What to do if you are in a car accident
Millions of people are injured in car accidents in the United States each year. A car accident can happen anytime and anywhere and can range from a minor fender bender to a tragic crash resulting in death. Although you may do your best to avoid a car crashes, you cannot control road conditions, the weather and other drivers on the road.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its report of 2014 Crash Data Key Findings last week, and motor vehicle crash fatalities and injuries are still at a very high level. 32,675 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes and another 2.3 million injured in crashes in 2014.
Alcohol played a role in 31 percent of the motor vehicle fatalities and 28 percent of the total fatalities were speed related. There were more than six million police-reported crashes last year. 4,884 pedestrians and 726 cyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2014.
Pennsylvania is in the top five states in traffic fatalities with 1,195 motor vehicle crash deaths in 2014. Pennsylvania roads and highways, including I-80, I-81, I-76, I-95, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and others are highly congested and the frequent locations of serious car accidents. Car accidents are caused by a number of things, from drinking and driving, drowsy driving and distracted driving to equipment failure, weather conditions, speeding and other reckless driving. Some causes are controllable some are not.
Although we can’t control the behavior of others on the roadway, we can do whatever possible to ensure we take precautions to avoid car accidents. This includes regular vehicle maintenance to check tires and brakes, avoiding any distractions when driving, avoiding driving when tired or in inclement weather conditions, always following posted speed limits and other road rules, always using seat belts and never drinking and driving.
If you do find yourself in a car accident, here is what we recommend you do:
- Stay calm.
- If the accident is not serious and your car is operational, move it safely to the side of the road, out of traffic.
- If the accident is serious and there are injuries, call 911 immediately.
- Call the police and tell them the exact location of the accident.
- If you can safely do so, check on others who were involved in the accident.
- If you are not seriously injured begin to document the scene and gather information – driver and passenger names, license plate numbers, insurance information, location, witness information.
- Snap photos with your cell phone.
- If you are injured get medical help immediately.
- Call your insurance company.
It is always important to call the police in the event of an accident, as they will document the accident and gather facts. It is also important to call an attorney soon after the accident if you’ve sustained injuries. An attorney can begin an investigation into the cause of the car accident and help protect your rights.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident or another vehicle accident, call the car accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today for a free consultation. Call 215-575-9237 for our Philadelphia office or 570-714-HURT for our Wilkes-Barre office.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.