Minor Car Accident Lawyer in Queens, NY
Many car accidents in New York cause only minor damage to vehicles and slight injuries. Some drivers wrongly assume that the aftermath of a minor car accident will take care of itself. But it is still important to follow the appropriate steps and understand your legal options after any N.Y. car accident to protect yourself.
Our car accident attorneys at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., in Queens, New York can answer your questions and discuss the steps you should take after a car accident. Contact us for a free case review. Our attorneys are ready to help you protect your interests and demand the compensation you may need for vehicle repairs or medical treatment.
What Is Considered a Minor Car Accident?
A minor car accident is often referred to as a fender-bender. A car accident may be considered minor when it results in no serious injuries and no major vehicle damage. In many minor car accidents, each driver in the crash can drive away from the scene. You should report the accident to the police and your insurance company and exchange vehicle registration and insurance information with the other driver.
New York requires automobile owners to carry Personal Injury Protection insurance to cover initial medical expenses after a collision. Regardless of who caused the accident, you would file a written notice of claim with the insurer that provides your own Personal Injury Protection policy. You have 30 days to file the PIP claim, but it’s a good idea to file it promptly. The PIP policy should cover your accident-related medical bills up to the limits of the policy and those of any passenger in the vehicle. It’s important that the healthcare provider who treats you understands that your injuries resulted from a car accident.
No matter how minor an accident seems, any car accident should still be taken seriously. Sometimes, minor car accidents cause more significant injuries than are initially recognized.
Examples of Minor Car Accidents
Examples of vehicle damage that may occur in a minor car accident include:
- Small dents in front/rear bumpers
- Broken headlights or taillights
- Broken side mirrors
- Punctured tires
Injuries that car occupants may suffer in a minor accident include:
- Skin abrasions
- Lacerations, especially those that only require bandages or a few stitches
- Minor soft tissue sprains or strains
A minor car accident generally does not require you to seek emergency medical treatment and should not damage your vehicle to the extent that it cannot be safely driven. Still, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure you have not suffered more serious injuries than you assume.
What Should You Do After a Minor Car Accident?
Drivers involved in minor car accidents have steps they need to take to fulfill their legal obligations and protect their rights. Here are some things you should do after a minor car accident:
- Check yourself, your passengers, and the occupants of the other vehicles for any serious injuries.
- Move your vehicle to a safe location out of the way of traffic if possible.
- Call the police department at the scene to report the accident.
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates, visible injuries you sustained, skid marks on the road, and weather conditions.
- Exchange insurance information with the other drivers.
- Get contact information from any eyewitnesses to the crash.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident. In New York, car insurance policies must provide personal injury protection coverage for the driver and their passengers, regardless of which driver caused the accident.
- See a doctor as soon as you can after the crash to get checked for any injuries you may have sustained.
Do You Have to Report a Minor Car Crash to the Police?
In New York, you are required to report a car accident to the police if:
- The accident results in injury or death to another person
- The accident injures or kills a domestic animal
- The accident damages a parked vehicle or other property, and you cannot locate the owner
You must file a crash report with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles for a car accident that results in more than $1,000 of property damage. This form will usually be among the forms sent to you by your insurer after you report the crash.
Even if a collision causes only minor damage, you should still call the police from the scene. A police accident report can help you substantiate the accident and who was involved if you need to file an insurance claim for vehicle repair expenses or medical bills. Insurers sometimes delay or deny claims without an accompanying police report.
Should You Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
You should consider contacting a lawyer after a car accident in which you were injured, even if your injuries seem minor. An attorney can evaluate whether your no-fault insurance will cover your medical expenses or whether your injuries are significant enough to meet the threshold for filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. If a claim is in order, our attorneys can gather evidence to support the claim and see to its timely filing under the statutes of limitations in state law.
Talk to Our Experienced Minor Car Accident Lawyers
If a collision involves only vehicle damage, you may be able to settle the claim on your own. But the consequences of a seemingly minor car accident can prove to be more far-reaching than initially anticipated. If someone else caused the collision and you sustained any injuries, it is a good idea to have a Queens personal injury attorney review the accident and explain the appropriate steps to take.
Contact The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Queens car accident lawyers after a minor car accident. We can help you understand what options are available to recover compensation for vehicle damage, injuries, and other losses.