Becoming injured after an accident that was not your fault can turn your life upside down. Figuring out what steps to take after an accident can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’re faced with medical bills, auto repair bills, or other kinds of damages. Crashes on Westchester County roads in 2007 alone resulted in $36.7 million of hospitalization fees not to mention serious injuries and other damages. If you have recently been in an accident in Westchester County and have suffered damages and hospital bills as a result, we have created a checklist to help guide you through the steps you should take.
Steps to Take After an Accident in Westchester County
1. Take Care of Your Health
The first step you should take after any accident is to see a medical professional. Even if you are not seriously injured, a medical professional will be able to track and monitor minor injuries so there will be records of them in the event that they develop into something more serious down the road. A doctor will also be able to refer you to specialists, such as physical or occupational therapists, who will be able to further help you get back on track with your life.
Finally, a medical professional will be able to provide official documentation of your injuries. This official documentation will be extremely important if you choose to pursue a legal route for compensation in the future.
2. Document the Accident Scene and Collect Evidence
Collecting evidence at the scene is an essential step to take after an accident. This evidence can help point to who is responsible for the accident and can show exactly what damage was caused. If you have a camera with you, take pictures of the scene of the accident and of the damages. In addition to photographs, write down exactly what happened to you during and after the accident. Creating a timeline can be useful to help remember the exact sequence of events in the future. If there were any witnesses to the accident, make sure you get their names and contact information.
In the weeks after the accident, continue to write down everything that occurs in relation to the accident including conversations you have with anyone else involved, doctors appointments, lost time at work and lost wages. Keep all of your medical bills and any other bills related to damages from the accident.
3. File and Obtain a Copy of a Police Report
If a police officer responded to the scene of your accident, there is probably a police report on file. You are entitled to receive one of these reports and it’s advisable to acquire it as soon as possible. It is a good idea to contact the agency who filed the report as soon as possible after the accident to prevent any delays. Police reports can help identify specifics of the accident such as the time of day, date, location, and weather conditions at the scene. The report can also offer a preliminary assessment of fault, which is especially important in car accident cases. Police reports can also identify witnesses and others who responded to the accident scene. In some situations, there will be witness statements included in the police report but at a minimum, the report should list the names and contact information of the witnesses. For information on how to obtain a police report in Westchester County, click here.
4. Consult an Attorney Immediately
The best way to stay safe is to be cautious, but if an accident strikes, perhaps at one of Westchester County’s most dangerous intersections, then a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you. If you choose to take legal action to gain compensation from those responsible for your accident and injury, it is very important to seek out an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately to guide you through the process.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
The attorney’s at David B. Lever & Associates will be able to analyze the evidence and information you’ve collected and can advise you on the next steps to take regarding your claim.
Seeking out a personal injury lawyer is important because of laws in New York’s statutes of limitations. Statutes of limitations outline the maximum time frame one has to bring forward certain types of lawsuits and that time frame begins when the accident occurred. Once the statute of limitations expires on your accident, you may be barred from bringing forward a lawsuit and lose your chance to recover damages for your injuries. If you are attempting to make a claim against a government entity as opposed to a corporation or individual, the statute of limitations is different and there are complicated timeframes that must be met.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know the statute of limitations on your case and work quickly to ensure that your case is filed in a timely manner. Our lawyers have experience in a wide variety of practice areas, a list of which can be found here. Although our offices are in White Plains and Brooklyn, New York, we frequently serve residents from all over Westchester County including Yonkers, Port Chester, and Mount Vernon. Contact us for a free case evaluation and consultation.
Westchester County Accident Resource Center
We’ve put together a resource center for you in the event you are in an accident in Westchester County. There are many local resources available for you to help you although we have only listed three popular ones below. As we mentioned above, filing and obtaining a police report is a very important step to take after an accident, for information on how to obtain a police report in Westchester County, click here.
New York-Presbyterian Hospital – Westchester Division
21 Bloomingdale Rd
White Plains, NY 10605
Surgical Auto Repair
40 N MacQuesten Pkwy
Mt Vernon, NY 10550
White Plains City Police Department
77 S Lexington Ave
White Plains, NY 10601