Even after a minor car crash, drivers might feel dazed, shaken, or even in shock. However, taking the right measures to document the incident and seek medical attention is essential even in these hectic moments. These are the critical steps to take immediately when an auto accident occurs.
Check for Injuries
As soon as it’s safe to do so, drivers should pull over to a safe location and check themselves for injuries. Those who can safely exit the vehicle can also confirm whether other drivers involved in the incident have been injured.
Call the Authorities
Next, the driver should dial 911. If necessary, the dispatcher will send an ambulance to the scene. Even when no one is injured, police should be called to document the incident and release an official report. In Pennsylvania, drivers are legally required to report an accident to the police when injury or major damage is involved. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requires all accidents be reported within five days—even minor accidents.
Each driver should provide his or her contact and insurance policy information to the other drivers. This information will be required to report the car accident to the appropriate auto insurance companies. Drivers should avoid discussing injuries, fault, or the extent of damage with witnesses or other involved drivers at the scene, though everyone should still be polite and cordial.
Document the Scene
The driver should take photographs of the damage to his or her car, the surrounding property, and the entirety of the accident scene. He or she should also gather contact information from bystanders who saw the crash and are willing to serve as witnesses.
File a Claim
The accident should be reported to the driver’s insurance company as soon as possible. The report should include all pertinent details, such as the police or DMV report, a personal account of the incident, photos of the scene, and contact information for eyewitnesses.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need a personal injury attorney to help you with your case. D’Amico Law Offices, LLC is a law firm consisting of experienced auto accident attorneys that represent Pittsburgh drivers. Contact us online or call (412) 652-9300 to schedule a consultation.