Car accidents cause serious injuries, and disrupt your life. When you hire a ride service, you are putting your life in a total stranger’s hands. You are trusting someone that was randomly selected for you to get you to your destination safely. As a passenger, a car accident can be especially traumatic. These ride services may be responsible for your injuries. Other vehicles involved in the collision may also be responsible for your injuries. One thing is certain, as an innocent passenger, you are not responsible.
Be very careful about what you say to anyone at the scene of the accident. Any statements that you may make could be used against you later on, such as apologies or admissions. Make a mental note of the sum and substance of anything that is said to you at the scene. Insurance companies will contact you to get a statement and what you say will be recorded. Consult with an attorney before making any statements to these companies. Also, be cautious when discussing the accident with friends and family; they could be called as witnesses to what you may have said.
File a Police Report
Call the police and make an accident report. This one report will document the date, time and location of the collision. The police will take statements at the scene and incorporate whatever is said into the report. This report will document where each vehicle is damaged. It will also state if anyone was taken from the scene by ambulance. Police reports are valuable pieces of evidence we use to litigate your case. Do not worry about receiving a copy of the report at the scene, we can obtain a copy on your behalf.
Gather Driver Information
Record the make, model and license plate information of all vehicles involved. Ask for the license and insurance information of all drivers involved. Taking a photograph of this information may expedite things.
Be sure to take photographs of the location of the vehicles involved as they are positioned in the road. Take photographs of where the vehicles are in relation to each other. Also, take photographs of any damage done to either vehicle. These photographs could help if there is ever a dispute as to how the collision occurred.
Make sure you are checked by a physician as soon as possible. If you are asked about any complaints you have, be sure to mention everything that is bothering you, no matter how minor you may think it is. Insurance companies will often look at what initial complaints you made to assess which injuries were caused by the accident and which injuries may have developed later from unrelated causes.
No Fault Application
In New York State, registered motor vehicles must have minimum liability insurance amounts. The minimum policy limits are $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injuries per person, $50,000/$100,000 for deaths, and $10,000 for property damage per accident. These benefits are paid regardless of who may be at fault for the happening of the accident. You only have thirty (30) days to file an application for these benefits. Many times, a hospital will assist you with this application or a competent attorney can file it on your behalf. You should also be sure to notify your insurance company of your intention to pursue a claim for Supplemental Underinsured Coverage and/or Supplemental Uninsured Coverage.
You will be receiving medical reports and bills so keep a file or folder to store them in an orderly fashion. As your attorneys, we can order many of these medical reports from the provider’s directly. As part of our intake process, we obtain authorizations from you to allow us to receive these records and keep them safe. These records will be vital in your case; they will be used to prove what injuries your sustained and what treatments you underwent.
Insurance companies will investigate your claims. As part of these investigations, adjusters may view your social media accounts. Do not post anything on these accounts about the accident. Also, refrain from posting anything about vacations you have taken since the accident or any strenuous activities you have participated in, such as working out at a gym.
Insurance companies know that you may be placed in a difficult financial situation during this time. You have medical bills accumulating and may be out-of-work for a while. These companies may offer you money to settle your claim. However, initial offers are usually low and it is difficult to settle a claim before you are even done treating. As your attorneys, we can help you value your potential case and guide you as to when the right time to discuss settlement offers may be. If you accept a settlement, you may be waiving your right to take further legal action and obtain the future help that you deserve.
Call Gulotta & Gulotta to help you handle these issues and many more that may arise. Let us help protect your rights so that you can focus on your recovery. The law limits how long you have to pursue legal action, so do not hesitate; contact us today for a free consultation.
By: Gulotta & Gulotta, PLLC, Law Firm located in Ronkonkoma, NY. Gulotta & Gulotta primarily focus on personal injury cases, as well as real estate law, matrimonial law, wills, and will occasionally take on cases that involves New York traffic laws.