The steps you take after a car accident are extremely important to your case. You should take certain steps, but you should also avoid taking certain actions. Most importantly, it is crucial that you do not panic. Remaining calm will help you remember what to do after the crash and panicking may also hurt your claim. Below are the most important things to do, and the things you should never do, after an accident.
What to Do After an Accident
After an accident, you must always:
- Stop and report the crash: You should always stop and remove yourself and your vehicle from the road if you are able to. This will prevent a second accident and keep you in compliance with the law. Also report the accident, as a police report can help in any future claim you file.
- Exchange information: Even though you may have to file a claim through your own insurer first, you should still exchange names, contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers with anyone involved in the crash.
- Collect evidence: Important evidence at an accident scene includes photographs and videos of the scene and your injuries. You should also collect the names and contact information of anyone that saw the crash occur.
- Seek medical attention: If your injuries are severe, call 911 and ask them to send medical help to the scene. If you do not need medical attention at the scene, you should visit an emergency room or other healthcare facility as soon as possible after an accident.
You should also always speak to a car accident lawyer in the days following a crash. A lawyer can advise on what other steps you should take and advise on any potential claim you may have.
What Not to Do After an Accident
Just as there are steps you should take after a crash, there are also things you should never do. These include:
- Blame anyone: There is a lot of time to determine which party was negligent and caused your crash, but the side of the road is not it. Do not blame anyone for the crash and certainly do not accept any fault for the accident.
- Say very little: Along with not blaming anyone for the crash, it is best to say as little as possible. Anything you say may be used against you in the future, which could cause great harm to your claim.
- Do not sign anything: People sometimes do not want to go through insurance after an accident so they may ask you to sign something agreeing to take care of it privately. Do not sign anything while at the scene, or while you are in the hospital, particularly if documents are presented by an insurance adjuster.
Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers can Help with Your Car Accident Claim
If you have been hurt in a car accident, it is essential that you call our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin. Insurance is complicated in Pennsylvania and we can negotiate with the insurance company for you to help you recover the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.