Knowing what to do after a car accident on Long Island can make a big difference in your recovery — both physically and financially. By following these tips, we can walk you through the process of how to prioritize your actions in the hours, days, and weeks after a serious New York car crash. This will help us prove your claim, and recover fair compensation for you based on the facts of your case.
If you suffered injuries in a Long Island car accident, the attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates. P.C. are here to help. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to talk to an attorney about your claim.
Get Medical Care and Continue Following Your Treatment Plan
Getting immediate medical care after an accident, and sticking to the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor, is paramount in your physical healing and your financial recovery. Getting a prompt diagnosis and beginning treatment right away, undergoing all recommended surgeries, and attending all therapy sessions is the best way to heal as completely as possible from your injuries.
At the same time, getting medical attention immediately after an accident makes it harder to dispute your injuries came from the accident. For example, if you suffered a broken wrist in a car accident but waited several days after your accident to see a doctor, the insurance company would likely attempt to say you suffered the break in some other incident. Tying your broken wrist to the crash would be difficult. However, if paramedics on the scene of the accident looked at your arm and recommended you go to the emergency department for treatment of a broken wrist, this leaves little question about when the injury occurred.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You will need to contact your insurance company about your accident, although you do not have to give them details about your accident or injuries in your initial report. If you suffered minor or moderate injuries, your personal injury protection policy would likely pay out to cover your medical costs and a portion of your lost wages no matter who caused the accident. If the accident was your fault, you might also need to file a claim based on your collision insurance coverage to repair the damage to your vehicle.
It is a good idea to contact your insurance company within a few days of your accident even if you do not have any apparent injuries or property damage. This is true no matter if you believe you caused the crash or not. Many insurance companies have specific rules about how long you have to report an accident, and you need to make sure you meet the rules of your policy.
If you believe you qualify to file a third-party claim based on the at-fault driver’s auto liability policy for either property damages or medical costs, you should call us before you contact the insurance company. Insurance companies look for reasons to reduce your payout or deny your claim, so it is important you limit what you say to the other driver’s insurer. We can manage all communication with the insurer, preserving your right to compensation.
Protect Your Vehicle From Further Damage
It is important to protect your vehicle and other damaged property from further damage. Cover a car with a tarp if it is missing a windshield or windows, or park it inside a garage. If you do not take these actions and your car suffers additional damages, the insurance company is likely to balk at paying for these repairs.
In some cases, especially when only minor repairs are necessary, you could take your car to the garage for repairs. Take as many pictures as possible to show the damages and ask the body shop to document the damage adequately. Then, keep your receipts and other documents and submit them to the insurance company for reimbursement.
Request a Copy of the Police Report and Collect Other Evidence
No matter whether you believe you caused a crash or the other driver was at-fault, it pays to collect documentation of the accident. If we need to file a claim or personal injury lawsuit, this will become evidence in the case. This includes requesting a copy of the police report and checking it for any inconsistencies. You should also sit down and record your memories before, during, and after the crash as early as possible, while your mind still remembers the accident. Keep records of eyewitness names and contact information, pictures you took at the scene and of your damages, and other information related to your accident. You never know what small detail might make all the difference in a car accident claim.
Contact a Long Island Car Accident Attorney
Especially if you suffered serious injuries, we recommend discussing your case with a Long Island car accident lawyer. At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., we offer free claim evaluations and can help you recover fair compensation. Call us today at 631-600-0000.