There are plenty of websites that will tell you what to do after you’ve been in a car accident. But what a lot of them don’t tell you is that you can make the experience much easier if you take time to plan ahead. What’s the key to coming out on top after a Virginia car accident? Be prepared.
- Carry an emergency kit in your car. By keeping a simple kit in your trunk, you should be able to handle a crisis or two on your own. Basics include a spare tire, flashlight, pens and markers, bungee cords, antifreeze / engine coolant and battery cables. Keep these in your car at all times—and know how to use them.
- Be aware of road safety rules. If your car needs assistance, move to the side of the road with your hazard lights on. If you are waiting for help, remain inside the vehicle. Don’t risk others’ lives (or your own) by remaining in traffic while waiting for help.
- Keep an accident checklist in your car. After an accident, drivers are often too panicked to get all the facts. Write a blank form ahead of time, including spaces for names, locations, date, time, license plate numbers, names of witnesses, and phone numbers, and keep the form in the glove compartment. These details will be invaluable later when you file your insurance claim.
- Be prepared to take pictures. Photographs are extremely useful when assessing the extent of damage after a car accident. Carry a disposable camera—or a cell phone with a high-quality built-in camera—while driving, and remember to use it if an accident occurs.
- Know your insurance policy inside and out. Many people assume they are covered after an accident, only to discover their policy was not as extensive as they thought. Keep a copy of your policy (making sure it is up-to-date) in your glove box, as well as a current proof of insurance.
We know that there will always be a risk of an accident on Virginia roads. That’s why it is important to be as safe and prepared as possible, and if an accident does occur, seek the advice of a DC personal injury attorney whom you trust. For more information and a free consultation following your Virginia car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Shevlin Smith today at (703) 591-0067.