Chain reaction crashes are quite common during Pennsylvania winters. From the icy road conditions to excessive snowfall, it is likely that you will find yourself in a chain reaction at some point during your driving career. Chain reaction crashes will involve more than one vehicle – typically more than ten. In fact, there have been instances where there were 50 to 100 cars involved in a single chain-reaction event.
In these accidents, dozens are often injured and a handful may even die from their injuries. Therefore, it is important to know how to react if you have been involved in a similar incident. Naturally, you should consult with a personal injury attorney after a chain reaction crash to explore your options, but also receive assistance with insurance claims and negotiations.
Always Stay at the Scene
Even if there is room to get out or if your vehicle is not badly damaged, you must remain at the scene. While it could take several hours for personnel to reach you, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident. Doing so may result in criminal charges. You may need to provide a statement to law enforcement; if you do not feel comfortable doing so, you can consult with an attorney.
Help Others (if You Can)
There are likely to be dozens of accident victims with injuries. If you are not injured, see who you can help. Do not move anyone seriously injured unless absolutely necessary. While you may worry that you could be sued for causing an injury, you are typically protected by the Good Samaritan Law and you should be able to render aide within your capacity (e.g., moving someone from a burning vehicle to avoid further injury or death).
Take Photographs at the Scene
Chain-reaction crash sites are chaotic and most people cannot remember all the vehicles that made contact with their own. Therefore, if you can, take photos of the scene. Take photographs of license plates, vehicles next to you, drivers, witnesses, and parties in the vehicles. If you are too badly injured, see if a passenger can take the photographs for you. While you wait for emergency personnel, write down or voice record notes about the accident so that you can refer back to them later. Include details about the date and time of the incident, what you remember, and the vehicles your car came into contact with.
Contact an Attorney
Being involved in a chain reaction crash is serious, and often requires the assistance of an attorney. If you were involved in this type of accident, it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney.
Chain reaction crashes require extensive investigation, and officers will need time to determine which party caused the accident. In the meantime, you may have to deal with insurance claims adjusters, excessive medical costs, and other damages. An attorney may be able to assist you with filing an insurance claim, negotiating a settlement, or suing the party (or parties) responsible for causing the accident.
To explore your options, schedule a free consultation with attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. today. You can reach him on his cell at 215-771-0430 or call his office at 800-465-8795/215-987-3550. You can also contact him online.