Should You Always Call the Police After a Car Accident in NYC?

Being involved in a car accident is always scary and disorienting. The moments immediately after the accident are critical for both your immediate health needs and your ultimate monetary recovery, so it is important that you act in your own best interest.

You should always call 911 and request the presence of law enforcement officers at the scene of your accident. Police officers can help you at the scene by alerting other drivers to approach the area carefully, preventing the other party from fleeing the scene, and compiling an official car accident report, which will be vital in your attempt to recover compensation.

Car accidents can cause serious injuries. You deserve serious legal representation to match. To get a free initial case assessment from our seasoned NYC car accident lawyers, reach out to The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.

Why Call the Police After a Car Accident in NYC?

There are a number of reasons why you should always call 911 immediately after you have been involved in a car accident. Doing so can protect you from suffering additional harm in both the short and long term.

Prevent Additional Crashes

One of the most important benefits of having law enforcement at the scene of the accident is to prevent the situation from worsening. Accidents in high-traffic areas, which are plentiful in New York, can become worse when other drivers are not aware of the situation and cause secondary collisions. This is particularly common in accidents that occur at night or during inclement weather. The presence of police cars and other emergency vehicles on the scene can alert other drivers to the situation and prevent it from worsening.

Stop Hit-and-Runs

Police officers are also vital to preventing the other party from fleeing the scene. Under New York law, any driver that is involved in a collision is legally obligated to remain at the scene until license and insurance information has been exchanged. However, some drivers will still attempt to flee the scene, perhaps because they were driving without proper licensing or insurance coverage, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or simply scared. If the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, it can make your recovery efforts more challenging.

Get an Official Police Car Accident Report

Police officers that respond to an accident that results in death, bodily injury, or at least $500 in property damage are required by law to investigate the accident at the scene and submit their findings in an official crash report. Car accident injury victims will need to use the crash report for any car insurance claim, but it can also be useful to serve as the basis for preparing a lawsuit. If you need help obtaining your accident report, contact one of our seasoned Queens car accident attorneys.

Request Emergency Medical Care

In your 911 call with the emergency dispatcher, you can also request that an ambulance be sent to the scene to deal with any immediate injuries caused by the accident. Even if you are not sure whether you or others have sustained serious injuries, it is always better to be safe than sorry when your health is concerned.

What Else Should You Do at the Scene of a Car Accident in NYC?

Calling 911 and getting help from emergency services like law enforcement and emergency medical technicians may be the most important step that you can take at the scene of the accident. However, there are several other steps that you should have in mind if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of a New York car accident.

Get to Safety

Before even calling 911, you should do your best to make sure that you and your passengers are free and clear of the immediate area of danger. If your vehicle is drivable, slowly pull over to the nearest shoulder or side street to avoid secondary collisions. If your car is disabled, turn on your hazards and deploy flares if you have them to indicate your position to passing traffic, then exit the vehicle and get off of the road.

Talk to Eyewitnesses

Individuals who witnessed the events leading up to the accident can be a vital source of testimony if and when your day in court arrives. This testimony is also the hardest type of evidence to obtain once you leave the scene of the accident. Do your best to obtain contact information from anyone who could help explain how the accident occurred to give yourself the best chance of success down the road.

Take Pictures and Video

In the course of their investigation, law enforcement officers may choose to document the scene of the accident using photos, which may be made available in the accident report. However, once the investigation is over, all visual evidence not collected is gone for good. It is always best to have reliable backup documentation on the damage to the vehicles, the location and circumstances of the accident, any tire tracks left on the road, and weather and visibility conditions at the time.

Get Medical Attention

If you do not receive treatment from emergency medical technicians at the scene of the accident, you should always go directly to your nearest emergency room or urgent care facility after you leave the scene, even if you are not sure whether you sustained injury or you do not think that your condition is too serious. Many car accident injuries can cause conditions like internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that may not present immediately but can worsen the longer they go undiagnosed. Creating an immediate medical record is also vital for your legal claims, as you can eliminate the ability of the other side to argue that you sustained your injuries from some incident that occurred after the accident.

Talk to Our NYC Car Accident Attorneys About Your Case for Free

When you call the Bronx car accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 today, you can see immediate benefits in your attempt to recover, starting with a free-of-charge initial case assessment.