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Steps You Should Take If You’re in a Car Accident

According to, in 2009, there were more than 10.8 million car accidents in the United States. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 3 in 10 Americans will be involved in a serious car crash in their lifetime. Nobody likes to think about the possibility of being in an accident, but given those odds, you want to be prepared and know how to react if you’re involved in one.

  • Call 911: If the accident is serious and medical attention is needed, you want to get an ambulance there ASAP. Receiving medical attention within the first hour of an accident is crucial in saving lives. You also want to file a police report. Don’t simply exchange names or information with the other driver and then leave the scene. Be sure to get the name and badge number of the officer who takes the report, as well.
  • Don’t Discuss Fault: Don’t hop out of your vehicle and blame the other driver, as that can start a fight, nor should you admit fault yourself at the scene. Fault involves complicated laws, and you’ll want to leave that discussion to the police and/or your attorney.
  • Exchange Information: You’ll want to be as thorough as possible in getting information from the other driver(s) involved. Get their name and telephone number, as well as the make, model, license plate number, and color of the vehicle(s). Get the name of their insurance company, and their policy number.
  • Identify Witnesses: As you’re waiting for the other driver(s) to give you their information, identify any witnesses (pedestrians, other motorists, etc.) to the accident. Ask for their names and contact information, as their testimony can play a large role when determining fault.
  • Take Pictures: Almost all cell phones these days are now equipped with cameras. If there was any damage whatsoever, take photos of the damage and make sure to email them to yourself. If you have injuries, you’ll also want to take photos of them, as well, after you receive the appropriate medical care.
  • Write It Down: When you get home, take a few minutes and write down what happened while it is still fresh in your mind. Collect all of the information you’ve received (other driver(s) information, police offer name/badge number, witness information, information about the date, time, weather conditions, etc.) and place it, along with your story, in one envelope. This way all of your paperwork stays together.
  • Call Your Insurance: You’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company about the accident. Keep all of the documents you’ve collected handy as you make the call, as they’ll likely ask you a number of questions about the other driver(s) and vehicle(s) involved.

Getting in a car accident is stressful, both emotionally and financially, especially if the accident results in serious injuries or death. If you need someone to advocate for your rights, you’ll want to call on an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Lenard Cohen today at 215-765-8181 for a free consultation.

Superior Court Rules Court May Not Extend Time to Respond To Offer of Compromise

In the recent Connecticut Superior Court case of Batchelder v. Kolesko, a defendant filed an “Offer of Compromise” in an attempt to settle the case.  The Connecticut “Offer of Compromise” statute gives the recipient thirty (30) days to respond.  The plaintiff asked the court for an extension of time to respond.  The court denied that request and held that, “the offers of compromise provisions facilitate resolution of civil cases…early settlements unclog court dockets and save participants time, money and uncertainty.”

It is vitally important to understand the time deadlines associated with the filing of Offers of Compromise in automobile and truck crash cases, as you may lose important rights if you do not respond in a timely fashion.  If you are uncertain, you should consult with an experienced Automobile Accident Lawyer. Call 860-246-2700 today.

Superior Court Judge Rules Cell Phone Records Off-Limits in Automobile Crash Case

In a recent Connecticut Superior Court case, Judge Alfred J. Jennings rejected a plaintiff’s request for permission to seek the defendant’s cell phone records for the one hour prior to a “relatively high speed rear end collision”.

Connecticut rules of practice only allow for a standard set of discovery (a request for information) in automobile crash cases.  Cell phone records are not included in the standard set of discovery.  The plaintiff in the case of Girardi v. Kreutter sought permission to obtain the defendant’s cell phone records.  The court denied the plaintiff’s request and held that the plaintiff failed to prove there was sufficient grounds to support the request for the cell phone records.

The court did not say that it would be impossible to obtain cell phone records in any automobile crash case and left open the possibility that plaintiffs in other cases could obtain those records if it could provide an adequate reason for their production.  With the increased use of cell phones and text messaging devices, it is highly likely that cell phone records will provide relevant information in automobile and trucking crash cases.

Contact Timothy O’Keefe today at 860-246-2700.

Dram Shop Liability in Connecticut

On April 18, 2012, the Connecticut Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could have an important impact on the ability of a person who is injured (or killed) by a drunk driver in Connecticut to recover adequate financial compensation for the harm caused. At issue is whether a plaintiff in such a case needs to provide trial evidence of “visible intoxication” on the part of the drunk driver in order to recover financial compensation from the bar or tavern that served the intoxicated person.

At the jury trial of the case, the trial court instructed the jury that it did not need to find such evidence to return a verdict for the plaintiff. Upon receiving that instruction, the jury returned a plaintiff’s verdict and awarded damages. The Connecticut Appellate Court reversed that decision. The Connecticut Supreme Court will now decide the issue and make a determination if the plaintiff will recover damages.

If you would like to consult with an experienced Dram Shop Liability Lawyer in Connecticut, please use the Free Case Evaluation Form on the right sidebar, or contact Attorney Timothy L. O’Keefe at

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