What Should I Do After I Am in an Auto Accident?
A car crash or some other type of vehicle accident is a traumatic situation that triggers confusion even if your injuries are not life-threatening. No one can ever be fully prepared for an auto accident, but remembering a few basic tips will help you protect yourself and your legal rights. If you have been hurt in a vehicle collision, here is a quick rundown of what you should do:
- Secure the safety of yourself and others — Car crashes are serious events that can cause devastating physical harm or even death. Your first priority must be the safety of everyone involved in the accident. Make sure that drivers, passengers and bystanders are off the road and a safe distance away from the vehicles if there is a fire risk. After you have left the scene, seek medical attention even if you are not aware of any symptoms.
- Notify emergency personnel — Call 911 as soon as possible to summon medical assistance and law enforcement to the crash site. Even if no one has been hurt, it will be necessary to obtain a police report for legal and insurance purposes.
- Record your observations — If you are able, take note of details, including the weather, car models, property damage and potential witnesses. The prevalence of smartphones makes it easy to take photos and record your impressions at the scene.
- Gather information — When you are sure that everyone is safe, you can exchange contact information and insurance details.
- Resist the urge to explain things you don’ t know — If a dispute exists about the accident or its cause, the answer will not be determined for a long time, so don’t apologize or make any attempt to solve the case on the scene. Tell police what you remember about the collision, but don’t apologize, rationalize or speculate. Let the law enforcement personnel, insurance adjusters and your auto accident attorney do their jobs.
No matter what circumstances you believe led to the accident, there might be other factors you are not aware of. You can’t win a legal case at the scene, so concentrate on safety and obtaining objective information rather than winning an argument.
Prim Law Firm, PLLC has recovered millions of dollars for West Virginia clients in cases arising out of auto accidents and other personal injury matters. Please call 304-721-4619 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your situation. Our office is in Hurricane.