ClickCease Essential Steps to Take Immediately After an Accident

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What to Do After an Accident

Seth Harris

Last modified on December 27, 2022

What to Do After an AccidentSuffering injuries in an accident is both painful and stressful. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, you might feel disoriented or overwhelmed. You may also feel angry, especially if another party is responsible for your injuries. While these emotions are normal, having a clear idea of what to do after an accident is essential. Knowing what steps to take can benefit both your health and the success of your personal injury claim.

Seek Medical Attention

After an accident, adrenaline will be flowing through your body. As a result, you may be unaware of any injuries you have suffered because you might not be able to perceive pain. Nevertheless, seeking medical treatment is essential. Early medical intervention will not only improve your chances of physical recovery, but it will also provide documentation for your claim. Insurance companies are more likely to take your injury claim seriously if they see evidence that you sought treatment as soon as possible.

In the case of serious injury, you may be unable to do more than call 911. You may even need to ask somebody else to do so for you. However, if it feels possible and safe to do so while you wait, taking a few other steps can strengthen your claim considerably.

Report the Accident to the Police

New York state law requires drivers to report a car accident to the police if anyone received an injury or lost their life in an accident or if there was property damage worth more than $1,000. The responding officer will fill out a crash report, and you or your attorney can obtain a copy of it.

Exchange Information with Other Drivers/Involved Parties

After an accident, you should ask other drivers involved for the following information:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Insurance policy information
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Vehicle owner information, if different from the driver

If possible, try to get contact information for any witnesses at the scene as well. If you were injured in an accident other than a motor vehicle accident, obtain the contact and insurance information from the property owner, pet owner, or other party involved.

Take Photos of the Accident Scene

Photographic evidence of the scene of the accident can provide powerful insights into the nature and cause of the collision. Take photos of the accident from all angles. Include pictures of all vehicles involved, as well as any tire marks or adverse road conditions that may have contributed to the crash.

Request a Police Report

Request a copy of the police report as soon as possible. The crash report will contain crucial information about the accident, as well as the police officer’s initial assessment of who was at fault. If there are any mistakes in the report, you can try to have them corrected before you file your claim.

Gather Documents

As you prepare to file your claim, collect as much evidence as possible. This includes:

  • Medical records – Collect and organize materials such as records of hospital visits, doctors’ notes, diagnostic test results, and images from scans.
  • Medical bills – Documentation of your medical expenses will be crucial to your claim. Be sure to gather bills for ambulance rides, emergency room visits, doctors’ appointments, medical devices, and medications.
  • Other receipts – In addition to medical invoices, preserve receipts for other accident-related expenses. These may include auto repairs, rental cars, and hotel stays if you need to travel to seek treatment.
  • Pay stubs – If your injuries have prevented you from working, your pay stubs will demonstrate how much money you have lost due to missed time on the clock.

Other Types of Accidents

After an AccidentWhile much of the above information relates to car accidents, you can follow many of the same steps with other incidents as well, such as:

In each case, exchange information with the owner of the property or animal that caused your injuries. Make sure that you report the injury to someone on the premises and complete an accident report as soon after the accident as you can. In the case of a dog bite, be sure to get the name, address, and homeowner’s insurance information from the dog’s owner. You may not have access to a police report in some of these situations, but the rest of the steps remain the same.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

The physical and psychological trauma of sustaining an injury in an accident can make the prospect of filing an injury claim feel overwhelming. An experienced personal injury attorney will take care of every aspect of the process for you, so you can focus on your recovery. Seasoned lawyers also know how to deal with insurance adjusters, which can increase the likelihood that you will receive the compensation you deserve without having to go to court.

Contact [firm-name] Today

If you suffered injuries in an accident in New York, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at [firm-name]. Our legal team is dedicated to pursuing the best interests of injured New Yorkers, and we look forward to working for you too. We have recovered over $500 million in compensation for past clients.

Call us today at 800-PAIN-LAW or contact us online for a free consultation.

Over $500 Million in Verdicts and Settlements

Our track record showcases over $500 million won for our clients. Each victory underlines our commitment to justice and client care. Explore our impact, case by case.



A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.



Harris Keenan & Goldfarb partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”).



A Bronx jury awarded John Doe over $12 million for an accident on a construction site. John Doe was working when a piece of scaffold weighing 35 pounds fell, striking John Doe in the lower back. John Doe suffered a herniated disc requiring surgical removal of a portion of the disc and permanent nerve damage.



A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly hit with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger.



The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine that exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at the defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand.



The firm represented the mother- decedent and her infant son. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia.



Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair.



The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage, and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.



The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.



The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a result of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The jury found that the NYC Transit Authority was liable for the accident.



A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.



A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed toward her, causing her to
fall and break her wrist.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. The officer proceeded to push her down the stairs multiple times.

What our clients have to say

I am not a client. Just a commuter. What is your advertisement? Fire your marketing manager asap. “Yo, pain law, yo” what is that? 1 start for horrible marketing. Sorry. Job you do is serious and isn’t a joke.
david Santiagodavid Santiago
18:05 21 Mar 24
Maria RoqueMaria Roque
20:49 15 Mar 24
Excellent person, very Professional, they assist you in any language, your call is always answered. I recommend you for any case of support you have, your refund is satisfactory. and fast
14:09 02 Mar 24
I am completely satisfied, and recommend Harris Keenan & Goldfarb as Attorneys to represent anyone. Their care for me physically, and overall helped me stay strong in spite of my injuries. Always available to answer questions, and inform.They got me Justice, and achieved a substantial outcome for my case.I am very impressed, and thankful for their outstanding performance on my behalf.I am very pleased, and significantly satisfied with their representation.‐-Sherylon Wilkins
Robert LennonRobert Lennon
15:26 21 Feb 24
Patient and diligence is how I describe the effort of HKG the work was thorough, honest and fair, I have no complaints. Special thanks to attorney Blake and his paralegal Thierry.
Gene Matos (fanboye)Gene Matos (fanboye)
18:48 15 Jan 24
I first crossed paths with Seth Harris when serving jury duty many years ago. He was so professional and personable, that when my mom was seeking legal counsel for medical malpractice, I told her she had to reach out to his firm. We had meetings with a few different firms, but Harris Keenan & Goldfarb was the only firm that did not try to get us to sign paperwork before even meeting. They took the time to listen and understand our situation before we signed anything, and they were transparent and responsive the whole time. I would like to give special thanks to Samantha Walton, Marla Stein, Val Wallace and Seth Harris for helping my mom through this tough time. They were honest and upfront, and even though Seth Harris wasn't personally on the case, he took the time to meet with us and give us his thoughts on it.
Solange IsaacSolange Isaac
17:52 08 Jan 24
I am pleased with the services provided by Ms Sheri on my case. The team at Harris, Keenan, & Goldfarb were very nice and explained everything to me. Everything that I had questions on they answered without frustration and were prompt and knowledgeable.6 years ago I had a slip and fall accident at my employers place of business. I reached out to them because I knew that I was being wrongfully treated. They took care of the case, restored my self confidence, and brought so much peace to my problem riddled life.I can recommend without a shadow of a doubt the services of Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb to anyone who is in need of someone who will have your back!
Brittany DempseyBrittany Dempsey
16:02 08 Jan 24
My mother had an accident with her ankle back in 2019. I immediately contacted Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb on the day of the accident. They were extremely prompt and helpful. They attended to my mother's case beautifully and she's been recovering well. I'd like to thank you for being so diligent, kind and above all professional. I'd recommend this law firm to anyone who are injured and in need of legal assistance. My mother, Andrea, and I thank you for everything.
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