It’s normal to be anxious and upset after a car accident, but there are some key steps you should take to protect your legal right to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
1. Call for Help
First responders should be called immediately to provide medical attention for anyone who is seriously injured. When you call 911, tell the operator that there has been an accident and briefly describe the condition of any injured persons. Try to keep people calm until help arrives, but do not move anyone who is injured unless they are at risk of being involved in a secondary accident.
Law enforcement should be called to the scene of the accident, even if there are no serious injuries. You will need a copy of the police report for your insurance claim.
2. Gather Evidence
If you are able to do so, you can begin gathering evidence for your claim immediately.
- If there are people who witnessed the accident, get their names and contact information.
- Get the license and insurance information for other drivers involved in the accident.
- Use your phone to take pictures of the accident from many different angles. Take photos of vehicle damage and visible injuries as well.
- Write down notes about how the accident occurred while your memory is still fresh.
3. Seek Medical Attention
You should always be evaluated by a medical professional after an accident, even if you are not in pain and you believe your injuries will heal on their own. The surge of adrenaline that you experience after being involved in a car crash can temporarily mask signs of injury. If you wait to seek treatment, you put your health at risk and make it more difficult to establish that your injuries are the result of the accident.
Keep copies of your medical records and any bills or invoices you receive. This evidence is important for your personal injury claim.
4. Call Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company must be notified of the accident, even if the other driver is 100% at fault. When you speak to your agent, ask about your available MedPay coverage. Also known as medical payments coverage, this optional form of auto insurance can be used to supplement your health insurance and pay for immediate medical expenses related to the accident regardless of fault.
5. Call a Lawyer
Insurance companies are focused on making a profit—not providing you with the compensation you need to cover all your accident-related expenses. Do not provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company until you have consulted a qualified personal injury attorney.
At The Nestor Law Office, attorney Ty Nestor is committed to helping West Virginia residents who’ve suffered serious car accident injuries receive the personal injury compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Call today to discuss your legal options. There is no fee for the initial consultation.