Protecting Yourself After a Car Accident

-The information provided here is not meant to be legal advice; always consult an attorney in connection with your matter. Our attorneys are available to help.

Car accidents are often unexpected and traumatic events, leaving individuals with physical injuries and emotional distress. It’s crucial to know what steps to take immediately after a car accident to protect yourself and your legal rights. In this guide, we’ll provide a checklist of essential actions to ensure your well-being and gather vital evidence for potential personal injury claims.

Prioritize Safety & Call Law Enforcement

Your safety and the safety of others involved should always be the top priority. Immediately after an accident you should:

Check for injuries

Assess your own condition and the well-being of passengers. If anyone is injured, call 911 for immediate medical assistance.

Call to report the accident to law enforcement

Contacting the police is essential, even if the accident seems minor. A police report can serve as a critical piece of evidence.

You will also want to request a copy of the police report. Make sure to obtain a copy for your records, as it will contain valuable details about the accident.

Gather Evidence

While still at the scene of the accident, you’ll want to gather your own evidence, in addition to the police report. To support any potential personal injury claim, collecting evidence is vital. 

Make sure you:

Document the scene: Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. These visuals can serve as crucial evidence.

Obtain contact information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t immediately feel injured, it’s essential to see a medical professional as soon as possible. Some injuries, like whiplash or internal injuries, may not manifest symptoms until later.

Seeking medical attention will also help by establishing a medical record of the accident. A documented medical examination can link your injuries to the accident, strengthening any potential personal injury claim.

Consult Your Insurance Company and a Personal Injury Lawyer

You will need to contact your insurance provider to report the accident. Be truthful and provide an accurate account of the accident when speaking to your insurer. You should also familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and understand what it covers in case of an accident.

If you sustain injuries in the accident and believe another party was at fault, it’s advisable to also consult with a personal injury lawyer.

An attorney will be able to help explain your legal rights and help you understand your options for seeking compensation. If a case seems likely, the lawyer can also help you gather evidence, assess liability, document expenses and lost wages, and determine the strength of your potential case.

Don’t Accept Quick Settlements

Protecting yourself after a car accident requires a combination of immediate action and a cautious approach to the legal aspects of the situation. By prioritizing safety, gathering evidence, seeking medical attention, and consulting a personal injury lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are safeguarded and that you’re on the path to receiving fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Insurance companies may offer quick settlements to resolve your claim. However, these initial offers are often inadequate and may not fully cover your expenses. It’s advisable not to accept any settlement without first consulting a personal injury lawyer who can assess the offer’s fairness.

If you have been injured in a car accident, please reach out to the team at Ratsenberg & Associates, P.C. We are New York Personal Injury Attorneys who have protected our clients and their rights in countless car accident cases.

We offer free consultations to review the aspects of your case and determine how we can help. To request a consultation, please call us at 718-676-5757 or send us an email to

Disclaimer – The information provided here is not meant to be legal advice; always consult an attorney in connection with your matter. Our attorneys are available to help.