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Traffic accidents are some of the most common ways that people find themselves interacting with the legal system. In fact, according to a report by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, there are almost 70,000 traffic accidents every year in New York City alone. Despite the prevalence of these accidents, many people do not know the proper steps to take immediately after a traffic accident. It is important to understand that people have a legal duty to remain on the scene after an accident, so it is important not to flee. Fortunately, there are a variety of simple things people can do right after the accident occurs to ensure their own safety and to prepare for any legal consequences of the accident. 

Ensuring Your Safety

The first thing to do following a traffic accident is to take steps to keep both the people involved in the accident and bystanders safe. First, check for any injuries that require medical attention. If there are any serious injuries call 911, but do not move the injured party. That is a decision that the paramedics should make once they arrive on the scene. If the accident is minor enough that no one is harmed and the cars can still be moved, the involved drivers should move their cars to the side of the road. This can help reduce the risk of further accidents or injuries that could occur due to passing traffic.

Preparing for the Aftermath

Once the injuries have been dealt with and the cars have been moved, it is important to begin focusing on the more long-term legal ramifications of the traffic accident. To that end, you should make sure that the accident gets reported to the police, who will likely come to the scene to take statements and determine if a police report needs to be filed. While waiting for the police, the parties should exchange their contact and insurance information to make sure they can handle any legal issues going forward. Once the police arrive, be polite and courteous, but never make any statements that admit fault or accept responsibility for the accident.

Additionally, it is important to make contact with any witnesses and to take their information in case the parties need to contact them in the future. Beyond documenting the witnesses, it is also important to document the damage to both of the vehicles. Photographs can be very useful in showing damages and filing insurance claims. After completing the documentation, the parties should contact their insurance company to make them aware of the accident and to file the claim.

If you have recently been involved in a traffic accident, contact a New York City personal injury attorney today. Our firm can review your accident and help you to better understand your options.

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Keogh Crispi

521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1740
New York, NY 10175

Phone: 212-518-2417
Fax: 212-818-0180
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