Every year, an average of 65 deadly winter car accidents occur in Pennsylvania, according to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Insurance Center. Due to ice, sleet and snowy whiteout conditions, wintertime accidents can produce multi-vehicle pileups and serious injuries.
After a winter car accident in Harrisburg, there are certain steps to take for safety and to protect your rights, as listed below. Our experienced Harrisburg car accident attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are available to assist you after your accident. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation and learn if legal action is appropriate in your case to recover compensation for your injuries.
Contact a licensed lawyer today: (717) 888-8888
1. Remain Calm
A winter car accident can really shake you, but it is important that you stay calm. Getting out of your car may not be safe, so stay inside, keep your seat belt on, take deep breaths to calm yourself, and turn on your hazard lights. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries.
2. Move Off the Road to Safety
If you are not seriously injured and your car is operable, move it off the road. Getting your vehicle out of the roadway reduces the chances of another accident happening.
As you maneuver off the road, do so with caution. Other motorists will need more time to react to your slow-moving vehicle.
3. Notify Emergency Responders
Call 911 and alert emergency responders of the accident. Let them know whether anyone involved requires medical assistance. Report your location and any injuries you have discovered.
Stay in your vehicle while you wait for emergency personnel to arrive. With dangerous road conditions, walking around outside could lead to falls, injury or further accidents.
4. Keep Yourself Warm and Visible
Help other motorists and emergency responders see your accident scene. Keep your running lights and hazards on. If possible, use flares or warning triangles around the vehicles, or tie a brightly colored piece of fabric to your antenna or door handle.
In cold temperatures, it is important for your safety that you stay as warm as possible while you wait at the accident scene. Stay in the vehicle, and use supplies from your emergency vehicle kit to keep warm and safe. Cover up with emergency blankets and layer on extra clothing.
Keep the engine running to keep the warm air flowing inside, but crack open the window every few minutes or so to allow fresh air to circulate. Also, make sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow to prevent carbon monoxide from leaking back into your vehicle.
5. Seek Medical Help
If you have been injured, allow the EMTs (emergency medical technicians) to examine you at the scene and take you to the hospital if necessary. If you do not receive medical care at the scene of the accident, see your physician as soon as possible after the crash.
Medical professionals will document your accident injuries and link them to the accident rather than to a preexisting condition. This documentation will help support your claim for compensation.
6. Collect Evidence
If possible, gather evidence at the accident scene by doing the following:
- Exchange insurance and contact information with any other motorists involved.
- Write down the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- Take photos of the scene, including vehicle damage, injuries and road conditions.
- Ask the responding law enforcement officer for a copy of the accident report, or find out what agency you need to request it from if it is not immediately available.
7. Consult a Car Accident Lawyer for Help
Contact a Harrisburg car accident attorney for assistance and advice when filing a claim pursuing compensation of your injuries and other damages. At Schmidt Kramer, our seasoned lawyers will fight to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will investigate your car accident and determine what legal options are appropriate in your case.
Schedule a free consultation today. There is no obligation to pursue a case with our firm, but if you choose to do so, we work on contingency only. You only pay us if we are able to recover compensation for you.