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3 Things To Do When You Have a Car Accident

May 07, 2024

Experiencing a car accident can be a traumatic and confusing event. In the midst of the shock and chaos, it's crucial to know the steps you need to take to protect yourself, your passengers, and your legal rights. As Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we have extensive experience helping accident victims navigate the aftermath of collisions. Here are three essential things to do when you have a car accident.

1. Ensure Safety and Seek Medical Attention

Assess the Situation and Ensure Safety

  • Move to a Safe Location: If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a safe area to prevent additional collisions. Turn on your hazard lights so other drivers are able to see you.
  • Check for Injuries: Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Even if injuries seem minor, it's essential to seek prompt medical attention as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

Call Emergency Services

  • Report the Accident: Contact the police to report the accident. In Pennsylvania, it is mandatory to report any accident that results in injury, death, or significant property damage. The police will document the scene and create an official accident report, which can be pivotal for your insurance claim and any potential legal action.
  • Follow Medical Advice: If emergency responders recommend that you go to the hospital, follow their advice. Seeking prompt medical attention ensures that your injuries are documented, which is vital for your health and any subsequent legal claims.

2. Document the Accident Scene

Gather Information

  • Exchange Information: Collect names, contact information, driver's license numbers, insurance details, and license plate numbers of all parties involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses, obtain their contact information as well.
  • Take Photos: Use your smartphone to take photographs of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. Photographic evidence can be invaluable when dealing with insurance companies and legal proceedings.

Record Details

  • Write Down What Happened: As soon as you can, write down your account of the accident while the details are still fresh in your mind. Include information such as the time, date, weather conditions, and any factors that may have contributed to the accident.
  • Obtain the Police Report: Ask the responding police officer how you can obtain a copy of the accident report. This document is essential for filing insurance claims and pursuing legal action if necessary.

3. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Understand Your Rights and Options

  • Consult an Attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we offer free consultations to help you understand your rights and options. Our Philadelphia car accident lawyers can guide you through the complexities of dealing with insurance companies and pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages.
  • Avoid Admitting Fault: Be cautious about discussing the accident with others, especially insurance adjusters, before consulting with your attorney. Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be used against you in the future.

Prepare for Legal Action

  • Gather Documentation: Provide your attorney with all relevant documentation, including medical records, photos, witness statements, and the police report. This information will help build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Focus on Recovery: While your attorney handles the legal aspects of your case, focus on your recovery. Follow your doctor's advice and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure the best possible outcome for your health and your legal claim.

Contact van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim Today For a Free Consultation

Knowing what to do after a car accident can make a significant difference in protecting your health and legal rights. By ensuring safety, documenting the scene, and contacting a personal injury lawyer, you can navigate the aftermath of a car accident more effectively. The team at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim is here to support you every step of the way, providing the legal guidance and representation you need to secure the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, don't hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. We are dedicated to helping accident victims in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.


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