Car Accident Victims: A Step by Step Guide

Car accidents can be very sudden and scary events that can cause life-altering injuries to yourself of your loved ones.  A car accident victim's health and safety are the top priorities after an accident, but there are other important steps a victim should take to protect their rights before and after a car accident takes place. Too often, our experienced personal injury trial lawyers will speak with a car accident victim and they have a blank look on their face when they are asked simple questions. The look is followed by something akin to "How was I supposed to know what that?" There are important steps that every driver should familiarize themselves with before stepping into a car. Some are easy to remember but we get complacent and need to be reminded about how critical safety is.

  • Always make sure you have valid automobile insurance. Make sure your insurance information and car registration is in the car at all times. Make sure the coverage amount is sufficient.
  • Make sure you and any passengers use a seatbelt or other restraining devices in the car to minimize your injuries in the event you are in an accident.
  • After the accident try and remain calm. Move your car out of traffic but if possible try to photograph the positions of the vehicles before any vehicles are moved.
  • Assess your injuries and the injuries of any passengers in your car.
  • Call 911 or ask a witness or passerby to call for help and advise the operator if you need emergency medical assistance.
  • If you are able to get out of the car, do so carefully. Assess the damage to your car and the other car involved.
  • Speak with the other driver and get their version of the accident. Speak with any witnesses to the accident and get their contact information.
  • Take pictures of the property damage to the cars involved.
  • Wait until the police arrive and speak with an officer about how the accident took place. Ask the police officer how you can get a copy of the police report.
  • Allow the emergency medical service team to assist you if you are injured. Tough guys finish last when it comes a car accident. Injuries often take time to develop. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Contact your insurance company to report that you have been in an accident. Request a No Fault insurance application to cover your medical expenses.
  • Return the No Fault application to your insurance company immediately, but no more than 30 days after the accident to preserve your right to be reimbursed for medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Contact an auto repair shop and ask if they work with your insurance company and if they are familiar with repairs for the make and model of your car.
  • If you are still in pain after the accident, go to a hospital or follow up immediately with your primary care doctor and ask for advice on medical treatment that might be necessary such as physical therapy.
  • Detail your physical complaints to a qualified physician. Don't exaggerate your symptoms and don't minimize them. Play it straight; this is your body.
  • Create a separate folder for the accident where you can keep a copy of all documents.
  • Contact an experienced, qualified attorney that handles personal injury cases for victims involved in car accidents.
  • In reviewing different attorneys, check their results and compare them. You don't want a lawyer learning the ropes on your case.

Block O'Toole & Murphy has a team of experienced and dedicated trial attorneys dedicated to helping victims of car accidents. To learn more about the experienced trial attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy, please review our firm website at For a FREE consultation you can call us at 212.736.5300.

Below are some examples of our firm's success in helping victims involved in car accidents. More results can be found on our website at

$32,756,156 for Injured Pedestrian

$20,181,484 Verdict For Man Injured in Collision Caused by Icy Road Condition

$14,000,000 for Motorcyclist Hit by Truck

$12,000,000 for Child Injured in Car Accident

$9,263,326 for Backseat passenger Injured in Car Collision