What To Do (and What Not To Do) If You Are In a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to comply with your legal obligations and also to take steps to protect your legal rights. If you are hurt, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, damages or losses. The Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that you abide by the following guidelines at an accident scene:

  • Stop your vehicle. Leaving the scene of an accident constitutes a hit-and-run offense.
  • Call the police. If any vehicle needs to be towed or if anyone in the accident is injured then you must call the police ― do not remove the car from the scene of the accident until authorized to do so by the police.
  • Gather information from the other drivers. This includes names and addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license and car registration numbers, insurance policy numbers and company names.
  • Find witnesses. Get the names and addresses of any witnesses of the crash, including all passengers.
  • Check to see if a parked vehicle or property in the area has been damaged in the accident. If you cannot locate the owner, leave a note with your name, phone number and date and time of the accident.
  • Seek medical attention. Go to an emergency room or your family doctor to obtain appropriate treatment ― your medical records provide important documentation of your injuries.
  • Call your insurance company. You should report the accident to your insurance agent or company.
  • Gather evidence. Take photographs of the vehicles, the accident scene and injuries, noting the weather and road conditions.
  • File an accident report. If the accident resulted in injury or death, or if a vehicle required towing, and for some reason the police did not investigate the accident, you must complete a Driver’s Accident Report Form (AA-600) within five days of the accident ― a lawyer can help you complete the form.

Keep in mind that you are under no obligation to speak with the other party’s insurance company. You should never sign anything or agree to any settlement offer before consulting with a lawyer.

If you have been in an accident, contact our experienced car accident attorneys as soon as possible. At Rosenn Jenkins Greenwald LLP, our attorneys will meet with you, explore all facets of the case, advise you and come up with an action plan to best represent your interests.