What to do if you have a Car Accident in New York State

Was a police report filed?
  • Keeping our clients properly informed and educated is of utmost importance to us. So, today we are providing some brief pointers as to what you need to do if you or a loved one is involved in a car accident.

    First and foremost, stop, take a breath and try to calm down. Then, consider the following steps:

    • If you or anyone else appears injured, immediately call 911 for medical and police assistance;
    • Make sure any injured person is as comfortable as possible and is kept warm without moving the person yourself;
    • If possible, make an effort to prevent further accidents and to protect the accident scene by not leaving a drivable vehicle in a position of danger. Occupants should not remain in such a vehicle if they are unharmed and can move about freely. Remember to have someone warn approaching traffic until the police arrive;
    • If able to do so, exchange license and insurance information with everyone involved in the accident;
    • If there are any witnesses, try to get their names; and
    • Take photos of the accident scene, the location of the vehicles, license plates, and car damage.

    After the accident scene is cleared and you take care of any injuries, there are several procedural steps you need to take to protect yourself and be in a position to proceed with the recovery of expenses and for any injuries and damage you suffer:

    • Report the accident to your own automobile insurance company;
    • File an Accident Report with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the accident if a person is injured or killed, or there is property damage that exceeds $1000;
    • If you are injured, immediately obtain a No-Fault claim application obtained from your own automobile insurance company. New York State No-Fault claims must be filed within 30 days of the accident; and
    • All medical bills must be submitted to your insurance company within 45 days of the medical service provided and any claims for lost wages must be submitted within 90 days.

    Please note that if you are a passenger in a vehicle, you should submit your claim to the insurance company of the owner/driver of the vehicle in which you are a passenger.

    If you have sustained an injury and need assistance with any or all of the above, our law firm offers to our clients such assistance at no cost.

    In addition, in an effort to assist both potential and existing clients, we've created the "Buffalo Car Accident" mobile phone app tor those of you who have smartphones and use those phones for much of your daily information. The App makes it faster and easier to gather facts about a car accident at the time of the accident, rather than searching for a piece of paper to jot down notes. The App provides straightforward to-do's, fact and evidence gathering tools and has photo/video capabilities to ensure that you or a loved one is informed and protected if a motor vehicle accident occurs.

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