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What to do if you are in a car accident?

What To Do If You Are in a Car Accident

Sometimes, things outside of your control which you don't want to happen, do happen. You might be involved in a car accident where you aren't sure whether or not you have legal responsibility.

Or, you might have been injured by another driver's carelessness, but you're not sure how to go about building your case. Before you are involved in a car accident, here are some things you should and should not do:

What You Should Do

  • Check to see if everyone is okay. You've probably heard of lawsuits where someone chooses to do the right thing and ends up getting sued for it. Unfortunately, this does happen. But, in the case of car accidents, checking on everyone involved to see if they need medical attention is a good, and legally safe, thing to do. Call 911 if anyone is seriously injured.
  • Call the police. You can settle car accidents on your own, but it's not recommended. The other driver may or may not follow through on your agreement. If you are involved in any type of car accident, call the New York City police. If you end up wanting to eventually go to court or having to make an insurance claim, a police report is a key document to have.
  • Get witness contact information. While you're talking to witnesses of your accident, make sure you never apologize for the accident, even if you think it was your fault. Apologies can completely ruin the credibility of your case. Be sure to keep a pen and paper in your vehicle, and get the contact information of all witnesses at the scene.
  • Call your own insurance provider. Even if the accident was your fault, report the accident to your insurance company. They'll have the information available if you need to make a claim later on. If the accident wasn't your fault, keep a detailed log of all the time and money you spend pursuing any insurance claims. If the other party is legally responsible for your damages or injuries, they will have to financially compensate you for the damages and time. But, you have to keep detailed and accurate records to collect for those damages.

What You Shouldn't Do

  • Never Apologize Just to be Polite. You might be a nice person and just trying to make the other party feel better, but apologizing, even if the accident wasn't your fault, can be seen as an admission of liability in court. Accidents happen fast, and even if you think you were at fault, the fact is you might not legally have been at fault.
  • Don't talk to the other person's insurance company. Insurance companies attempt to maximize their profit by getting you to make statements that weaken or nullify your case. They might also try to get you to settle for an amount worth much less than you could receive in court. If they call you, politely excuse yourself, hang up the phone, and contact a lawyer instead.

Contact A Lawyer If You Believe You Have a Valid Case

Car accidents are pretty easy to resolve, but sometimes, one party doesn't want to take responsibility for their role in the accident. If you find yourself in this situation, contact Buckvar & Buckvar by calling 212-962-2173 or by using our online form for a FREE consultation to discuss your case.

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