You take a risk every time you hop in a vehicle. Hopefully, you never find yourself needing to know what to do after an accident. But, according to the statistics, it’s likely that you or someone you know might be involved in a car accident.
In Virginia, the most recent data shows that there were 127,375 motor vehicle accidents in 2017. In those collisions, 65,306 people were injured, and 843 were killed. Even if you drive as safe as possible, you cannot control another driver’s carelessness.
What should you do after a collision?
There are 5 steps most drivers should take following an accident. Not all steps apply to every situation, but they should guide you through the process.
Step 1: Make sure no one involved in the accident needs medical care. Check on all parties, if someone needs medical attention, call 911 immediately. In most cases, you will want to notify the police even if no one was injured. Note that it might be wise to get a medical examination after an accident. The symptoms of an injury may not appear for hours or days after the collision.
Step 2: Take pictures of the vehicles involved. Try to capture images of both vehicles at the scene of the accident. If that’s not possible, make sure you take pictures of the damage to both vehicles.
Step 3: Get the necessary information, including the other driver’s name, address, insurance information. Take a photo of their insurance information if you can.
Step 4: Call the other person’s insurance company to let them know one of their policyholders was involved in an accident. Then, you can call your insurance company, or you can wait. When you speak with either insurance company, only relay the facts. Give as little information as possible.
Step 5: Reach out to an experienced law firm. It is wise to reach out with an attorney before speaking with your insurance company. The sooner you call an attorney, the better equipped they will be to advise you through your case.
How you react after an accident could affect your chances of receiving compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always on the driver’s side. Act in accordance with your best interest and be prepared to fight for your rights.