What Happens if You Get into a Car Accident but Don’t Speak English in NYC?
Navigating the aftermath of an auto accident as a non-English speaker can be challenging. If you find yourself in such a situation, there are certain things you should do to document your accident.
If you’re injured in a car accident and do not speak English in New York City, you should still call the police. Law enforcement officials might have a translator who can facilitate communications. Even if you are unable to communicate verbally, police officers can still gather important information about your accident. Take pictures of the accident site as well. Victims should also go to the hospital, as a language barrier does not limit their ability to seek medical care. If you are an immigrant and do not speak English, know you can still likely recover compensation after a car accident in New York City.
Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 to get a free and confidential case evaluation from our New York City car accident lawyers.
What to Do if You Get into a Car Accident in NYC but Don’t Speak English
Not speaking English and getting into a car accident in New York City can be a scary prospect. Not only have you likely sustained injuries and property damage, but you may find it challenging to interact with law enforcement officials and other emergency personnel. While it may be frustrating, you should still follow the same crucial steps after an accident, such as calling the police and going to the hospital. Victims who don’t speak English should also take photos, which can surpass any language barrier. Know that you have rights, and don’t be intimidated by a negligent driver who might attempt to use the fact that you don’t speak English against you.
Call the Police
After a car accident in New York City, whether victims speak English or not, the police should be called. If you are unable to communicate verbally with law enforcement officials, you can still provide them with certain information, such as your driver’s license or insurance details. New York City has a large immigrant population, so law enforcement officials should know what to do to facilitate communication with victims who don’t speak English.
There might be witnesses nearby who speak English as well as your native language who may be able to help translate. It’s also possible that one of the responding officers can speak your native language as well. If you have a relative or friend who speaks English, you can call them to help. If you cannot communicate, law enforcement may ask that you visit them in person after you get medical care. This can allow police officers time to find an interpreter to facilitate the conversation so that you can properly document your car accident.
Speak with Eyewitnesses
If bystanders witnessed your accident, attempt to speak with them. Even if they don’t speak your native language, eyewitnesses can provide police officers with insight into who or what caused the accident, resulting in a more thorough crash report.
Images are universally understood and require no translation. Because of this, it might help non-English speakers hurt in a car accident in New York City to take photographs of an incident. This includes taking pictures of your injuries and any property damage. Photographs can help you to jog your memory, especially if you have to visit police officers following a collision to give your statement. Such images can help express your experience if you are having difficulty communicating.
Go to the Hospital
Going to the hospital right after a car accident in New York City is important for all victims, including those who don’t speak English. New York City is a melting pot, and medical professionals should be familiar with treating non-English speakers. There is a chance that the hospital you visit will have an interpreter able to help you communicate with doctors to explain your pain level and injuries. If not, medical professionals can still treat and assess your injuries, despite a possible language barrier.
If you have a friend or relative who speaks English but could not get to the accident site in time to speak with law enforcement officials, they may be able to get to the hospital to help translate. If your injuries require you to be in the hospital for some time, law enforcement officers might visit you there. If a hospital interpreter is available, they may be able to translate for you while you explain to officers what happened during the car accident.
Call Our Attorneys
As a non-English speaker, it is important to know that you have legal rights, regardless of your ability to speak English or your immigration status. Our Queens car accident lawyers are familiar with having non-English speaking clients and are prepared to advocate for your rights in a claim against a negligent driver. There are several complex laws that affect victims’ ability to file a lawsuit after a car accident, namely New York’s serious injury threshold. Explaining these laws through proper translation is crucial so that non-English speaking victims thoroughly understand the requirements they must meet to file a lawsuit.
Some victims who don’t speak English might be intimidated by negligent drivers at a car accident scene. The at-fault driver might attempt to convince you that you don’t have a case or claim that there are certain rules that prevent immigrants or people who don’t speak English from seeking compensation in New York City. It is important to know that that is not the case and that you have a right to file a lawsuit so long as you pass the serious injury threshold in New York City.
Our Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident
For a free evaluation of your case, call the Bronx car accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.