Automobile accidents occur every day in every corner of the country. And no matter how good of a driver you are or how clean your record is, you cannot predict or control what other motorists do — so some accidents are unavoidable. Because of the overwhelming likelihood that you’ll be involved in an accident at some point in your life, it’s important to understand what you should do in the event of a crash.
Here are some tips that you should follow in a potential accident scenario:
- Check for injuries — Your first step should always be to make sure that you and any passengers are okay. If there are any serious injuries, call an ambulance immediately.
- Get your vehicle to a safe location — If everyone appears to be ok, your next step should be to get your vehicle to the side of the road or to a safe location, if possible. Once your vehicle is out of the mainstream of traffic, turn on your hazard lights and set up cones or flares to alert oncoming traffic to your presence.
- Call the police — You should file an accident report, particularly if the damage was extensive or if anyone was injured. When the officer arrives, he or she will assist with exchanging contact details and check to see if anyone was intoxicated while driving.
- Document the damage — Take pictures and notes of all of the damage done to your car and to any other vehicles involved in the accident. This is important for insurance claims and any potential legal processes that could result from the accident.
- Exchange information — Talk to other drivers and record names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information and anything other relevant details. Be sure to record witnesses’ contact information as well, if any were present.
Never take responsibility for an accident when talking to police or other drivers — this could potentially harm your case should it go to court. Furthermore, do not sign any statement or deposition without first seeking professional guidance.
To learn more about steps to take after a car accident in New York City, consult an attorney.