The actions you take in the aftermath of a crash on PA 56, PA 219 or elsewhere near Johnstown is important to your overall case. If you wish to preserve any rights you may have to financial compensation, take certain steps to protect them.
Partnering with a lawyer can make the investigation and claims processes much easier on you.
Stay calm and remain at the scene
Do not leave the scene of the car accident. Stop as close as you safely can to the crash site and check yourself and others for injuries. Call 911 if you notice injuries, deaths or severe property damage. Stay calm and do not admit fault for the wreck.
Exchange information such as names and contact numbers with the other driver. Get his or her vehicle insurance information, license plate number and a description of the vehicle as well. If you can, take photographs of the scene.
Get medical care for any injuries
Get immediate medical attention for any injuries. Keep copies of your medical records and treatment plans. Visit a doctor for a checkup even if you do not feel injured. Many common car accident injuries, including whiplash and traumatic brain injuries, can have delayed symptoms.
File an insurance claim
Pennsylvania follows unique no-fault insurance laws, meaning each party involved in the accident will seek compensation from their own respective insurance companies, no matter who caused the crash. Call your own insurer to file your initial claim as soon as possible.
Get help with settlement negotiations
Insurance companies often use tactics to convince a claimant to settle for as little money as possible after a car accident. Do not fall for these tricks. Learn the true value of your claim by consulting with a personal injury attorney. Initial consultations are often free. Then you can enter into settlement negotiations fully informed.
If your insurance company denies the claim, refuses to pay enough or if you have catastrophic injuries, consider filing a lawsuit instead.