Van accidents occur all too frequently in Philadelphia. The minutes following a 15-passenger van accident are often disjointed, chaotic, and confusing. Van accidents happen so fast that it isn't always easy to wrap your mind around what happened.
The important thing, above all else, is to remain calm. Take deep breathes and think soothing thoughts. Otherwise, fear and other emotions can take over. Once you feel like you're in control, it's time to take the following action.
Assess the Situation
Check yourself and passengers for injuries. Once you've determined that you're not in need of immediate medical attention, it's time to assess any passengers in your van.
If everyone is relatively unharmed or suffering only minor injuries, it's time to notice your surroundings and take note of what's happening outside the van. Is the van in a safe position? Are you located in a position that's away from further immediate danger?
What about other vehicles involved in the accident? Are the people in those vehicles injured? Do they need immediate medical attention?
If there are injuries beyond cuts, scrapes, etc., now is the time to seek medical attention.
The next step is to call the authorities. You should never leave the scene of an accident before law enforcement arrives – unless, of course, you've been injured and paramedics are taking you away.
Even if you believe damage to your van, person, and passengers is minimal, there are always problems and injuries that may not show up until after the accident. Without a police report to document the accident and account for potential injuries – even seemingly minor injuries, it will be difficult to prove should the need arise later.
If you don't have a van accident guide provided by your insurance company, use your mobile phone and take as many photographs as possible of the accident scene, your van, the other vehicle, tire marks, etc. Write down your account of what happened and gather names, phone numbers, and such of witnesses to the accident.
Do Not Admit Responsibility
The only people you should discuss the accident with are the police. Even then you should be careful in what you admit. Never admit fault in the accident. Even if you believe you may have been at fault, you should never admit it, as even the admission could prove problematic down the road– and you may not have been at fault according to PA law.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you aren't suffering from serious visible injuries, it's best to get medical attention to check for internal or soft tissue injuries that could prove problematic later on. The bottom line is that not all injuries are visible to the naked eye. It's always better to err on the side of health and safety – especially in the event of a van crash in PA.
Contact an Experienced Van Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia
If you've been injured in a van accident, no matter how minor the injury seems at the moment, it's in your best interest to contact a top van crash attorney in Philadelphia to find out where you stand.
You have rights as the victim of a van accident. You need someone who understands your rights and is willing and able to help you make sure they're not ignored. More importantly, you want an attorney with experience helping people in your situation get justice in the aftermath of a van accident.