The New York Personal Injury Blog

What to Do After a Car Accident

If you're in a car accident, what do you need to do?

For starters, when getting into a vehicle accident, you have to stop your car. This is even more important and even imperative when your accident results in personal injury to someone, whether minor or serious.

But that's not all.

You also have to trade information with the other driver, if they're able to exchange information with you. You must provide your name, address and the registration number of your vehicle.

Now, if the other person is not able to exchange information, presumably because the other person is injured, you have even more of a duty to stay at the scene and call 911.

If you don't stay at the scene, you could find yourself in bigger trouble than you'd think. It's not just morally wrong to leave the scene of an accident, it's also a potential crime. There's even the possibility of jail time for fleeing the scene of an accident, depending on the circumstances.

And if there's a death by vehicle, you can face even more jail time, if your criminal negligence caused the accident. This can be the case when the accident was caused by excessive speeding, DUI, or other forms of reckless driving. While those charges are pretty bad, fleeing from them won't make a bad situation better. It will only make the situation that much worse.

If you're in a car accident, here are some additional tips you may want to consider:

  • Collect and preserve evidence. Take pictures of the scene, your vehicle, and your injuries if any.

  • Take notes. If you don't have a camera, jot down what happened as soon as possible after the crash. Include details about damage and injuries.

  • Don't say too much. If the other party's insurance company comes calling, you may want to direct them to your own insurance company. Hiring a lawyer can also be a smart move, depending on the circumstances of your crash.

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