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Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Car accidents can be traumatizing. You may be feeling shaken up. Perhaps you’ve been injured. You may know that you have responsibilities after being in a car accident, but you may not know where to start. 

First of all, don’t forget that you must follow specific laws. The state of New York Department of Motor Vehicles requires you to report the incident within 10 days. If the accident caused injuries, property damage, or resulted in a death, you must immediately exchange information with the other drivers involved. Failing to exchange information at the accident negatively impacts your ability to receive compensation for injuries or property damage from the accident.

The law will then determine whether the accident was a misdemeanor or a felony depending on its severity. For example, immediately leaving the scene of an accident is considered a felony.

Either way, follow these steps to take after a car accident:

  • Check yourself for injuries and get to a safe place. Stay in your vehicle if you are on a highway. If an immediate hazard exists, such as a fuel leak or fire, get away from the vehicle. 
  • Call 911. Stay on the phone with the dispatcher and provide details that can assist the first responders. 
  • Give consent for the emergency crew to give you a brief physical examination, even if you feel fine. If the paramedics deem it necessary, they will take you to a hospital. 
  • Use your cell phone to take photos of the scene of the accident. Insurance companies such as State Farm welcome photos of the damage sustained in an auto accident.
  • The following day, schedule an appointment with your physician. Wounds and bruises, plus internal damage, may not show until the next day.up immediately. 
  • Contact your insurance company and file an initial claim.

Car accidents can be scary, but the aftermath doesn’t have to disrupt your life any more than necessary. By following the steps above, you’ll be able to set yourself up for success with minimal interruption to your daily life. 

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