You have certain responsibilities after a car accident in West Virginia. As a driver, state law obligates you to remain at the scene and exchange information with the other driver. If you fail to stop at the scene of a car accident – no matter how minor – and leave your information, you could be guilty of the crime of hit-and-run. Exchange the correct information to protect yourself.

When to Report a Car Accident

By West Virginia law, you must stop at the scene, or as close to the scene as possible, of a car accident. This includes after a collision with a parked unattended vehicle. Never flee the scene of an accident, as this could lead to hit-and-run charges. This is a serious crime in West Virginia with expensive fines and jail time. Remain at the scene and call the police, if necessary.

In West Virginia, drivers do not have to call the police after minor car accidents. They can exchange information for an insurance claim. If the car accident caused injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in property damages, however, you must report it immediately to the police. Call 911 to reach the nearest police station. The police officer should submit a report to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for you. If your crash caused $500 to $1,000 in damages and you did not call the police, you will need to file a notice with the DMV yourself.

Name and Contact Information

Assist anyone with physical injuries while you are still at the scene of the car accident. This may mean calling an ambulance or arranging a ride to the nearest hospital. Then, exchange information with the other driver. West Virginia Code 17C-4-3 states that all drivers involved in a crash that causes injuries or deaths must provide certain information to the person injured or the owner of the damaged vehicle.

  •       Full name
  •       Valid telephone number where the driver can contact you
  •       Year, make, model and last four digits of your vehicle identification number
  •       Proof of insurance
  •       Name of the insured person
  •       Contact information of the insurance company
  •       Contact information of the insured, if this is not you

You can satisfy this requirement by either giving this information to the other driver or the police officer who is investigating at the scene of the accident. If you struck an unattended vehicle, you must leave your name, address and a description of the accident in writing in a conspicuous place on the damaged vehicle.

Other Information to Obtain at the Scene

Legally, you are free to leave after you have reported the accident (if necessary) and exchanged information with the other driver. The police will tell you when you can leave the scene of the crash. You may be able to build a stronger insurance claim, however, by collecting more than the minimum required information.

  • Photographs. Take pictures of all damaged vehicles, your injuries and the scene of the accident. Take video footage while at the scene as well, if possible.
  • Names of eyewitnesses. Write down the names and contact information of witnesses who saw the crash occur.
  • Police report number. Ask for the number on the police report. Your insurance company will request this information. You can also use it to obtain a copy of the report later.

All drivers bear the same responsibilities to exchange information after a car accident. If the other driver is refusing to cooperate, call the police. When exchanging proof of insurance, make sure the other driver gives you the name of the insurance company, a contact number and a policy number, if possible. Complete insurance information can facilitate an easier claims process. If the other driver says he or she does not have insurance, call the police to report to the scene of the accident. Call a West Virginia car accident attorney if you need assistance with a claim.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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