Motor Vehicle Accidents | Car & Truck Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are scary. Most people are in pain and quite shaken up. Follow these guidelines if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. This applies whether you are a driver, passenger, pedestrian or bicyclist.
At the Scene of the Accident
- First of all, call 911 and report the accident. Ask for the police and an ambulance.
- Second, do not move the cars after an accident. Leave the cars where they are unless directed to move them by an authority figure. This includes the police, ambulance personnel, or the fire department.
- Third, take pictures of the general scene, including any traffic control devises. Take pictures of all cars involved. Get the license plates. If you are injured at the scene, take pictures of your injuries too, Always make sure you can do this safely.
- Fourth, DO NOT speak with anyone from the other vehicles involved. You may exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, and license and insurance information. But do not discuss how the accident happened or anything about possible injuries. Of course, if you think your injuries are immediately life threatening, tell someone.
- Finally, wait at the scene for the police to arrive.
While still at the scene, get the names and information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident. Give the police this information. You must report the accident to the police within 24 hours of the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you are feeling any pain at the scene in any part of your body, tell the police and the ambulance personnel. Go to the hospital to get examined. However, you might not feel pain until later. Often you will not feel pain for several hours. Sometimes you may not feel pain for days. If you do feel pain hours or days after the accident, go to the hospital or doctor to get examined. Describe what happened to cause the pain.
Reporting & Insurance
- You must report the accident to the police within 24 hours of the accident. If you haven’t done so at the scene, contact the closest police precinct. Keep a record of the claim number and the name and direct phone number of the police official.
- Report the accident within 24 hours to your insurance carrier. Your automobile insurance carrier is typically responsible for paying for medical treatment for you and your passengers, up to $50,000. Even if you caused the accident, your insurance company is still responsible for payment. This is known as the “no-fault” insurance law. However, you must make a claim for these no-fault benefits within 30 days of the accident. Generally, your medical provider or a personal injury attorney will help you with the no-fault benefits paper work, but do not hesitate to file the claim. Thirty days passes quickly.
Pedestrians & Bicyclists
If a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist, the same guidelines apply. Take pictures of the scene, the bicycle and the offending vehicle, including the license plate. Let the police or ambulance assist you. Make sure you get a police report. Report the accident to your own automobile insurance, if any.
If the other vehicle involved in the accident flees the scene, or is uninsured, you still have rights! That applies whether the accident involves a motor vehicle, a pedestrian or a bicyclist. However you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours of the accident. Report the accident at the scene or at the closest police precinct.
New York State Requirements
New York State requires vehicle owners to have minimum bodily injury insurance coverage. It is $25,000 per person, and $50,000 per accident. However, the more coverage you have, the higher your protection if you are in an accident. Speak with your insurance carrier about the various coverage options. Your insurance carrier can give you the cost difference between the minimum coverage and higher coverage amounts. If you own your own house or apartment, you should also consider an umbrella policy.
REMEMBER – ALWAYS wear a seatbelt. Seatbelts save lives.