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8 Smart Steps to Take Following A Car, Truck, or Other Motor Vehicle Accident

Truck, car, and other vehicle accidents are unfortunately common occurrences in and around Western Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh metro area. While we encourage all motorists to practice safe driving to avoid accidents, if you find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are steps you can take to help yourself immediately after the accident and as the process goes on.

Here are the 8 simple, smart, steps to take following your accident:

1. Maintain an Accident Essentials Kit in Your Vehicle —  An emergency kit should be kept in your vehicle with essentials such as a fully charged cell phone or emergency charger, flashlight, writing materials for exchanging notes with the other driver(s), a cell phone camera or other camera for photographing damage to the vehicles, people and the scene, and any vital medical information in the event you require care for injuries sustained in the crash.

2. Be Thorough and Exchange All Necessary Information with the Other Drivers — After a motor vehicle accident, no matter how minor it may seem at the time, operators should exchange the following information, to save time and money down the line:
a. name of driver, name of any passengers, names of any onlookers or witnesses
b. driver's license number and the full name and address information on the license, and the state issued
c. insurance company and policy number
d. make, model, color and license plate of vehicles.
e. drivers' license number
f. vehicle owner information.

3. Photographic Documentation:  If possible, take photographs of the scene, the other drivers, passengers and other people on or near the scene, the weather conditions, any roadway conditions, the vehicles involved from all sides to show damage.  Preserve these photocopies in a safe place.

4.  Injuries:  Keep in mind that injuries or the extent of your injuries may not be immediately apparent.  Do not assume that you are "okay."  You probably cannot know that for sure at this time.

5.  Police/Ambulance/Other Personnel:  If police, ambulance or other personnel respond to the scene, do not admit fault.  This includes admitting fault  to the other party.  Even if you believe you may be at fault, do not take the blame because it is too soon for you to know and understand all of the circumstances that caused the accident and injuries.

6. Protect yourself and your family:  Call your attorney as soon as possible.  You should consult with your attorney BEFORE speaking to any insurance company including your own insurance company.  Many times; insurance companies will contact you seeking information following an accident. You risk giving information, even inadvertently, that can seriously damage your case.  Your attorney will guide you through making the report to your insurance company in the right way and give you instructions on your next steps.

7.  Do not settle without legal representation:  Consult with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer beforre speaking with either insurance company or accepting any settlement offers.

8.  Call Berger & Lagnese:  Our consultation is free and in fact you won't pay us unless and until you recover money.  Contact us right away and we will help preserve evidence and investigate as warranted.  We meticulously review your medical treatment records and lost wages to help you recoup what you deserve, either through settlement negotiations or litigation in court.