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What important steps should I take following a car accident?

Being in a car accident in New York can be a harrowing experience. Whether it is a seemingly minor fender-bender or a full-scale head-on collision, there are steps a driver can take to ensure their rights are protected following an accident. While the following cannot be considered personal legal advice, it should give you some good general information about what to do after a car crash.

First and foremost, seek medical help. Even if you do not think you are injured, a medical evaluation could be very important. Some serious injuries, such as internal injuries or concussions don’t always immediately show symptoms, meaning it could be well after the accident before the victim realizes they are injured.

Exchanging information with the other parties is another step to take. This includes each party’s name, address, phone numbers and insurance information. Obtaining contact information from witnesses can also prove to be invaluable. If you talk to witnesses, take notes.

Victims should also record in writing what happened to them during and after the crash. For example, keeping a record of medical expenses, missed work and taking photos right after the accident can all be useful in a personal injury case. Writing down your recollections of exactly what happened before, during and after the accident may also be helpful.

Of course, seeking legal help is also an important step. Attorneys may be able to assist you with all the above steps, as well as representing you during negotiations and litigation if needed.

All of these steps may seem obvious at first glance. However, a car accident can be incredibly stressful, making remembering these steps difficult. That being said, what you do or do not do following an accident can affect the outcome of any personal injury claims you may file following the crash.

Source: FindLaw.com, “First Steps in Personal Injury Claim,” Accessed Aug. 24, 2014