These are the steps to follow after getting into a car accident in Philadelphia.
#1 Get out of your car and check to see if the other driver and passengers are alright, and help anyone who is injured.
#2 Call 911. Make a note of the time of the accident and where the accident happened. Write down the cross streets.
#3 Don't apologize. A lawyer can evaluate fault, and if you are at fault, you can apologize later.
#4. Exchange information with the other driver. You will want their: name; address; name of insurance company; insurance policy number; phone number of insurance company. If possible, get the names of all the passengers. Also, get the license plate number.
#5. Look around for witnesses who saw the accident. Get their names and phone numbers if possible. Ask them to stay to give a statement to the police.
#6. If you have a phone with a camera, take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to both cars.
#7. Be polite to the police officer on the scene.
#8. Don't make any statements about your injuries to the police. If you are injured, obviously, don't say that you're fine.
#9. If a tow truck driver comes to take your car and tries to recommend a lawyer, do not take the referral. The tow truck driver is getting paid for illegally soliciting clients for an unscrupulous lawyer, which is a felony. If a tow truck driver provides the name of a lawyer, or hands you the lawyer's card, immediately inform the police, as this practice is highly illegal. Later on, you will want to contact the disciplinary board of the state bar and report the lawyer as having a "runner", which is a person unlawfully soliciting clients for a lawyer.
#9. If you are injured in any way, have an ambulance take you to the hospital so that you can get checked out thoroughly by a doctor. Don't discuss the details of the accident with the doctor, or with anyone at the hospital. However, tell the doctor about all your injuries, and make sure the doctor documents all your complaints.
#10. Here is the most important thing on this list. Call your insurance company. You are required to report every accident to your insurance company. If you don't report the accident, and you are in a more serious accident at a later date, your insurance company could deny your claim for failing to comply with the terms of your insurance contract.
Your OWN insurance company will want to record you giving a statement about your injuries. DO NOT MAKE A STATEMENT, as it will be used against you. Tell the insurance agent that your lawyer will call them to give a statement later. Here is the important thing to remember. Your own insurance company is NOT your friend. If the other driver doesn't have enough insurance or doesn't have a valid policy despite showing an insurance card, your lawyer will need to sue your OWN insurance company for your Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist money (UIM/UM).
#11. Call a car accident lawyer / personal injury lawyer to get representation. Find a lawyer with a low contingency fee (less than 30%), so you end up with the maximum compensation available.
Stop Searching. Start Calling. 215-510-6755.
Authored by: Christian Lassen