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Car Accident Checklist

Car accident checklist

Help for West Virginia Car Wreck Victims

An auto accident can be one of the most stressful and unexpected experiences in life, and even the most careful of drivers can be involved in an accident at some point in their life. Because these events can be traumatic and can cause devastating injuries to those involved, it is important to be prepared beforehand in the event that you are ever in a car or truck accident. Here at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, our accident lawyers have helped countless victims and families through the difficult aftermath of a serious accident and we know how to help you.

Our legal team is comprised of a group of lawyers who were born and raised in West Virginia, and who are extensively familiar with the legal system in our state and how to be successful with accident claims. We take accident claims very seriously because we understand what is at stake for our clients and we want to recover the full amount of compensation that is available for them through personal injury law. Below, we have provided a detailed checklist of the steps that you should take after a car accident to ensure that you have the best chance at a successful injury claim. We are always available to discuss this checklist with you in further detail and to provide you with comprehensive legal support throughout the entire process.

Steps to Take After a Car Crash

One of the ways that you can be prepared for an accident before it happens is to keep a set of cones, warning triangles, or even emergency flares inside of your vehicle in order to help alert traffic after an accident. Having emergency flares or some kind of light will be especially important if you are in an accident at night when it is dark. It also helps to carry a pen and a card that contains any relevant medical information for you and your close family members.

Steps to take after a car accident infographic


  1. After an accident, one of the first things you must do is make sure that everyone involved is okay and not suffering from life-threatening injuries. When in doubt, it is always wise to call an ambulance. Even though accidents can be both frightening and very stressful, you should take a deep breath and try your best to remain calm. Letting your panic control you after an accident can lead to rash decisions or statements that you may regret.
  2. Do not make apologies for the accident or for another person’s injuries. Even though you may be trying to be polite, saying something like “I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention there” can be used by another party to hold you liable for the accident. Keep in mind that the other party involved in your accident may not be willing to admit fault and may use what you say against you when you try to file an accident claim.
  3. Gather information from witnesses. Start talking to anyone who is nearby and try to gather their contact information if they have seen the accident. It is wise to do this immediately after your accident while you are waiting for the police or ambulance to arrive. You should also get the name of the other driver involved in the accident and write down who their car is registered under.
  4. Call the police, even if the accident is minor. You should state the facts of the accident but do not admit fault. After a serious motor vehicle accident, it may be hard to not discuss what just happened with others, but it is important to limit your discuss of the accident to your police, your attorney and your insurance agent. The other party’s insurance company may try to contact you, but you should wait to talk to them until you get in touch with your own insurance company or attorney.
  5. Call your insurance company and report the accident immediately. If possible, you should do this at the scene of the accident when the police are there. Sometimes, the police officer can give your insurance company more accurate and valid information and this can save you time in waiting for your claim to be processed.
  6. Take notes and pictures of the accident. This may seem unnecessary if the police are there at the accident scene, but having your own proof of the damage to your car and the accident scene will help with insurance. This data, such as a diagram of the exact crash site and where each car was, can be used as evidence if there is ever a dispute with your claim in the future.
  7. Ask for a property damage figure from your insurance company. This valuation will serve as the amount that you use to recover or replace your car. If you are not happy with the figure from your insurance company, there is hope when you call a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience handling car accident claims.

If you are not at fault for your accident and have suffered property damage or physical injuries, the other driver may try to convince you to not file an auto accident claim and to not call the police. While it is not uncommon for parties to work out an agreement without the police for minor accidents, there are no guarantees with this approach and you may end up without the compensation you deserve. The other party involved should be responsible to pay for the compensation that you deserve, and one of the only ways to guarantee that this happens is to enlist the help of a skilled auto accident attorney.

How a West Virginia Auto Accident Attorney Can Help

Around the same time that you call your insurance company about your accident, you should also call one of our skilled car wreck attorneys at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC. Our firm has more than 35 years of experience helping car accident victims and we know how to file a motor vehicle accident claim that will be successful in recovering compensation for you and your loved ones. Contact our firm today at 800-900-0673 for the professional representation, reliable legal advice, and dedicated support that you deserve. Our office is located in Charleston and we regularly serve clients throughout West Virginia with all types of accident cases and injury claims. We believe that you deserve the best legal representation during your time of need, and we strive to accomplish maximum outcomes for every client’s case so that you can move forward with your life. Call now!