Car accidents are always a surprise. No one ever feels fully prepared for the unsettling shake-up that comes with being involved in even a minor car crash. Still, it is smart to familiarize yourself with a few basic matters that will help you feel a little more in control during the otherwise disorienting ordeal. The following are a few tips to remember if you find yourself involved in a car accident:
Assess injuries and damage. Upon impact, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If everyone is safe to relocate, you should assess the fitness of your vehicle and, if possible, get it out of the way of oncoming traffic.
Relocate. Move out of the way to let traffic continue to flow and ensure your safety. At minimum, pulling over onto the shoulder or by the curb is appropriate. A nearby field or parking lot is a safer option than the side of a highway or busy thoroughfare.
Document the damage and accident scene. Use your cell phone to photograph the damage to your car and to the other vehicle as well. These images can be used to recreate the accident if there turns out to be a question of what happened and which driver was at-fault. If you can do so safely, take pictures of the accident scene as well. Include signals or signage that may have been disregarded or was malfunctioning, possibly causing the accident.
Call 911. The local police department will send an officer to the crash site to create an incident report that will be filed with the precinct office. You may wish to obtain a copy once it is ready, usually within a week after the accident. The car insurance companies involved will likely seek to obtain a copy as well.
Exchange information. Though the police report will contain identifying information about both drivers involved in the crash, it is customary for the drivers to exchange contact and insurance information. Even if you expect that the insurance companies will take over communication to settle the claim, this information is good to have on hand, just in case there is a problem.
Notify insurance providers. Call your insurance provider to notify them that you have been in an accident so they can start processing your claim right away.
Consider a lawyer. Minor accidents may not require legal representation, but you should seek counsel if there are injuries and/or if you believe the accident was due to negligence or a traffic violation. An experienced car accident lawyer can provide valuable advice regarding your best course of action.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Secure Damages for Car Accident Victims
If you were hurt in a car accident, contact the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We can help you obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-8488 to set up a free case evaluation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.