While a car crash is a frightening and stressful experience, the things you do or don’t do immediately after the collision often dramatically impact the outcome of your accident claim. The experienced car accident attorneys at Renfro & Renfro, PLLC provide a list of dos and don’ts to help you handle an accident situation effectively and maximize the compensation for your damages.
The Do’s after a Car Crash
Here are some of the things to do after a collision:
Call the Police
Calling the police soon after a car crash is the start of building a strong compensation claim. Under Section 46.2-371, Virginia law requires drivers of any vehicles involved in a crash that cause an injury or death to inform law enforcement immediately. The responding officers will investigate the crash and complete a written report within 24 hours. This report provides an unbiased account of the accident, which is crucial when determining who was at fault, which can be important for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention immediately after a crash, even when you feel fine. Some types of injuries take time to manifest, and waiting for days or weeks before seeing a doctor will only worsen your situation. Besides, seeking medical attention creates a documented record of your injuries and your medical treatment. This documentation can be important for insurance claims and any ensuing legal cases. Even reporting minor aches and pains or feeling shook up on the day of your accident can be crucial to your case.
Collect Details of the Other Driver
Where possible, get crucial information from the other driver, including their names, addresses, phone number, insurance information, vehicle number plate, model, and make. If the other driver was operating a commercial vehicle, record the business name at the accident scene. Their employer may share liability for the accident.
Get Information from Witnesses
It is also crucial to get information from those who witnessed the crash. Witnesses provide an objective account of the events during the car crash. They can accurately document the accident scene, including details like the position of the vehicles, the weather conditions, the state of traffic signals, road signs, and any other relevant factors. Their perspective can help support your claims and ensure you get your rightful compensation.
The experienced car accident lawyers at Renfro & Renfro, PLLC recommend taking pictures of your vehicle and the area surrounding the accident. Some evidence may be lost soon after an accident, so it is crucial that you photograph the scene in its authentic condition. Photos visually document the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any injuries sustained. Capture pertinent details, including visible injuries, vehicle damage, number plates, positions of vehicles, road conditions, traffic signs, and surrounding landmarks.
The Don’ts after a Car Crash
The following are some of the things to avoid after getting into a car crash:
Don’t Admit Fault
When exiting your vehicle, don’t apologize for the accident or admit fault. Also, regardless of your convictions, don’t tell anyone you believe you were the one who caused the accident. A car accident is a frightening experience that could disorient your thoughts. Statements against your self-interest can be used against you.
Don’t Dispose Of Evidence
When you take your vehicle in for repairs, it is crucial that you preserve crucial evidence in the process. During legal proceedings, vehicle parts may be needed to show a specific part was defective or how the collision occurred.
Don’t Move the Vehicle
Unless otherwise required by law, you should not move a vehicle after a crash. It is crucial that the responding law enforcement see the actual point of impact to document the information accurately. Additionally, where possible, you should not leave the crash scene until law enforcement has arrived.
Don’t Agree To a Settlement without Legal Representation
Usually, the at-fault party’s insurance representative will try to convince you into a quick settlement to snowball your rightful compensation. They may use your lack of legal knowledge to propose terms that aren’t in your best interest. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the settlement offer and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you are getting a fair deal.
Renfro & Renfro can often times more than double the initial settlement offer you receive from the insurance company. It is important to remember that no two cases are the same, but our fierce advocates fight to get you every penny you’re entitled to.
Engage Experience Virginia Car Accident Attorneys
Legal matters involving accident claims can be intriguingly complex. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can protect your rights after an accident. At Renfro & Renfro, our Virginia injury attorneys are well-versed in the differences between bodily injury and personal injury. We can guide you on your rights and responsibilities under the law, ensuring you get the best outcome for your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (804) 601-4433 or contacting us online.
We look forward to working with you!