The Importance of Timely Legal Advice
Have you been injured in a car accident? Is the question on your mind, ‘Should I contact a lawyer after a car accident?’ Many car accident victims in Philadelphia ask the same question. At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, we’ve opened our doors to car accident victims from Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. We offer free consultations to ensure they can make informed decisions. Below, we discuss the importance of getting timely legal advice following a car accident.
Injured in a Car Accident?
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, it's essential to stay calm and take the following steps immediately:
Move to a safe location if possible, especially if your vehicle is obstructing traffic and it is safe to do so. Turn on hazard lights to alert other drivers of the accident.
Check for Injuries
Check yourself and the passengers in your vehicle for injuries. Call 911 or emergency services if anyone is seriously injured. Check on the occupants of other vehicles involved in the accident, if it's safe to do so. Provide assistance if necessary.
Call the Police
In many cases, it's essential to report the accident to the police, even if it's a minor one. The police report can be crucial for insurance claims and legal purposes.
Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved, including:
- Contact information (phone number and address)
- Insurance information (insurance company name and policy number)
- Vehicle information (make, model, license plate number)
Document the Scene
Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, the position of vehicles, street signs, and any relevant road conditions.
Avoid admitting fault or discussing who's to blame for the accident with the other party. Stick to the facts when speaking to the police.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information. They may be able to provide valuable statements later.
Cooperate with law enforcement. When the police arrive, provide accurate and honest information about the accident.
Even if you don't think you're injured, consider seeking medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can be serious.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. They will guide you on how to file a claim.
Seek Legal Advice
If you have concerns about liability, insurance disputes, or injuries, you may want to consult an attorney for legal guidance.
Remember that it's important to stay composed and collected after a car accident. Avoid confrontations, stay at the scene, and follow the necessary procedures to ensure your safety and protect your legal interests.
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"Wonderful experience with this law firm after getting hit last summer. The whole staff is on top of things and communicates well. A special shoutout to the attorney who handled my case and negotiated my medical bills. I was able to get the care and treatment I needed with minimal stress because they handled it all!"- Amanda A. / Client★★★★★
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"Going with this law firm for my auto accident case was the best advice anyone ever gave me. I was very impressed with my results and the way they handled my case and me."- Ant F. / Client★★★★★
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“I wanted to thank you for the excellent work you did as my attorney with the settlement of my automobile accident. I know you have a lot of clients, so your prompt responses and attention to detail really meant a lot to me.”- Jarrett H. / Client★★★★★
When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia
You should consider contacting an attorney after a car accident in the following situations:
- Serious Injuries: If you or anyone involved in the accident has sustained significant injuries, it's a good idea to consult an attorney. Severe injuries can lead to substantial medical expenses, ongoing treatment, and long-term consequences, and an attorney can help you navigate the legal complexities associated with such cases.
- Liability Disputes: When there is a dispute about who is at fault for the accident or if the other party is claiming you are at fault, an attorney can help protect your interests and gather evidence to establish liability.
- Multiple Parties or Complex Circumstances: If multiple vehicles were involved in the accident or if the circumstances are complex, it can be challenging to determine liability and navigate the insurance claims process. An attorney can assist in these cases.
- Insurance Issues: If you encounter difficulties with your insurance company, such as denied claims or inadequate settlements, an attorney can help negotiate on your behalf and ensure that you receive fair compensation.
- Loss of a Loved One: In cases where the accident resulted in a fatality, the surviving family members may want to consult an attorney to pursue a wrongful death claim. This can help provide financial support and hold the responsible party accountable.
- Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers: If you're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance or lacks sufficient coverage to compensate you for your damages, an attorney can help you explore other avenues for recovery, such as your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- Complex Legal and Insurance Regulations: Legal and insurance regulations can be complex and vary from one jurisdiction to another. If you're not familiar with these laws, an attorney can provide guidance and ensure that you don't make costly mistakes.
- Preservation of Evidence: An attorney can help you gather and preserve evidence related to the accident, such as witness statements, accident reports, and medical records, which can be crucial in building a strong case.
- Negotiating a Fair Settlement: If the insurance company offers a settlement that you believe is inadequate to cover your damages, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to secure a more equitable settlement.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If your case cannot be resolved through negotiations and a lawsuit is necessary, an attorney can represent you in court, ensuring that your rights are protected and advocating on your behalf.
It's generally a good idea to consult with an attorney early in the process, even if you're unsure whether you'll need legal representation. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations, and they can advise you on whether your case requires legal assistance. It's essential to choose an attorney experienced in personal injury and car accident cases to ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.
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Take the next step
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin after being involved in a car accident in Philadelphia. Our team is available to review your case and discuss your rights and options with you for free. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation and take that first step in protecting your rights.