You never know when you might be involved in a car accident. Yet, they are so common that it is a good idea to be prepared just in case you happen to be in one. This is because there are legal rights you may jeopardize by not making the right moves after the accident. If you were to talk to a car accident attorney in Philadelphia, you would get a much clearer picture of what you should do when you are in an auto crash, no matter how shocked or stressed out you might feel by what you just went through. Read on to find out the five actions you must take after a vehicle collision.
Stay at The Scene
The law requires everyone to stay at the scene of an accident. If your injuries allow you to do so and your car is still drivable, move it to the side of the road to avoid getting hit again, particularly if there are speeding vehicles around. If the accident happened in a quiet road, leave everything as is until the police arrive and complete a report of the incident.
However, if there are injuries that make it impossible for you to remain at the scene, call for an ambulance to take you to the nearest emergency room. Even if you believe you have not sustained injuries in the accident, take the time to get a full medical checkup as soon as you can. Some injuries are not immediately obvious and others may only be discovered by a healthcare provider. Remember that nothing is as important as your health.
Call The Police
It is important to call 911 and report the accident. The police will arrive at the scene and assess the situation, compiling a report stating what happened. Your accident attorney and insurance company will require a copy of this document. Answer all questions by the police briefly and do not offer any more information than what you are asked. You do not want to end up incriminating yourself.
Document the Accident
You will not have a second chance to take pictures of the accident, so do so while you can. Use your phone to take pictures of the cars, their damage, their position on the road, and anything else that may have played a role in the crash. Take pictures of yourself and your injuries, and those of your passengers as well. Any evidence you gather at this time may prove invaluable should you decide to file a claim. Look around to see if there are any witnesses and get their contact information in case you need to reach out to them in the future. Write down everything you remember about the crash as soon as you can. Your memory may not be as clear in the days following the accident, especially if you are dealing with injuries and other losses.
Exchange Information with The Other Driver
Get the contact information of the other driver. Write down their driver’s license number and all information related to their car, including the car’s make, model, model year, color, and license plate. Get their insurance information, including the insurance company’s name and policy number. Avoid getting too familiar with the other driver, no matter how friendly they may seem. Remember that anything you say to them can and will be used against you should a claim be filed. Keep the conversation polite and stick to the important subjects.
Reach Out to A Personal Injury Attorney
It is important to let the other driver’s insurance company know about the accident. However, you may soon discover that they want to settle your case as soon and as efficiently as possible by offering you a low amount and pressuring you to sign a statement. A car accident attorney has the legal knowledge and negotiating skills to get you the compensation you deserve. They will remind the insurance company that you cannot take the payout until you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement. Let an experienced lawyer do the negotiating for you.