After being injured in an accident, it can feel as if your whole life has been turned upside down, especially if the accident was no fault of your own. Figuring out what steps to take after an accident can be confusing and overwhelming. Victims are often faced with medical bills, auto repair bills, or other types of damages.
In 2007 alone, car accident injuries on Westchester County roads resulted in $36.7 million worth of hospitalization fees. This statistic does not even take into account the physical pain and emotional strain that these injuries also caused victims and their families. If you have recently been in an accident in Westchester County that resulted in an injury, follow this guide to make sure that your health and rights are protected.
Your best interests are not prioritized by insurance companies. Their goal is to get you to settle for as little money as probable, ideally before you hire a lawyer, thus saving the insurance company as much cash as possible. Even if you have clearly suffered catastrophic injuries and extensive losses, they may attempt to quickly offer you a settlement to avoid accepting liability and paying you for what your claim is worth.
Thus, instead of saying the wrong thing to an insurance company representative, and risking irreparable damage to your case, follow these steps after experiencing a car accident in Westchester County, New York:
The first step you should take after any accident is to get checked out by a medical professional. Even if you do not feel like you have been seriously injured, a medical professional may be able to diagnose and treat any injuries that you are not yet fully aware of. They will also be able to record and monitor minor injuries. That way, in the event the injuries develop into something more serious down the road, there will be a documented history of the injuries.
Your doctor will also be able to refer you to specialists (such as medical specialists, as well as physical or occupational therapists) who will be able to further help you get back on track with your life. A medical professional will also be able to provide official documentation of your injuries. This documentation will be extremely important if you choose to pursue a legal route for compensation in the future.
Collecting evidence at the scene is an essential step to take after an accident. This evidence can help pinpoint the party (or parties) responsible for the accident and can help identify the extent of the damages. If you have a phone (or camera) with you, and are physically able, take photos or videos of the scene of the accident. Include involved vehicles, damage to vehicles, license plates, injuries, traffic signals, and anything else that you think might be relevant to the investigation of the accident. In addition, obtain the names and contact information of all witnesses to the accident.
During the weeks after the accident, keep track, in writing, of all events related to the accident, including information regarding doctor appointments, discussions regarding the investigation of the accident, lost time from work, and lost wages. Also, be certain to keep all documents received from doctors, hospitals, etc., regarding the accident, and also keep all of your medical bills and any other bills related to the accident in a safe place.
If a police officer responded to the scene of your accident, there is probably a police report on file. You are entitled to receive a copy of this report, and you should do so as soon as possible, by contacting the applicable police precinct.
Car accident police reports can help identify specifics of the crash, such as the time of day, date, location, and weather conditions at the scene. The report can also offer a preliminary assessment of fault, which is especially important in car accident cases. Police reports can also identify witnesses and anyone else who responded to the accident scene. In some situations, there will be witness statements included in the police report, but at a minimum, the report should list the names and contact information of the involved parties and witnesses.
For information on how you can obtain a police report in Westchester County, New York, click here.
The best way to stay safe is to be cautious but accidents can strike even the most careful drivers. If you have been injured in a car accident (perhaps at one of Westchester County’s most dangerous intersections), then a Lever & Ecker, PLLC, personal injury lawyer may be able to help you. If you choose to take legal action to obtain compensation from those responsible for your accident and injuries, it is very important to seek out an experienced personal injury attorney immediately who can guide you through the process.
New York’s statutes of limitations outline the maximum time frame one has to commence certain types of lawsuits, and that time frame begins the date the accident occurred. Once the statute of limitations regarding your accident has expired, you will be forever barred from pursuing a lawsuit, causing you to lose your chance to recover compensation for your injuries. If you are attempting to make a claim against a government entity, as opposed to a corporation or individual, the statutes of limitations are different, and generally far shorter, and there are complicated timeframes that must be met.
The attorneys at Lever & Ecker, PLLC, will be able to analyze the evidence and information you have collected and can advise you on the next steps to take in regard to your claim. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will know the statute of limitations regarding your case and will work quickly to ensure that your case is filed in a timely manner.
As noted above, obtaining a police report is a very important step to take after an accident. For information on how to obtain a police report in Westchester County, click here, and below is the contact information for some of Westchester’s largest cities:
77 S Lexington Ave
White Plains, NY 10601
104 South Broadway
Yonkers, New York, 10701
City Hall, 475 North Ave
New Rochelle, NY 10801
2 Detective Christopher Ridley Way
Mt Vernon, NY 10550
At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, our personal injury lawyers have experience in a wide variety of practice areas, a list of which can be found here. Our offices are in White Plains, New York, and we represent individuals from all over Westchester County, including Yonkers, New Rochelle, Port Chester, and Mount Vernon. We also represent clients throughout the metro New York areas. Call us at (914) 288-9191 or (718) 933-3632 or fill out our contact form for a free evaluation and consultation for your car accident case.