Various agencies throughout the state gather data on traffic accidents in New York so, when compiled together, the statistics can offer insight on trends, contributing factors, and other indicators. There are more than 447,000 motor vehicle crashes every year, many of which are minor fender benders that are classified as property damage only. However, digging deeper into the figures reveals that almost 40 percent of all car accidents in the state cause a fatality or bodily injury to at least one person.
When you realize the safety risks, you can certainly appreciate the fact that New York car accident laws protect your rights as an injured victim. You may be able to recover compensation for your losses, so setting up a free consultation with a New York car accident attorney should top your list of priorities. You can make the most of your meeting when you come prepared, namely by bringing along evidence that may impact your case. Fortunately, many of the details you need are within your possession, so take time to gather:
- Contact Information: Under New York’s statute on filing an accident report, you must exchange information with all involved motorists, including details regarding your driver’s license, insurance, and registration. This requirement applies to any injury-causing or fatal auto collision, though the rules are slightly different for crashes causing property damage in excess of $1,000. Your attorney will need this for filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and other tasks.
- Police Reports: Another duty under New York law is calling 911 after an injury-causing or deadly accident, and law enforcement will prepare a report documenting the encounter. Officers did not witness the crash, so they will be taking statements from all vehicle occupants and potential witnesses. This information from the police report may be important to your claim, especially where statements corroborate your version of what happened.
- Traffic Tickets: If the facts or evidence at the scene of the accident indicates that one driver clearly violated New York rules of the road, police may issue a traffic citation. A ticket is credible evidence that the other motorist was responsible for causing the crash, so your lawyer can use it to support your claim.
- Medical Records: Documentation regarding your injuries, procedures, and other care is important for recovering the medical costs you incur for treatment. However, your medical records are also crucial for establishing your damages for pain and suffering. These losses are more subjective, so you need credible medical evidence to show how your injuries decreased your quality of life.
- Income Tax Info: You may be able to recover for lost wages if you missed work because of your auto crash injuries, so gather recent tax records and paystubs for your attorney to review.
- Photos and Video from the Scene: If you were able to gather evidence after the collision, such as images of the intersection, damage to vehicles, and traffic signage, make sure you bring it to your first meeting. Your attorney will review it and may incorporate it into a strategy for proving fault.
Consult with a New York Car Accident Attorney About Your Options
Now that you know the auto crash claims process requires you to have solid proof of fault and your injuries, you can see the importance of bringing credible evidence to your initial meeting with an attorney. Our team at The Mandel Law Firm can advise you on additional details, so please call our Manhattan office to discuss your circumstances. You can set up a free consultation by calling (646) 770-3868 or filling out an online form.