In 2013, over 21,600 traffic crashes were reported in Hampton Roads, and 700 of those involved fatalities [Source: DMV]. Almost 4,000 happened in Norfolk; over 3,000 happened in Newport News; and over 6,500 happened in Virginia Beach. As Hampton Roads residents, we see them happen around us every day. Even so, most people don’t think about what to do after a car accident until they’re actually involved in one. Check out this information to familiarize yourself with what to do in case you are in a car accident, and then print this post and place it in your car’s glove box. That way, you’ll have it at your fingertips in the unfortunate event that you need to quickly recall this information.
Contact the police.
If you feel you are in an emergency situation where anyone’s life, health or safety is at stake, dial 911 immediately.
If you don’t feel the situation is an emergency, contact police using the non-emergency phone number for the city in which the accident occurred. You’ll find a list of area non-emergency phone numbers at the end of this article. Call the police, wait for them, and do not move your car. If you don’t contact police, there will be no official record of the accident. This official record is crucial to ensuring you receive proper compensation from your insurance company. It’s also very important to the judge and jury if you seek legal recourse.
Receive necessary medical attention.
The most important thing to remember after an accident is to ensure your health and safety. If you feel any discomfort at all, seek and accept medical treatment, even if it seems very minor at the time. Pain often doesn’t fully present itself until the chaos and adrenaline subside.
Take notes and get witness information.
Write down important information about the accident as soon as possible. If you don’t have a pen and paper, use the memo feature on your phone, or call a friend to write down all the information for you. Speak to witnesses and record their accounts of what happened. You don’t have to wait for police to arrive to do this. It’s best to get their information as soon as possible before they begin to forget details that could be crucial. Here are some facts to record:
- What is the location and time of the accident?
- What area of your car was damaged?
- What type of vehicle hit you? Document the make, model, color, bumper stickers, license plate number, and any other identifying traits of the car.
If you have access to a camera, make sure to take many photos of the damage to your car, the other parties’ cars, and the location of the accident. Do not move your car until the police have completed their report and you have taken as many photos as possible. You want to make sure the accident and damage are documented as precisely as possible, and moving your car would prohibit this. Keep in mind, modern safety features of cars cause the front end to crumple easily and the back end to pop back out. As a result, if you aren’t looking at the car just as it was in the crash, there could appear to be little damage to one car and lots of damage to the other.
You should also take pictures of any visible injuries you have at the time.
Call your insurance company.
Exchange insurance information at the scene of the accident with all parties involved. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Your insurance company will help you file a claim, either with another party in the accident on your own policy.
Call an attorney. | Rutter Mills is available 24/7 at 757-622-5000.
Anytime you are in a serious auto accident here in Hampton Roads, it is best to consult an experienced Hampton Roads auto accident lawyer. The lawyer you choose matters greatly to the judge, jury, and the outcome of your case. Rutter Mills has over 50 years of experience helping Hampton Roads residents receive the outcome they deserve after a serious auto accident. We are available 24 hours a day, so we are there when you need us after an accident. If you’ve been in a serious accident, give us a call at 757-622-5000 or contact us here. Your lawyer matters, and Rutter Mills provides you the size, strength and reputation you need.
Now that you have reviewed what to do if you are in a car accident, print this article and place it in your car’s glove box. If it’s always right at your fingertips, you won’t have to remember all this during a stressful time. Just click below for a printable PDF of this article.
Local Non-Emergency Police Phone Numbers
|Norfolk, 757-441-5600||Williamsburg, 757-220-6220||Franklin, 757-562-8581|
|Virginia Beach, 757-427-4228||York County, 757-890-3600||Southampton County, 757-653-3008|
|Chesapeake, 757-382-6464||Poquoson, 757-868-3501||Isle of Wight County, 757-365-6308|
|Portsmouth, 757-393-8765||James City County, 757-566-4315||Surry County, 757-294-5271|
|Suffolk, 757-923-2110||Gloucester County, 804-693-3890||Accomack County, 757-789-3610|
|Hampton, 757-727-6414||Northampton County, 757-678-0443|
|Newport News, 757-269-2900||Chincoteague, 757-336-6519|