No one plans to be in an automobile accident and when one happens, common reactions are shock and disorientation. If the unexpected happens to you, however, you need to keep your head and take certain steps to protect your rights. What you say and do right after the accident can affect your ability to receive all the compensation to which you are entitled, even if you are wholly innocent of causing the collision.
After the accident, watch what you say… and to whom you say it
Right after an accident, assuming you are able to speak to the others involved and emergency personnel, be sure to do the following:
- Step 1 – call for help: Taking care of all injuries is the top priority after any auto accident. A call to 911 can ensure any serious injuries are addressed immediately, while also getting police to the scene to obtain the accident reports you need to pursue any type of claim or lawsuit. Then, if you or a passenger in your car can stay on the scene, you need to start collecting evidence
- Step 2 – collect information: You need contact and insurance information from the drivers of any other vehicles and you need contact information from any witnesses.
- Step 3 – collect evidence: When you have evidence, you have a better chance for full success in a West Virginia car accident lawsuit. Cell phone cameras can be your best friend in West Virginia car wrecks—you should photograph all involved vehicles, injuries, and even roadway conditions.
- Step 4 – retain all receipts: If you suffer a car accident injury in West Virginia, it is important to keep every single receipt for expenses relating to the injury. This includes doctor reports and receipts for treatment, prescription and OTC drug receipts, and the cost to buy or rent medical devices (such as crutches or bandages).
When to call car accident lawyers in West Virginia
When you are injured as the result of the negligence of someone else on the road, experienced West Virginia auto accident attorneys provide the help you need to protect your rights. As soon as possible after addressing all injuries, you should contact an attorney to seek the advice and support you need to proceed in the most appropriate manner with your case. The attorneys at Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC can help in many ways:
- Determine the best approach to collect all losses
- Provide skilled investigative resources and expert witnesses when needed to prove your case
- Negotiate full and fair settlements from insurance companies or opposing attorneys
- Zealously litigate your case in court when you need a jury decision to secure the rewards you deserve
Other Tips to Remember
- Don’t move the vehicles involved in the accident unless absolutely necessary. It’s best that the police see exactly where each vehicle wound up after colliding in order to investigate responsibility.
- If you must move your vehicle, snap some pictures with your smartphone first. Try to include skid marks on the ground and other evidence backing up your narrative of the accident.
- Avoid talking to the other driver beyond exchanging insurance information. Seemingly benign comments such as, I feel fine, or Sorry, I didn’t see you can come back to haunt you when insurers and attorneys get involved.
- The same rule applies when talking to emergency personnel and police officers. Give the facts when asked but avoid speculating aloud as to cause, your degree of fault, and the extent to which you’re hurt.
- Don’t decline medical attention is recommended. Get checked out at the scene and go to the hospital if directed. You will need the evidence only medical personnel can provide to back up any injury claims, and while you may genuinely feel fine at the scene, this could be the result of shock covering the pain of injuries sustained.
Speak With A Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Call or visit us for a free consultation to discuss your personal injury matter. We also offer home and hospital visits for those who are injured and cannot travel to us. In family law matters, you can obtain fee information by phone, or schedule a consultation. To obtain fee information or a consultation contact us today.