When you are involved in a car accident it can feel as if you world has been turned upside down in just a matter of seconds; here is a list of 10 key points to remember if you are involved in a car accident, provided by Your Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers @ KaplunMarx, PLLC:
- Call the police at the scene. Unless an officer witnesses an accident, his opinion is just that– an after-the-fact opinion, none-the-less there are good reasons to call 911:
- Your Insurance policy may require you call.
- An officer can get information the other guy might refuse to give to you.
- A police report formally documents the accident scene.
- A policeman’s opinion on fault holds more weight than yours.
- Police documentation will come in handy if your minor accident becomes a major lawsuit some day.
- Do not move your car until the police get there — unless it’s necessary for safety! The position of the vehicles may illustrate who is telling the truth if there is a discrepancy in stories.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you are hurt. If you don’t know the severity of your injuries, stay in your car until medical help arrives.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to both vehicles – if you can. These days most people have cameras on their cell phones, use them as these photos can be invaluable evidence.
- Get all witnesses names and contact information, if possible. Tell the police if there were witnesses. A second, third or forth set of eyes that saw the accident will provide useful information as to the circumstances of the car accident.
- It is the obligation of a driver in Pennsylvania to provide information and render aid. Provide only your name, insurance company information, license number and contact information. Get the other driver’s information as well, or let the police obtain the information if you are hurt.
- Do NOT admit fault at the scene. Spontaneous statements– “I’m sorry.” “It’s all my fault.”- could come back to haunt you in a courtroom some day.
- Keep a diary related to your injuries. Write down what pain you feel specifically, and for how long. Write down all the activities you can’t participate in or daily tasks you need help with because of your injuries. Many symptoms develop over days and even weeks. Serious longer-term effects can be caused by what appears to be a mild impact, and may not be apparent immediately. Months later when the pain is gone (hopefully) its easy to forget about these frustrating moments.
- Speak to a lawyer PRIOR to giving any statements to any insurance company. Do NOT talk to the other driver’s insurance company. They will often send you information and call you in order to take your statement in order to minimize your recovery. Do not sign any papers that the other insurance company sends you. Remember the other driver’s insurance company is not working in your best interest.
- Your lawyer is the only person who is actually and legally completely on your side after an accident. A win for you is a win for them. Send all correspondence from anyone or any company (including your own insurance company) to your lawyer as soon as they are received.
Unfortunately, insurance companies rarely stand behind their insured, and an injured party may find themselves fighting for compensation from the other driver’s insurance company, and battling their own carrier for coverage they paid premiums to have in case an accident happened.
The above 10 key points to remember if you are involved in a car accident are just the beginning of the complex process - contact Your Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at KaplunMarx, PLLC as soon as possible (after seeking medical treatment) to discuss your case, the lawyers at KaplunMarx, PLLC are on your side and will help you through the process.