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What should I do after a car accident?

By Beth Gibson on November 18, 2019

In the first moments after a wreck, try to remain calm, and take deep breaths. Move slowly, and pay attention to how your body feels. If you’re hurt, call 911 immediately. Here is more helpful advice from Virginia personal injury lawyers John Singleton and Ken Gibson:

What’s the first thing that will happen after a wreck, and what should I do?

John: “The first thing that happens in a car wreck is there’s material from your car, from the other car, all over the road. There are people who are coming up on the wreck scene that aren’t aware of it, so it’s a very dangerous situation.

The first thing you want to do is take care of you. Make sure you can either safely stay in your car, or safely get out of your car. Make sure you’re out of the way — that you’re not going to get hurt further at the scene of the wreck.”

Then what?

John: “Next thing you want to do is start getting information: talking to the other driver, making sure that they’re OK; talking to the police officer, making sure the police officer accurately takes down the information about what really happened in the wreck.

“If you’re capable, take some photographs. Most people have a smartphone; you can take some pictures with that, or if there’s somebody there who wants to jump in and help out, ask them to take pictures. Try and get their information, and the names of witnesses.”

Any other things to remember?

John: “Again, the most important thing is take care of yourself, and get to the hospital if you need to. If you believe you have suffered any type of injury, let the EMTs, ambulance people, firefighters, and police officers check you out. Let them put you in the ambulance, and take you to the hospital.

“Insurance companies only work on one thing, and that’s raw data. If it’s not in a record—a medical record, or a police report—then in the insurance company’s mind, it didn’t happen.

“Ken, what else can you think of?”

Ken: “Well, once you’ve gotten the treatment you need after the wreck, you should make the decision to call a lawyer.”

What will happen if I meet with you?

Ken: “What we like to do, John and I, is try to meet with every client together. We want to get to know what happened in your case, so that we’re both prepared to handle your case from the start.

“It’s a cliché, but information is power. We want you to bring in as much information as you have.

“At the scene, you’re going to get a card from the officer with the information about the other driver. By the time you meet with us, you may have already received some medical bills. We want you to bring those in. It’s also important, when we’re determining how much coverage is available, for you to bring in a copy of your own insurance policy that has a ‘declarations’ page showing how much coverage you have.

“We also want you to bring in your driver’s license, health insurance information, and any other document that you may have about the case.”

Not every collision in Virginia needs a lawyer, and GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys will be the first to tell you if that’s the case with yours. When you call us, we’ll let you know if you’d be better off handling your case on your own. There is no downside to consulting with us after you are injured though because our consultations are always free. And you will, at minimum, learn something helpful about your case

If you hire us to represent you after a car crash, we’ll continue giving the advice we gave earlier: take care of you. We go back and forth with the insurance company; we do all the paperwork (and legwork); and we compile all the evidence you need to get started on the road to recovery. You just need to rest and heal.

To schedule a no-cost consultation with John and Ken, call (804) 413-6777 today.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.