Over six million automobile accidents happen every year within the United States. While most drivers may feel that getting into a car accident won’t happen to them, they are accidents and they can still happen, no matter the precautions taken. Experiencing an automobile accident can be scary and alarming, and in Pennsylvania specifically, you have only two years from the date that the injury occurred to file a lawsuit regarding the incident. The longer you wait, the harder it will become to prove your case, which is why Marsh Law Firm has put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts if you have been in an automobile accident.
What You Should Do if You’ve Been in a Car Accident
As one of Erie’s most experienced automotive accident law firms, Marsh Law deals with many personal injury cases each year. When helping people who have been injured in a car accident, Marsh Law has tips to the following questions:
- Who Do I Call?
- What Information Do I Need to Collect?
- What Should I Do if I’m Injured?
Who Do I Call?
Ensure Safety & Call the Police
When getting into an automobile accident, always call the police first–especially if any injuries may have occurred or if the other person didn’t stop and exchange information. Even if there were no injuries, you should always file a police report after an accident. If anyone is hurt, the 911 dispatcher will send an ambulance along with the officer to transport any injured person to the nearest hospital.
Call Your Insurance Company
After making sure everyone is safe and the police have been notified, promptly report the accident to your insurance company. Make them aware of the situation and the accident so it does not affect your claim.
Call Your Automotive Accident Attorney
Finally, call an experienced injury attorney to protect your rights to full and complete compensation for your injuries and related damages. It is important to hire a personal injury lawyer to assist you when dealing with insurance companies. A lawyer can also help you defend your rights and plead your case in relation to the car accident.
What Information Do I Need to Collect?
Make Sure to Get License, Registration & Insurance
When obtaining information from the other driver that was involved in the accident, always get the driver’s contact, license, registration, and insurance information. If yet another driver has been involved in the accident, be sure to collect their name, address, and phone number. Also make sure to collect the make, model, and year of the car as well as the driver’s insurance information, car registration, and driver’s license number. Also, try to talk to any witnesses that were present at the scene, including any passengers. This can help to make sure you got everyone’s information that you need.
Look for Evidence
If you are able, look for evidence for any businesses or homes near the accident scene that might have security cameras. If they do, it is critical to obtain any footage before it is erased or written over.
Take Additional Notes & Pictures
Always promptly write down everything you saw, heard and experienced. Make sure to pay attention to all details and record them. This includes the time of the accident, weather conditions, road conditions, landmarks, and anything else that might be important. Taking photos of all injuries and vehicle damage is always a good idea. You should also take pictures of any injuries you may have sustained as well as the scene of the accident, the roads, landmarks, or anything else you feel might be important.
What Should I Do if I’m Injured?
Seek Out Medical Attention
If you have been injured in an automotive accident, promptly seek medical attention for any injuries. Your auto policy provides medical coverage, and you’ve already paid for it. Use it and make a record of your injuries. Before anything else, you should get examined by a medical professional. There may be injuries that are not immediately present, so it is always important to seek a medical professional promptly.
Keep A Record Of All Out-Of-Pocket Expenses
Reminder to always keep a copy of all out of pocket expenses. Be sure to collect and record all medical documents related to the incident. These are important because they account for a vital insurance claim document.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
Follow your doctor’s advice as to treatment and keep all of your appointments or reschedule promptly if you cannot make an appointment. Insurance companies view gaps in treatment or missed appointments as an indication that the claimant “must not be that injured.”
10 Tips and Tricks for Avoiding Bad Auto Insurance
- Never drive without adequate liability and first-party medical and income loss coverage.
- Never choose limited over full tort coverage. Your agent doesn’t. It’s a bad investment.
- Never lower or reject your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. It protects you and your loved ones from negligent drivers who have too little or no insurance.
- Never reject stacked coverage. It multiplies your coverage by the number of cars on your policy, providing extra protection at relatively little cost.
- Never allow a person to drive your vehicle who doesn’t have a valid license or is not a covered driver under your policy.
- Never allow an intoxicated person to drive.
- Never ride with a person who is intoxicated.
- Never assume that your children are covered under your policy. If you are divorced or separated, they may not be. Contact your agent and obtain written confirmation.
- Never own a registered but uninsured vehicle. You risk losing important rights and benefits if injured in an automobile accident.
- Never own auto insurance coverage without understanding it. Speak with an experienced injury attorney and know your rights.
Contact our Accident Attorneys for Automotive Accident Help
Automobile accidents can be an alarming and complicated experience, so it is always a good idea to consult a dedicated personal injury attorney right away. If you or someone you know has been injured or involved in an automobile accident, Marsh Law in Erie, Pennsylvania can help. Personal injury attorneys Thomas Myers and Michael Agresti have years of experience helping those who have been involved in automobile accidents. Contact Marsh Law today to discuss your automobile accident or personal injury case.