After a head-on car accident in New York, it is important to understand your legal options. There are several things you can do to get the compensation you deserve. If another driver’s negligence caused the accident, you might be able to file a personal injury claim against them. This means you need to gather evidence and prove they were at fault for causing the accident.
Here are legal actions or steps to take after an accident:
1. Contacting the Police and Filing a Police Report
After a head-on car accident in New York, you should first make sure you can get to the hospital on your own. If you need assistance with this, call 911 and request an ambulance.
Once you are at the hospital, contact the police department and file a police report. The police will investigate the accident and determine if any criminal charges are warranted. You should also let them know about any witnesses who saw what happened since their testimony may be needed if there is a trial or lawsuit.
2. If Possible, Find Out if Anyone Was Injured in Your Crash
In most cases, both drivers’ insurance companies will send investigators who will look at the scene and speak with witnesses before filing an insurance claim form with their respective auto insurers (personal injury protection insurance and comprehensive coverage).
While there, they’ll take pictures of damaged property that needs to be repaired before it’s towed away by the tow truck driver, who will come later that day or week (the tow truck driver has been dispatched via a service called Roadside Assistance).
3. Hire an Attorney
If another driver were at fault for your crash, they would likely have hired their attorney. It may be helpful if you have someone who knows how to handle these types of cases on your side. You could also hire an attorney with experience in auto accidents so they can learn more about what happened before taking over your case management.
4. File a Personal Injury Claim
After hiring an attorney, it is important to file a personal injury claim regardless of whether you were at fault or not. If you were not at fault and your head-on car accident injuries are due to someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to seek compensation through the New York State Tort Claims Act (TCCA).
The TCCA provides for damages for pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, and other economic losses.
5. File a Federal Civil Rights Claim
If you believe that law enforcement officers violated your civil rights during this incident, you may file federal civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against those officers.
This statute allows citizens to sue local law enforcement agencies for acts committed by their agents against them in their official capacity and under the color of state law. This can include excessive force used against you or unlawful seizure of property from you while pursuing another vehicle that has been involved in an accident with yours.
Consider contacting a reliable New York personal injury lawyer in response to the accident. They can help you mitigate costs when damaged vehicles and medical bills pile up. If the injuries sustained substantially alter your life, you might even be eligible for a large amount of compensation.