What To Do If You Are In An Accident
We are thrilled that the city is moving forward with the Vision Zero initiative and has plans to eliminate accidents.
The DOT will present further plans at Street Safety Action Plan workshops scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bohemian Hall, located at 29-12 24th Ave. in Astoria; and at the same time on Thursday, May 29, at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center located at 153-10 Jamaica Ave.
I hope that you never need this information regarding what to do if you have an accident. But, unfortunately, many of us are in car accidents.
This week Capt. Thomas Conforti, 112th Precinct commanding officer, announced on Twitter that there were 18 vehicle collisions within three days in the 112th Precinct.
Here is the information that you need and the steps that you should take if you are involved in a vehicular accident:
1.) Immediately determine if anyone needs medical assistance. If so, call 911 and report the accident and the injuries. If you call 911 you should be able to tell the operator your location, the number of people who are injured. This will enable our first responders to have the resources for the number of people who need help.
In the event that someone is injured, New York State Law requires you to notify the police. The DMV Website indicates: “If a person is injured or killed, immediately notify the police. All the involved drivers and the police must file an accident report with the DMV. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident that causes personal injury or death.”
If no one is injured you still may need to call the police to the accident scene.
2.) Determine if the cars can be moved to the side of the road. This is very important to avoid the possibility of another accident while you are exchanging information with the driver of the other vehicle.
If you can not move your vehicle because of the damage to your car, then do not stay inside-but be sure that you go to the side of the road, and put the flashers on your cars.
3.) Stay at the scene. Whether or not the accident is your fault, you must not leave the scene of an accident. You must then exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle(s).
The Department of Motor Vehicle website indicates: “If you are in an accident, you must stop and exchange information with the involved drivers. If the accident caused property damage only, then exchange information about your driver license, insurance, and registration with the involved drivers. If a parked vehicle or other property is damaged, or if a domestic animal is injured, you must locate the owner or contact the police.”
4.) If anyone has indicated that they witnessed the accident you should obtain their name, address and phone number immediately. You should give this information to the police when they arrive to take a report.
5.) Get further information. As you may need this information later for the reporting requirements-you may want to record the following information: where the accident occurred, the time of the day, the weather conditions, any road conditions, if there is a traffic light or stop sign at the location, and what you think happened. You will also be asked to report on the direction that each vehicle was going prior to the accident.
6.) Notify your insurance company of the accident.
7.) If someone has been injured, killed, or if the property damage is more than $1,000, you must file an accident report with the Department of Motor Vehicles. This is regardless of whether you have filed a report with your local police department.
The Department of Motor Vehicles website indicates: “If the property damage of any person is $1,000 or more, all the involved drivers must file form MV-104 (Report of Motor Vehicle Accident). File form MV-104 with the DMV no more than 10 days after the accident. The DMV can suspend your driver license if you fail to report an accident.”
The above steps should be followed regardless of whether you intend to litigate your damages as a result of the accident. If you have any questions regarding the steps to follow if you want to litigate your damages you should contact your attorney.
Hopefully, by reading this column, if an accident happens to you or a member of your family, you will be better prepared if you know what to do and what to expect.
You are invited to like the 112th Precinct Community Council Facebook page at www.facebook.com/112thPrecinctCo mmunityCouncil?ref=tn_ tnmn. In addition, you can follow the 112th precinct council on Twitter, www.twitter.com/112thpctcouncil.
Conforti is now using Twitter to connect with the community. You can follow the precinct at: @NYPD112PCT.
Editor’s note: Heidi Harrison Chain is president of the 112th Precinct Community Council.