Being in a motor vehicle accident can be traumatic and distressing, but
knowing what to do amid all of the stress and chaos can make your life
much easier in the long-run. If you should find yourself dealing the aftermath
of a car crash, make sure you are prepared and know what to do in order
to handle the situation properly. It is important to look out for your
safety and the safety of those around you, but it’s also vital that
you know how to protect your legal rights and do what’s necessary
to evaluate any damages.
After an accident, our attorneys at The Warren Firm, PLLC encourage you
to follow these steps to better handle the legalities of a crash.
1. Protect Yourself
While you want to maintain the integrity of the scene of the incident,
it’s more important that you and your passengers find a safe place
to recover after a car crash. If you are on a highway or freeway where
another vehicle could crash into you, move to a safe location, like the
shoulder of the road. However, if someone is killed or seriously injured,
you should stop your vehicle immediately at the scene of the incident.
After you are safe, evaluate yourself for injuries and ask everyone else
in your vehicle if they are alright, and if they need medical attention.
If anyone needs help, call 911 immediately for medical assistance.
2. Show Proper Care to the Other People Involved
Whether the other person involved in the crash was at fault or not, always
ask if they are okay and if they need medical attention. You may be angry
if their carelessness caused the incident in the first place, but after
ensuring the safety of the people in your vehicle, your next duty is to
offer assistance to the other people involved. Even if injuries seem minor,
or if anyone complains of neck, back, or head pain, call 911 for medical help.
3. Call the Police
Even if there was no significant damage or injury in your car accident,
it is always best to notify the police. The responding officer will be
able to write up an official police report for your records, which will
make filing a claim through your insurance infinitely easier. Also, the
officer will be able to lend an unbiased opinion about the fault or cause
of the accident.
4. Exchange Information
Talk to the people involved in the accident and write down their full name,
contact information, and insurance company. Do not discuss anything other
than key information regarding the accident, and do not apologize. The
other driver could interpret this as an admission of guilt, which would
not help your insurance claim or your legal case, if you end up involved
in a lawsuit. Even if you think the accident was your fault, there could
have been other key factors contributing to the crash that you were not
aware of. Instead, stick to exchanging information and taking pictures
of the scene and any other damages. Take note of every detail you can,
including damages to your vehicle or belongings and any damage to the
other vehicles involved. This information could help you recover damages later.
Once you’ve handled everything you can at the scene of the accident,
make sure you handle matters quickly. Call your insurance company and
report the incident without delay. Most policies have a specific time
frame for reporting accidents, so don’t risk losing coverage because
you didn’t file a claim in time.
Also, seek medical attention as soon as you are able, even if you don’t
feel any symptoms. Sometimes the adrenaline coursing through your body
after an accident can mask symptoms of injury, so it’s best to have
a medical professional you trust see to your health. Keep a copy of the
doctor’s visit for your records.
After the immediate concerns have been addressed, contact your attorney.
An experienced auto accident lawyer can make all the difference in your
case, adding valuable legal counsel and expert resources to help you through
the legal aftermath of your accident. Our legal team can assist with filing
insurance claims, identifying the negligent party at fault for the incident,
and even pursuing a lawsuit to seek compensation for damages and justice
for your injuries.
Contact The Warren Firm, PLLC
for help with your personal injury claim after a car accident in Charlottesville, Virginia.