NYC traffic

Why You Need a Traffic Accident Lawyer by Your Side After an Accident

Posted on August 5, 2020 by

Thousands of automobile accidents occur every year in New York City, yet many drivers are convinced that it will never happen to them. Yet even the slightest incident of not paying attention or adverse weather conditions can cause devastating effects to an unsuspecting driver’s health, vehicle, and ability to live a normal life.

Fortunately, the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum is available to help get you through this situation and provide you with dedicated and aggressive representation as your traffic accident lawyer.

Prove Liability 

The most difficult aspect of an auto accident case is often proving liability. It is not always clear to all parties who was at fault, and insurance companies may not agree with your side of the story. A traffic accident lawyer will gather all the necessary evidence to prove liability in your case, which may involve hiring professional investigators and accident reconstruction specialists, visiting the crash scene, and interviewing witnesses.

Deal with Insurance Companies

No one likes to deal with insurance companies, but working with them is even more challenging if you have been involved in an accident. Without the guidance of a traffic accident lawyer, many accident victims are quick to accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer because they think they have to or just want to get the matter resolved right away. However, this is a sure way to cheat yourself out of the maximum compensation you are entitled to, especially if you have more medical complications that arise in the future.

Navigate Complex Issues

Traffic accidents are sometimes very straightforward matters, but they are often complex ones that have multiple parties involved. More than one driver could have contributed to the accident, as well as a vehicle manufacturer, a trucking company, or a government entity. A traffic accident lawyer can help you identify and pursue all relevant parties involved so that you maximize your compensation.

Expertly Negotiate on Your Behalf

Traffic accident lawyers are expert negotiators and experienced in fighting for your rights to make sure justice is served. Many people are not skilled in legal negotiation strategies or face additional negotiation challenges if multiple parties are involved. A traffic accident attorney will apply the relevant medical knowledge to your case and offer a clear and convincing argument on your behalf.

Recover More Damages

If you need as much money as possible to take care of accident-related medical bills and missed time from work, then you need a traffic accident lawyer on your side. A traffic accident attorney will craft a comprehensive legal strategy to get you the maximum amount of money for your case.

Take Your Matter to Court

Although many automobile accident cases are settled out of court, it is also possible that your claim will need to be decided by a judge in court. At the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum, we are prepared to fight for you in any way necessary, while always listening to your concerns and answering your questions.

Call us at 718-237-5586 or send us a message for a free legal consultation with a traffic accident lawyer.

new york city streets and appartments

Property Damage Claims in NYC and When You Need a Property Damage Lawyer

Posted on August 3, 2020 by

You work hard to be able to buy things that you want and need, which is why it’s so frustrating when another person willfully and intentionally damages your personal property. Property damage can occur in many different circumstances, and some claims are considerably more difficult to prove in a court of law than others. Here’s a look at how to pursue a property damage claim in NYC and when it’s time to hire an experienced property damage lawyer.

What Constitutes Property Damage?

In New York, property damage often occurs as a form of vandalism, such as someone throwing a rock through your window or putting graffiti on your wall. Property damage also occurs as acts of nature, such as hailstorm damage to a roof.

If you are involved in an automobile accident, you may have a property damage claim if the at-fault driver damaged your car by crashing into you. These types of property damage claims often involve physical injuries in addition to the destruction of property. In auto accident cases, property that you can make a loss claim on include the cost of a vehicle repair, fair market value of the car for a total loss, rental car costs while the car is being repaired, and also property damaged inside the car like a laptop or prescription sunglasses.

Proving Liability for Property Damage

Property damage claims often involve an insurance company that wants to pay as little as possible to settle your claim or repair the damaged property. These types of lawsuits are also often heard in small claims courts before judges.

To pursue your case, you’ll need to prove that you suffered from property damages due to someone else’s misconduct or that the person did not act with reasonable care. In addition to showing these elements of negligence, you’ll also need to prove how much damage took place so that it can be repaired or replaced in the appropriate amount

With a property damage lawyer on your side, you may also be able to prove that a person had a duty to act responsibly and failed to do so, which resulted in your property damage. Examples of this are if a neighbor hits a ball over his fence and cracks your window or if a professional contractor does not act upon a dangerous wiring situation that causes damage in your home. More than one person can be negligent for property damage, which complicates your case. In this situation, a judge may apply the principle of comparative negligence to determine a percentage that you can recover for your property damage loss.

Property Damage Statute of Limitations

Property damage cases in New York have a statute of limitations that impose a deadline on your ability to file a lawsuit. Our state’s statute of limitations for property damage claims is generally, not always, three years regardless of whether your claim is for damage to your house, land, vehicle damage, or other personal property. If you miss this three-year date, or if it is a lesser date, the court is likely to dismiss the case upon the defendant’s request.

Consult a Property Damage Lawyer

At the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum, we understand how important your property is to you and we are here to fight for your rights. As a Brooklyn landlord negligence attorney, we will help you file a claim in a timely way to recover damage to your personal property, as well as any pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and permanent disability due to injuries you sustained from an accident.

To learn more about what a property damage claim entails and how our legal team can help, please contact us at 718-237-5586 for a free legal consultation.

attorney talking with client

What to Know About Making a Slip and Fall Claim Against Someone with Homeowner’s Insurance

Posted on July 2, 2020 by

Slip and fall accidents can take place essentially anywhere, such as a public sidewalk, a retail store, or someone else’s house. If you have an accident while visiting a friend, relative, or neighbor, one of the first questions to ask is if the person has homeowner’s insurance. Most homeowners do carry this type of insurance, especially if they have a mortgage.

In case you ever slip and fall in someone else’s home, here’s what you should know about homeowner’s insurance and making a claim.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Slip and Fall?

There are many different situations when homeowner’s insurance may cover a slip and fall accident. Some of the most common accidents in a home include falling down stairs, tripping over a rug, and slipping on ice and snow on the home’s sidewalk or driveway. Cracked sidewalks, broken flooring, and weather conditions are all common causes of residential injuries that can be pursued through homeowner’s insurance.

Reporting Your Injury

Regardless of how severe the accident is, it is important to report your injuries to the homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible. This helps your claim seem more legitimate and gets the process of recovering damages moving along faster.

Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations

Slip and fall cases in a home have a statute of limitations in New York that is approximately three years. This means that you only have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit in a New York court.

Proving Negligence and Slip and Fall Homeowner’s Insurance

Just because you fell in someone else’s home doesn’t mean that you have a claim against the homeowner that you can legally pursue. To go through homeowner’s insurance, the homeowner must be negligent, which means that he or she had knowledge or should have had knowledge of the danger and done something to make household conditions safer.

Med Pay Payments

Medical payment coverage (often called “med pay”) pays some of person’s medical bills after an injury regardless of whether the homeowner was negligent. This coverage is often in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. This money must be used for medical bills and requires submitting bills to an insurance adjuster to be paid up to the coverage limit.

Get Help with Your Slip and Fall Case

Residential property slip and fall cases can be tricky, especially if you have a personal relationship with the negligent homeowner. Some homeowners will resist reporting claims to their insurer so that their coverage doesn’t increase in price or get cancelled by the insurer. Therefore, it may even be necessary to file a lawsuit against a homeowner to find out if homeowner’s insurance exists and can be pursued.

At the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum, we can help you with all these things and much more if you are facing a slip and fall homeowner’s insurance situation. Our local Brooklyn slip and fall legal team is ready to hear the details of your accident and provide a free consultation. Contact us online or by phone at 717-237-5586.

car accident with airbags

What to Do After a Car Accident Total Loss When You’re Not at Fault

Posted on July 2, 2020 by

A vehicle is considered to be a total loss when the amount to cover repairs would be greater than the current value of the vehicle. These are often serious accidents that may or may not involve injuries. They can also create complex legal questions that require the expertise of a car accident total loss attorney to avoid being taken advantage of and lose a sizable sum of money.

To learn what to do after a car accident total loss when you’re not at fault, read on to educate yourself about the potential issues and where to turn for help.

Collect All the Important Information

After any car accident regardless of its severity of type, it is always important to collect the relevant information, such as the contact numbers for all involved parties and photos of the accident scene. In a car accident total loss situation, it is especially crucial to gather witness information, file a police report, and get help from a local lawyer.

Find Out Who Will Pay for Damages

If the insurance company advises you that your car is a total loss, find out whether your insurer or at the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be paying you.

Do Some Calculations Based on Your Car Loan

One potential issue to consider is whether you have a car loan and how much money you still owe on that loan. This is because an insurer will typically only pay the fair market value of your car at the time the accident occurred, and it is possible that you owe more on your car loan than that value. Cars depreciate as they age, and some models depreciate faster than others.

The best-case scenario is that the total loss payment is more than what you still owe on the loan. But if your loan amount is higher than your check amount, it is still your legal obligation to pay your monthly payments to the lender until the total amount is paid off.

Inquire About Gap Protection

If there is a difference between the amount you owe for the car loan and the amount the insurance company will pay for your totaled vehicle, gap insurance may be able to help. Gap insurance goes beyond a standard auto insurance policy and is more of a debt cancellation agreement that makes up this difference. This kind of insurance is only worth it if you could potentially owe more than your car is worth. Check this by researching the expected depreciation rate of your car via Kelley Blue Book and then visiting to access an online auto loan calculator and determine the rate of building equity in the car.

Consult a Local Car Accident Attorney

If is a common misconception that you don’t need to do anything to be compensated if your car is totaled and you weren’t at fault. However, insurance companies do everything in their power to avoid paying out as much as possible. To get the full and fair amount you deserve, you need the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum on your side.

Get Help Negotiating or Filing a Lawsuit

With the help of a skilled Brooklyn attorney, you may be able to negotiate a settlement based on a higher estimate of your vehicle’s value. For this, you’ll need good evidence about the condition that your car was in before the accident, any value-added enhancements that you made to it, and anything else that can prove it was worth more than other comparable vehicles. It may be beneficial to have a qualified appraiser determine the car’s value so that you have expert testimony to prove your case. You also have the option of filing a lawsuit if you disagree with the insurance company’s value of vehicle damages.

If you have been involved in an accident that has totaled your car, our legal team can help. Please contact us at 718-237-5586 or send us a message to tell us about your case.

woman working from home office

What You Should Know About Work from Home Slip and Fall Accidents During the Pandemic

Posted on June 3, 2020 by

Due to the spread of COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, many New Yorkers are finding themselves working at home for the very first time. Not only can working at home pose technological and logistical challenges, but it can also lead to compromised safety and more accidents around the home.

Here is some information about work from home slip and fall cases and where to turn for legal help with your slip and fall case.

Common Causes of Work from Home Slip and Fall Accidents

If you are not used to working at home, you might not realize potential safety hazards until it is too late. You might slip and fall inside or just outside your home because of a wet or uneven surface, such as a poorly built staircase, loose floorboard, or defective sidewalk.

Weather conditions may also cause you to slip and fall outside your home, especially on rainy spring days in New York. If you are feeling especially tired or stressed out while trying to work during these challenging times, you may slip and fall in your home because you’re distracted or feeling too depressed to pick up clutter around the house.

Landlord Negligence for At-Home Accidents  

Although some slip and fall accidents while working at home may be due to your own clumsiness or a simple mistake, other accidents are the direct result of a landlord’s negligence. This is especially common among New Yorkers who live in apartment buildings and particularly right now when we are all spending more time at home in uncommon ways.

To prove that your landlord is liable for your slip and fall at home injuries, you need an experienced local attorney on your side. This is because you’ll need evidence to show that your landlord was responsible for controlling a dangerous situation, had knowledge of the danger, should have foreseen the possibility of an accident, and failed to take reasonable action to prevent the accident that caused your injuries.

How to Prevent Work from Home Accidents

The last thing you want right now is to become injured and be hospitalized due to a work from home slip and fall accident, thereby creating more strain on the healthcare system and putting your immune system at risk. Therefore, it’s best to take precautions now to prevent work at home accidents if you no longer go to a physical location for your job.

Here are some prevention tips to practice:

  • Try to get enough rest so that you aren’t overtired or overstressed
  • Contact your landlord right away about essential repair needs
  • Reduce clutter around your house to prevent falls
  • Clean up spills and secure rugs that you have personal control over
  • Communicate with your employer if safety concerns are compromising your work at home situation

Legal Help with your At-Home Slip and Fall Case

After seeking medical attention for your slip and fall injuries, contact the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum to discuss your potential claim against your landlord or other responsible party while working from home. Since these types of cases have a statute of limitations in New York, it is important to seek legal help right away rather than waiting until pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Contact us by phone at 718-237-5586 or send us a message for a free consultation

columns of a court house in NYC

How is COVID-19 Impacting Court Cases in New York?

Posted on June 3, 2020 by

Over the past few months, COVID-19 (coronavirus) has been affecting nearly every aspect of daily life, including the legal system. There is now a distinction between “essential” and “non-essential” court functions, while social distancing protocols have changed the way that judges, attorneys, and clients interact with each other.

Here is an update about how COVID-19 is impacting court cases in New York so that you can be prepared to protect your legal rights.

Essential and Nonessential Court Functions

It is important to know that New York state courts are still open for essential business so that New Yorkers can still access the justice system during this era of COVID-19. But according to Chief Judge DiFiore all nonessential functions of the courts are being postponed or slowly beginning to start with a low volume of case.

Examples of essential functions include guardianships, temporary restraining orders, and emergency forms of relief. Other issues that have continued to move forward in the legal system due to essential applications include landlord lockouts, repair orders, code violations, and other housing matters. Criminal court matters, family court matters that involve child safety, mental health matters in supreme court, and emergency guardianships are also considered essential under the current protocols in New York.

Pending and New Cases

The pace of litigation has slowed down in New York and across the country. All jury trials are now stopped and no date for future jury trials have been announced.

Because of the current pandemic, New York courts recognize that documents may be less accessible and witnesses less available right now. Travel restrictions may make it difficult for attorneys to access the documents they need, especially if those documents are located in another country. Witnesses are also generally less able to travel, which is adding to the ongoing delays in the court system.

Filings and Deadlines

Due to COVID-19, some filing deadlines have been suspended until further notice. Aside from emergency applications, some appellate courts have not been hearing new motions. Meanwhile, other courts have extended deadlines by a few weeks to minimize pandemic-related disruptions. Attorneys had not been aloud to fill any new lawsuits since the beginning of the pandemic. New lawsuits can be filled statewide starting May 25, 2020.

Virtual Courtrooms for Nonessential Matters

But while recent in-person court appearances and oral arguments have been cancelled or conducted by teleconference over the past couple months, virtual courtrooms are providing alternative ways to move court cases through the legal system.

Videoconferencing is now more important than ever before for depositions, notarizations, and various discovery procedures. Courts in New York have been allowing witnesses to be interviewed and client meetings to take place via videoconferencing as well. Court staff members are assisting judges in the use of Skype and other virtual platforms to access records, hold conferences, and conduct other legal functions. Both judges and attorneys are working remotely, with only a very small number of officers continuing to work in physical courthouse locations to process paperwork and provide security.

Jury Duty

The Commissioner of Jurors in New York issued a notice that individuals summoned for jury duty for a new case should not appear at the courthouse because of jury service suspensions. No jury trial are preceding for the near future.

Get Help with Your Personal Injury Case in New York

This is a complex and confusing time, but the Law Office is Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum is still here to help you with your Brooklyn personal injury case. We are happy to communicate with you by phone or message for a free consultation so that you can maintain your social distancing and not let your potential case’s statue of limitations expire. You still must act quickly to protect your rights.

The current protocols and restrictions vary from one New York court to another, and they are changing frequently based on the government response to the pandemic. Therefore, it is in your best interest to work with a local lawyer who understands how COVID-19 is affecting the New York court system and how your case will be impacted.

Our legal team is experienced in recovering maximum money awards and settlements for the injured, so don’t wait until pandemic restrictions are over to pursue your case. Contact us today 718-237-5586 to get the legal process started now.

uber driver in car with passenger in back seat

What Happens If You’re in an Uber Accident and How to Pursue a Rideshare Lawsuit

Posted on April 21, 2020 by

Ridesharing is a popular way to get around New York City and often a safe, convenient, and accessible alternative to driving yourself or owning a car. However, Uber and Lyft rides are not immune to car accidents, which poses serious legal questions for rideshare passengers who are injured while using these services.

This article addresses the topic of Lyft and Uber accidents and how a local Lyft or Uber accident lawyer can help if this unfortunate situation happens to you.

How Rideshare Drivers Are Insured

Rideshare companies, like Uber and Lyft, typically treat their drivers like independent contractors rather than employees, which enables the companies to avoid some of the responsibility for accidents their drivers are involved in. With regard to insurance coverage, insurance companies view ride sharing in different phases, such as when the driver has the rideshare app open but hasn’t yet been hired for a gig, when the driver is on the way to pick up a passenger, and then the passenger is actually riding in the vehicle.

Rideshare companies require their drivers to have their own car insurance but also provide low-level supplemental coverage when the app is on. Drivers are advised to buy their own rideshare insurance because traditional auto insurance is not likely to cover accidents that occur while working a ridesharing gig, and the insurance company may even cancel the driver’s policy if he/she hasn’t disclosed that the car is being used for a rideshare business.

Who Should You File a Lawsuit Against?

Depending on the details of your accident as a rideshare passenger, you may be able to pursue a claim against Uber or Lyft as well as the driver of the vehicle. The most straightforward claims are ones against the rideshare drivers. However, Uber and Lyft’s company insurance may kick in after the driver submits the claim to his/her own insurance company and if the rideshare driver denies the claim. Since these cases can be complex, it is advisable to contact a New York auto accident attorney to discuss the best legal course of action.

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Rideshare Accident

If you are involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver behind the wheel, it is very important to get the driver’s contact information and insurance information right away. You always should seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. But if you are able, try to take some photos of the accident scene and get contact information for witnesses as well. The police should also be called by either you or the driver so that a police report can be filed and serve as evidence to help you prove your legal case.

How an Uber Accident Lawyer or Lyft Accident Attorney Can Help

The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum provides Uber accident lawyer and Lyft accident lawyer services to help the injured get the justice they deserve. Please contact us online or by phone at 718-237-5586 to learn more about your legal rights as a rideshare passenger and for a free consultation about filing a claim.

airbag and cracked wind shield after car accident

Who Is at Fault in a T-bone Car Accident and How to Prove Your Case

Posted on March 31, 2020 by

A side collision involving two automobiles is commonly referred to as a T-bone car accident, which is one of the most common types of auto accidents that we see here in Brooklyn. These accidents occur when the front end of one vehicle collides with the side of a second vehicle, and they usually happen at intersections.

In this article, we will explore who is at fault in a car accident T-bone and how to get the T-bone car accident settlement you deserve after a crash.

What Makes the T-Bone Car Accident So Dangerous?

While essentially any automobile accident can be devastating and cause severe injuries, T-bone crashes are somewhat unique. Broadside impacts have a way of sending a vehicle off-course and veering into traffic. This can create a “domino effect” and result in a second collision that follows the first.

Due to the angle and force, a T-bone car accident often causes a vehicle to spin and pushes it into oncoming traffic or into stationary objects, such as telephone poles and guardrails. Because of the potential of multiple impacts and the fact that only a door and window separate the colliding vehicle and its victims, the likelihood of severe injuries is very great in a T-bone car accident.

Who Is Usually at Fault for T-Bone Accidents?

The driver that plows into the side of a vehicle is often at fault for the accident if that driver did not give right of way to car lawfully passing through the intersection. However, it is not always the driver that drove head-on into the side of another vehicle who is at fault for the accident.

For example, a driver who fails to stop at a stop sign or red light could be T-boned and that driver found to be at fault for the collision. T-bone car accidents often happen because of left turns, such as when a driver takes an illegal left turn in front of oncoming traffic and is struck on the side.

Just because a driver had a green light does not exempt him/her from being at fault for the accident because every motor vehicle operator has an obligation to exercise due care, be aware of potential dangers, and avoid accidents. The timing of traffic lights and a defect with a vehicle could be circumstances out of both drivers’ control and the cause of the accident as well.

How to Prove Fault in a T-Bone Car Accident

To prove who is at fault in a car accident T-bone, an auto accident lawyer must prove that one or more drivers were negligent, that the accident occurred because of that negligence, and that the victim suffered injuries because of the accident. Various types of evidence can help you prove your T-bone accident case, such as medical bills, doctors’ notes, the police report, and documentation of lost wages.

Get Help with Your T-Bone Car Accident Settlement

Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum is a passionate Brooklyn personal injury lawyer who fully understands the nuances of T-bone car accidents. If you were a victim of one of these terrible types of auto collisions, our office will fight to get you the T-bone car accident settlement you deserve.

Don’t delay getting the help you need or running the risk of your case’s statute of limitations running out. Contact us today at 718-237-5586 for a free T-bone accident legal consultation.

lawyers at a table discussing a case

Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents: What New Yorkers Should Know

Posted on March 16, 2020 by

As part of our ongoing conversation about slip and fall cases in New York, today we are looking at what proving fault in slip and fall accidents requires according to the law. To pursue a successful case, it is not simply enough to demonstrate that you fell on another person’s property. You also must prove that your fall was someone else’s fault and not solely due to your own carelessness.

Common Slip and Fall Case Scenarios

Slip and fall cases often result from walking on wet or uneven surfaces. A common scenario is when a person becomes injured after walking across a freshly mopped floor, loose floorboards, unsecured floor mats, or carpeting that is worn down. Here in New York, snowy and icy sidewalks often cause slip and fall accidents, as well as poor lighting along sidewalks and in buildings.

A person may pursue a slip and fall case after having an accident involving a broken handrail or when loose electrical wires are exposed on the floor. These accidents can take place at retail stores, outside government buildings, and in the private home of a neighbor. At construction sites, workers who are not properly trained in safety may have slip and fall accidents that can be tied back to the negligence of their employer.

How Slip and Fall Liability is Determined

To prove fault in a slip and fall case, you must be able to show one of three things:

  1. That the property owner caused the dangerous condition that made you fall,
  2. That the property owner knew about the dangerous condition and chose not to fix it, or
  3. That the property owner should have known about the dangerous condition because a reasonable person would have noticed it and fixed it.

Factors that weigh in on slip and fall liability determinations include how long the dangerous condition existed before the accident, what the property owner’s protocol was for inspecting the area for dangerous conditions, and how the dangerous condition could have been remedied and prevented the accident.

The Reasonable Negligence Claim

One major reason why these cases are challenging and require the skills of a slip and fall lawyer is that proving fault in slip and fall accidents often comes down to what a property owner “should” have known and should have “reasonably” done about it. An attorney can make a reasonable negligence claim by demonstrating if the property owner acted in a way that is consistent with how others in a similar position would have kept the area safe for anyone who may be walking by.

A reasonable negligence claim can be proven with documented records (or lack of such records) that detail how a property owner regularly inspects and cleans the property. If a plaintiff fell over an object that was necessary for some purpose, the defendant must be able to prove what that purpose was and outline the time frame that it needed to be there. All of this relies on what a “reasonable person” in that position would do, which relates to industry standards, common sense, and legal obligations.

What Could Make You Look Careless?

There are certain factors that can make you look negligent for your own injuries in a slip and fall case. For example, wearing flimsy footwear rather than supportive shoes can make you look careless as a plaintiff and make it more difficult to prove a slip and fall case.

Other factors are if you were rushing and in a hurry, if you were distracted by something, if you ignored warning signs, or if you were on the premises without permission. The “reasonable person” standard can be applied to a plaintiff as well if the injured party should have reasonably anticipated the danger and avoided it.

How a Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help with Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents

The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum helps in proving fault in slip and fall accidents to get plaintiffs the compensation they deserve. Although these types of cases are very common, their value should never be diminished because the injures they cause can be very severe.

Whether your slip and fall accident occurred on a sidewalk, in an apartment building, in a supermarket, in a parking lot, or on any other public or private property, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact us at 718-237-5586 or send us a message so we can fight for you and your rights.

to men on their phone after car accident

What to Do After a Car Accident Checklist: Your Guide to Being Prepared on the Road

Posted on February 20, 2020 by

Getting into a car accident is one of the most stressful experiences a person can have, which is why it’s easy to become overwhelmed and panic after you’ve been hit. Chances are that you might not remember all of the helpful information you’ve read in advance about how to handle the situation in a moment of crisis, which is why it is beneficial to have a car accident checklist handy in your vehicle.

Here is an overview of what to do after a car accident checklist items to have written down and stowed away in your vehicle in case you are involved in an accident in the future.

1. Don’t Leave the Scene or Panic

Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime and could result in a hit and run claim being filed against you. Depending on the severity of the accident, the crime could be a misdemeanor or a felony. Stay at the scene until the police arrive and stay as calm as possible so that you can handle the matter reasonably and efficiently.

2. Assess Accident Injuries

After an accident, take some deep breaths and inspect your body for signs of injuries, such as blood, pain, and parts you are unable to move. Then, check on the wellbeing of any passengers traveling with you in your own car. After this, exit your vehicle to see if any drivers or passengers of any other involved vehicles are injured so that you can call for help right away.

3. Move Your Vehicle Aside After a Minor Accident

If the accident is minor, move your vehicle to the side of the road so that it does not pose a hazard to other drivers traveling on the road. If the accident and injuries severe, leave your vehicle where it is.

4. Call the Police

Even for minor accidents, it is important to call the police to respond to the scene and file a police report. This is a crucial step in pursuing an insurance claim and filing a legal case against an at-fault driver.

5. Gather Information from the Other Driver

Get out of your car and ask the other driver involved for his or her contact information and insurance information. Also, jot down your own notes with the driver’s license plate number, personal description, and vehicle description.

6. Take Photos of the Scene and Damage

To preserve timely evidence for your potential accident claim, use your mobile phone to take photos of the vehicle damage and the surrounding area. Photos that document weather conditions, skid marks, and bodily injuries are also helpful.

7. Get Information from Witnesses

If there were any witnesses present at the scene of the accident, ask them for their names and contact information. Don’t worry about recording statements from them initially because the police can handle this when they arrive if needed.

8. Never Admit Fault

Whatever you do, don’t take the blame for the accident or make any statements to say that the accident was your fault. It is often impossible to determine fault at this early stage of an accident investigation, and more than one driver could be at fault, which will affect your claim and potential recovery.

9. Contact Your Insurance Company

As soon as practicable, contact your car insurance company to let them know about the accident. However, do not sign anything from any insurance company or admit fault to an insurance company until you speak to an attorney.

10. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

To protect your legal rights, contact a local auto accident attorney after your accident before agreeing to any type of insurance settlement. The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum will review the police report, photos, witness statements, and other evidence to get you the best and fairest compensation after your wreck.

To be prepared, write our phone number (718-237-5586) on your car accident checklist or program it into your cell phone contacts for easy access after an accident.

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