault party or parties. The days following your accident are critical, so USAttorneys urges you to contact an accident lawyer in Albany, New York to advise you and keep you from jeopardizing your case. Anything you say and the actions you take following an accident is more important than you realize, so the only person you should talk to after your accident is your attorney. Albany accident victims who want a dedicated and experienced lawyer working on their behalf can find one the USAttorneys website or by sending us an email.
 

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