Collisions and Claims – What to Do Following an Auto Accident

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Collisions and Claims - What to Do Following an Auto Accident

When you head out for the day, the last thing you expect is to get in an auto accident. If an accident occurs, it can be hard to know what to do. How you respond to an auto accident is very important to putting your life back together and getting justice.

Here’s what to do following an auto accident:

Stop your vehicle safely

You should stop your vehicle as close as you can to the scene without obstructing traffic. Be careful to park your vehicle in a way that you are safely out of traffic. Making sure you park away from traffic can help you avoid a secondary collision.

Summon emergency services

You should start by calling the police. West Virginia law requires you to call the police if you’re a driver involved in an accident and anyone is injured or there’s property damage of an apparent value of $1,000 or more.

It doesn’t take much for a vehicle to have $1,000 in damage. In addition, you may not realize that you’re injured or that someone else is injured, so you should error on the side of caution and call law enforcement immediately after a crash.

In addition to helping you protect your health and safety after an accident, a law enforcement officer that responds to the scene can gather valuable evidence and conduct an investigation. In most cases, the law enforcement officer is the only person who evaluates the case at the accident scene immediately after the crash occurs.

Their reporting and insight can give you a starting point to build your claim for recovery.

Seek medical treatment

If you need medical treatment, everything else can wait. Get the medical care that you need and then begin building your case. If there’s any chance that you have injuries, make sure that you’re seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Gather information from the other driver and from witnesses

Next, it’s important to exchange information with the other driver and gather contact information for witnesses. Even though the police will conduct an investigation, don’t rely on them to gather every piece of information that you might want to have later on.

Ask for the other driver’s name, address, phone number and vehicle registration. If the driver is agitated or seriously injured, ask for this information from the law enforcement officer. Ask for contact information from witnesses too. Later, you should get a copy of the accident report for your records.

Take photographs

Snap photos of the accident scene. Capture each vehicle from all sides. Your camera’s phone is good enough for taking these photos. Error on the side of taking too many photos after an accident.

Begin building your claim

It’s time to begin building your claim for recovery. As soon as you can, sit down and write out your statement of how the accident occurred. Write down whatever you can think of even if you’re not sure that it really matters.

You can also seek car accident legal help to begin drafting your claim for recovery. You can draft a complaint and begin to build your claim by following up with witnesses, working with an accident reconstructionist and taking other steps to build your claim.

Responding to an auto accident

Getting in an accident can be a frightening experience. Stop your vehicle at the scene and call emergency services. Gather information for witnesses and the other driver, and write down your recollection of the accident as soon as possible.

Stay calm, and you can do the right things to protect yourself and your rights after a car accident.

Editorial Team
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