We understand how stressful a car accident can be for you and your family. Below, we cover important steps you can take after a car accident that could help you later.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania car accident laws make it illegal to leave the scene of a car accident. It is a driver’s legal duty to remain at an accident scene if any vehicle damage or injuries occur.
Under Pennsylvania Title 75 §3744, parties need to exchange contact and insurance information and should provide reasonable help to the injured.
Before getting out of your vehicle, check yourself for injuries. Then, check your passengers for injuries. If you and your passengers seem okay, then you should check on the other involved parties. Contact emergency services if needed.
Leaving the scene of an accident without following these steps could be a hit-and-run offense. A hit-and-run charge could result in serious consequences.
Do I Call the Police After an Accident?
After a car accident, call 9-1-1. A police officer can block the area off to oncoming traffic. They can assess the accident, speak with witnesses and compile a police report. If needed, they can call the appropriate authorities for more help.
If the police are unable to arrive at the accident scene, then you may need to file your own accident report. You must file an accident report if there is injury, death or extensive vehicle damage.
If needed, send a report to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) within five days of the accident. You may also want to request a copy of your Pennsylvania accident report for your claim.
Information to Exchange in a Car Accident
Before leaving the scene of the accident, you want to get information from everyone involved. Get names and contact information. You should also write down plate numbers, license numbers and basic insurance information.
If able, you should collect your own evidence before leaving the scene. Do not only rely on the police report. Take pictures and talk to witnesses. Make note of the weather, road conditions and anything else you think could be important.
Taking pictures of damages and the accident scene could be vital for your accident claim. Pictures can show what type of car accident you experienced. However, do not post about your car accident on social media.
When to Seek a Car Accident Doctor
If you were not evaluated at the car accident scene, we recommend that you see a doctor as soon as possible.
Seeking medical attention is a very important step after a car accident. Not doing so could affect your health and your accident claim.
Not all car accident injuries are visible. Some common car accident injuries can take days or weeks to appear. Seeking medical attention after a car crash can keep injuries from becoming worse.
The insurance company will see if you received medical attention after an accident. You do not want them to claim your injuries are from something else because you did not see a doctor.
Keep records of your medical history and continue to seek medical attention as your injury symptoms persist.
Should I Get an Attorney After a Car Accident?
We recommend that you speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. You should speak with a lawyer before giving your insurance company a statement.
You do not want to say anything that admits fault or could be used against you. A car accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and devise a statement to benefit your claim.
A lawyer could also help you gather important evidence, determine fault and fight for a fair settlement.
Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations, or a time limit on how long you have to file a car accident claim. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If someone died in the accident, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
Injured in a Car Crash? Our Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney Could Help
Our Philadelphia car accident lawyer represents victims of car accidents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you were injured in a car accident, you could have a viable claim to recover compensation for damages. Call our office today at (215) 880-1369 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your situation.
2 thoughts on “What to Do After a Car Accident That Is Not Your Fault”
I wanted to thank you for this advice for after a car accident. You mentioned you should get the information of everyone involved. I’m interested to learn if this could include any witnesses in case you need to contact them later.
Great question, Taylor. We mention talking to witnesses after a car accident. This should include asking for their contact information in case you need to contact them later. Thank you for your comment!