More than 6 million car accidents occur daily across the U.S. Most collisions result in mild and severe injuries to vehicle occupants and pedestrians. While fighting for survival is everyone’s priority, accident victims often worry about compensation for injuries sustained and property damage.
It’s not hard to imagine car accidents in an area as densely populated (and traffic-filled) as Manhattan. And when the accident does happen, it can be devastating. In 2021, there were over 700 car crashes in Manhattan – good for the fourth-most car accidents out of all New York boroughs. This just means that no one is safe from these accidents, and if you or your loved one sustains injuries from a car accident, consulting a Manhattan auto accident attorney can help your case.
1. Get to safety and call 911
It is normal to feel shaky and disoriented after a car accident. To ease the tension, take a deep breath and try focusing on what’s happening. Put on hazards and try to control your vehicle out of traffic. If there’s a pungent smell of gas or your vehicle is burning, exit the vehicle immediately. You should always prioritize personal safety.
However, you shouldn’t leave the accident scene unless you are in grave danger. That aside, you should assess the nature of your injuries and determine if you need urgent medical attention. Call 911 and ask for emergency responders if your injuries are serious.
First responders and paramedics will assess and treat minor injuries at the accident scene. However, severe injuries like head injuries and fractures may require advanced medical treatment and surgery. Nonetheless, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment even if your injuries don’t need urgent medical interventions.
Symptoms of some injuries may take hours or days after the accident to appear. Depending on the nature of your injuries, the doctor may suggest rest, physical therapy, and future review. You should keep all medical records and doctor’s notes as they will help build the case. This will then give you more than enough time to recover from your injuries sustained in the accident.
Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you should collect all the necessary information as you wait for the police and emergency personnel to arrive. You should start by collecting vital information about the other driver. This includes the name, phone number, license, and insurance information.
Next, you should gather evidence about the accident. Important things to note include:
- Time, date, and where the accident occurred
- General driving conditions
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Witness statements
You should also note down your recollection of what happened. Doing this immediately ensures you have facts and figures when building the case.
If you sustained injuries or were blamed by the other party, you should hire an attorney to handle your legal obligations. Hiring a lawyer is beneficial in the following ways:
- They know the potential damages that come with auto accidents. Even if you can handle the aftermath of a car accident, you should know your rights, the extent of the damages, and how to determine fair compensation. Working with an attorney simplifies all these issues.
- They have in-depth knowledge of car accident laws – handling legal matters is challenging. An experienced lawyer can establish the laws and factors relevant to your case.
- They negotiate with insurance and represent you in court – insurance companies can deny claims or offer less than the claim’s worth. An attorney understands how to build a solid case that increases your chances of winning the case.
Law enforcement officers must collect detailed information about the accident during the investigation. Both parties should provide a recount of what happened and the events leading up to the accident. When it's your turn to speak to the police, focus on giving facts. You should resist the urge to express emotions or admit liability.
You should only share details of the actions leading to the accident and how the accident occurred. After the interview, take the responding officer’s contact information and badge number because your attorney may need them if the case proceeds to court.
Injuries from auto accidents 1https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/road-traffic-injuries can result in hefty medical bills, lost wages, pain, and emotional suffering. Building a case and filing a claim to recover these losses can prove daunting. As such, you should seek medical attention, keep the records, gather the necessary evidence, and hire a competent lawyer.
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