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  • Writer's pictureSameer Nath, Esq.

What to do if You are in a Car Accident

Updated: Nov 26, 2018

Winter is coming!

Along with the winter comes snow and ice, and dangerous driving conditions in Westchester, the Bronx, and the New York City area.

What to do if you’re involved in a car accident:

Safety First - If you are able to safely move your car off the road, do so. Leaving your car in the middle of active traffic lanes presents additional danger to yourself, your passengers and every other driver that now has to navigate around you. If you aren’t sure whether it’s safe to move, then leave it where it is and just call the police.

If your phone has a camera, and you are safely able, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles. Get the license plate of the other car – you don’t know who the other driver is and if they’ll wait around for police. Be prepared to exchange insurance information with the other driver.

When police arrive, they will likely generate a police report and give you instructions on where and how to pick it up. Don’t talk about whose fault the accident was, just tell the police what happened. You may think that an accident was your fault and not realize that the other driver was on the phone at the time, that their brakes failed, etc.

Ask for medical attention. If you aren’t sure that you or anyone in your car needs medical attention, request it anyway. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure you tell the Emergency Medical personnel and Emergency Room staff every part of your body that hurts, and which parts struck the interior of the vehicle – even if your neck or back only feels a little sore at the time, don’t assume it’s nothing. Mention it and let the doctors and nurses tell you if it’s serious or not. Timely treatment can prevent much more serious conditions down the line.

If you decide to exchange information rather than call the police with the other driver for whatever reason (I’ve heard stories from clients in the boroughs that the police took an hour or more to arrive), you have up to ten days to file an accident report (form MV-104) with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Your license can be suspended if you fail to do this.

Depending on your insurance carrier, you may have up to 7 days to notify them of the accident. In most cases, your insurance company’s phone number is on your New York State insurance card. If you don’t have your card handy, a simple Google search should work.

You also have up to 30 days to fill out and submit No Fault paperwork and submit it to your insurance carrier which is directed towards treatment costs associated with the accident – our office is happy to help you with all the paperwork if necessary. You can call me at 914-500-7990 if you have any further questions.

Please feel free to share the above information with anyone you think might benefit from it.

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