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Elyse J. Stern receives 2017 Outstanding Women in Law award from Hofstra Law.

Involved in a Car Accident in the Bronx?

CAR ACCIDENT CHECKLIST

What should you do if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident?

  1. Stop immediately and be careful of oncoming traffic. If possible, do not change the position or location of your vehicles unless they present a danger to fellow motorists.  The manner in which the vehicles are positioned immediately following impact of the accident may provide important information for police.

  2. Do not leave the scene of an accident.  In many states, it is a crime to leave the scene of the accident, especially where there is bodily injury, until after the police arrive.

  3. Keep calm and try not to panic.  While anxiety levels are high at the accident scene, it is necessary to keep your wits about you so you can make reasonable decisions and obtain the necessary information to protect your future interests.

  4. Aid the injured, if possible.  Try not to discuss the accident but take notes of any statements of fault made to you by the other driver(s).  The less said, the better.  Be a good listener.

  5. Call the police by dialing 911 and take photographs of all the vehicular damage involved.  It is an excellent idea to carry a disposable camera in your car or use your cell phone camera, if possible, to preserve this most important evidence.  Points of impacts and the nature of the damage are critical in assessing the fault and the extent of the property damage may be useful in determining the speed of the vehicle.

  6. Exchange information with the other driver - name, address, license number, telephone number, registration, and insurance information.  In addition to the driver information, it is important to get the owner information, as well as the names of any passengers involved.

  7. Identify any eyewitnesses and get their names, addresses, phone numbers, and statements.

  8. It is no longer necessary to file an accident report with the Department of Motor Vehicles in many States, but you should contact your insurer to determine the need to do so.  Get a copy of the police accident report to assist you, if such filings are required.

  9. Depending upon the nature and extent of your injuries, go to a hospital emergency room for evaluation and treatment.  See your doctor if you are injured.  If you do not have a doctor, ask the hospital staff for the names of the appropriate medical specialists, as necessary, for follow up care and treatment.

  10. Notify your insurance agent or insurance company immediately and get a claim number.

  11. Protect your legal rights. Contact us for information and legal assistance.

Question: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO COMMENCE AN INVESTIGATION AS SOON AFTER AN ACCIDENT AS POSSIBLE?

Answer: IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER THERE WAS NEGLIGENCE.

In order to determine whether the other driver was negligent, it is important to take early photographs of the damaged vehicles, the appearance of the roadway or intersection, skid marks, and other key evidence while they are still available.  Success is based upon proper trial preparation, which must be started as soon as possible in order to preserve all available evidence before it is altered, disturbed or repaired.  It has been our experience that to succeed at obtaining large recoveries for automobile accident victims, we must investigate collisions and gather information from the scene for presentation to the jury.  If you do not have a camera or are unable to obtain vehicular damage or accident scene photos, we will arrange to have them taken for you, so it is extremely important to call or have a relative contact us as soon as possible after being involved in an accident.

All insurance companies are motivated by self-profit and generally put their interests first.  Even your own insurance company has a private agenda.  Before speaking with any insurance company representative, contact us at the Stern Law Firm first to discuss your options and to protect your rights!