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What to do if you’ve been in a car crash.  

If you've been in a wreck, check yourself for injuries.  If you're injured call for an ambulance or ask someone else to do so.  If you feel uninjured, check on your passengers to make sure they are ok and have not been injured in the wreck.  

Call 911 to report the crash and any injuries.  

Take photographs of your vehicle, the other driver's vehicle, skid marks, debris, and anything else you think is important about the accident scene.  Do not count on the police or passersby to take these photos.  We recently represented a woman who was sitting at a red-light in her Honda Civic when she was violently rear-ended by the flatbed truck shown below.  

As you can expect, she was quite shaken up by this ordeal and was unable to take photographs of the collision scene.  For some reason, the responding officer didn't take any photographs and my client was left without powerful evidence that would have proved the violence of the collision.  She was able to settle her claim, but better photographs of the scene would have made a difference.  

In the hours or days after the wreck, if you start to feel symptoms – headache, numbness, back/neck soreness or tightness, shoulder/elbow/wrist/ lower body pain, etc. – make sure to get to a doctor or emergency room to have your symptoms checked out and to get some guidance on what to do to feel better.  Be specific about what is hurting so your doctor knows what diagnostic tests and examinations to perform to assess your condition.  Be honest with them to make sure they can help you get better.  Take photographs of your injuries and anything you used to get better (casts, splints, crutches, etc.).

Follow your doctors' orders.  Take medications as prescribed.  Attend prescribed therapies when scheduled and do your best while there.  Under Virginia Law, you have an obligation to take reasonable steps to mitigate your damages.  Don't give the defendant driver's insurance company a reason to claim that you haven't done your best to get better.  

Call your auto insurance company to report the crash.  You might be tempted to call the other driver's insurance company.  Don't do this right away.  Sometimes immediately after a collision, you might not feel hurt because of the excitement from the wreck.  If you call the bad driver's insurance company immediately after, your body might not have started to hurt, and now they have a recording of you saying that you're fine.  Be patient.  There is no need to report the wreck to them immediately.  

If you've been injured in a collision, call this firm right away (703-684-7908) to let us help you protect your rights.  

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Carmichael Ellis & Brock, PLLC is committed to representing you in criminal, military, security clearance, medical malpractice, personal injury, and product liability cases.

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