After you have been involved in a car accident that you believe was caused by the other driver or by someone else’s fault, there are steps you need to take to protect your legal rights to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. You should also act quickly in the days and weeks following an accident to help put yourself in a favorable position to successfully obtain a financial recovery from the at-fault driver or party.
Gather Evidence and Information from the Accident Scene
If you did not gather evidence at the scene of the accident immediately following the crash, you should return to the scene to take photos and video, including details like any skid marks that may still be left from the accident, the traffic controls and signals at the scene, and the view and visual obstructions (if any) from each driver’s position leading up to the accident. You should also remember to request a copy of the police accident report, if law enforcement was called to the scene and investigated the crash.
Notify Your Insurer
You should also remember to notify your auto insurance company that you were involved in an accident as soon as possible. If you have suffered injuries, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation under your insurance policy’s personal injury protection coverage, which can provide money for medical bills and lost wages. Failing to notify your insurer of an accident within the deadline set in your policy may result in your insurer denying you coverage.
Promptly Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not think that you were injured in the car accident, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible following the crash to get examined. Many injuries that may be caused by a car accident can have delayed manifestation of symptoms, or may cause symptoms that you ignore or brush off. However, by having a doctor diagnose your injuries soon after a car accident, you will have stronger evidence that the injuries you later claim in your legal action for compensation were caused by the crash and were not pre-existing injuries.
Make sure to keep copies of any records of expenses and losses that you incur due to the car accident. This can include car repair invoices, medical bills, receipts for prescription drug or medical equipment purchases, and pay stubs or income tax returns to calculate your lost wages/income. You may also want to consider starting a diary or journal of your recovery from your injuries, so that you have a contemporaneous record of the pain, emotional distress, and difficulties with daily living that you experienced due to your injuries and medical treatment.
Be Careful When Giving Statements
Finally, you should be cautious whenever talking to anyone but your lawyer about the accident or your injuries, especially if you agree to give a statement to an insurance company. You should refrain from saying things like “I didn’t see the other driver” or “I’m sorry.” Even if you are taking an apologetic tone just to offer empathy to the other driver, those sorts of statements may later be construed as evidence that you knew you were responsible for the accident. You should also refrain from discussing your injuries or saying that you feel fine or okay until your doctor releases you from treatment, since those statements might be used to argue that you were not as badly hurt as you claim.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Matzus Law LLC represent clients injured because of car accidents in Pittsburgh, Butler, Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Washington, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (412) 206-5300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at One Commerce Square 2005 Market St., Suite 910 Pittsburgh, PA 19103, as well as an office in Pittsburgh.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.