The Importance of Documenting a Car Accident in New York

Elmhurst Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are common, especially in large cities like New York City. According to an October 2023 report by the New York Police Department, the city saw 8518 accidents. Injuries often occur; Forbes states that approximately 38% of all accidents in NYC led to injuries or death in 2022.

Despite how common they are, many people may not know what to do after a car accident. Victims may leave the scene of the accident without speaking to witnesses, taking pictures, or otherwise gathering evidence. And while this may seem benign, it can lead to problems in the future.

Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, PC, aims to help you learn why you need to gather evidence, what information you should collect, and more. Reach out today to speak to a car accident lawyer in Queens, NY.

Why Is Documenting Evidence So Important?

Car accidents are stressful occurrences. You may find yourself stressed about potential repairs, in pain from injuries, and concerned over other repercussions. Because of this, documenting evidence may be the last thing on your mind.

However, collecting as much information as possible after an accident is important. This evidence can be used to:

  • Determine who was responsible for the accident
  • Illustrate the extent of your injuries
  • Document the damage to your vehicle

If you don’t have this evidence, you may run into problems filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.

For example, say someone ran a red light and hit your vehicle. You leave the scene of the accident without collecting insurance information or speaking to any witnesses. Later, you realize you don’t have any way to contact the other driver, leaving you to pay for the expenses yourself.

Car accidents come with incredible expenses. According to NSC Injury Facts, the average economic costs for crashes could reach thousands and even millions of dollars, depending on the situation. Many insurance companies will likely try to pay you as little as possible. And while you can pursue legal action to cover bills, you must still prove you have a valid claim. Having more information can help support your case and reduce expenses.

What To Do When You Get in a Car Accident

If you’re in an accident, it’s important not to panic. Pull over to the side of the road if it’s safe to do so. Speak to the other party and ensure they haven’t sustained any injuries. Contact the police and let them know what happened. Once you’ve determined it’s safe, you’ll want to start collecting information.

How To Gather Evidence


Knowing what to do after a car accident is incredibly important. Gathering evidence is a vital step, whether you plan to pursue legal action or simply need to file an insurance claim.

That said, not everyone understands what information they need (or how to collect it). We’ve provided more details below to guide you.

Seek Medical Attention and Request Medical Records

After you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to seek medical attention. This is at least in part for your safety; injuries may not show themselves until much later, so it’s crucial to request an examination to find and treat any problems. Otherwise, it may be difficult to prove that any injuries you sustained resulted from the accident.

Hence, the biggest advantage of pursuing medical attention: It provides a record of your injuries. Make sure to speak to any medical professionals after treatment and request a copy of your medical records; you can use both the cost of the treatment and the severity of the injuries as evidence for your case.

Request Information From the Other Driver

Before leaving the scene of the accident, you’ll want to exchange information with the other driver. This includes:

  • Insurance information
  • Driver’s license information
  • Name and phone number

By doing this, you can make it easier to file an insurance claim or lawsuit, depending on your situation.

Collect Witness Statements

Witness statements can be invaluable after an accident. Eyewitnesses may testify about who caused the accident, what damages occurred, and the individuals involved, among other things. This, in turn, can be used as stronger evidence for your case.

Take the time to speak to any witnesses at the site and record their statements. Ask for their contact information, as your Queens car accident lawyer may need to speak to them later.

Ask for a Copy of the Police Report

A police report is an account of a car accident recorded by the police officer who was at the crash site. This can contain details like where the accident occurred, what caused it, and any injuries sustained.

Ask law enforcement for a copy of the report. You’ll want to review it to verify its accuracy; should everything seem correct, you may be able to use it for your case.

Take Photos of the Scene

If possible, take pictures of the accident scene — the more, the better. Take pictures of:

  • Any damage done to both vehicles
  • Any injuries you sustained
  • Any property damage caused by the accident
  • The license plate number of the other vehicle
  • Any information the other driver provides, such as their driver’s license and insurance information

Gather Documents of Any Expenses Related to the Accident

Car accidents can lead to expensive bills; for example, you may need to pay for medical treatment or vehicle repairs. Gathering information about these expenses can help you prove that pursuing compensation is necessary.

Ask for copies of any bills or estimates from mechanics and medical professionals. Keep these documents together in a secure place.

Reach Out to a Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Do you want more advice on what to do after a car accident? Then, reach out to Elliot Ifraimoff & Associates, PC. We can help you determine what to do after a car accident that’s not your fault, provide tips on driving safely during the holidays, and help you collect evidence, among other things. Call (718) 205-1010 or (888) 275-3554 to request your free consultation.