Three Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Car accidents, no matter the severity, tend to happen with little or no warning. “He came out of nowhere” or “I didn’t have time to stop” are frequent refrains in situations where there has been an auto accident. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, no matter how serious the injuries, you need to be prepared with a plan of action. It’s not always easy to keep a clear head, especially, if injured; however, the better the details, the easier it will be to determine fault and liability. Knowing when to call a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer is essential anytime you have an accident.

Stop, Look, and Listen

Your first task is to remain calm and to try and keep a level head. Call 9-1-1, assess everyone for injuries, offer help, and ask any witnesses to stay and wait for the police, if possible. If that’s not something your witnesses can do, be sure to obtain contact information in the event you need witnesses for your personal injury lawyer in the future.

Take notes, take pictures of the scene and any damages to all the vehicles involved, and gather information from all parties involved, including insurance information. Record the other driver’s license plate number as well. In the event you contact a personal injury lawyer, the more information you have immediately following the accident, the better for you.

Wait for the Police and Emergency Personnel

Once you’ve provided for any injuries and made sure that everyone‘s fine, keep silent. Anything you say or do, at this point, could be viewed later as an admission of guilt. An innocent “I’m so sorry” could be construed as “It was my fault” in a courtroom. You don’t want to admit readily that you’re uninjured either. Frequently, injuries, especially to the back and neck, may not be evident until a day or two after the accident.

Contact Insurance Company/Attorney

Contact your insurer, preferably from the scene, and you’ll be given instructions for making any claims. Know your legal rights and seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how minor. Due to heightened adrenaline and possible shock, you may not feel injured immediately. Even the most minor of injuries should be addressed at the scene.

Calling an attorney may seem extreme, especially if the accident is simply a “fender-bender;” however, when police reports are made and the situation becomes one of your word against that of the other driver, you-and your assets-need to be protected. By contacting a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer in the minutes following your accident, you can be sure that any injuries, therapies, and follow-ups will be provided for, and you won’t face financial devastation.

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For more information about seeking counsel from a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, contact R. L. Youssef. Follow her @RLYoussef.

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