Mistakes to Avoid After a Pennsylvania Car Accident
The moments following a car accident are scary, particularly if you’ve been seriously injured in the crash. In the confusion at the accident scene, it’s natural for people to become unsure of what to do next. Due to this, instead of taking the proper steps after a car accident, accident victims sometimes make some common mistakes. Although many injured individuals make these same errors, it’s essential to know what they are, so you can avoid making them. This will help protect your claim for compensation in the future.
Not Calling the Police
Pennsylvania law requires anyone involved in an accident to report the crash within five days of the accident. However, it’s always best to call the police to the scene, particularly if you’ve been seriously injured. When they arrive at the scene, law enforcement will collect evidence, gather statements, and file a police report. This documentation can help prove another person was negligent, which is very beneficial to your claim.
Not Taking Pictures of the Scene
Pictures serve as particularly useful pieces of evidence after a car accident. The most helpful pictures include those of damage to any vehicles, evidence such as skid marks on the road, your injuries, and anything else relevant to the crash scene. For example, if another driver ran a red light and that caused your accident, take a picture of the traffic signals. Although you can’t take a photo of the actual red light, it can show help indicate what caused the crash. Photos are especially helpful to accident reconstruction experts when they are trying to recreate the scene.
Talking to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If the other driver has chosen tort auto insurance under Pennsylvania’s financial responsibility laws, their insurance company will contact you. However, you should never speak to them. They are not on your side and only want to minimize your settlement. They do this by obtaining recorded statements and taking your words out of context so it looks like you were partly at fault for the crash. Do not give them any statement but instead, refer them to your attorney.
Not Seeking Medical Treatment
Your health should be your main priority after a crash. It’s vital you seek medical treatment right away to prevent your injuries from becoming worse. Some injuries, such as concussions, are not always evident right away, so it’s important to seek medical attention even if you think you are not injured. Not only is seeing a doctor important for your health, but failing to do so could actually hurt your claim. The insurance company is likely to say that you didn’t seek medical help, so you couldn’t have been that injured in the crash.
Not Speaking to a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer
Studies have shown that when you have legal representation after a car accident, you are more likely to recover the full amount of compensation you are owed. Insurance companies know that attorneys are aware of the tricks they use, and that they will hold the insurer accountable for paying what you deserve.
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, call our experienced Scranton auto accident lawyers at Haggerty, Hinton & Cosgrove, LLP. We fight for the rights of accident victims and will guide you through every step of your claim. If you’ve been hurt, call us today at 570-354-5205 so we can review your case.