Feeling confused, overwhelmed, and scared after a car wreck is normal. Making rational decisions isn’t easy when you’re injured and in pain. However, there are actions you can take and some you should avoid in order to put yourself in the best position to recover the compensation you deserve.
What to Do After a Car Accident
After a car crash, immediate action is essential. You should:
Law enforcement can obtain information at the scene. However, they sometimes document incorrect details. It can be helpful for you to get the driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information.
Document the Scene
Gather evidence at the scene if it won’t jeopardize your health or safety. Once the cleanup crew arrives, valuable evidence will be destroyed or removed. You should take pictures of the scene, including the damaged cars, debris, and other visible evidence you can use in your case.
Seek Prompt Treatment
Your health is of the utmost importance. Go to the hospital when you leave the scene. If your injury or vehicle damage prevents you from driving, let an ambulance transport you.
Getting medical care is vital after an accident. Your records establish the type and severity of your injury. They also show your expenses from the crash.
It’s a good idea to write down everything you remember about the accident, such as any statements made by the other driver, names and phone numbers of witnesses, the location and date, how it occurred, and what the other driver did in the moments immediately prior to the collision. You should also keep copies of crash-related documents. Hold onto your medical bills, prescriptions, treatment notes, and other documentation.
Hire a Lawyer
Consulting a qualified lawyer after a car wreck can improve your chance of getting the money you need and deserve. You should not wait to hire someone to assist you with your case. Your lawyer can file a claim, negotiate with the insurer, and guide you through the legal process.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
Besides the steps you should follow after a collision, there are multiple things you should avoid. These mistakes can damage your case.
Leaving the Scene without Notifying the Police
In Virginia, it is illegal to leave a crash scene without reporting what happened to law enforcement if someone is injured, killed, or property is damaged. If you drive away without calling 911, you break the law. The police report is a record of the collision, showing it occurred and listing relevant details.
Talking to the Insurance Carrier
Speaking with the insurance company seems innocent enough. You might assume the adjuster wants to help you. However, their goal is to save money. If you say the wrong thing, they can use it against you. That can lead to a low settlement offer or denied claim.
Signing Forms from the Insurer
Consult your lawyer if the insurance carrier sends you any forms to complete or sign. You could unwittingly waive your right to hold the at-fault party liable if you don’t review it or understand what you’re signing.
Even if you believe your actions contributed to the crash, never admit it to anyone. Apologizing to the other driver can also look like you’re admitting fault. Any responsibility for the crash on your part will make you ineligible to obtain compensation.
Posting on Social Media
Posting on social media about the accident is dangerous. The insurance company or defense lawyer can use your posts against you. The information you share online can minimize the value of your claim, prove you share fault, or discount the extent of your injuries.
Contact a Dedicated Culpeper Car Accident Lawyer
Davies, Barrell, Will, Lewellyn & Edwards, PLC has over 45 years of experience protecting our clients. We can preserve your rights and offer guidance to strengthen your case against the negligent driver.
Get started with your initial consultation by calling us at (540) 825-6000 if you were injured in a car accident someone else caused.