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Steps to take after an auto accident

Whether or not West Virginia motorists are at fault in a motor vehicle accident, it is important that they are aware that there are certain things they should do in its aftermath. For those who are not at fault, these steps can help safeguard their rights if the at-fault party flees the scene of the accident, provides an account of the accident that is false or neglects to report the accident to the police or the insurance company.

The welfare of all of the drivers and passengers involved in the crash should be the first concern. Medical assistance should be sought immediately for anyone who has been injured, and the victims should not be moved unless it is for their safety. If possible, the vehicles involved in the accident should be moved out of the roadway, away from traffic and onto the side of the road.

The at-fault drivers in accidents have the responsibility to report the accident to their insurer. However, other involved parties should not presume that they will do so. It is important to obtain critical information, such as the name and contact information of the negligent driver, the insurer's name and any necessary policy information. Witness statements and photos of the scene should also be obtained if possible. If anyone has sustained physical injuries or there has been property damage, the police should be contacted.

A personal injury attorney may protect the interests and rights of individuals who have been injured in an collision caused by another driver. If the settlement offered by the insurer is inadequate, the attorney might find it advisable to file a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist.

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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Beckley, WV 25801

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