Being involved in a car accident can be extremely disorienting, not to
mention stressful. Whether the crash occurred at a busy intersection,
resulted in serious injuries, or was a hit-and-run incident, there are
many factors that could make an accident more traumatizing or problematic.
In the chaos of the moment, our firm understands how difficult it can
be to remain calm and remember what to do next. If you are involved in
a car accident, make sure you remember what you should and shouldn’t do.
Do Check for Injuries
Immediately after your accident, your prime concern should be for your
own well-being and the safety of those involved in the accident. Check
yourself for injuries, and ask anyone else in your vehicle if they need
medical attention. If they do, make sure you call for medical help directly
and see to their immediate needs. Next, ask other pedestrians, drivers,
or passengers in other vehicles if they are injured and if they need medical help.
Do Call 911
In the event that anyone is injured, you should call for medical assistance
immediately. However, even if there are no injuries it is still beneficial
to ask for a police officer to come to the scene of the crash to file
a report. This may help your case in the long run, providing you with
an unbiased witness to attest to the possible cause of the crash. The
police report can also be beneficial in filing a claim through your insurance company.
Do Gather as Much Information as Possible
After asking if everyone involved in the crash is okay, be sure to gather
the contact information of everyone involved, as well as any witnesses.
Write down notes about the scene of the crash, including weather, road
conditions, covered traffic signs, or anything else that could have caused
the crash or affected someone’s driving. Also, take photos of your
injuries, the scene of the crash, as well as the vehicles involved. Remember
to jot down the license plate numbers.
Do Not Provide the Other Party’s Insurance Company with Any Authorizations
It is possible that the insurance company of the other driver involved
in your crash may attempt to gain more information from you than you are
lawfully required to provide. If you have an attorney, he or she will
tell you precisely what should or should not be shared with the insurance
company. You are not legally required to provide a recorded statement
to the insurance company of the other party and should avoid doing so.
These statements can be used against you if you misstate anything, which
could make your case more complicated. You are also not obligated to give
the other person’s insurance company access to your medical records.
Do Not Assume Your Insurance Company Will Take Care of Everything
While they may say otherwise, do not make the mistake of believing that
your insurance company has your best interests at heart. Even the most
generous insurance companies are still businesses, so do not simply put
your trust in the company to honor your policy. Check your policy to make
sure everything your company agreed to provide is being provided, and
if you believe they are not paying for something they should, contact
your lawyer immediately.
Do Not Admit Fault
Many people apologize after an accident, regardless of who was at fault,
more out of an expression of sympathy than in an admittance of wrongdoing.
However, after an accident do not apologize or say anything else that
could be misconstrued as an admittance of fault. Even if you believe the
accident may have been your doing, you should never say so. Sometimes
there are other factors at fault, such as a vehicle part malfunction,
that may have caused the crash without your knowing. Before you admit
to anything, it is best to remain quiet, exchange information with the
necessary people, and discuss the rest with your legal representative.
For more do’s and don’ts involving car accidents in Virginia,
Contact The Warren Firm, PLLC
to request an initial case evaluation with our Virginia lawyers.