You are driving on Walnut Street in Philadelphia when another car rear-ends your vehicle. There is significant property damage and you suffered serious physical injuries in the collision including a sprained neck, head trauma, and a torn rotator cuff. If you’re wondering if you can file a lawsuit on a car accident from a year ago see this article.
You may ask yourself, “What should I do after a serious car accident?” Below are five important issues that are time-sensitive if you plan to pursue financial restitution through a personal injury claim.
1. Seeking Medical Attention
You need to visit a hospital or your primary care physician sooner rather than later. The longer you wait to see a medical professional, the more damage you are doing to your personal injury claim. Why? Because claims adjusters for insurance companies scrutinize your medical records to see if there are any “gaps” in treatment. The adjusters pounce on these gaps and argue that you were not really hurt that badly because you waited a few days or weeks to see a doctor, or to go to the emergency room. Do not give the insurance adjuster any ammo. If you were involved in a serious car accident, go the hospital. Even if you do not think your injuries are that serious, you should still see a doctor, just to confirm your injuries are not more severe.
2. Contacting the Department of Transportation
If police did not investigate your car accident, you are required to file a Driver’s Accident Report with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) within five days of the collision. Do not wait to make the call. If you fail to report an accident, you may have your license suspended by PennDOT.
3. Talking to an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
The sooner you speak to an experienced Philadelphia car accident injury lawyer, the better. The more time you provide your injury lawyer, the more time they have to investigate the accident scene, to request medical records, to speak to any eyewitnesses, and to negotiate with the insurance company. If you try to hire a personal injury attorney within a week of the statute of limitations (more on that below), you are not giving your lawyer much time to properly prepare your personal injury claim.
4. Following Your Physical Therapy Plan
If you suffered serious physical injuries like a strained neck, torn rotator cuff, etc. you will likely need to undergo physical therapy to fully recover. You need to follow the therapy plan set forth by your doctor. If you skip appointments or simply stop going to physical therapy, the insurance adjusters try to capitalize on this and argue that your inconsistent treatment shows you were not really injured.
5. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit within the Statute of Limitations
This legal deadline is absolutely critical. Failing to file a personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations means your claim will likely be barred from moving forward. That means you would be denied from pursuing financial damages. In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury claim. This means you should not drag your feet after an accident. Speak to a lawyer and get a claim filed well within the statute of limitations.
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is involved in a serious car accident, there are numerous deadlines you must be cognizant of and be sure to comply with. The Pearce Law Firm is here to help. Contact our firm today to set up a free consultation.