What to Do If You Are in a Car Accident
Nobody plans on getting into a car accident. Statistically, however, it is inevitable you will be involved in several car accidents throughout your life. Several sources suggest that the average American will be involved in approximately 7 car crashes in a lifetime! Benjamin Franklin once famously said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Let’s listen to Uncle Ben and get ready.
First, You should know what kind of insurance coverage you actually have. Car insurance in New York is mandatory but you can purchase additional coverage to better protect yourself. A later blog from the New York Personal injury attorneys at Schalk, Ciaccio, and Kahn will go into depth as to what the different coverages mean, but you should maximize your liability coverage and your supplemental under/ uninsured insurance.
After the accident occurs you will be stressed. If you are in pain do not move. Adrenaline can mask serious injury and sudden movements could make any injuries worse. Await emergency help and listen to their instructions. If you are not hurt you need to make sure you protect yourself from any claims. Do not admit anything even if you did not cause the accident. Any statements can be taken out of context and can be used against you later on in the claim.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a wonderful app that will help you if you are in an accident. The app allows you to take photos of the scene and document only what is necessary to file an insurance claim. If you do not have a smartphone, you can download a printable checklist to keep in your glove compartment. The link for the iPhone app is tinyurl.com/pgwe8k9 and for Android tinyurl.com/puh88s8.
The app recommends what to do after an accident:
Remain calm and assess the scene. Do not get out of your car if it is not safe to do so.
Call the police and inform them of any injuries. If the police are not dispatched, file an incident report. This may assist you with your claim.
Be courteous, but do not admit fault.
Get names and contact information of any witnesses.
Many people try to avoid calling their insurance company after an accident with the belief that the insurance rates will increase. Your rates should only go up if you are at fault or have several accidents where you are not at fault (the logic being that although you are “not at fault” you are unlucky). Even if your rates do go up chances are they will not go up as much as your out of pocket expenses. Additionally, allowing the insurance company to handle the claim will alleviate stress and protect you from unscrupulous people.
At Schalk Ciaccio & Kahn, we hope you beat the odds and never have an accident if you do we never what anyone to be injured. However, if God forbid you are in an accident or even worse injured, call the New York personal injury attorneys at Schalk Ciaccio & Kahn. We can answer all your questions.
For more information please visit SCKesq.com where you can find more information on our New York criminal law practice as well as our New York Personal injury practice.