5 Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania

Date: April 14, 2014

No one steps out of their front door in the morning anticipating that they’ll be involved in a motor vehicle crash. Unfortunately, the countless accidents that occur every day in America alone prove that many people are inaccurate in this assumption. One of the most unfortunate parts of these incidents, other than property loss and potential injury, is the fact that varying state laws can make potential outcomes completely different. This is why everyone involved in an accident in Pennsylvania should know five vital steps to take after such an incident.

1. Contact Police

The driver of the other vehicle involved in a collision, especially if they’re at fault, will sometimes say that there’s no point in calling the police. This is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make. If authorities aren’t contacted, there will be no police report filed, and in some cases, this is as good as the accident having not taken place at all. In Pennsylvania, an officer isn’t always required to file a report. It’s okay to ask the officer to do so, and if they refuse, it’s possible to file one’s own report with the state.

2. Collect Evidence

It’s imperative for a person, if they’re able, to take photos of the accident scene and get contact information from witnesses. While responding police officers will often do this, it’s best to have one’s own records of this information. In addition, Pennsylvanian authorities make it easy to obtain a copy of a police report, so this step should definitely be taken.

3. Seek Medical Attention

Many people choose to not seek out medical attention after an accident, but they often end up regretting this decision. In reality, even seemingly minor injuries can turn serious, or even fatal, if left untreated. Failing to seek out medical help will not only reduce the potential compensation a person can receive, but it will also increase the likelihood that they’ll end up dealing with a lifelong disability.

4. Get Copies of Medical Reports

It’s also imperative to keep copies of all bills related to the incident, whether or not they’re paid. Additionally, it’s important to keep copies of records related to diagnoses and treatment. Pennsylvanian drivers can opt for no-fault insurance, and in these instances, it may be necessary to show that a very serious injury occurred if an accident victim is allowed to bring forth a lawsuit.

5. Seek Out Legal Help

This is undoubtedly one of the most overlooked steps after an automobile crash. Regardless of whose insurance company is being dealt with, these companies are focused on saving money. This means that it’s not always likely that they’ll offer a fair settlement right away, and this is especially the case when a serious injury has occurred. Fortunately, these companies also know that auto accident attorneys are knowledgeable on how much specific injuries are worth, so they’ll often make a fair offer right away when they know an attorney is involved in order to avoid litigation.

Being involved in an auto accident is one of the most stressful things that a person will ever go through, and since statistics show that the average driver will file an auto insurance claim once every 17.9 years, there’s little doubt that almost everyone will experience one of these incidents. Fortunately, the aforementioned steps can go a long way in reducing this stress. Just a few proactive measures can ensure that a person is fairly compensated and able to recover appropriately after a collision.

 

Jim Wetter
Over the last decade, Jim has specialized in representing persons who suffered catastrophic injuries from truck accidents. Jim served as a member of teams of DLP attorneys in lawsuits against trucking firms where we recovered for our clients amounts of $14 million (2012), $1.75 million (2011), $8.25 million (2007) and 6.5 million (2007).