It is important that investigation in Pennsylvania car accidents and motor vehicle accidents begins immediately. Witnesses disappear and memories fade. Crucial evidence in the form of skid marks and photographs from damaged vehicles needs to be obtained by experts as soon as possible following an accident. If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident or traffic accident, there are many things you should do immediately after the accident. Here’s a step-by-step guide from trusted Pennsylvania Injury Lawyers Flaherty & Fardo on how to act effectively after an accident.
1. Make sure everyone is safe: Immediately after a car accident, if seriously injured, wait for the police and/or emergency services.
2. Clear vehicles from the road: Make sure the vehicles are off the road and in a safe location if possible. Many car accidents are caused by secondary accidents as people do not anticipate or expect accident scenes in front of them.
3. Exchange information: Exchange driver and vehicle information with any and all other drivers involved.
4. Write down license plate numbers: Get License Plate and Insurance information from any other drivers involved in the accident and any vehicles involved.
5. Talk to witnesses: Get the name and telephone number of any witnesses.
6. Wait for the police: Wait for the police if there is damage or injuries so that a police report will be issued. Get a police report if possible (will help describe location of vehicles, weather etc.).
7. Notice your surroundings: Take a mental note of anything unusual, or anything that draws your attention. Stay calm and pay attention to your surroundings.
8. Do NOT admit fault: If there is a lawsuit, anything you say at that time is admissible and may be used against you just like a crime scene. Immediately following the accident is not the time to discuss liability.
9. Listen to your body: If you are feeling injured, seek appropriate medical treatment. We have had clients who told police officers that they were feeling fine at the time of the accident, however then suffered pain for many many years later.
10. Don’t talk to the insurance company: Insurance companies routinely call car accident injury victims repeatedly after an accident to either gain information to resolve the case quickly, or for less than what it is worth. We will normally advise clients to wait a minimum of 6 months after an accident to better evaluate the client’s injuries. Often the full extent of the injuries will not be known for years. Once you settle with an insurance company, you can never seek additional compensation, even if your injuries worsen.
11. Call an experienced Pennsylvania injury attorneys: For over 10 years, the Pittsburgh car accident lawyers of Flaherty Fardo, LLC have helped families to recover the money they deserve for serious personal injuries. We offer free consultations as the first step to getting you the money your deserve.