Hopefully you'll never find yourself in a car versus truck accident in Philadelphia. But considering that the average person has 3 car accidents in his or her lifetime, it's a good idea to know what to do. The following information discusses 8 things you need to do if you ever find yourself involved in a car crash.
Stay Where You Are
Even if the accident wasn't your fault or there doesn't seem to be much damage, you should never leave the scene. The laws vary from state to state, but in Philadelphia you may receive a hit and run charge even if there's only minor damage involved and you decide to drive away.
See if Anyone is Injured
If you're not injured, check to see if anyone in the other vehicle was hurt. Unless you're medically trained, it's often difficult to access injuries. Some individuals may hardly be bleeding at all but still have critical internal injuries. If you think there may be any physical injuries, call 911.
Call the Police
If it's not necessary to contact 911, make sure to call the police. In some places the police won't respond to an accident unless there are injuries. In this case you should file a vehicle accident report with the state. These reports can usually be obtained at a police station and sometimes on the DMV website.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
Even if the accident occurs on a weekend or late at night, it's still advisable to notify your agent. As soon as the agent gets the message he or she can start working on your claim. Don't give a statement if you sustained injuries, let your lawyer handle everything so you don't sabotage your good claim.
Protect the Scene of the Accident
If your vehicle is blocking traffic pull it off to the side of the road if it's possible. There may be such extensive damage that you won't be able to do this. In this case, turn on your flashers to make sure the accident isn't made worse by someone else running into the collided vehicles.
This means exchanging information with the other driver, talking to witnesses, and taking pictures if possible. Essential pieces of information to gather include name, address, phone number, and driver's license number of the other driver. Take pictures from different vantage points and at different distances. Jot down anything about the accident you think might be important. These may be significant details that you might not remember later.
Tempers often flare in the aftermath of an accident. Even if you know it was the other driver's fault, getting into a shouting match is not in your best interest. You need to stay in a calm frame of mind in order to access the damage and gather all the necessary information.
As soon as possible after the officer has given you permission to leave the scene, make a file of the accident. Pictures, statements from witnesses, and personal information about the other driver should all be kept in one organized file. Call a truck accident attorney in Philadelphia with a low contingency fee so you don't get hurt twice.