Philadelphia Car Accident Scene FAQ
After a car accident, a Pennsylvania driver’s nervous system goes into overdrive. Adrenaline starts pumping, nerves kick in, and it can be hard to think clearly. Because car accidents are traumatic, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the proper steps to take before a Pennsylvania car crash occurs.
What should I do if I’m involved in a car accident in Philadelphia?
If you are involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, the first thing to do is stop driving. Pull over as closely to the scene of your accident as possible. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in Pennsylvania, whether or not you were responsible for the crash. If you drive away, you can be charged with “hit and run,” a 3rd degree misdemeanor if only property (vehicle) damage occurred, and a 3rd degree felony if bodily injury was sustained.
If you hit a parked car, Pennsylvania driving law requires you to seek out its owner. If you cannot, you may only leave the scene after leaving your name, contact information, and an explanation of your accident with the car you hit.
Call 911 After A Pennsylvania Auto Accident
Next, call 911. Detail the accident and give the operator your location. Be sure to indicate whether you or the other driver need medical attention.
Exchange Information With The Other Driver In Your Car Accident
The information that you collect at this point is extremely important. Your auto insurance company will require specific details, and the success of a personal injury lawsuit hinges on thorough reporting. Write down as many of the following as possible.
From the other driver in your accident:
- Name, address, phone number, and date of birth
- Driver’s license number, expiration date
- The name of their auto insurance carrier
- Their vehicle’s make, model, year of manufacture, license number, vehicle identification number (VIN)
If the other vehicle’s driver does not own the car, ask for the owner’s name and contact information. When possible, call the vehicle’s owner and request all appropriate information.
From any passengers in the other car:
- Contact information
From witnesses of the accident:
- Contact information
- If possible, a description of the accident from their perspective
- If a witness is unwilling to speak, write down their vehicle’s license number. A police officer may be able to follow up during the course of investigation.
Take Detailed Notes On Your Philadelphia Car Accident
- Draw a diagram of the accident, including the two cars involved, the directions in which they were driving, and any other important details.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, including damage to any of the vehicles involved.
- Inspect the roadway for skid marks. These details may prove important in an ensuing personal injury lawsuit, in which skid marks may indicate that a driver attempted to prevent the accident by braking suddenly.
- Make note of the roadway’s condition and any weather conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
- How fast were you driving when the accident occurred? Can you accurately estimate the other driver’s speed?
- Record the exact time and location of the accident.
I think the accident was my fault. What should I do?
Cooperate with the police officers investigating the accident. Don’t lie; try to represent the circumstances surrounding the accident as accurately as possible. Even so, make note of the other’s drivers statements. Many auto accident victims have learned later on that they were not wholly responsible for their crash.
Do I have to call my auto insurance company?
Yes. Call your insurance carrier and find out what forms you need to complete. With that being said, your insurance policy may not allow enough compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle damage. If your accident was serious, the guidance of an experienced car accident lawyer in Philadelphia is indispensable.
Contact A Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured in a Pennsylvania auto accident, contact our personal injury attorneys today. We may be able to secure valuable compensation from unwilling auto insurance companies, or even file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. Act now; many car accident victims only learn that they were entitled to compensation after it is too late.