You must always first check to see what injuries you and any other passengers in your vehicle have sustained – and then call 9-1-1 to have an ambulance sent to your location. Also ask the operator to send the police – and ask them when they arrive to file a report.
If your own injuries are not too severe, you should then obtain all pertinent driver’s license and car insurance information from every other driver involved in the accident. Be sure to write down each driver’s name, the state which issued their driver’s license – its number and expiration date. You must also write down the name of each driver’s insurance company, the policy number, and the phone number of that insurance company.
>Make sure to also write down the driver’s home address and phone number. Even if the driver claims to be self-employed, you still need the name of the company that the truck driver was working with while hauling goods or driving an empty vehicle. Also ask for that truck company’s insurance company name, policy number, and address. If the driver claims to not have this information, make sure you can call him later at home to obtain that information. Always write down any company name on the truck and the license plate number and issuing state.
Take photos of the accident scene, concentrating on showing were each vehicle ended up immediately after the accident – before being towed away. Also, be sure that someone takes photos of your injuries on that same day and keep those photos in a secure place.
Look for accident witnesses. While standing apart from any other drivers or passengers, ask these individuals for their contact information, telling them that you would greatly appreciate having them speak to your lawyer on your behalf.
Move away from the accident area as soon as possible with all passengers able to also do so without further harming themselves. If an ambulance doesn’t arrive soon, call 9-1-1 again and ask the operator to request one again.
One general warning: Do not provide an oral or written statement about the cause of the accident to anyone – except the police. When talking to them, try to do so out of earshot of any of the other drivers. Just tell the truth, without volunteering any more information than is requested.
Call your New York City personal injury attorney on the day of the accident if you can – this allows us to send someone out to take additional photos of the accident scene – hopefully before everything has been cleaned up or moved. You can personally call us from the hospital – or ask a family member to contact us.
Once you’ve made sure everyone who needs medical car is receiving it, you’re free to leave the area. Of course, you should also call a tow truck (unless someone else has handled that for you because you had to be rushed to the hospital).