One moment you’re driving down the road thinking about what to make for dinner, and the next you’re in shock – airbags deployed, pounding heart, and racing thoughts. Each year, thousands of car accidents occur in Philadelphia. While there’s no way to fully prepare for the trauma of being involved in a car accident, you can inform yourself on what to do afterward.

car accident

Philadelphia Car Accident Checklist

There are certain protocols you should follow after a car accident to protect yourself. Keep these things in mind and follow through if you’re in a car accident.

Call for Help

No matter where the accident occurs or how minor it may seem, you should always call for help after a car crash. Police will be helpful when filing a report and obtaining evidence, but be careful not to admit any fault or make a statement. The purpose of a police report is to have a neutral account of the scene, so be sure to talk to an attorney before accepting responsibility in any way. Medical professionals like paramedics can assess any possible injuries to everyone involved in the accident. Seeking medical help should be your top priority if you’re injured; your health and safety are more important than anything else. 

Document Everything

Memories can be unreliable, especially right after the shock of a car accident. As long as you aren’t injured, take steps to document as much detail as possible including how the accident happened, photos of the scene, and any injuries to yourself or others. Take photos of your vehicle and any other vehicles involved as well as the surrounding area. Exchange information with other involved parties and any witnesses who may be able to provide their own account of the accident. Lastly, be sure to stay at the scene of an accident while waiting for police.

If you or a loved one was injured during the accident, keep records and receipts of any emergency room visits, doctor’s appointments, or other medical costs. Document any missed work due to your injury along with car repair bills. 

Report the Accident

There are two places you should report your car accident: your insurance and the police. Both are important for documenting the facts of the accident as well as providing evidence of your injuries or property damage. In Pennsylvania, the law states you must report the accident if there is significant property damage, bodily injuries that require medical assistance, or an accidental death. Even if you think the accident might be minor, you should still file reports since damages aren’t always immediately obvious. Some injuries can take days or weeks to manifest, or you might find that your car sustained more damage than you first thought. File an accident report with the police and obtain a copy for yourself. 

Should You Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

Were you severely injured in a car accident? Did you miss work due to your injuries? Are you receiving lowball offers for compensation from an insurance company? If you have damages after a car crash or want someone who can fight for your rights, an attorney who knows local and state laws is your best chance at fair compensation. Before accepting an insurance settlement, contact the attorneys at Jason Javie Law Office. We have vast knowledge and experience with assisting car accident victims in Philadelphia. Every car accident is serious, and we’re here to help.