Car accidents continue to be an unfortunate fact of life, despite strict traffic rules and ongoing public awareness about road safety. Car accidents on Pennsylvania's highways, roads, and streets are all too common. While there is no foolproof way to avoid a car accident, it is critical to be prepared for what happens next in order to mitigate the consequences.
In this article, we will discuss some mistakes to avoid if you are involved in a car accident in PA. If you would like assistance with your PA car accident claim or have other questions, feel free to contact Brandon J. Broderick. We would love to help you.
Mistake #1 : Not Calling the Police
Under Pennsylvania law, anyone involved in an accident is required to report it within five days. However, it is always advisable to call the police to the scene, especially if you have suffered serious injuries. When law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will collect evidence, collect statements, and file a police report. This evidence can help prove another party's negligence, which is very advantageous to your case.
Mistake #2 : Not Receiving Emergency Medical Care
If you have sustained severe injuries, emergency personnel will transport you to a hospital for immediate medical care. Even if you escaped the accident unscathed or with only minor injuries, you must visit a medical professional as soon as possible for an evaluation.
The adrenaline rush and chaos that follow a car accident may prevent you from feeling the symptoms of injuries. Some internal or soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, may not manifest for weeks or even months.
Visiting a doctor will ensure that your injuries are treated promptly and do not worsen over time. In addition, the medical documentation will serve as crucial evidence should you file a claim for compensation. It will aid in establishing that the injuries were caused by the accident and not by another event.
Mistake #3 : Posting About the Accident on Social Media
Many people's first reaction after a major life event is to post about it on social media. However, while you may want to inform your friends and followers about what happened, you must resist the urge to post about your car accident. There are a number of reasons for this, and insurance companies are increasingly using accident victims' social media posts against them.
Mistake #4 : Admitting Fault or Saying Too Much
Even saying "I'm sorry" to the other party could be used as evidence that you were at fault in an accident.
Because the other party may be gathering evidence to conceal their fault in the accident, revealing too much information could come back to haunt you. Limit conversation to exchanging contact information and ensuring everyone involved receives the necessary medical care. Additionally, after leaving the accident scene, you should not discuss your case or medical treatments with anyone other than your PA car accident attorney.
Mistake #5 : Not Taking Photographs or Collecting Evidence
While you are waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, document the accident scene and collect evidence. Take photographs of all involved vehicles from multiple angles. Additionally, take photographs of the road, skid marks, debris, and any potential property damage. This will aid the insurer and jury in determining who was at fault and how the accident occurred.
Additionally, if you deem it safe, approach the other driver(s) and exchange information with them. Request the driver's name, contact information, license, insurance policy number, and license plate number.
Lastly, if there are witnesses to the collision, such as other drivers or pedestrians, obtain their contact information and record their statements. The credibility of your injury claim could be greatly enhanced by credible witnesses.
Mistake #6 : Delay in Contacting a Lawyer
It is in your best interest to contact your auto accident attorney as soon as possible following the collision if you hope to receive fair compensation for all damages. Remember that each state has its own deadline for filing a lawsuit, or "statute of limitations."
The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania is two years from the date of the accident. You may lose your legal right to file a claim and recover compensation for your losses from the responsible party if you fail to do so within the specified time frame.
A skilled and seasoned PA car accident attorney will work with you from day one by gathering evidence, advising you on the legal complexities of the claims process, and recommending the best course of action.
They will negotiate with manipulative insurance companies that will go to great lengths to discredit and devalue your claim, and they will defend your legal rights by fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Mistake #7 : Accepting an Insurance Settlement Quickly
One of the most common errors that car accident victims make is signing a settlement agreement without first consulting an attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for making lowball offers to accident victims and attempting to compensate them for the least amount possible.
The financial hardships you may be experiencing and the need for quick cash to pay your mounting medical bills may compel you to accept compensation far below the actual value of your claim. Signing a settlement agreement will prevent you from filing a personal injury claim and obtaining additional compensation.
If the at-fault party refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, a PA car accident attorney like Brandon J. Broderick will take the case to court.
Mistake #8 : Not Considering All of the Damages Related to the Accident
Oftentimes, the physical and emotional trauma following a car accident makes it difficult for accident victims to fully value their claim by realizing the extent of losses for which they can claim compensation.
If you have suffered serious injuries, you can sue the negligent party for multiple types of damages. You wish to be compensated for all financial losses, which extend beyond the mounting hospital bills and ongoing care. These may include lost wages, physical and mental suffering, and psychological trauma.
Consequently, it is essential to assess your losses and avoid making a hasty decision by accepting the insurance company's initial offers, as you will likely receive a meager payout. It is important that you speak with an experienced attorney right away that can guide you.
Brandon J. Broderick is Prepared to Assist you With Your PA Car Accident Claim
Some individuals will not pursue a personal injury claim because they do not want to deal with the hassle and work involved. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we prioritize restoring your health and well-being before initiating the process of recovering your financial losses. We handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies and construct your case in order to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. Do not be responsible for medical expenses and bills that are not your fault.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are committed to assisting Pennsylvania clients with their auto accident and personal injury cases. We have decades of experience and the extensive resources necessary to secure a favorable outcome for your case. Our attorneys prioritize client care and your needs out of compassion. Contact us today for a complimentary legal consultation.