June 21, 2020

5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Motor Vehicle Accident

By Jonathan Damashek

Posted in

Go to the main Auto Accidents page

Car accidents are unexpected by nature. They can be traumatizing, and dealing with the aftermath can be tricky. Some mistakes could diminish a potential settlement, and there are certain things you should remember to do to protect your health and your recovery.

Learn more about the mistakes that can threaten your case, and the actions that can secure a settlement.

Avoid These Mistakes After a Car Accident

We recommend you work with an experienced NYC car accident lawyer to avoid these common mistakes.

1. Not Calling the Police

One of the first mistakes a person can make after being in a crash is failing to call the police. If you are involved in a crash that causes someone injuries or death, or causes over $1,000 in property damage, New York law requires you to report the accident to the police. It’s also best to call the police to have someone come and conduct an initial investigation of the crash and write an objective report. If you fail to call the police, make sure you file an accident report right away.

2. Not Taking Pictures

If you’re not hurt too badly, and your phone survived, then take photos. Take pictures from different angles and distances. Try to document the damage to your car thoroughly. These photos could be important if you need to hire an accident reconstruction expert.

3. Not Going to a Doctor

You might think you’re OK and can go one without a doctor. But if your crash was anything more than a fender bender, we recommend a thorough check-up. If there are any obvious injuries, go to the emergency room. Without any obvious injuries, you might prefer seeing your general practitioner or family doctor for an exam. If you start noticing more symptoms in the days following the crash, don’t hesitate to go to the ER.

4. Not Telling Your Insurer Right Away

When you’re dealing with a damaged vehicle and injuries, you should inform your insurance company as soon as possible. If you want any use of your benefits, you must tell your insurance company. Insurers require notification within a reasonable amount of time after an accident. You also want to tell your insurer so it will communicate with the other driver’s insurance company.

5. Answering the Other Insurer’s Questions

Don’t be surprised to get a call from the other driver’s insurance company. They’ll want to ask you some questions. The person on the phone might make it seem like no big deal, but it’s important that you decline to answer any questions at that time and call a lawyer. That insurance company is looking for reasons to deny your claim or limit your financial recovery. By hiring an attorney, you have an advocate who makes sure the insurance company gets the info it needs and prepares you to answer any necessary questions.

Things to Remember After a Car Accident

Avoiding these mistakes can help you recover after a car accident, physically and financially. Other tips to remember after a crash include:

Clear the Road and Wait for Law Enforcement

After the crash, make sure everyone in the car is okay. If the car can move, you’ll need to get out of the way so traffic can keep flowing. You’ll need to stay close to the scene so that the police can get your statement and other emergency responders can handle your immediate needs.

Collect Evidence From the Scene

Besides photographs, there are other crucial details to collect to help reinforce your story and your insurance claim. You’ll need to get any other driver’s name, contact info, and insurance details to help you seek compensation if they were negligent. You also need to talk to witnesses about what happened and get details about the scene so that you can ensure an accurate report is made.

Call a New York Personal Injury Lawyer

You might feel that contacting a car accident lawyer lawyer is making a mountain out of a mole hill, but insurance claims rarely go smoothly. Attorneys can give you an edge when you’re seeking a settlement after an accident. They’ll investigate your crash, help you identify liable parties, calculate your claim’s worth, and negotiate a settlement. They can help you handle any court matters if a lawsuit becomes necessary.

Were You Recently Hurt in an Accident?

If you’re scouring the internet about what to do after a car crash, you’ve come to the right place. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we have decades of experience handling all sorts of motor vehicle accidents, including those involving catastrophic injuries, and are tenacious in fighting for results. Contact us online or call (212) 490-5700 to schedule your free consultation.