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Mar 012017
 

Drivers and passengers involved in Philadelphia car accidents are often in shock and at a loss as to what they should do after the accidents.  Below are some of the things Philadelphia drivers and passengers involved should do after a car accident.

Call the Police

After a Philadelphia car accident, drivers/passengers should call the police.  This way an accident report is created, which may be helpful for the injured parties in a subsequent car accident lawsuit against an at-fault driver.  The report can help establish that an accident happened and who may be at fault for the accident.

Sometimes, drivers may decide not to call the police because they think they are not injured and want to resolve the property damage privately.  However, this is a mistake.   Injuries are often masked by shock and adrenaline, and injured drivers/passengers think they are fine.  Later, when they realize they have injuries and file a car accident lawsuit, the other driver may deny liability because there is no report.

Tend to Injuries/ Get Medical Treatment

After car accidents, individuals involved should tend to their injuries to make sure they are okay.  If they cannot move, they need to stay put and wait for medical assistance.  Individuals may then need to be transported to an emergency room at a hospital.  If individuals are discharged from the hospital, it is important to follow medical orders.  One of them is often to follow-up with their primary provider.

Even when involved individuals feel ‘okay’ after the accident, they may still be injured.  Some injuries such as soft tissue injuries and herniated discs are often not apparent until a day or a week later.  When they go home, the pain may start to set in and get worse over the next few days.  It is important to seek medical treatment right away and not wait a couple of days hoping that the pain will go away.

When seen by the doctors, it is important to not leave out any information pertaining to the injuries.  If injured victims have significant pain in the neck, back and minor pain in the knee, they should not leave out the knee pain.

Related: Who Pays Medical Bills After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania?

Take Pictures, if Possible

After a car accident, it is a good idea to take pictures, not only of the property damage, but also of the accident scene.  For instance, if the accident happened at an intersection, take pictures of the intersection including signal lights from various angles.   These pictures may be helpful later in a personal injury car accident lawsuit.

If you are not able to take pictures due to your injuries and have someone else in the car with you, ask that person to take pictures for you.

Get Witness Information

If there are witnesses to the accident, get their information, such as name, phone number, etc.  Some witnesses may not stay for the police to arrive.  These witnesses may be helpful in a subsequent car accident lawsuit to help establish liability if an at-fault driver denies fault.

Again, if you are not able to move and get witness information and have someone with you, ask that person to get the information.

Do Not Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

Often after a Philadelphia car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will call to ask about the accident.  Individuals who are in auto accidents in Pennsylvania have no obligation to speak to insurance companies of other parties involved in the accident. This is especially important when auto accident injuries occur.

The reason drivers should not talk to the other driver’s insurance company is because they may unknowingly say something that will create issues in a subsequent car accident case.

For instance, an agent calls and asks an injured driver about the accident and his injuries.  The agent asks how the injured driver is feeling, and he responds, “Ok.”   However, the next day the driver starts to feel pain in his neck and back.  He goes to see his doctor who prescribes MRI imaging test.  The image reveals that he has a herniated disc in his neck.

In a subsequent lawsuit, the injured driver is asked during a deposition about his neck injury.  He is also asked why he said he felt fine when he spoke to the agent, inferring that the injury may not have been from the accident or that the driver is faking his injury.

Though there is a reasonable answer, i.e., often injuries and pain may not be apparent immediately after the accident, the injured driver created an unnecessary issue in his lawsuit.

Help After a Philadelphia Car Accident

The personal injury lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent have helped numerous car accident victims in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.  Car insurance and accident laws are difficult to understand.  It is best to talk to an injury lawyer after an accident.  We offer FREE consultations.  215.399.9255