No one wants to be in a car accident, but the reality is that you will probably get into one at some point in your lifetime. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time on the road, whether driving kids to and from school or running daily errands. And car accidents in Virginia are pretty likely as well.
In 2017, the last statistics recorded by the Virginia DMV, there were 127,375 car crashes. The number of personal injury accidents that same year was more than 40,000. That’s around 33 percent of all vehicle accidents in Virginia. Knowing what to do post car accident is important. Even if you are not at fault, you could be at risk for legal action, especially if the injury is a result of the accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and not at fault, knowing what to do is far more important, because getting what you deserve to recover is critical. “Car crashes rarely end well, resulting in vehicle damage, injuries, and mounting medical bills,” Virginia car accident law firm ChasenBoscolo explained.
To help you, we compiled a list of car accident must-dos to follow if a car crash happens to you. Let’s dive in!
1. Stay at the scene
Regardless of what type of car accident you’re involved in, be sure you stay on the scene of the accident. The only time to leave the scene of the crash is if your life is in danger.
2. Think about safety
The scene of an auto accident can be pretty chaotic, depending on the severity of the crash. If you are able, try to make the area safe for you and the other party in the accident. This could be tossing out road flares, putting up safety cones, or simply staying in your vehicle and putting your hazard lights on.
3. Always call the police
In any accident, you should call the police to the scene. This even goes for minor accidents when no injuries occur. Having police on the scene gives you proof of the accident since they are required to fill out an official police report. If not dangerous, leave the vehicles in their exact places, allowing the police to get a clearer picture of what happened.
4. Record everything that happened
The police will be asking questions about the car crash, but do your own recording as well. This can help you if things escalate and you find yourself in court. Everyone has a smartphone, so use it! Take pictures of the scene, videos, make a voice recording of what happened, and detail what the other driver says as well. Record what happened, because you can’t count on others to ensure you’re safe from legal action.
5. Get information from the other driver
Sometimes the police are slow to arrive, especially if you live in a busy city with a lot of crashes during the commute hours. In this case, you will need to get information from the other driver, like name, address, phone number, insurance number, make and model of the car, license plate number, and more. You can also take pictures of the other driver’s insurance card and vehicle if you can.
6. Call an attorney
Most people in Virginia think that calling the insurance company is the next step. However, it may be best to call an accident attorney. Calling an attorney to protect you from potentially divulging information to your insurance company that could hurt your accident claim. An experienced car accident attorney can guide you on the next steps and what to say during the course of the investigation.
7. Call your insurance company
Once you have discussed the car accident with your attorney, call your insurance company and let them know the details of the accident. This could increase the speed of getting your claim settled, receiving a rental car, and more.
8. Go to the hospital
Car accident injuries are not always seen. The force at which you are impacted with can be the equivalent of a few US tons. At the scene of the accident, your adrenaline is pumping, and you may feel no pain or discomfort. However, in a few days time, injuries can sneak up on you, causing tremendous pain. Go to the hospital or see your doctor immediately after the crash in order to start medical documentation and to get the treatment you need.
Wrapping up . . .
Car accidents can happen at any moment in Virginia. With over 125,000 happening yearly in the state, you should definitely know what to do post-car crash. The above can serve as your quick guide to getting everything documented and receiving the medical attention you need to make a fast recovery.
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