The scene of a car accident in Pennsylvania can seem chaotic — and you will surely feel disoriented following your accident — but there are in fact a number of sensible things you can do following your crash.
Our website already provides a checklist for what to do at the scene of a car accident, but the list doesn’t focus on those vital moments just after the accident occurred. The first 10 minutes, truth be told, are important to your safety as well as to the life of your car accident case.
The First 10 Minutes
One of the best ways to stay calm following an accident is to know ahead of time what you should and should not do. Read over the following points to learn how to behave during the first 10 minutes following your accident.
Do a Wellness Check. First and foremost, make sure everyone in your car is all right. Ask your passengers if they are OK.
Call for Help. After assessing the health of your passengers, take out your phone and dial 9-1-1 if anyone is injured. Even if there are no serious injuries, it is best to call the police as soon as you can. And do not leave the scene until the police arrive.
Get to Safety. If you and your passengers are not seriously injured — and your car is a drivable condition — move the vehicle and all people to the side of the road, out of traffic.
Hazards. Turn your hazard lights on as a warning to passing drivers.
Check on the Other Driver(s) and Passenger(s). Make sure the other driver and any passengers are OK. In this situation it is best to stay polite — don’t accuse anyone of blame but also don’t admit fault yourself.
Snap Some Photos. If you have a camera (or a camera on your cell phone), take it out and take some photos of the crash site. Photograph your car’s damage from multiple angles. Try to get as much of the crash site as you can into one photo (this includes all cars and any objects involved in the crash).
Trade Information. You should give and receive the following information with any other drivers involved in the crash:
License plate number
Driver’s license number
Insurance company details
Speak to Witnesses. If any witnesses are willing to get involved, take down their names, phone numbers, and addresses. It is good to have a third party account of a car accident in Pennsylvania.
There is much and more to know when it comes to the aftermath of your car accident in Pennsylvania. However, if you ride a motorcycle more often than you drive a car, you may want to check out our article “Do You Know What to Do Following Your Motorcycle Accident?”