Think After a Car or Bus Accident in Philadelphia
Most people have a tendency to panic a little following an accident even though doing so can often lead to even bigger accidents and more dire consequences. When you get into an accident, the first thing you need to do is stop and get your mind out of panic mode and begin thinking.
Just because you were just in an accident a few moments ago doesn't mean another one is not right around the corner. After an accident -- once you get your wits together -- take the following steps to ensure everyone's safety.
Get to Safety
If your car is not stopped, calmly pull over to the side of the road, park your car on the shoulder, and put on the emergency brake. Make sure everyone else inside the vehicle is OK. Do not only ask them, but look them over.
Once you know that everyone inside your vehicle is OK, put your cell phone in your pocket, look for on-coming traffic and in your rear view and side mirrors for traffic coming up behind you. Get out of the car when it is safe.
Before you assess the damage to your car, make sure the other(s) driver and everyone in his or her vehicle is OK. If there are injured parties in either vehicle call 911 before doing anything else.
Look at the location of the vehicles and make certain that they are parked in safe locations. Do not park on curves and make sure every vehicle that was in the accident is as far off the road as possible, especially if weather conditions are poor -- icy, slick roads; heavy rain or dense fog; strong winds and debris in the air; etc.
Get all passengers out of both vehicles and get them to a safe area away from the road.
If the accident immobilized one or more of the vehicles and it/they remain in the lane, send one person -- preferably with a flashlight or brightly colored clothes -- in each direction to slow traffic coming upon the accident. If necessary, ask other drivers whom were not involved in the accident to assist you with this.
Assess the Damage
Look at both vehicles to determine whether the accident requires the assistance of the police or state patrol. Some minor accidents can be dealt with by simply exchanging insurance information.
If you find that it is necessary to call the authorities, but there is no emergency -- no reason to call 911, -- try contacting the police or state patrol through on the non-emergency line in case there are other more pressing matters they are dealing with. Sit patiently and wait for the authorities to arrive, even if the other party decides to leave.
Regardless of what happens, make certain to take down the license plate numbers and letters of every vehicle involved in the accident. If you sustained any injuries, retain a personal injury lawyer to get maximum compensation.