Albany, NY – Every time someone gets in their car, there is always the possibility of an accident. In fact, thousands of Americans are involved in motor vehicle collisions each year. Though most accidents only result in minor property damage and they can be resolved through the insurance claim process, there are more serious collisions that require legal assistance and civil lawsuits to compensate the victims. Some attorneys in New York and other states dedicate their law practices to these matters and civil lawsuits that follow accidents. 

Assessing the severity of an accident

Anyone who is involved in a collision while driving needs to contact the other individuals involved at the scene and contact their insurance company as soon as it is safe to do so. Local police should also be contacted if it appears that there are any injuries or significant property damage. Leaving the scene of the accident without any kind of contact with the other drivers or law enforcement is a crime.

At the scene, pictures should be taken and evidence should be gathered if possible. The insurance company may be assisted with these items and it can expedite the process to make and claim and have it resolved. The driver should also get a basic sense of the amount of total damage, and note if they have any symptoms of injuries such as pain or trouble moving. 

Getting medical treatment if necessary

When someone is injured, they may either need to be taken to the emergency room immediately or visit a doctor at a later time if their injuries are less severe or noticeable.  Sometimes, symptoms of an injury may not appear until weeks or months after an accident. It is important for the victim to be mindful of any costs associated with treatment and gain a basic understanding of their health issues. Descriptions and costs related to the injury can be used later at a trial or settlement negotiations. 

Starting the process to get legal help

If someone is injured, they should contact an attorney in their area to start the process to bring a civil case. Information about property damage and medical treatment should be shared with the lawyer during the initial consultation to determine a course of action that is likely to succeed. If the attorney and client agree on representation, the lawyer can file a complaint in the local civil courts that starts the lawsuit. After this, the defendant’s lawyer will have a chance to respond to the allegations in the complaint. They will also have to exchange information through the discovery process. 

Deciding on a course of action after an accident is a resource for people who have been involved in an accident in Albany and need legal help. There are listings of licensed lawyers in every state organized by practice area and location.