An accident can change your life in an instant. One moment you are driving down the road, and the next you could be dealing with injuries that are painful and debilitating. How you react to your accident is important, as there are certain things you can do that will set you up for success if you should pursue damages through a civil claim.
The hours, days and weeks after a crash are critical. It is in your interests to know what to do at the scene, while getting medical attention and at home recovering. If your accident was the result of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, you have the right to seek recovery through the civil justice system. You do not have to face this complex and potentially frustrating process alone.
At the scene
What you are able to do at the scene of the accident depends on the nature of your injuries and the severity of your crash. If you can, taking the following steps may help you with a future claim:
- Call for help and check on those injured.
- Take pictures with your phone before moving vehicles.
- Take photos of anything that may be an important detail in your case.
- Get contact information from other drivers involved.
- Get contact information from witnesses who saw what happened.
- Do not admit fault to anyone at the scene of the accident.
The following days and weeks
Taking care of your legal and financial interests after a severe crash can be difficult, especially if you are dealing with painful injuries and other complications. The following steps could be important:
- Notify your insurance company about your accident.
- Keep track of any medical treatment you receive related to the crash.
- Get an assessment of the property damage you suffered.
- Be cautious of any settlement offers received.
Navigating the aftermath is not easy, but you will find it helpful to work with an experienced West Virginia attorney during this time.
Recovery and moving forward
A legal professional can help you put the pieces back together and move forward after a traumatic event. It is beneficial to seek this help as soon as possible after a crash so you can begin to prepare your civil claim against the liable party. An evaluation of your case can help you understand the specific legal options available to you.