A car accident can be frightening for you and your passengers. As you survey the scene and see the damaged vehicles, broken glass and debris from the crash, you may be unsure of the actions that should be taken. Below is a list of eight things you should do after a car accident in Virginia. What you do immediately following an accident can help prevent problems down the road with the insurance companies.
1. Determine if anyone has been injured. If it appears that there have been serious injuries, call an ambulance. Even if you are not sure if immediate medical treatment is necessary, it is always a good idea to be safe.
2. Call the police. After you call for emergency care, you should contact the police. The police department will be able to tell you if you need to move your crashed vehicles out of traffic. Once a police officer arrives on the scene, he or she will be able to get statements of the drivers and passengers involved.
3. Stick to the facts. It is important to avoid blaming anyone for the accident. Also, it is just as vital to not make an admission of fault. Insurance companies use the information that the police officer gathers to determine who is to blame for the accident. The best approach to making a statement is sticking to the facts.
4. Take pictures of the damage. Not everyone keeps a camera in their car, but many cell phones now have the capability to take photos. If possible, take as many pictures as you can of the damaged vehicles and any other damaged property. The pictures can act as evidence when dealing with the insurance companies.
5. Get the names and contact information of everyone who was involved. You should obtain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the other drivers, passengers and any witnesses.
5. Seek medical treatment. If you were injured during the accident, you should get immediate medical attention. A doctor will be able to determine if there are any serious injuries and will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment.
6. Call your insurance company. Car insurance policies require that you inform the insurer following an accident. You should contact the insurance company to file an accident report. The insurance company will then begin an investigation of the crash.
7. Speak with a Virginia car accident attorney. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to step in on your behalf to make sure you are being treated fairly by the insurance companies. If you have been seriously injured in an auto accident, an attorney will help you receive a fair settlement. An auto accident attorney can also help you prove that the other driver was at fault, if that person’s negligence caused the accident.
Contact Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas, LLP if you have been seriously injured in a Virginia auto accident.