So you were involved in a Richmond car accident. All the associated feelings of confusion, fear and anger may be overwhelming. You may feel like just riding away in your vehicle or hurling some expletives at the other driver. But no matter what happened and whose fault it is, you should keep your cool and follow some simple steps to make the most out of a tough situation.
Here are some steps to take while you're at the scene of your Richmond car accident:
1) Make sure you, your passengers, and the other vehicle's passengers are unharmed - Safety is the top priority in these situations. You should check right away if any parties involved are injured. Examine yourself if you feel any differently (pain, discomfort, numbness, etc.). Unless their lives are in danger, keep in mind that you should not move anyone that is seriously injured as this may cause further harm.
2) Move your vehicle to a safe location - You should move your vehicle out of danger to prevent any further collisions. Do not drive away as you can be charged with a "hit and run," even if the accident wasn't caused by you. You should always stop and talk to the other driver if you are involved in an accident, no matter the gravity of the damage.
3) Call Richmond police officials - This is recommended in almost all cases. A police report is considered hard evidence that the accident took place and helps you with your claims against the party at fault. Also, be cooperative with the Richmond officers and provide them any information that they request may be able to use.
4) Do not admit fault - It's important to not say anything to the other party or to the police officer which can be interpreted as an admission of liability. A simple apology could work against your claim as the insurance company's lawyer may use this as an admission of negligence on your part.
5) Gather information - It is highly recommended that you gather information about the car accident whether a police officer is present or not. Write down key information regarding the other driver, including eye witness accounts, any details in the scene (examine your surroundings and the other driver's vehicle), and the like. This information will surely prove to be useful to your claim.
6) Call a tow truck - If you suspect that driving your vehicle may be unsafe, you should opt to call the services of a tow truck to avoid further damage to you or your vehicle.
Richmond attorney Bob Battle can supply you with more information to help you after your car accident. Check out The Shocking Truth About Reckless Driving/Speeing in Virginia to learn more.