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What Do I Do After an Accident?

May 13, 2024 | Auto Accidents

Suffering an injury in an accident is not only physically painful — it can also be emotionally overwhelming and financially draining. If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be wondering what to do next. Whether you were injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, a bicycle collision, or any other type of accident, you should take the following steps to preserve your right to file a personal injury claim — and obtain the compensation you deserve.

1. Get the Medical Help You Need

Seeking medical assistance immediately after an accident is crucial for both your health and your claim. Even if you do not think you were hurt, some types of injuries are not readily apparent. By getting medical help immediately, you can rule out any internal injuries and strengthen any personal injury claim you might later file.     

2. File an Accident Report

After an accident, it’s critical to file a report. Although these reports can’t always be used in court, they can be useful when you file an insurance claim — and provide your attorney with valuable information and details about the accident. Specifically, if you were in a motor vehicle accident, the police will generate a report after arriving at the scene. In the event you were in a premises liability accident, the location might have its own internal reporting procedures. 

3. Collect Evidence

If possible, after an accident, take photos or video of the scene — and document any conditions that may have contributed to the accident. You should also collect the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have observed the accident as it occurred. Be mindful not to throw away any damaged property, such as torn clothing or broken glasses, that may serve as evidence in any personal injury claim you file.  

4. Notify the Insurance Company

Report your accident to the insurance company promptly. Importantly, if you were in a car accident, you only have 30 days to file for no-fault benefits, which can cover a certain amount of your medical expenses and lost wages while your case progresses through the legal system. Regardless of the type of accident, it’s best to have an attorney communicate with the insurance company to avoid inadvertently harming your case.      

5. Continue Your Medical Treatment

Medical documentation is the foundation of every personal injury case — and it’s vital to follow your doctor’s orders. Critically, you must continue your accident-related medical treatment until your doctor has determined you have reached “maximum medical improvement.” If you have any gaps in treatment, the defendant may try to use this against you and argue that you’re not as injured as you claim to be.

6. Document Your Economic and Non-Economic Losses

After an accident, you may incur substantial financial losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. Be sure to keep track of these losses — you may be entitled to recover them in a personal injury action. In addition, you might also be eligible to recover compensation for your pain and suffering. Keep a journal documenting how your injuries affect you on a daily basis and impact your ability to carry out your work and household tasks. 

7. Don’t Accept an Initial Settlement Offer

The defendant’s insurance company may try to offer you a settlement shortly after the accident. However, it’s important to understand that this is typically a low-ball settlement that does not necessarily reflect how much your case is actually worth. In fact, the value of your case will not be known until the full extent of your damages are determined. You should never accept a settlement offer from the defendant or their insurance company without consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney.                   

8. Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney

Following an accident, it’s critical to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can advise you regarding your rights and options. An attorney can advocate on your behalf for the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. They can also guide you through the legal process and help ensure you do not make any mistakes that could harm your case.  

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you were in an accident, it’s essential to have the representation of a personal injury attorney who can fight for your rightful monetary recovery. Due to our vast experience and deep knowledge, The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP regularly secures substantial settlements and significant verdicts for victims who have sustained injuries due to the carelessness and recklessness of others. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.




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