What to Do in an Out-of-State Car Accident

There were 299,452 car crashes in 2014 in the state of New York, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, it is safer to travel in New York traffic than many other states. According to data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are 0.80 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in New York, compared to the national average of 1.10. But that does not mean that accidents do not happen, or that an accident will not happen out of state. Being involved in a car accident is traumatic in and of itself. Being involved in a car accident out of state where you do not know the local laws, who to call for help, or where to turn next for repair, future transportation if your vehicle was damaged, and how to get back home can add one or two extra levels of stress and panic.


Discomforting it is to be in injured and in a tough situation away from home, the legal steps you will need to take are essentially the same as if you were in a wreck two miles from your house, which we will get to in a minute. The other steps, such as arranging transportation back home, will of course be more complex, and there is not a lot that can be done to take the stress out of traveling while injured. If you or a loved one were injured in an auto collision out of state, contact an in-state New York car accident attorney today to begin working on your personal injury claim for the full compensation that you deserve. An experienced attorney will know the laws in Illinois or Alaska just as well as they know New York’s, and the stress of communicating with an out of state attorney adds to an already unpleasant situation. If you have questions about your personal injury case, you can call in the same time zone or talk in person with your in-state New York attorney.


Steps to Take in an Out-of-State Car Accident


As with any accident, your first priority is ensuring your personal safety, the safety of the occupants in your vehicle, and the safety of the occupants in the other vehicle or vehicles that were involved in the collision. Dial 911 for emergency medical assistance if needed (police will automatically come too, in that case). If paramedics are not needed, simply contact the police. Next, assist with any injuries that you can and move the vehicles out of the lanes of traffic for safety. Do not attempt to move anyone who is complaining of severe back, head, abdominal, or neck pain. Instead, simply keep them company, provide them with a blanket or jacket to drape over them, and stay with them until help arrives. You or another occupant of the collision should set up flares or a reflective emergency triangle a few hundred feet behind the crash site to warn other drivers of the situation ahead.


Exchange Contact Information and Gather Witness Testimony


If the injuries were not so severe that immediate hospitalization is required, exchange contact information with the other party or parties. This includes full name, address, license plate number (and state), driver’s license number and state, make and model of car, and auto insurance provider. Gather any information that you can from people who witnessed the collision, including their name, phone number, email, address, and collision information that they saw. The information provided by witnesses is many times paramount to the success of a personal injury claim. Take photographs of the scene and, later, contact your own insurance provider about the collision. If you were hurt in an auto crash either out of state or in state, contact the car accident attorneys of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today at 212-397-1000.