What to Do After a Car Accident
D’Amico Law Offices, LLC
Learn what to do after a car accident, and if you’re hurt, call a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at D’Amico Law Offices, LLC at (412) 652-9300. Free Consultation.
- Common Car Accidents & Injuries in Pittsburgh
- Proving Fault After a Crash
- What to Do After a Car Accident
- Car Accident Compensation
- Get in Touch with a Car Accident Lawyer
- What to Do After a Car Accident: FAQs
What to Do After a Car Accident: How an Attorney Can Help
Nobody gets behind the wheel or into the passenger’s seat of a car expecting to be in a crash. But when the unexpected happens, the resulting injury or death of a loved one can feel unbearable.
D’Amico Law Offices, LLC is here to help from day one. Our Pittsburgh car accident lawyers will guide you through the claim process with your own insurance company, the at-fault driver’s insurer, and, if necessary, in court.
Our family-run personal injury litigation firm has a track record of helping individuals and families put their lives back together after serious accidents. We have the legal experience to help and the human experience to care. Reach out at (412) 652-9300 or through our online form to set up a consultation.
Common Car Accidents & Injuries in Pittsburgh
Our firm has extensive experience representing individuals and families after motor vehicle accidents. Call us immediately after a:
- Car Accident
- Semi-Truck Accident
- Motorcycle Accident
- Bicycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident
- Drunk Driver Accident
- Uninsured Motorist/Uninsured Motorist Accident
We fight for drivers and passengers injured in crashes to receive maximum compensation from their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. We’ll also explain when you have the right to sue the at-fault driver under Pennsylvania’s no-fault laws or West Virginia’s fault-based laws.
Common car accident injuries include:
- Broken Bones
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Complete or Partial Paralysis
- Nerve Damage
- Internal Organ Injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
When you hire us, you get more than a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer; you gain a family who will advocate on behalf of yours.
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*Not actual clients or representatives of the firm
Proving Fault After a Crash
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means you’ll rely on your PIP and full or limited tort insurance to cover your medical bills and lost wages. You may have the right to sue the other driver or file a third-party insurance claim—it depends on your insurance coverage.
If you carry full tort insurance, you’ve opted out of the no-fault system. You’ll have to prove the other driver was at fault to win compensation beyond your PIP benefits. We recommend calling us as soon as possible to navigate the state’s complex insurance laws.
When determining how we’ll prove the other driver was at fault, we consider many factors:
Negligence: Most car crash claims rely on proving the other driver was negligent. Every driver is responsible for behaving like a reasonable person. They have to obey traffic laws and drive carefully. A driver is negligent when they don’t behave like a reasonable person and cause a crash that hurts someone else.
Your Burden of Proof: Most people know the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In criminal cases, you must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. But in civil cases, such as car accident claims, the burden of proof is lighter and known as “a preponderance of the evidence.” You have to show the other driver was most likely at fault.
The Police Report & Traffic Tickets: We can use the police report to support your claim if the officer noted the other driver was at fault. It also may help your case if the officer cited the driver for violating a traffic law. Witness Testimony: Bystanders who saw the accident may issue statements that help support your case. Our team knows how to find possible witnesses and determine whether their testimony is reliable and helpful to your claim.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The outcome of your insurance claim or lawsuit might depend on what you did after a crash. But don’t panic if you didn’t follow these specific steps – call a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer for guidance.
- Stay Safe & Help Others
Always put your and your passengers’ health and safety first after a wreck. Avoiding further injury is more important than getting out of the car and exchanging information. But if you’re OK, help your passengers and anyone who may be hurt.
Never leave the accident scene until you’ve spoken with the police or exchanged information with the other driving. Leaving too soon could result in a hit-and-run charge.
- Call 911
If anyone appears to be hurt, call 911 to ensure emergency responders arrive right away and transport injury victims to the nearest hospital. Police officers will conduct a review of the scene and write up a crash report.
If the crash caused property damage only, call the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police non-emergency number (412) 323-7800. However, the police aren’t required to come to the crash site if there are no injuries or fatalities. In which case, you’ll need to file an accident report with the Department of Transportation.
- Exchange Information with Other Drivers
Ask the other driver for their name, driver’s license number, and insurance information. It’s often easiest to ask if you can take pictures of their driver’s license and insurance card with your phone.
Keep the conversation with the other driver to a minimum. Don’t get angry and yell at them, and don’t apologize or take responsibility. Now isn’t the time to hash out what happened and who’s at fault.
- Ask for Witnesses’ Names and Information
If the other vehicle had passengers or other witnesses stopped to help, politely ask for their names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
- Document the Scene
If you or a passenger still have a working cell phone, take pictures of the crash scene and anyone’s injuries. Document the damage as thoroughly as you can. It also helps to take notes about the location, road conditions, weather conditions, and any other factors that might be important in the future.
- See a Doctor
Either go to the emergency room or see your doctor as soon as possible. This step is essential. To win car accident compensation, you must prove you suffered an injury. Pittsburgh car accident lawyers do that with medical records and, in some cases, a medical expert’s testimony.
- Notify Your Auto Insurance Company
As soon as you’re safe and in stable condition, you should notify your insurer about the crash. If your loved one was seriously hurt in an accident, contact their insurer on their behalf. Notification is vital to receiving your PIP and other auto insurance benefits.
- Don’t Answer Questions Right Away
It’s best to avoid talking with the other driver’s insurance company until you’ve spoken with an attorney. You want to be sure you provide clear, accurate answers without saying anything that could hurt your claim. A Pittsburgh car accident attorney can help with that.
- Call a Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer
Insurance companies handle car accidents involving property damage only just fine. But if you suffered injuries or your relative died in the crash, it’s best to hire a car accident law firm in Pittsburgh within days of the crash. D’Amico Law Offices, LLC can help at any point before you accept a settlement offer, but we can fight for a better outcome if we’re part of your case from the beginning.
Car Accident Compensation
Your possible car accident compensation depends on several factors, including whether you carry full or limited tort insurance. We’ll review your insurance coverage and fight for you to receive the maximum benefits under your policy.
When your policy can’t cover all your damages, we’ll explain how to move forward with a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Through a claim against the at-fault driver, you can demand compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Reduced Earning Capacity
- Property Damage
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Anguish
- Loss of Companionship of a Spouse
Get in Touch with a Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents can involve serious injuries and permanent, long-term life changes. If you or a loved one were injured in a car crash, knowing what to do after an accident can help you as you prepare for a legal claim. You should contact a lawyer for advice and guidance early on, so they can prepare you properly for your case.
At D’Amico Law, we strive to be the best representatives for our clients and fight zealously to obtain the best possible results. We are a family-oriented law firm and treat all of our clients as if they were one of our own. Get in touch with us at (412) 652-9300 for a free, no-obligation consultation for your case. Taking action is the first step toward regaining control of your life.
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*Not actual clients or representatives of the firm