Before you find a car accident attorney there are so many steps you should take. Accidents are confusing so, apart from wishing you had taken PATH or had gotten up earlier please read this simple and informative guide in case such an emergency arises.
First and foremost you have to stop. It doesn’t matter who is involved in the accident you have to stop your car or risk losing your license. New York’s law states that you must stay at the scene and swap information and help any injured persons. It is immaterial whether the accident involves another moving car, a stationary vehicle, a pedestrian or some other type of property you may find yourself fined or sent to jail.
If you don’t call the New York State Police directly call 911 instead. You must call them immediately if someone is hurt or killed. If you hit a stationary vehicle or street furniture you must leave your contact details on the damaged object. This has to include your name, address, vehicle license and insurance details. Then you can report the accident and a local officer will examine the damage and interview yourself and any other witnesses.
What information should you take with you as you leave the scene? It is important to have the contact details of any vehicle driver involved in the collision. Record if there were any passengers in those vehicles or if there were any other witnesses. It is prudent to take photographs of the scene. The investigating officer should have details of all parties involved. The officer should have everyone’s drivers license, vehicle registration, address, insurance company name and policy number. I would want that information as well.
Remember that anything you say will be used as evidence so do not try to apportion blame or accept responsibility until the facts have been recorded. There are multiple factors in apportioning blame in an accident but don’t agree to pay for the accident until all the information is processed. You must cooperate with the investigating officer that is most important. The officer will be a party to some information you may not be aware of and they may be more to blame than you realize.
You must file an MV-104 report within ten days of the accident if the damage exceeds $1000 dollars. Failure to do so could result in your license being suspended. Do not wait.
If your car is registered in New York State your insurance must be New York State registered. Furthermore, it must have a minimum liability of, $25,000/50,000 for injury, $50,000/100,000 for death and $10,000 for property damage caused by the accident. New York State insurance plans have a no-fault plan and will pay out no matter who is to blame. You must report the accident to your insurance provider within 30 days. Once reported they will request all the information gathered including police reports, photographs and medical reports. An adjuster will research your claim.
You do not have to accept the offers made and a no-fault insurance plan does not cover damages to your person or car. If you want to seek an accident lawyer to make additional claims you should look for an experienced accident lawyer to guide you through the process.