If you get into a car accident in or near Philadelphia, you may be unsure how to react. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions that people have in the aftermath of a car crash.
If No One Was Hurt, Do I Need to Stop?
This can be a legitimate question if the crash was only a fender-bender and there were no injuries. Even if it is clear that there wasn't any property damage in the crash, leaving the scene is not something that you should do: It can turn even a tiny car crash into a criminal charge for hit-and-run. At the very least, you should pull over to the side of the road and talk with the other driver involved and leave your contact information.
How Should I Interact With the Other Driver After an Accident?
After a car accident, people are often frustrated, stressed, and even angry. This can make the interactions you have with the other drivers involved surprisingly tense.
It is important to remember that the side of the road is not the place to figure out what went wrong in the accident. That is something for the insurance companies to figure out later. If another driver gets aggressive, know that the only thing you should provide is your contact and insurance information. If you ask for theirs but they refuse to give it to you, you should consider contacting the police.
Do I Always Have to Call the Police?
If there were no injuries and the damage is minor, calling the police is not always necessary. However, as soon as there are injuries, you should call 9-1-1 to notify them about the accident. It is also wise to call the police whenever someone tries to leave the scene of the accident, does not have insurance or a valid driver's license, or was under the influence at the time of the crash. These details can help your case as the crash gets investigated.
When Should I Get Medical Attention?
You should seriously consider getting medical attention soon after a car accident, even if you do not think you were hurt very badly. Many injuries from a car accident remain latent for several days, but could be serious and even debilitating in the long run. These include severe injuries, like head, neck, and back injuries, as well as whiplash.
What Happens If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
If the investigation into the accident finds that it was the other driver who was at fault, their insurance should step in to make sure you get the compensation that you need to make a full recovery. However, some people choose to drive without insurance. If this is the case, you will have to rely on your own insurance company. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, then you should be covered. If you do not, though, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver to get the compensation you need.
Do I Always Have to Notify My Insurance Company of the Accident?
Most insurance policies require you to not only report an accident, but report it immediately after it happens. If this is the case, you have little option but to comply. Reporting the car crash initiates their investigation into what happened.
How Should I Handle the Other Insurance Company?
You do not have to talk directly with the other driver's insurance company. In fact, in most cases it is wise not to. They will often make a settlement offer that seems like a good deal, but in fact does not cover any of the long-term repercussions of the crash. The best thing you can do is have them contact your attorney, instead.
What Happens If My Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
An insurance claim denial is not the end of the story. Many claims are wrongly denied, and some can even constitute insurance fraud. If you think that your claim should have been covered, but ended up getting denied, contacting an attorney is the best way to fight for your rights.
How Much Does an Attorney Cost?
Many people do not consider hiring an attorney because they think it will cost too much. The attorneys at the Philadelphia office of Gilman & Bedigian, however, provide an initial consultation that costs you nothing. Oftentimes, hiring an attorney to represent you costs you nothing up front, and fees are only deducted if you win.
If you have been hurt in a car accident, the Philadelphia attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or at (800) 529-6162.