Thousands of people across the country get in car accidents every day, but that doesn’t make it any less traumatic when it happens to you. Once you check yourself and any passengers for injuries, you may not be sure what to do next. Here are five steps to take after getting in a car accident when you’re not at fault.
If you are physically able and it’s safe to do so, collect as much information as possible from the scene, whether the police respond to the accident or not. This ensures you have what you need to file a claim, even if the at-fault driver leaves prematurely or the police make mistakes on the official accident report. Here’s what to write down:
- Make, model, and license plate number of all vehicles involved
- Other driver’s name, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information
- Name and phone number of any witnesses
- Location of the accident, including the nearest intersection
- Road, weather conditions, traffic situation, and any hazards that could have contributed to the accident
Photograph the Scene
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in legal cases. Therefore, take as many photos as you can before the accident is cleaned up. Be sure to capture the following:
- Damage to your car, other vehicles, and property
- The license plate of the at-fault driver
- Visible injuries
- Visible hazards that could have contributed to the accident
Visit the Doctor
It’s not uncommon for car accident victims to skip this vital step if they “feel fine” after the crash. However, you should never turn down medical treatment in case you have a hidden injury that escalates as time goes by. For example, a sore neck could be whiplash, a bump on the head could indicate a concussion, and a tender abdomen might mean bruised ribs. Failure to see a doctor right away could lead to your claim being denied, leaving you to foot any medical bills.
Keep Good Records
It’s easy to prove economic losses by keeping the medical bills for any treatments you receive, pay stubs to show lost wages, and gas receipts for trips to the hospital. However, demonstrating pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and other non-economic losses can be trickier. One way is to tell your doctor, therapist, attorney, or insurance company about your recovery process.
Contact a Virginia Auto Accident Lawyer
More than 105,000 traffic accidents occurred in Virginia in 2020, resulting in over 50,000 injuries and nearly 850 deaths. If you are a car crash victim, and you or the at-fault driver’s insurance provider refuses to offer fair compensation, reach out to an auto accident lawyer.
The professionals at Childers and Associates can help you file a claim and advocate for your rights. Choose us to represent your personal injury case, and we’ll get you every penny you deserve. Contact us at (703) 330-6300 to schedule your free case analysis today.