Unfortunately, West Virginia ranks as the eighth most dangerous state for drivers, according to a study conducted by Esurance, an auto insurer. The state’s mountainous terrain and winding rural roads present serious challenges for drivers. At the same time, vehicle and pedestrian traffic in Charleston, Huntington and other cities increase the chances of a collision occurring at an intersection.
If you are involved in an accident, there are a few steps you should take to protect yourself:
- Get to safety — Move out of the way of traffic and other hazards. Staying near your vehicle may put you at risk. Leaking fluids could ignite, or a passing vehicle could strike you.
- Seek medical attention — While broken bones and lacerations are often apparent, head trauma and internal hemorrhaging can be harder to detect. If you or another party is injured, or if you suspect that you may be, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Call the police — When any person is injured or if property damage reaches $1,000, West Virginia requires you to report the accident to law enforcement. The police report can become an essential part of your insurance claim.
- Document the scene — If you are able to, take pictures of both vehicles to document what is damaged and what is not. It is also wise to photograph the accident scene, which may include skid marks, traffic signs or damaged property.
- Document your injuries — Take pictures of any injuries that occurred during the accident. If you receive care from a medical professional, obtain a record of your treatment.
- Track your expenses — In addition to mounting bills for medical care and automobile repairs, you may miss work and lose pay. You will want to keep track of your costs so that when you seek reimbursement, all costs resulting from the accident are documented.
- Consult an attorney — If the accident was caused by another person’s reckless or negligent behavior, you can seek damages for your losses through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. A skilled attorney can help you determine the strength of your case and the actions you should take to protect your interests.
After an accident involving another driver’s negligence, that driver’s insurer may try to blame you for the crash or offer a quick cash settlement that is insufficient for your damages. A skilled lawyer can build a case in your favor and advocate for you to receive the full compensation you deserve. Our legal team at Prim Law Firm, PLLC is led by accomplished auto accident litigators who will assert your rights during negotiations or at trial. For help after a West Virginia auto accident, call our office in Hurricane at 304-721-4619 or contact us online.