There are few experiences that are as scary and stressful as being in an automobile accident. One second, you’re driving along peacefully in your car, and the next second you’re jolted into survival mode as you try to understand what just happened to you. Most of us will experience this at some point, and while it can be disorienting and overwhelming, it’s imperative that you take the necessary steps immediately following the accident to ensure that you have all the information you need in the event that you need to file an insurance claim for damages to you or your car.
The most important thing to do immediately following the accident is to notify the police and request emergency responders (if someone is injured). Next, speak with the other driver to get his or her statement on what happened. At this time, you should also ask the other driver the following:
- May I see your license and insurance information?
- Do you accept blame for the accident?
- Did your car have noticeable damage prior to the accident?
- Are you or any of your passengers injured or in pain?
After you gather that information, you should next assess the scene where the accident took place while taking note of the following:
- The time and date of the accident
- The cause of the accident
- The weather and traffic conditions at the time of the accident
- The extent of damage to both vehicles
After the police and emergency responders have arrived and assessed the scene, you should speak with a police officer to find out the following:
- Does the other driver have valid insurance?
- Did anyone involved in the accident require medical attention?
- Was the other driver operating his or her vehicle under the influence of alcohol or another substance?
- Are you, or the other driver, being charged with any criminal offense?
When you’ve completed these steps, you should ascertain whether you need legal assistance in the aftermath of the accident. Whether you’re being charged with a criminal offense, or you’re seeking reparation for the damages to your car or any bodily injuries you experienced, you should contact an experienced attorney as quickly as possible to ensure that all of the necessary steps are taken to build your defense or collect what is owed to you. If you’ve been in an accident in Virginia and are in need of legal assistance, contact the professionals at NovaLegalGroup today for a free consultation with a skilled attorney who can help you build your case.