One of the things our car accident lawyers in Philadelphia always tell their clients is that they have to go to the hospital immediately after their accident. We understand that a lot of people don’t think they’re injured in the minutes following their crash. However, as you will find here, you jeopardize your chance of collecting damages if you wait too long.
There Are Certain Steps You Must Take After Your Philadelphia Car Accident
Anytime you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, there are three things you need to do. If you fail to follow these steps, you risk losing your opportunity to recover damages for your injuries.
No matter how tempted you are to just exchange information with the other driver, do not give in to this temptation. Not only will this decrease your chances of compensation, but it will make your Philadelphia accident attorney’s job much harder.
The First Thing You Need to Do is Call 911
Immediately after the collision, you or one of your passengers need to call 911. The police will come out and do a thorough investigation of the accident scene. They will also check to see if anybody involved in the accident is hurt.
One of the reasons you need the police to come out is that it’s required by law. However, the more important reason is that your Philadelphia accident attorney is going to need a copy of the police report.
Then You Need to Go to the Emergency Room Immediately After the Crash
The second thing you need to do, whether you want to or not, is go to the emergency room. When you call 911 to report the accident, they will dispatch an ambulance to the scene.
Once the officers have the opportunity to survey the scene, they will arrange to transport anyone with injuries to the hospital. Even if you think you’re OK, you must go get checked out by a doctor.
Once You’re Treated for Any Emergency Injuries, Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia
Once you’ve confirmed that any serious injuries have been tended to, you need to call an accident lawyer in Philadelphia. In the days and weeks following your accident, you’re going to need to focus on getting better.
While you’re recovering, your Philadelphia accident attorney we’ll begin their own investigation. They will also help get your insurance claim filed as quickly as possible.
Too Many People Refuse Medical Treatment After a Car Accident
One thing that can be frustrating for an accident lawyer in Philadelphia is to learn that a client refused medical treatment. Even if you are a doctor, it’s impossible to know whether you’ve suffered any injuries in the moments following your car crash.
At a minimum, you need to go to the emergency room. Once there, they will run the necessary diagnostic tests to determine the nature and extent of your injuries.
Some of the tests they will run include the following:
- CT scan
- Neurological examination
- Physical examination
There Are Several Reasons Why You Need to Be Seen by a Doctor
Obviously, the biggest reason you need to go to the hospital is to make sure you’re physically okay. You could have suffered a concussion or other internal injury and have no idea.
When these injuries are left untreated, some of them can prove fatal. It’s definitely worth taking two or three hours to get checked out by a licensed physician. At least this way, you will know that you have a clean bill of health and can resume a normal life.
You Need to Make Sure You Are Okay
As stated above, your primary reason for going to the emergency room is to make sure you’re okay. There are many injuries that you can sustain that will not be physically apparent. Even the EMTs at the accident scene may observe you and have no idea that you’re injured.
Your Philadelphia Accident Attorney Will Need a Copy of Your Medical Records
In addition to making sure that you’re physically okay, your Philadelphia accident attorney is going to need a copy of your medical records. If you intend to sue the other driver for damages, you will need to prove your physical injuries.
The best way to do this is to supply the court with a copy of your medical records. Whether these medical records are from the date of the accident or three months later will not matter. Your Philadelphia accident attorney is going to have to prove that you were injured and that your injuries were caused by the defendant’s negligence either way.
The Longer You Wait, the Greater the Chance the Defendant Will Claim They Aren’t at Fault
Another reason you don’t want to wait too long to see a doctor is that you will be playing right into the defendant’s hands. Even if they know that their client caused the crash, the insurance adjuster will look for any way to prove that you were responsible for the accident.
If they can demonstrate that you waited days or weeks to see a doctor, they will argue that something other than the crash caused your injuries. They may also claim that you fail to mitigate damages which could hurt your case.
You Do Have Years to File Your Car Accident Lawsuit in Philadelphia
According to the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of your injury to file suit. Even if it takes you three months to find out that you’re hurt, you will still have plenty of time to file your lawsuit.
One problem you may run into is that you will not have enough time to file your insurance claim. Most insurance carriers demand that your claim be filed within a reasonable time frame. Unfortunately, they get to define what’s reasonable.
Your Philadelphia Accident Attorney Must File Your Lawsuit Within the Statute of Limitations
According to Pa. C. S. Tit. 42-§5524(1), you only have two years from the date of injury to file your lawsuit. Your Philadelphia accident attorney knows that if you miss this filing deadline, your lawsuit will be dismissed.
The problem is that, if this happens, you will never be able to sue the defendant again. This is why we always tell our clients never to wait until the last minute to come into the office.
We do offer our clients a free, initial consultation. You can call today and schedule yours right over the phone. Or, if you prefer, you can do so through our website.