NY Accident Lawyer Recommends Free Online Resource to “Sketch” an Accident Scene

AccidentSketch-demo-shotFree is ALWAYS good in my book!

There is a great new FREE resource available to all New York and Pennsylvania car accident victims. AccidentSketch is a online utility that anyone can use to graphically document a car accident. The service is free and doesn’t even require registration!

Why Drawing an Accurate Accident Sketch is Important

Insurance companies, courts and lawyers all require detailed depictions of an accident to successfully resolve claims for compensation. Often there will be disputes about where each car involved in an accident was prior to, during or after the car crash. Ther may be disputes about the direction of travel for each car. There may be disputes about what car had the right of way at the time of the accident.

Experienced accident lawyers know that working with an accident sketch is a great way for your clients to discuss with you the details of EXACTLY how an accident occurred.

I discovered the existence of the AccidentSketch service through the Lifehacker weblog. I think it is a fantastic tool to ease the process of making an accurate accident report – and it puts the means in the hands of the people who were involved in the crash. AccidentSketch is one of those tools that is essential, once you know it’s out there.

One Warning!

Because it is critically important that an accident sketch be as accurate as possible, I would strongly urge anyone who was injured in a car accident to consult with an experienced accident lawyer BEFORE submitting an accident scene sketch to any insurance company. Why? Because anything you submit to an insurance company, even your own insurance company, may be used against you by the insurance company for the other driver involved in your accident. Accordingly, you want to make certain that the sketch is 100% accurate and there is nothing in the sketch that might shoot you in the foot…..

How AccidentSketch works

The software is amazingly simple to use. All of the standard road elements are already created – just put them together like a puzzle to recreate the circumstances of an accident.

First, you select road “pieces” to map an accurate depiction of the road, be it a curve, a urn, an intersection or other type of street. The pieces drag and snap into a grid at a scale of 1:100.

Then select your vehicle type (trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians are also options) and place it in the road map you created. You can choose vehicle colors and input license plate numbers.

Continue to add vehicles and other details, such as traffic signs, lights, arrows, braking marks and more, until you have an accurate drawing of your accident.

You may even create a time-lapse version of the accident, by placing multiple images of vehicles on the map and using arrows to show their courses of action.

To complete your account of the accident, AccidentSketch allows you to type in a text report, where you can explain the accident in depth.

At this point, without paying a fee and with minimum effort, you will have a detailed, accurate and easy-to-follow accident report that will be invaluable information in settling insurance claims or a court case. Check out this sample: AccidentSketch-example.

Thanks for reading,
Jim
_________________________________________
James B. Reed, Esq.
New York Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
mailto:[email protected] http://www.zifflaw.com

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Get the Facts: Be a Good Reporter After a Car Accident

An auto accident can happen at any time, to anyone. As a personal injury attorney handling car accident cases in New York and Pennsylvania, believe me I know the devastation that can quickly happen on the road. If you are involved in a car crash that causes personal injuries or serious property damage, there are many complicated issues concerning fault and recovery. It is best to consult an experienced personal injury attorney quickly.

My experience has given me a perspective and knowledge that I like to share here in the NY Injury Law Blog and in the Ziff Law Firm‘s Accidents and Car Crash FAQs. Here, I’d like to explain some of the information it’s important to get after an accident occurs.

First, let me note that it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to do three things after a serious accident.

You MUST:

  • Stay on the scene.
  • Aid the injured.
  • Call the police.

Now, if you are not seriously hurt yourself, here’s how to be a good reporter after an accident and strengthen your case.j0385196

Write down the details of your accident. Note the time of day, weather and road conditions.

Make a diagram of the accident. Note the location of the vehicles, crosswalks, stop signs and traffic signals. Mark the location of any skid marks and note their length.

You must exchange information with the other driver and be sure to get the following:

  • The other driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance company name and the policy number. Ask the other driver if he or she is the owner of the vehicle. If not, you must get the name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number of the vehicle’s owner.
  • It’s pretty common knowledge that you should exchange information with the other driver. But did you consider passengers and witnesses? You should get the names, phone numbers and addresses of all passengers and any witnesses to the car accident.

Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle before you have it repaired, as well as any visible injuries you or your passengers suffered.

If you are a good reporter after a car accident in NY or PA, the information will help your attorney protect your rights. Because witnesses forget details, the better a record you keep – and the sooner you get the help of a personal injury lawyer – the better.

Remember, you can call us at 800-ZIFFLAW or e-mail me personally at [email protected] if you or someone you care about has been involved in an auto accident.

Thanks for reading,

Jim
_________________________________________
James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
mailto:[email protected] http://www.zifflaw.com

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New York Injury Attorney: Northern Tier Crash Raises Question of Seatbelt Safety

CU, man buckling seatbelt

In the early morning of Sunday, Jan. 25, a one-car crash in Pennsylvania took the lives of two Drexel University students and injured four more. A morning update from WETM-TV (below) reported the victims’ names and the site of the Northern Tier crash.

While families and fellow Drexel students mourn, the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

One fact that has been confirmed by authorities: The four students who survived were wearing their seatbelts. Authorities have not confirmed that fact for the two students who were killed.

The cardinal rule of car safety

Until the crash is fully investigated, we won’t know if the two students who were killed weren’t wearing their seatbelts. It is reasonable to think, however, that seatbelts did play a role in saving the lives of the driver and the three passengers.

Here are some facts from The Prevention Institute’s primer on seatbelt history:

The United States fare worse in seatbelt use and traffic fatality rates when compared to Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Australia, and Canada. Seatbelt usage exceeds 90% in several of these countries, while the U.S. is currently 75% – and even that is an all-time high.

Other countries have lower traffic fatality rates: for example, 9 out of 100,000 people in Germany and less than 6 out of 100,000 in Great Britain die in traffic crashes; in the U.S., more than 15 people out of 100,000 die in auto accidents.

Finally, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts reduce a person’s chances of dying in a crash by 45%.

We may not know for some time what role this simple choice made in the Northern Tier crash. What we do know is what research and experience demonstrate: seatbelts prevent injuries and protect lives.

Thanks for reading, Jim

_________________________________________

James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
mailto:[email protected] http://www.zifflaw.com

Two Killed, 4 Hurt in Northern Tier Crash

Reported by: Staci-Lyn Honda

Email: [email protected]

Last Update: 1/26 8:08 am

JACKSON TOWNSHIP – Pennsylvania State Police say the victims who died in the crash were passengers.

They are 21-year old John Williamson of Havertown, Pennsylvania and 22-year old Ian Alexander of Royersford, Pennsylvania.

Three other passengers in the car and the driver were taken to Geisinger Medical Center with serious injuries.

State Police say the crash happened on state route 15 south in Jackson Township around 3:30 Sunday morning.

The crash happened near liberty along the Tioga County and Lycoming County border.

State Police say this was a one car crash. But they are not releasing any more details until the investigation is done.

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Why “Independent” Medical Exams Are NOT Independent

If you have been injured in an accident in NY or PA you will likely be subjected to what the insurance industry refers to as an “independent medical examination” (often called “IME’s” for short). As you will read below, IME’s are NOT “independent” in any sense of the word and they are regularly used by insurance companies to improperly deny benefits to deserving people. IME’s are another example of insurance companies at war with their own customers. Insurance companies love us when they are collecting our annual premiums and HATE us whenever we file a claim for those benefits we have been paying for for so many years….

The stated purpose for an IME is for the insurance company to have a so-called “independent”, supposedly unbiased doctor, offer an opinion on the severity of your injury, whether your injury was caused by the accident, and what will be the appropriate medical treatment of your injuries in the future. Sounds good in theory but the theory starts to break down from the moment the IME doctor is hired….

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