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What To Do After a Car Accident

What to do After a Car Accident

Those who leave the scene of an accident in Pennsylvania can face up to five years in prison as well as a $10,000 fine. This may be true whether a person left the scene intentionally or because he or she didn't know his or her obligations in the aftermath of a crash. Here are some tips about what to do after a car accident.

Call for Help

The first thing that you need to do is call for help after you have been in an accident. This is generally true whether you were the one who caused the accident or not. However, there is no requirement to seek assistance if you are too injured to do so. It is acceptable to move away from the vehicle to find aid if it is too dangerous to remain at the scene until authorities arrive.

Only Render Aid If You Have Proper Training

While you may think that there is nothing wrong with rendering aid to someone who is hurt or otherwise in danger, it may not be in your best interest to do so. This is because an individual who is injured because of your actions could file a lawsuit for damages.

For instance, an individual who experiences a muscle strain or broken bone being pulled from a vehicle could claim that your negligence caused the injuries. An Allentown accident attorney may be able to explain more about liability in a car accident case during a consultation.

Gather as Much Information as Possible

After an accident, you will want to gather as much information as possible about what happened. You can take pictures of the scene, get a witness statement, or ask for video footage that may show the events leading up to the crash as well as the accident itself. Gathering such evidence could be important in establishing that another driver caused the crash or that some other party was responsible for the crash.

If a police report is created, request to get a copy of that report for your records. In some cases, you can obtain a paper copy right away. However, it is also possible that you will receive a link to the report sent to your email address. From there, it should be possible to download it to your computer or mobile device.

Fully Cooperate with Authorities

When the police arrive at the crash scene, they will likely want you to make a statement. It is important that you include as many specifics as you can in that statement. While officers understand that your recollection of events could be shaky because of the unexpected nature of a car crash, you should never exaggerate about any details.

If you think of anything else that you want to add after making an initial statement, you should follow up with investigators as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can speak with your Allentown car accident lawyer if you have more information to add.

Car Accident

Exchange Information with Other Drivers

After the accident, you will be required to exchange insurance information with other drivers involved in the crash. You should provide your name, contact number and car insurance information. The other driver or drivers should provide their information to you as well. If a driver doesn't have insurance, this will likely be noted in a police report or be included in a criminal or civil complaint against that person.

What If You Don't Have Your Insurance Information?

As a general rule, drivers should keep their insurance cards in their vehicles at all times. However, if an accident makes it impossible to find that information, tell the officer at the scene as much as you can think of. Generally, providing your name and insurance provider is sufficient to find your policy number and other proof that you have valid coverage.

Alternatively, you could call your insurance company after the crash and have your information forwarded to the appropriate parties. Having proof of coverage can be important even if the accident isn't your fault as it could determine who actually covers any damages incurred in the crash.

If you're looking for a Philadelphia accident lawyer in the aftermath of a minor or major car crash, contact our office at (215)-567-6616. We also have an office in Allentown that can be reached at (610)-435-7400.

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