What Should I Do After A Car Accident?
by Eric Chaffin | Last Updated: April 20, 2021
The three most important things to do after a car accident are—protect your safety, stay calm, and call for help. Beyond that, you also need to do a few things to prepare for your car accident claim– such as exchange information with the other driver.
After the police clear you to leave the scene, and after you have sought medical attention, the next thing to do is to contact a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer. During your free consultation, you can review your case and determine your options for recovering damages.
What to do immediately after a car accident
Immediately after the car has come to a stop, you need to prioritize your safety and the safety of others. First, assess the situation.
If your car is in the path of oncoming traffic, try to move it to the side of the road. If it’s in no condition to be driven, you will need to evacuate yourself and your passengers and get everyone to safety.
Next, check yourself and your passengers for injuries and administer basic first aid if necessary (such as applying pressure to bleeding wounds). You should also check on the other driver to ensure they and their passengers are out of harm’s way.
The next step is to call for help
Give the emergency dispatcher your location, providing the nearest cross street or mile marker if you know it. Be sure to let the dispatcher know if anyone might need an ambulance.
What to do at the scene of the accident
Use the notepad feature in your smartphone to exchange information with the other driver. Both of you will need to exchange your full names, contact information, driver’s license number, insurance carrier, and policy number.
In addition, write down the make, model, and license plate number of the other car.
It’s important to remain calm while exchanging information with the other driver, especially if they appear to be belligerent. Avoid making accusations and never apologize for the crash– as the insurance carrier may use this as evidence against you– claiming that you were at fault for the accident.
While you’re waiting for the emergency responders, you should also take pictures of the crash site– including skid marks and traffic signs—as well as injuries, and damage to the vehicles. In addition, if there are any nearby witnesses, ask them for their names, contact information, and a brief written statement about what happened.
Do not leave the scene until the police tell you that you can do so. Before you leave, ask how to obtain a copy of the police report.
Go to the hospital, even if you think you are not seriously injured. It’s common to experience delayed injuries and symptoms after an accident.
If you skip going to the hospital right away, you may jeopardize your chances of securing compensation for later medical bills.
What to do next to assess your options for legal recourse
It’s best to call a lawyer as soon as possible after seeing a doctor. Your lawyer can advise you about what to say and what to avoid saying when you speak with the insurance adjuster.
Schedule a complimentary consultation with our legal team to discuss your options for pursuing compensation for your losses. We can negotiate a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
Contact us today
After a car accident, you need a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer who you can trust to provide personalized guidance and exceptional representation. Our attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients across the country.
Call today to request your free consultation with our legal team. We are available to assist you around the clock by phone, email, or text.