What To Do if You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident

Car accident In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you may be overwhelmed with feelings of stress, worry, confusion, and panic, which can make it difficult to make decisions about your next steps. If you, your passengers, or others involved in the accident were injured, it’s important to ensure they get help immediately.

What you do following an accident can also help ensure you receive proper compensation to cover damages, lost wages, and other expenses in a personal injury case. These are the most important steps you can take in the aftermath of a car accident.

#1. Stop at the scene. Failing to stop at an accident scene involving injury or property damage is a crime. The law says when you stop, you cannot obstruct traffic more than necessary. And if there are no serious injuries or death and your car is drivable, you must move your vehicle to a “safe refuge” off the road if you can do so safely.

Make sure your vehicle is as visible as possible by using your flashers or flares.

Make sure you are in a safe place. Tragically, we have seen too many cases where someone in a minor fender bender is then hit by another vehicle while standing outside the car, suffering far more serious injuries or even death.

#2. Render Aid. The law requires you to render “reasonable assistance” for anyone injured, including arranging for medical treatment, such as by calling 911.

#3. Exchange information. The law requires you to give your name, address, vehicle registration, and upon request, driver’s license and insurance, to the police officer and anyone injured or whose property was damaged.

#4. Contact police. While the law says that you must contact the police only if the accident results in injury or death or the vehicle requires towing, we strongly recommend the police be called any time a car or truck accident happens.

When the police arrive, stay calm, polite, and give your version of what happened. Never guess about speed, time, or distance because that can have serious consequences later. Be sure to tell the police all areas of your body you injured. Adrenaline from the accident may mask injury at the scene. Make sure any injuries, even if they come up later, are reported to the police and insurance company.

After the accident, you can also speak with the officers who responded to the accident to collect the paperwork on your case and get more information. This paperwork is also essential to building your personal injury case with a lawyer. It’s also needed when reporting your accident to your insurance agency.

#5. Document. Take photographs of the scene and the vehicles. Write down the other driver’s information, including insurance, because the police report may not be available for up to 15 days. Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses. It’s also important to document your injuries. If an ambulance showed up or you were taken to the hospital, there should be paperwork documenting your injuries and treatment. However, you should make your own notes of your injuries and take pictures as well.

#6. Get medical treatment for your injuries. As the saying goes, better to be safe than sorry. It is important to communicate to your doctors all areas of your body that were or might have been injured in the accident, starting from your head to your feet.

#7. Contact your insurance company immediately to report the accident. You may be surprised to learn that if you are injured, you first submit your medical bills and wage loss to your own car insurance company, which is called “first party” benefits.

If you are asked to give a recorded statement, it is important to know that only your own insurance company has a right to insist you do so.  Even if you are asked, you have right to consult with an attorney first. You have no obligation to give any statements to the other driver’s insurance company.

#8. Understand your rights before you sign anything. When you are involved in a car or truck accident, it is hard to know if your injuries will resolve in a few weeks, linger on for years, or remain for the rest of your life. Many times, within days or weeks of the accident, the other driver’s insurance company will offer you a small sum of money for lost wages or pain and suffering. If you sign paperwork or cash that check, you will give up your right to further compensation if your injuries are more serious than you thought.

#9. Call Lenahan & Dempsey to understand your rights. If you have been hurt in a crash or have questions about a possible case, call us for a free case evaluation.

At Lenahan & Dempsey, we have won hundreds of millions for our clients.* There is never a fee until we are successful. Details at www.LenahanDempsey.com

Consulting with a personal injury attorney can provide valuable information about your case’s potential. Car and truck accident cases can be stressful, especially if your injuries have caused you to miss work, resulting in lost wages and medical expenses. An attorney can guide you through filing a claim with your insurance or with filing a personal injury claim and getting the compensation you deserve.

Our personal injury attorneys at Lenahan & Dempsey have been helping those injured in car accidents fight for proper compensation for almost 75 years.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today by calling (888) 536-2426. We proudly serve Scranton, Wilkes- Barre, Honesdale, Berwick, Bloomsburg, Danville, Tunkhannock, the Pocono Mountains region, and all of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

*As the facts of each case are different, we are required to point out that no specific results are implied. Awards in previous cases are no guarantee of future results and should not create any expectations that our firm, or any firm, can achieve similar results in another case. Call us to discuss the details of your case.  


Call 888.536.2426 for a free consultation.

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