When you are involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, there are several important steps that you need to take to make sure you are able to recover the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. How you handle your accident can substantially impact your insurance or injury claim, which is why we want to explain 7 steps that you should take after a motor vehicle accident.
#1: Check for Injuries
After an accident, you need to make sure you and your passengers don’t have any major injuries. Once you have assessed the people in your vehicle and determined their injuries, exit the vehicle. Make sure you have accounted for everyone in your vehicle before getting out to check on the other vehicle involved in the accident. If you feel discomfort after the accident, immediately go to the ER. Also inform any police that arrive on the scene about your discomfort and pain, even if you decide to go home. Make sure to let them know you were wearing your seatbelt as well.
#2: Warn Other Drivers
Motor vehicle accidents are chaotic and extremely stressful for everyone involved. This chaos and stress increases when other vehicles continue to move through the scene of the accident. Flash your hazard lights so that other drivers approaching the accident know to slow down and be cautious. Road flares and traffic cones can also be used to mark off the accident scene and keep the area clear of traffic.
#3: Exchange Information with Other Drivers
Make sure you talk to the other driver and get their name, phone number, and home address. Get the same information from anyone else involved in the accident, especially anyone who witnessed the events leading up to the collision. Make sure you also get the other driver’s insurance company, policy number, and driver’s license information. It is crucial for you to collect all of this information if you want to file an accident claim that will allow you to collect the compensation you deserve.
#4: Take Pictures
It is possible to determine who is liable immediately after an accident, which is why you should start taking photos of the accident and any injuries as soon as you can. You need to have quality pictures of the damage your vehicle sustained in the accident in order to build a strong claim. Pictures are one of the best forms of evidence because they can be referenced when you have to explain your perspective of the accident events. When you take pictures, be sure to capture the position of the cars right after the crash and the license plate on the other vehicle. This is important because sometimes the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident will leave the scene.
#5: Don’t Apologize
Many people automatically assume they have to apologize to everyone involved in an accident, however, don’t let yourself feel obligated to do this. Apologizing for an accident can hurt your claim and might make you liable for the accident.
#6: Ask for a Police Report
Like pictures, police reports serve as excellent evidence when it comes time to file your accident or injury claims. Call 911 after you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and ask the responding officers to give you a completed accident report before you leave the scene.
#7: Talk to a Lawyer
A car accident can be caused by another car, van, bus or tractor trailer. Successfully filing an accident claim and proving liability can be a frustrating and complex task. If you want to recover your accident damages, you need an experienced attorney on your side who can review your case and create a strong legal strategy.
Our attorneys are here to give you advice and guide you through every aspect of your case. If a supervisor comes to the accident scene, don’t give a statement or sign any documents. If an adjuster or investigator calls you after the crash, get their name, phone number and claim number, but don’t give a statement or sign anything.
Pain is not always felt at the scene of an accident, but can be felt that night or the next day. If you did not go to the ER after the accident, consider going when you feel pain or tell your primary doctor at your initial evaluation. A crash can cause not only physical injuries, but loss of income as well, which can hurt you and your family.
Have you been injured or involved in a motor vehicle or transportation accident? The attorneys at Ginsburg & Associates Trial Lawyers can protect your rights and interests today. Call (215) 392-6616 to schedule your free case review with one of our Philadelphia accident attorneys.