Car accidents can be frightening and overwhelming experiences. In West Virginia, it’s important to follow these steps to ensure your safety, comply with the law, and protect your rights. Here are some things you should do after a car accident in West Virginia.

6 Steps to take after a car accident in West Virginia  

Step 1: Check for Injuries

The first thing you should do after an auto accident in West Virginia is to check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. If there are injuries that require medical attention, call 911 immediately. Even if no one looks injured, it’s still a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries aren’t always immediately apparent and can develop over time.

Step 2: Exchange Information

Exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident. This should include names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information, and vehicle registration details. You should also take pictures of the damage done to both vehicles involved in the wreck.

Step 3: Call the Police

Call the police and report the accident, even if it seems minor. The police will create an accident report, which can be helpful when filing an insurance claim. West Virginia law requires you to report accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. The accident report usually contains important information about how the accident happened.

Step 4: Seek Legal Advice

If you were injured in the accident, or if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you should consider seeking legal advice. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. They can help protect your rights and guide you through the legal process.

Step 5: Notify Your Insurance Company:

Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and complete information about the incident.

Step 6: Follow West Virginia Insurance Laws:

Familiarize yourself with West Virginia insurance laws to understand the minimum coverage requirements and other relevant regulations.

What you shouldn’t do after a car accident in West Virginia

In addition to these steps, there are a few things you should NOT do after a car accident:

Steps 1. Do Not Leave the Scene:

Leaving the scene of an accident, especially if there are injuries or property damage, is illegal. Stay at the scene until law enforcement allows you to leave.

Steps 2. Do Not Admit Fault:

Refrain from admitting fault or making statements that may be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Leave the determination of fault to the authorities and insurance companies.

Steps 3. Do Not Argue or Blame Others:

Avoid engaging in arguments or blaming others at the scene. Keep interactions with other parties civil and limit your conversation to exchanging necessary information.

Steps 4. Do Not Neglect to Call the Police:

Even in minor accidents, it’s crucial to call the police and file a report. A police report provides an official account of the incident, which can be valuable for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Steps 5. Do Not Forget to Document the Scene:

Failing to document the accident scene, including taking photos of vehicle damage and the surrounding area, can hinder your ability to support your insurance claim or legal case.

Steps 6. Do Not Skip Seeking Medical Attention:

Even if you believe your injuries are minor, do not skip seeking medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical examination can help identify and document any issues.

Steps 7. Do Not Delay Notifying Your Insurance Company:

Notify your insurance company promptly after the accident. Delaying the reporting process could result in complications with your claim.

Steps 8. Do Not Settle Quickly:

Avoid settling with the other party involved in the accident or accepting a quick settlement from an insurance company without fully assessing the extent of your injuries and damages.

Steps 9. Do Not Provide Unnecessary Information:

When talking to the other party, the police, or insurance representatives, provide only necessary information. Avoid discussing unrelated topics or volunteering information that could be used against you.

Steps 10. Do Not Ignore Legal Counsel:

If the accident involves significant injuries or complexities, avoid handling the situation without legal advice. Consulting with a West Virginia car accident lawyer can help protect your rights and guide you through the process.

Steps 11. Do Not Sign Documents Without Understanding:

Do not sign any documents, especially from insurance companies, without fully understanding the implications. Consult with an attorney before signing any agreements.

Steps 12. Do Not Post on Social Media Immediately:

Refrain from posting details about the accident on social media immediately. Insurance companies and legal parties may use social media posts against you, so it’s advisable to consult with your attorney before sharing details online.

Following these steps can help you stay safe and protect your legal rights after a car accident in WV.

Moreover, West Virginia operates under a modified comparative negligence system, underscoring the importance of accurate and timely reporting. This system emphasizes that your compensation may be affected by the degree of fault assigned to each party involved. Consulting with an attorney can help you understand your rights and navigate this complex legal landscape. Remember that even seemingly minor injuries can have long-term consequences, and comprehensive medical documentation is crucial for both your health and any potential legal claims.

In conclusion, knowing what steps to take after a car accident in West Virginia is pivotal for a smooth recovery process. From ensuring immediate safety to seeking legal guidance when needed, each action plays a crucial role in safeguarding your well-being and legal rights. By following these outlined steps, you can navigate the aftermath of a car accident in West Virginia with confidence, ensuring that you are well-prepared to handle both the immediate and long-term implications of the incident.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in West Virginia

Free Consultation With a Top-Rated WV Car Accident Lawyer

Our firm has handled hundreds of personal injury cases throughout West Virginia, fighting for the rights of accident victims to compensation for their injuries. We understand that car accident in West Virginia can be disorienting and frustrating, both in the immediate aftermath and for a while afterward. Our West Virginia car accident lawyers are here to help lessen the burden you are facing with the experience, compassion, and know-how you can rely on.

By understanding the common causes of accidents, you can take steps to avoid them and stay safe on the road.

Helpful Articles:

How to Deal With Insurance Adjusters After a Car Accident

What to do after a car accident in West Virginia

Car Accidents and Brain Injuries

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.

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