What should I do immediately following a car accident?

after_car_accidentBeing involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a jarring experience. Knowing what to do—and what not to do—in the moments immediately following a car or truck crash can help accident victims protect their right to collect compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Safety First

Check everyone in the involved vehicles for injuries. Call an ambulance for serious circumstances; don't attempt to move the injured. If possible, relocate the vehicles to the side of the road or set up emergency flares or triangles to avoid the potential for secondary collisions.

Report the Accident to Law Enforcement

If an ambulance was called, the police will already be enroute. Otherwise, calling to report the accident to law enforcement is the next step. While a police report isn't admissible in court, it can provide valuable information for an accident victim's personal injury attorney.

Gather Evidence

If accident victims aren't seriously injured, they can gather evidence while waiting for police to arrive. Evidence that helps build a strong case includes:

  • Photos or videos of the crash scene, as well as any property damage or injuries
  • Exchanging contact, license, and insurance information with the other involved drivers
  • Getting names and contact information from witnesses

Seek Medical Attention

It's important to get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if no serious injuries are readily apparent. A doctor can rule out, treat, and document existing injuries, as well as diagnose more subtle symptoms that could potentially lead to late-appearing injuries. If medical bills start to pile up, do not stress about keeping up with them as there are methods you can use to temporarily relieve that financial pressure. 

Notify Insurance Provider

Many insurance agreements require insurees to report accidents to their insurance provider as soon as possible or risk a potential denial of their claim. While accident victims must notify their insurance carrier, they aren't required to—and shouldn't—discuss their injuries or the cause of the crash, or provide a recorded statement, without consulting an attorney.

Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling motor vehicle accident cases can help clients ensure their rights are protected after a serious crash.

If you were involved in a car accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, the car accident attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to arrange an appointment for a free initial case consultation.


Pellegrino Certa
Pittsburgh Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney