What Information Should I Get After a Car Accident?
If you are involved in a car accident in New York City, you should get certain information from the other driver. The law requires you and the driver or drivers with whom you collided to stop your vehicles and share your insurance information before leaving the scene. When one or more drivers leaves the scene of an accident that produced property damage or injuries without stopping and following certain legal requirements, that driver can face significant consequences. Anyone who is injured probably will need to make an uninsured motorist claim. The New York City car accident lawyers at Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP may be able to help you with this process.
After a car accident, you need to stop at the scene of the crash to exchange information or give reasonable assistance to anyone who may be injured. You should stop whether the collision occurred with another driver, a parked car, a pedestrian, or another piece of property. If you choose to leave the scene of an accident, you can be charged with a hit and run, and you may face fines and incarceration, as well as the loss of your driver's license.
You should exchange the following information with the other driver or drivers involved in the collision: your name, your driver's license number, the vehicle identification number of the car, the name and address of the car's owner, the name and address of your insurer, and the policy number.
In addition to this mandatory information, you may want to try to note down who owns the car, the names of passengers in the other car, and witnesses. You should also take photographs and sketch the position of the vehicles in relation to landmarks on the street if you can. You should note how busy the road is, anything unusual about the road or vehicles, and weather conditions such as rain or snow. You should not volunteer your opinion about who was at fault.
You should also call the New York City Police Department immediately if somebody has been injured or killed. An officer should come out to the scene to interview witnesses and look at the damage. A report will be prepared in which the likely cause of the accident will be determined. You should make sure that the investigating officer records complete insurance information for all of the drivers involved in the report.
New York is a no-fault state. You need to carry minimum liability insurance of $25,000/50,000 for injuries and $50,000/100,000 for death. Moreover, you must also carry no-fault coverage to provide coverage for any injuries that you experience due to the accident. Your own insurer is supposed to pay up to a certain amount for your injuries. You will not be able to sue the other party for your injuries unless you experience serious injuries or reach a certain threshold of economic damages. Even if the other driver leaves the scene, as long as your injuries are minor, you should be able to recover medical expenses and wage loss from your own insurer.
In some cases, the police may be able to track down a hit and run driver. The other driver may be charged with a crime and can face a fine and jail time. If the driver is insured, and you meet the criteria for serious injuries or the threshold for damages, you can sue the driver. Your attorney will need to prove negligence in most cases. If the police are unable to locate the hit and run driver, you will need to file a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage on your policy.
If you are seriously injured in a New York City car accident, you should get the other driver's information immediately. It is also vital to consult an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP provides aggressive legal representation in car accident cases. We represent victims in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Call us at 718-896-2700 or complete our online form.