Long Island, NY Personal Injury
& Accident Lawyers
485 Underhill Blvd, Ste. 107 Syosset, NY 11791 Free Consultation 516.307.1199
If You Have An Accident, Absolutely, Positively, Don’t Do These Things

    As we all know just by life experience, anyone can have an accident, and it can happen anytime or anywhere. On top of that, there are countless different types of accidents; may you avoid all of them. But, if you don’t, and if you ever have an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, remember that there are some common errors you need to avoid, as well as common sense actions you need to take.

    I cannot estimate the amount of times clients have told me, “I had a car accident, but I didn’t think I had been injured that badly – so, I just left the scene and went home.” That is really never a good idea. The slightest injury could turn into a serious one that has an impact on your life in the short-term or, worse, in the long-term. For instance, if you work construction and you permanently injure your back, that injury can cost you your job and threaten the well being of you and your family. Even if your job requires you to work at a computer all day a serious back injury could preclude you from working a full eight-hour workday.

    Among the more serious injuries are head injuries which we have discussed numerous times. It is quite common for an individual to suffer a serious head injury and not know it for hours or days. Hours lost without any medical care or diagnostic tests could cost you more than just your job; it could cost you your life.

    Bottom Line?

    Regardless of how “normal” you might feel after an accident, you need to seek medical care. Of course, the other unfortunate consequence of walking away from an accident when you’re seriously injured is you put any personal injury lawsuit in jeopardy. Remember, always, that insurance carriers are not your friend. Their goal is not paying you compensation you may deserve, it is, rather, making more money for their shareholders.

    For some people, making a fuss and complaining about being injured is embarrassing. They would prefer to just leave the scene, go home, and relax with a cup of tea. If you are one of those people, you will have to get over your inhibitions. Remember that anytime you are injured in an accident that could have been avoided but for someone’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation. And just leaving the scene without seeking medical attention could destroy any chance of that. Don’t do it.

    And, By The Way…

    To the extent that you can, never leave the scene of an accident without gathering the necessary information you may need later on such as witness names and contact information, witness accounts, police reports, and the name and contact information of the persons or entity responsible for the accident.

    Of course in extreme circumstances – and they sadly do happen – that might not be possible. That is, if you are unconscious and alone, you will have only the first responders to rely on for information, and later your doctors. However, in most situations, even when someone is severely hurt, he/she is not unconscious, and therefore capable of collecting some information. No information could mean no case.

    For example, let’s say you’re on the subway and notice the train is traveling especially fast. Maybe there are no seats and you’re forced to grab a strap handle for balance. Then, suddenly, the train comes to an abrupt stop, you fall, and suffer an injury. But instead of keeping your head, you get off at the next stop. What you should have done is seek out a New York City Transit Authority official or employee; if you have a cell phone, take photographs; talk to witnesses and get their contact information; and pay attention to where the train was (between stops, for example), when you were hurt. Truth is, if you are injured on a bus, train, or subway car and just leave, defense attorneys will be happy to hear that. And your attorney will not. The City of New York’s position will be: prove it. Your attorney will be hard-pressed to do so.

    Accidents Also Happen Indoors

    Accidents can happen just walking through an office building or department store. You could slip and fall on a wet floor and injure your ankle, knee, back, arm, or hand. If something like this happens to you, immediately report it to the building owner, store owner or manager. Just because you don’t believe you have fractured a bone, does not mean you aren’t seriously hurt. Soft tissue injuries can be significantly debilitating and might require surgery. Keep in mind, not all injuries look serious, but all injuries should be taken seriously.

    After you’ve spoken with the appropriate building official, make sure to capture all the information we’ve already discussed: witness names and contacts, photographs, and police reports. And, of course, get medical attention sooner rather than later.

    If the building official wants to call you an ambulance, don’t resist. What’s the worst that could happen? You’re ok? Great, better safe than sorry.

    Even though being injured in a serious accident is stressful, it is important to stay as calm as you can. You need to have your wits about you to take the right actions and document as much of the event as possible. Your actions and documenting as much of the accident as you can, may help you to win compensation later on, if you need it.

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