If you or a loved one has been injured in car accident or motor vehicle accident in Western New York, there are certain steps that you must take and certain steps that we recommend you take.
At the Scene of the Accident
Tend to your health first and call for an ambulance if necessary. It is also best to call the police to the scene so they can prepare a police report. If you do not call the police or they do not come, obtain the other driver’s name, address, license number, insurance company and insurance policy number. Get the name and address of the registered owner of the vehicle if that is different from the driver’s. Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle. Take pictures of the accident scene. Take pictures of any injuries you suffered. Write down the names of any witnesses and their contact information. The more evidence you accumulate, the better to support a claim for insurance or for damages.
Take Care of Your Health
See a doctor as soon as possible to treat any medical needs. What may seem like a minor injury may not go away on its own; when in doubt, see a doctor. Do not wait. Go to the doctor as soon as possible. If you lack health insurance, do not worry as New York No Fault insurance will pay your medical expenses (see below).
Notify Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company about the incident. They can help, but failing to notify your insurance company can cause problems. Some policies allow the insurance company to deny coverage if you have not notified them in a timely manner.
File a Claim for No-Fault Insurance
Everyone injured in a motor vehicle accident in New York (except motorcycle drivers and their passengers) is eligible for No Fault insurance. No Fault will pay your medical bills, lost wages and expenses related to the collision. If you were a driver or a passenger, you will receive your No Fault coverage through the insurance policy of the vehicle in which you rode. If you were a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by a motor vehicle, you will receive your No Fault coverage through the insurance policy of the vehicle that struck you. Call the insurance company and open a No Fault claim right away so you can access the medical care you need through your No Fault coverage.
You need to notify that insurance company of your injuries within 30 days of the accident if you want to be covered. You must also file a Notice of Accident form (the NF-2) with the insurer. You should submit the NF-2 form within 30 days of the accident to qualify for benefits.
Get a Police Report about the Accident
If the Police came to the scene, you should obtain a copy of the Police Report. In the first thirty days after the accident, you can obtain a copy of the report at the police precinct where the incident occurred. If necessary, notify the Police or the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
In New York State, each driver involved in a motor vehicle accident involving an injury or a death must report it to the police. If the accident involved more than $1,000 in property damage, each driver must file form MV-104 with the NYS Motor Vehicle Department within 10 days of the accident. Failure to complete these actions could result in a suspension of your license or an arrest.
When in Doubt, Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Experienced with New York Car Accidents and Motor Vehicle Accidents
If the accident involved a death, injuries or substantial property damage, you or your loved one may be entitled to seek compensation above what No-Fault insurance will pay. If you think you are entitled to compensation or if you have questions, you should seek the counsel of an attorney experienced with car accident and motor vehicle cases in New York State. When in doubt, call a good personal injury attorney experienced with motor vehicle cases. That consultation should be free.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, you may want to consult a New York personal injury attorney experienced with car crash cases. At the law firm of Bernhardi Lukasik, we would be glad to answer your questions and assist you. There is never a charge for the consultation.
You can call us at (716) 674-2424, toll-free at or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website. We have six convenient offices in West Seneca, Buffalo, Amherst, Niagara Falls, Lockport and Olean with free parking.