A car accident can change your life in an instant. One moment you may be driving to a restaurant or to the grocery store, and the next you may find yourself with serious injuries and extensive property damage. There are things you can do to protect your interests as you seek to recover and move forward after this type of traumatic event.
One of the most important factors to remember if involved in an accident is that you must stop. Every person involved in a crash has a legal obligation to do so. In addition to stopping, there are specific actions you can take and things you can avoid that will give you a better chance of a successful potential personal injury claim. Above all, it may help you to know that you do not have to walk through the aftermath of a collision alone.
In the immediate aftermath
The moments after an accident can be overwhelming and confusing. One of the most beneficial things you can do is to avoid admitting responsibility for the accident. Things you say, even inadvertently, may be used against you at a later date. It is best to limit what you say to other drivers involved in the incident. In addition to this, other things you can do to protect your interests at the scene of the accident include:
- Check on everyone involved and determine if anyone needs medical attention.
- Call the police, and try to avoid moving the vehicles until law enforcement arrive on the scene.
- Try to collect as much information as possible about your accident, including contact information of others involved and witnesses.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, if you are able.
Taking the following steps can help you build your case if it is appropriate to move forward with a civil claim at some point in the future.
What are your rights?
It is difficult know what your legal options may be in the immediate aftermath of a collision. Many accident victims find it beneficial to seek a complete explanation of their legal options by reaching out for legal guidance as soon as possible after a crash.
An assessment of your case can help you understand what the right course of action is for your unique situation. If you are the victim of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, West Virginia law allows you to seek recourse and compensation for your losses.