Motor vehicle accidents can be overwhelming and traumatic experiences. In Pennsylvania, the aftermath of such incidents can be particularly confusing, especially if you’re dealing with injuries and damage. Knowing the correct steps following a motor vehicle accident ensures your well-being and protects your legal rights. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential actions to take if you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania.
Steps to Take Following a Motor Vehicle Accident
Ensure Safety and Seek Medical Attention:
The first and foremost concern after a motor vehicle accident is the safety of all involved parties. If you can do so safely, move your vehicle out of traffic to prevent further accidents. Check yourself and others for injuries and call for medical assistance if necessary. Your health should always be the top priority.
Contact Law Enforcement:
Regardless of the accident’s severity, it’s crucial to contact local law enforcement to report the incident. Having an official police report can be invaluable when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action. Cooperate with the officers and provide accurate information about the accident.
Document the accident scene by taking photos of the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, and any visible injuries. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties. If there are witnesses, obtain their names and contact information. This evidence can be essential when building your case. Take a picture of the other driver’s license, owner’s card, and proof of insurance.
Consult an Experienced Attorney:
If you’ve sustained injuries in the accident, it’s advisable to consult a knowledgeable motor vehicle accident attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal complexities, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. The Law Offices of Mitchell Clair specialize in motor vehicle injury claims and can provide the expert guidance you need.
Medical Treatment and Documentation:
Even if your injuries seem minor initially, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries might not manifest symptoms immediately but could worsen over time. Keep records of all medical treatment, prescriptions, and doctor’s notes. This documentation will be crucial when determining the extent of your injuries and the compensation you’re entitled to. Do everything you can to try and get better.
Dealing with Insurance Adjusters:
Insurance companies will likely assign adjusters to evaluate your claim. While they may seem friendly, remember that their goal is to minimize the company’s financial liability. It’s wise to consult your attorney before communicating extensively with insurance adjusters. Your attorney can help you navigate these conversations and protect your rights.
Calculating Damages and Compensation:
Determining the extent of your damages is a critical step in the process. Damages may include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and, most importantly, pain and suffering. Your attorney can help assess the full scope of your losses and negotiate with the insurance company or the at-fault party to secure fair compensation.
Negotiation and Settlement:
Many motor vehicle injury claims are resolved through negotiation rather than going to court. Your attorney will work to negotiate a settlement that adequately covers your losses. However, it’s essential not to settle for less than you deserve. Your attorney’s expertise is invaluable in achieving a fair settlement.
Consideration of Legal Action:
Your attorney may recommend pursuing legal action if negotiations don’t resolve satisfactorily. Filing a lawsuit can be complex, but your attorney will guide you through each step. Having a skilled legal professional by your side can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Advocating for You After an Accident
Do you need legal assistance after a motor vehicle accident? Don’t navigate the complexities alone—contact The Law Offices of Mitchell Clair for expert guidance and representation. Your rights matter, and we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our personal injury law firm at (610) 940-5400 today for more information or to schedule a consultation.