Hundreds of car accidents occur every day in New York City, and most we don’t even notice unless we’re involved. These accident scenes come and go quickly, cleared up as fast as possible to avoid any more congestion than New Yorkers already battle.
For most motorists, the quick clearing of a traffic accident is a blessing, but for the victims of these accidents, this period can feel like a ticking time bomb. Several steps need to be taken directly after a car accident; if done incorrectly, an accident claim can be significantly affected. Even when it’s clear that liability falls on the other party, a lack of evidence can result in minimal compensation for damages from both your insurance company and a personal accident claim.
At Siler & Ingber, LLP, our knowledgeable team has been representing accident victims for over 30 years in NYC. We’ve seen the pitfalls our clients frequently fall into that can jeopardize their chances of maximizing compensation after an injury. While every accident is different, here are the most common mistakes that car accident victims make and why seeking a free legal consultation early on can save your case.
Failing to Seek Medical Care
When you are the victim of a car accident, the condition of your vehicle is not the priority. Your health should always be number one, and seeking medical attention directly after an accident is crucial. By failing to seek medical attention, even for minor injuries, your actions show that your injuries may not be as severe as you claim, or that the cause of the injury could have been the result of something other than the accident.
Insurance companies require medical records close to the date of the accident that prove your injuries were solely the result of the accident. Even if you experience delayed symptoms, it’s essential to get examined by a medical provider the day your accident occurs to evaluate your health. This way, when future problems do arise, you have the documentation to show that you have been diligent with your care. Detailed medical records provide the best chance of maximum coverage for future medical treatments. Have your doctor be as specific as possible in your treatment planning for all injuries.
Lack of Accident Scene Evidence
Lack of evidence and details about an accident can lead insurance companies to deny claims or pay out far less than the victim requires to cover damages. It’s essential to gather enough evidence at the scene before it starts to clear away. In NYC, this happens at lightning speed, and the act of getting into an accident is already disorienting enough, without adding injuries to distract you from collecting information.
Before an accident occurs, make a list of all the information you need to collect to have ready when the time comes. The list should include information on the vehicles involved (license plate, model, make), the vehicle damages, witnesses present, the road conditions and surrounding hazards, and all the information from the other driver(s), including contact information and insurance information. Photos and videos are excellent ways to quickly document accident scenes and get witness statements if they consent. If you are too injured, make sure your emergency contacts know the information that should be collected so that they can act on your behalf.
No Police Report Filed
It’s the law in New York State that every car accident victim must file a police report with the police jurisdiction under where their accident took place. It doesn’t matter how minor the accident was, or if there were injuries involved. These reports are required for all accident claims as a record of the accident occurring. Without an accident report, the chance of recovering any compensation for your injuries is minimal to none.
Car accidents are traumatizing, and they can make victims say and do things out of character. One of the worst actions you can take after a crash is to admit any fault in the matter, especially to the other drivers involved. Making statements about who was to blame for an accident, why they were to blame, and what part you played in the matter is a significant mistake and can cost you the compensation you are eligible for under the law.
Until you look at the whole picture, what caused a car accident is not always obvious. A driver who collides with another vehicle that they didn’t see may also not have realized the other vehicle was speeding or failed to use their turn signal. It’s essential to stick to the steps of what to do after a car accident, instead of trying to figure out blame on the scene. This way, you don’t admit to something that you had no control over.
Posting On Social Media
Yes, you should take pictures and videos of the accident scene after a crash. No, you should never post them on social media. Social media coverage of your accident can quickly turn toxic for your case. Accident victims who post about their crashes can later contradict themselves, share misinformation about the case, or cause negative comments to come back and hurt their claim. Social media content in New York is considered admissible evidence, meaning whatever you post (good or bad) can be used in court.
Contact An Accident Attorney Early On
When you’re the victim of a car accident, contacting an experienced accident attorney early on can not only help you avoid these common mistakes, but maximize your compensation in areas you can’t receive financial assistance for in an insurance claim.
Some additional damages an attorney may file for in your accident claim include:
- Lost wages or employment;
- Pain and suffering;
- Future long-term medical care;
- Therapy (physical and psychological);
- Lack of income for basic needs; and
- Punitive damages.
Ensure the accident attorney you consult with provides a free initial consultation and is experienced in car accident cases in NYC. Not all attorneys are the same, and NYC has different laws and regulations than other areas of the state. If there is missing evidence, accident attorneys possess the resources to gather information quickly. Remember– the evidence does not stick around forever. It’s essential to contact an accident attorney as soon as you experience an accident to give them ample time to build a case in your favor.
New York City Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber have over 30 years of experience representing accident victims in New York City. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process, using our experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-LAW-4343, or schedule an appointment online at any time. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
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The Law Office of Siler & Ingber, LLP
301 Mineola Blvd. Mineola, NY 11501
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