What Is the First Thing I Should Do After a Virginia Car Accident?

Aug 11, 2022 | Auto Accidents

Two drivers inspecting car damages after car accident on the Virginia state road.

The first thing you should do after a Virginia car accident is ensure health and safety. Take a moment to breathe deeply, then evaluate yourself.

How do you feel? Are you experiencing any symptoms, either mild or severe? These might be a headache, soreness, or stiffness.

Be extremely honest with yourself and don’t downplay anything. You want to get medical attention as soon as possible even for minor injuries to prevent them from becoming major. You also need to document them in case you need to pursue an insurance claim or personal injury case against the other driver.

Now take a moment to evaluate your location. Did you make it safely to the road’s shoulder or a parking lot that is out of the way of the road? If your vehicle is not in a safe place and you’re physically able to get out, move yourself to safety. 

Follow all instructions that emergency personnel and law enforcement give you. These guidelines are designed to keep you safe during this challenging situation.

Next Steps After a Virginia Car Accident

Once you’ve evaluated your wellness and safety, it’s time to begin the next steps in documenting the scene and getting the medical attention you need.

  1. Do not leave the area. Even if your vehicle is drivable and you feel fine, you must stop and talk to the other drivers and law enforcement. Otherwise, they might classify it as a hit-and-run accident.
  2. Call 911. Explain the situation and if you think you or anyone else needs emergency medical attention, ask them to send an ambulance.
  3. Set out flares, put your vehicle’s flashers on, and do your best to protect the accident scene until law enforcement arrives. This will ensure that they can fully evaluate what happened and report their findings. It will also give you time to document the scene as best you can safely.
  4. Follow all orders from law enforcement. When asked about what happened, do your best to keep it factual. Avoid adding in details that law enforcement may not need and never speculate.
  5. Document the scene. Take photos and videos of the accident scene as well as any nearby intersections. Don’t forget to document the roadway, which might have tire marks or additional evidence of the accident cause.
  6. Exchange information with the other drivers. But also obtain contact information for witnesses. Ideally, you should collect their name, phone number, and address. This includes passengers in the vehicles at the time of the accident. Take a photo of each driver’s proof of insurance.
  7. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. There is no shame in riding away from an accident in an ambulance. Be sure that you’re getting the treatment you need as soon as possible. And if you don’t feel the need to ride away in the ambulance, schedule an appointment with your general practitioner as soon as possible.
  8. Keep a record of all medical bills, hours away from work, miles traveled to and from appointments, etc. This will be important in case you decide to file a personal injury claim.
  9. Talk to an attorney. The sooner you meet with an attorney, the better. You want details to be fresh and you want to avoid interactions with the insurance company without legal representation. 

Why Your Actions After a Car Accident Matter

The steps you take after a car accident could be the deciding factor in how quickly you recover from your injuries and whether you can pursue compensation for the financial damages you incur. 

Virginia has a strict contributory negligence law that states if you’re found to be even one percent at fault for the accident, you can’t file a claim against the other party. That means that every small detail matters and caring for your health and wellness first will protect you from facing questions about why you didn’t seek treatment sooner.

Geoff McDonald & Associates can help you recover financially after a car accident. Schedule your free consultation now to learn more. 

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.


No Fees Unless We Win

    How Trucking Safety Regulations May Influence Your Case in Virginia

    Virginia truck drivers and commercial trucking company owners must observe certain state and federal safety rules. As an accident victim, showing that the liable party violated one of these laws can reinforce your case and help you claim compensation. Let’s examine a...

    Why Drinking, Drugs and Driving are a Dangerous Combination

    Do you want to be the cause of a senseless tragedy? Each year, countless lives are lost because people decide to drink or drug and drive. It’s an irresponsible act that recklessly endangers not only your life, but also those of innocent bystanders. Whether you’re a...

    What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections in Richmond, Virginia?

    According to Virginia’s car crash map, over 5,700 vehicle accidents occurred in Richmond, VA, in 2022. While a car accident can happen anywhere, some intersections in Richmond are notorious for their high number of crashes. So which intersections in Richmond pose the...

    What Is the Statute of Limitations After a Virginia Truck Accident?

    Did you suffer injuries in a Virginia truck accident? You may be able to sue the truck driver or the trucking company, but you must file your claim within a specified time limit called the statute of limitations. Virginia courts enforce this deadline very strictly and...

    Do Tractor Trailers Have a Black Box?

    One of the first orders or business after a truck crash is to request access to the tractor trailer’s black box. Black boxes often contain critical evidence that can help establish the facts of the accident and support your claim. However, the law requires trucking...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald