What to Do After a Car Accident in New York

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If you have been involved in a car accident in New York, you likely have several questions about your next steps. Over the years of treating car accident victims, we have heard several questions come up regarding car accidents. Some questions are best answered by an attorney, but we have compiled some general information to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about car accidents and what to do afterward. We believe this information is helpful for car accident victims and will help them to be successful with their recovery and any future claim.

What Happens if I’m Involved in a Car Accident in New York?

If you have been involved in a car accident, there are a few steps you should take to ensure the safety of yourself and others, as well as the success of any future recovery or claim. After a car accident, you should:

  • Make sure everybody is okay. Check for any injuries you or your passengers may have, and make sure the other driver or passengers are alright.

 

  • Get to a safe location. If the accident is a minor fender bender, get to a safe location that is not blocking traffic, such as a nearby parking lot. If the accident is serious and either of the vehicles cannot be driven, wait in a safe location away from traffic while you wait for assistance.

 

  • Exchange information with the other driver. Write down the contact information, license plate number, vehicle registration, and insurance policy information of the other person and give your information to the other person.

 

  • Take pictures or video of any damage and pertinent information. Take photos and video of damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle. You may also want to photograph the location of the crash and any damage to other structures such as signs, sidewalks, etc.

 

  • File a claim with your insurance company. Call your insurance company to report the accident right away, even if the accident was not your fault. Your insurance company will open a claim and begin the claims process so that you can get any coverage you are entitled to from your policy.

 

  • Call the police to the scene. Call the police to the scene and get a copy of the police report that is written up.

 

  • Seek medical attention. Let the paramedics examine you, and if you have any pain or injuries, no matter how minor, allow the paramedics to transport you to the hospital for further examination. 

Should I Call the Police After an Accident?

Yes. Often when someone is involved in a minor fender bender, they believe calling the police is unnecessary. After an auto wreck, the police should be dispatched to the scene of the accident, even if the accident is minor. The police will take statements from both drivers and any witnesses, and make a report. This report is often required by insurance companies when investigating claims, and they can be very useful for documenting events that someone may later forget.

The police can also make necessary arrangements to tow any vehicles from the scene or to dispatch paramedics to check out any injuries.

Do I Need to Get Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

Many people decline medical attention after an accident because they feel fine or believe that their injuries are minor. However, some injuries may take some time to manifest or may become worse later. If you have any pain, stiffness, or any other noticeable symptoms, allow the paramedics to examine you and transport you to the hospital if necessary. Having early documentation of any injuries or symptoms can be helpful not only for any insurance or personal injury claims but also for doctors who will later treat you.

If you have any development in symptoms or pain, see an experienced accident doctor get these examined and documented. Having a clear-cut paper trail of your treatment will help you get the future care that you need and help your doctor prescribe the best treatment plan for you.

Do I Have to Report the Accident to My Auto Insurance Company?

Even if the accident is minor and nobody is hurt, you should report any accident to your insurance company. Your insurance company will open a claim and investigate the accident, as well as make any necessary communication with the other party’s insurance company. Reporting the accident to your insurance company will ensure that you are protected from any future claims made by the other driver and that any property damage or injuries of the other party are accounted for.

What Should I Tell My Insurance Company?

When you call your insurance company to report the accident, there are a few things you should tell them. Tell them that there has been an accident, your account of the accident, whether anyone was hurt, and whether police were dispatched to the scene. Give your insurance company the other vehicle’s information, as well as the contact and insurance information of the other driver. Answer any other questions that the representative may ask you.

What if I Am Injured in a Car Accident in New York?

If you have been injured in a car accident, promptly seek medical attention. Allow the paramedics at the scene to examine you and transport you to the hospital for further examination if necessary. See a doctor to document any developing injuries and to prescribe you a proper treatment plan. Report all injuries, including worsened pain or restrictions to daily activities, to your insurance company or personal injury attorney if applicable.

Depending on the severity of your injuries, your injuries may be covered by your insurance policy, the other driver’s insurance company, or by a personal injury settlement.

How Do I Select a Doctor After a Car Accident?

Finding a doctor after a car wreck is a very important step to an accident victim’s recovery. Depending on the severity of the injuries, extensive treatment may be necessary to get the patient back to living the life he or she was living prior to the accident. Choosing a top accident doctor from a wide array of options may seem overwhelming and confusing. Who you choose to seek treatment from can impact any claim you may have as well as your recovery.

While many doctors may be able to give excellent treatment, choosing a physician who has extensive experience working with accident victims is beneficial for locating injuries that a patient may not know to look for, and for navigating the post-accident process with the patient.

Look for a doctor who is known for working with accident patients. This does not have to be the sole patient base of the doctor, but the more experienced, the better. Ask for recommendations from friends, family members, or other medical professionals. If you have an attorney, your attorney may have somebody in mind who deals with accident patients. Your insurance company may also have a list of providers who they typically work with.

What Should I Tell My Doctor at My Doctor’s Visits?

When visiting with a doctor, whether it be a doctor of your choosing, one your insurance company recommended, or an IME doctor, it is important to be completely honest and leave nothing out. In the aftermath of an auto accident, it may be tempting to leave out certain medical histories, such as previous injuries, preexisting conditions, or family history, or to exaggerate or fabricate pain or symptoms. This is always a bad idea.

A doctor is there to evaluate your injuries and help treat them, and he or she cannot do his job properly without the full information. Even if you think the information is not relevant or helpful, let your doctor make that decision. It is in your best interest to be as truthful as possible so that your doctor can help you recover. Additionally, doctors are trained to spot exaggerations or bluffs, and this can be used against you later. You owe it to yourself to get the best treatment possible.

Who Pays for My Medical Bills?

Coverage for your medical bills is dependent on a few things. Typically, a car accident victim’s injuries will be covered by either the victim’s insurance policy or the other driver’s insurance company. Coverage by a victim’s own policy will depend on a couple of things: who was at fault, whether the victim has a “no-fault” insurance policy, how extensive the injuries are, and what the policy limits of their insurance coverage is, among other things.

Depending on the answers to these questions, a person’s medical bills could be covered by their own insurance policy or the other driver’s insurance company. In some cases, a person will choose to file a lawsuit against the other driver personally or their insurance company. Speaking to your insurance company or personal injury attorney will help you get answers to your specific situation.

What is “No Fault” Insurance in New York?

In New York, drivers are required to carry up to $50,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This is also known as “no-fault” insurance, because PIP coverage covers up to $50,000 of a driver’s expenses from car accident injuries, regardless of who was at fault.

A driver with a PIP policy can seek up to $50,000 of coverage from their own insurance company for any medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses without having to seek coverage from the other driver’s insurance company.

PIP does not cover property damage, pain and suffering, or major injuries exceeding $50,000. Any coverage for these types of claims must be sought out from the other party’s insurance company.

Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

If your accident was a minor fender bender and your injuries are minor, you will likely be covered by your insurance policy and not have to worry much. If your injuries or property damage are serious, you may benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney to help you negotiate a settlement with the other party’s insurance company.

A personal injury attorney is familiar with the claims process and what a fair settlement amount actually is. They can help you avoid taking a low settlement offer and get what you deserve. Many attorneys offer free consultations so that you can ask questions about your situation and have an idea of what steps to take and what an attorney can do to help you.

What if the Car Accident was My Fault?

Because of New York’s “no-fault” insurance, even if the accident was your fault, the other person will be covered by their insurance company so long as their injuries do not exceed $50,000 for medical treatment, lost wages, or other expenses. Your insurance company will likely be liable for covering any property damage sustained by the other driver.

If you are uninsured, you may be held personally liable for any property damage or serious medical injuries.

What Should I Expect from The Insurance Claims Process?

After you report the accident to your insurance company, the insurance company will open a claim and you will be assigned a claims adjuster. You will probably be contacted a few times by the insurance company to take recorded statements, ask questions, and update you about any developments to your claim.

The insurance company will ask for any documentation you have, such as police reports and medical records from doctors’ visits. If your car has been damaged, your insurance company will make arrangements for repairs at a repair shop and keep you updated about the repair process.

Let your insurance company know about any doctors’ visits you make and let your doctors know that you are in the claims process. This will allow your doctor to communicate effectively with the insurance company, if necessary, and make any necessary documentation regarding the cause of your injuries and how they are related to the accident.

Should I File a Lawsuit?

In some cases, your injuries may be so severe that the other party’s policy limits will not cover them. Often, their insurance company may attempt to offer a settlement that is inadequate.

A personal injury attorney can help you determine if filing a lawsuit is the right choice for you. Attending a free initial consultation will help you answer any questions you have as well as decide whether you need an attorney’s help.

Do I Have to Attend an IME?

If you are involved in a lawsuit with the other driver’s insurance company, you may be asked to attend an Independent Medical Examination (IME) so that another doctor can conduct an examination of your injuries. Although this may seem like it could hurt your case, it is in your best interest to attend an IME.

While an IME physician may seem like he or she is on the side of the insurance company, the IME physician is still a physician. Being honest about your symptoms, injuries, and any medical history will help the IME doctor make a determination about your injuries and avoid any findings of exaggeration or untruthfulness. If the IME doctor disputes your doctor’s findings, your personal injury attorney can help you through the next steps.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident in New York?

In New York state, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is three years after the date of the accident, barring some exceptions. In most cases, if you file a claim for property damage or personal injury more than three years after the date of the accident, your claim will be thrown out.

Experienced Injury Doctors Can Help You Recover from Your Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident in New York, medical treatment is a crucial part of the process. Top accident doctors listed in our directory have years of experience treating accident victims, and we are familiar with the process. These physicians make sure that your injuries are properly identified, and documented so that we can prescribe the best treatment plan possible. Accident doctors will work hard job is to help you get better so that you can return to your normal life faster. For questions about treatment or to schedule an appointment call one of the New York top accident doctors listed below.

 

Top Car Accident Doctors in New York