What to Do if You’ve Been in an Accident
The automobile accident attorneys at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson have been helping victims of car, truck and motorcycle collisions in West Virginia for over 30 years. It can be difficult to know what to do when you are involved in a car accident. Auto accidents are sudden, frightening experiences, and it can be several minutes or even hours before the shock wears off. However, the period following an accident, from the first few moments to the first few days, is a critical time to take important steps to protect yourself and ensure that you receive the proper medical care and are justly compensated for your injuries. Below are some suggestions based upon our years of experience helping people like yourself through the difficult period following a car accident.
Collect Information at the Scene of the Accident
The safety of yourself and others should always be your first priority immediately after an auto accident. If anybody is injured, call 9-1-1 right away and administer First Aid if you are qualified to do so. While you are waiting for the police to arrive, exchange information with the other driver, including driver’s license and insurance information. You may also want to get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident. If you have a camera, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and the entire scene. You can use the camera on your phone if you need to.
If you were unable due to your injuries to collect information from the other driver, you may be able to obtain this information from the police accident report, or your attorney may be able to get it for you. It is an especially good idea to get a copy of the police report if you were unable at the time to give a statement to the police. You will want to review the report to make sure it accurately describes what happened and is not biased by the other driver’s version of the accident.
See a Doctor Soon After an Auto Accident
If you were seriously injured in the accident, of course you should seek medical attention right away. But even if you were lucky enough to walk away without any broken bones or bleeding, you should still make an appointment with your doctor to get checked out. Your doctor can look you over thoroughly and may recommend x-rays or other tests, or an appointment with a specialist, to make sure you are okay. Many serious injuries are not immediately apparent – including head, neck and back problems and internal injuries – but the sooner they can be identified and diagnosed, the better your chances will be for as complete a recovery as possible.
Seek Experienced Legal Representation in Your West Virginia Auto Accident
It is never too early to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer soon after your accident. Your attorney can take immediate action to collect and preserve important evidence before it is lost and can look out for your interests every step of the way, making sure that you are receiving the proper medical care and that you are not taken advantage of by an insurance company that is too quick to settle your claim and take away your rights to fair compensation. In West Virginia, contact Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson for a free consultation. There is no obligation, and we only collect a fee if we recover for you.