What You Do Immediately After A Car Accident Matters
No one plans to get into an automobile accident. If the unexpected happens, you need to stay calm and collected 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:
- 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 to determine 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 you’re hurt.
- Don’t decline medical attention, if 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.
If you have suffered an automobile accident, it’s important to consult experienced Charleston, West Virginia auto accident attorneys to discuss your case and determine whether you can pursue damages. The Charleston, WV lawyers at The Giatras Law Firm are on your side and are ready to review your claim.