3 Critical Steps to Follow When Involved in a Car Crash

Sadly, car crash accidents are pretty common in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80% of Americans will experience a car crash in their lifetime. Many accident victims will suffer minor or severe injuries, while some car accidents will result in fatalities.

It is essential to be prepared and know what to do following an accident. Vehicle crashes can lead to monstrous medical bills and income loss, so pursuing compensation after an accident is a must. Along with the economic damages of an accident, victims can experience pain and suffering damages like depression or PTSD. 

Car accident attorneys in Pittsburgh advise victims to think fast and keep calm. Otherwise, they could lose control over the situation and put any potential case at risk. When you find yourself in the event of a car crash, here are the three most important things that you should do.

1. Call 911

After the accident, no matter the gravity of it, call 911 immediately and request an ambulance. Do not leave the car if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or have blurry vision. You may have suffered a concussion, and being unable to focus can put your safety at greater risk. 

Professional health workers can inspect you and everyone involved in the car accident for any injuries. If you find yourself in a position where you can not dial 911, ask a bystander to call for an ambulance. 

When speaking to the dispatch, give them your name, location, and other details from nearby things, such as traffic signs, mile markings, and anything that can help the authorities get to the accident as soon as possible.

You may be asked to state if there are any victims or people injured. If there are any critical situations, the paramedics on the phone may guide you to do CPR. When the medics arrive, even if you feel fine, let them check you out.

In Pennsylvania, it is required to call the police to report the accident. Calling authorities is essential because it will help you later in your personal injury case. If your car is in a dangerous location on the road, pull over to the side if you can.

2. Take Notes and Pictures of Everything

You may be caught up in the adrenaline from the accident, but you must stay calm and clear. If you are in a situation where you are not severely hurt, take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries.

Record the scene, any obstacles on the road that may have contributed to the accident, and the position of the cars. This way, you can show the weather and lighting conditions at the time of the accident. You have to write down the time of the crash and how fast you were driving your vehicle. If possible, write down every person’s name involved in the car accident and those who witnessed it. 

Take note of every detail possible, even if it seems minor as it might be useful for your case. You will need the other driver’s insurance details as well.

A car accident can cause bruising and other internal injuries. It is recommended that you take progressive pictures of the injuries from the accident, as bruises can get worse two or three days later. 

Whatever you do, don’t discuss a settlement with the other driver, because you have no idea what the true extent of your injuries really is. Never admit fault, either, as this could jeopardize your ability to seek compensation.

3. Contact a Law Firm

After the police have arrived and you’ve received medical attention, contact a car accident lawyer. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means you must file your claim for any injuries caused by your accident with your insurance company. In this situation, your lawyer will need to be up to date with the details regarding the car crash. 

The notes you took about the environment, witnesses, and the people involved in the incident should be passed on to a lawyer. A lawyer can also sort the pictures to decide whether they can use them.

Driving records can be requested if necessary. If the other driver involved in the crash has any kind of negative history on their driving record, a lawyer can use that to build a strong case against them. If the accident happened in a public place where surveillance cameras could have spotted the collision, your attorney can request that footage and use it to prove who is guilty. 

Personal injury lawyers are great negotiators. They can fight to win the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Lawyers can also negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company or take them to court if needed. Car crash lawyers can also hire experts to reconstruct the accident scene and prove fault.

Calculating Damages

A personal injury attorney knows how to estimate the average cost of expenses by using industry standards. For non-economic damages, they use a multiplier based on the level of damage that you suffered. You should provide your lawyer with all receipts, bills, and invoices as part of your compensation for economic damages. 

Your compensation will also be calculated based on other factors, such as lost wages, emotional trauma, medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. 

While many drivers know what to do after an accident, keeping yourself and other road users safe should be a top priority. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S. Knowing what to do after a car crash can seem complicated, but it does not have to be. With all the steps mentioned above, you can manage this traumatic experience to your advantage.

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