Being in a multi-vehicle car accident can be a terrifying and disorienting experience. The shock, noise and sudden chaos can leave you feeling bewildered and unsure of what to do next.
Knowing the right steps to take following such an accident in New York can help ensure your safety and protect your interests.
Ensuring safety after a multi-vehicle car accident
Your safety and the safety of others should be your priority following a multi-vehicle accident. Check yourself for injuries and, if possible, move to a safe location away from traffic. If someone has injuries, call 911 immediately.
Exchanging information with other drivers
Next, you need to exchange information with all other drivers involved. Collect their names, contact information, insurance details and vehicle identification numbers. Remember to be polite and cooperative, but avoid discussing the accident or admitting fault.
Contacting the police
In New York, you should call the police after any accident, but this is particularly critical in a multi-vehicle crash. The police will document the scene and create a report, which you may need when dealing with insurance companies. Provide your account of the incident, but avoid speculating about who caused the accident.
Documenting the scene
Take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved and any visible injuries. If there are witnesses, get their contact information and ask them what they saw.
Seeking medical attention
Even if you do not think you have an injury, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately but can cause problems later on. You may need a medical report when dealing with insurance companies.
Reporting the accident to your insurance company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the details and documentation you have gathered. Be honest and thorough, but avoid speculating about who was at fault.
Although safety should be your top priority, knowing what to do after a multi-vehicle car accident can help protect you and your interests.