There isn’t only one way to recuperate after a car accident. But since it involves a little work and decision-making, there can naturally be errors along the way. While the process is flexible in some areas, it’s important to understand what will happen if you misinterpret or forget essential follow-up steps.
Taking a thoughtful approach can help you receive the compensation you need to restore your health or your vehicle. This includes making sure you don’t:
- Leave the crash site too soon: State law requires you to check in with the other party and exchange contact and insurance information. It’s also mandatory to call the police when anyone involved in the crash is facing injuries or property damage is present. Leaving without taking these steps might make it difficult to seek compensation if there is no record of the crash. You could also wind up with fees, jail time and a criminal charge if you flee the scene.
- Take 100% of the blame: Although some of your actions or inattentiveness could have played a role in the crash, you shouldn’t take the blame for any of it. Personal injury settlements in the state of New York are based on a comparative negligence system. Meaning any percentage of fault that a police officer determines was yours will reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover.
- Diagnose your own injuries: After being involved in a crash, it’s crucial to have a medical expert look at your injuries. Deciding to just shake pain or soreness off isn’t always the best idea, as self-diagnosing may lead to chronic pain or greater room for error. For example, you might write off all your injuries as whiplash-related. Weeks could pass by and you are still in pain. This is because you might really be experiencing a disk, ligament or joint injury that requires a specific treatment plan aside from home remedies. It’s also worth noting that your medical record is a good way to begin to prove you need repayment for medical costs and pain.
Even if you think you missed a few steps while following up after a crash, you should still go after the justice you deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you wherever you are at in the recovery and compensation process.