Charleston Car Wreck Lawyers Give Tips on What to Do After a Collision
If you've been hurt in a car accident, a car crash attorney can help
Millions of people drive their cars every day, and a lot of those people have no idea what to do if they get into a car wreck. Our Charleston car accident lawyers understand it can be hard to figure out what to do after getting into a crash. Navigating the legal system in Charleston and Kanawha County can get confusing quickly, and if injured crash victims aren't careful, they may end up unnecessarily footing the bill for the majority of their accident-related expenses.
Car accidents are scary, and they can leave you shaken and injured. Even if you aren't seriously hurt, having a collision with another car can be an upsetting and frustrating situation. While most people never expect to get into a car accident, knowing what to do in the event of a crash can be a valuable tool. It's important to remember that no matter what kind of collision you've had, you have rights. Our Charleston car accident lawyers know your rights and know what options are available to you if you've been injured due to someone else's negligence. Contact an attorney from the Mike Slocumb Law Firm in Charleston today for a free consultation.
Car accident checklist: What you should do after a collision
Car accidents happen, so it's important to be prepared and know what steps to take after getting into a crash with another driver. If you have a collision with another vehicle, our Charleston car crash attorneys recommend you:
- Remain calm: This may be easier said than done, but it's important to try to keep your composure so you can think clearly and remember what to do next. Never exit your vehicle and show hostility toward other drivers. Do your best to stay level-headed, even if you're frustrated about having a crash.
- See if anyone is hurt: If you think you've been injured, you shouldn't try to move. Call 911, tell them you're hurt, and you need an ambulance. Even if you're not in pain or visibly injured, check to see if any of your passengers are hurt and need immediate medical attention or first aid. If it's safe to do so, you can also check on the people in the other vehicles involved in the crash as a courtesy to see if they need an ambulance, but you shouldn't say much of anything else. Don't argue about whose fault the accident was, and don't admit fault. Even something that may seem harmless like "I'm sorry" can be used against you if you decide to file a claim later down the road.
- Call 911: Tell the dispatcher that you've been in a car accident and include where you are, who you are, and if anyone is injured and in need of an ambulance. If the other driver flees from the crash scene, do your best to tell police everything you can about the other driver and their vehicle. Once police arrive at the scene of the accident, be sure to never admit fault. You will want to obtain an official West Virginia crash report that details how the collision happened, and if you're not sure how to get that report, a responding officer can instruct you how to do so.
- Take videos/photos: You'll want to document the entire crash scene, including damage to all the vehicles involved, surrounding signs and traffic signals, and any visible tire marks. Try to capture the weather conditions and anything else that may be relevant to the collision. If there were bystanders who witnessed the crash, be sure to get their contact information. They may be able to give witness testimony to help prove who caused the accident.
- Exchange information: Write down contact information and insurance information for the other driver and take down their license info along with the name and contact info of any passengers involved in the crash. Provide your name and contact info to the other driver, along with your insurance information. If possible, take a picture of the other vehicle's license plate or write down the number.
- See a doctor: If you're in pain or noticeably injured immediately after your accident, you should call 911 for an ambulance right away. But even if you don't feel or look hurt in the moments after your crash, you should still see a medical professional within a day or two of the accident. Some injuries, especially soft tissue and internal organ damage, take time to manifest. You may be seriously hurt and not even realize it, which is why it's critical that you get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
- Call your insurance company: Let them know that you were in a car accident, but do not admit fault or give any information that could be used to determine the crash was your fault. Anything you say to the insurance adjuster will be recorded and could be possibly used against you to deny your claim or reduce compensation. If another driver's insurance company contacts you, politely decline to comment. You are not obligated to speak with them.
- Consult with a car accident lawyer: If you've been hurt in a collision, you should get an experienced car crash attorney from the Mike Slocumb Law Firm in Charleston to represent you. Our lawyers know how to negotiate with the insurance companies, and if needed, our attorneys can take the fight to court to make sure your needs are met.
Let a Charleston car accident lawyer deliver the results you need
If you've been injured in a crash, hiring an experienced car accident attorney to help with your claim can put you on a path toward obtaining maximum compensation. Insurance companies know that they can lowball crash victims and pressure them into accepting unfair settlement offers, but our Charleston car crash lawyers know their tactics and won't let them take advantage of you. When you're hurt, you should be focused on your recovery. The last thing you should be worried about is dealing with the insurance companies when all they care about is settling your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. When you're hurt, let our attorneys do the heavy lifting for you. Take a stand and fight back with the help of a Charleston car accident lawyer. Contact an attorney from the Mike Slocumb Law Firm in Charleston today for a free consultation.