Central Virginia / Shenandoah Valley Car Accident Glove Box Guide
Nobody plans on getting into an auto accident. However, if one happens to you or a loved one, it will help you to have a plan in place. Being prepared can put you in a much better position to protect your health and your right to obtain full and fair compensation.
For more than 25 years, Kendall Law Firm has assisted car accident victims and their families throughout Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. Based on our experience, we have prepared a handy “Car Accident Glove Box Guide” to help area residents to be prepared for a crash and to get through the immediate aftermath of one.
Please review our detailed guide below. We also encourage you to print the condensed version of the guide and keep it stored in your car.
If you are involved in a crash, one of the most important steps you will take is getting legal help. Contact Kendall Law Firm as soon as possible for a free consultation about your case.
Keep these documents stored in your glove box or another safe place in your vehicle:
- Virginia vehicle registration
- Auto insurance card
- Emergency contacts (spouse, family members and/or friends)
You should also keep these items handy in case you are in an accident:
- Jumper cables
- Lug wrench, tire jack and spare tire
- Flare or warning triangles
- First-aid kit
- Bottle of water
- Coat and/or blanket
- Small shovel (during winter travel)
- Pen and notebook
- Small camera (or spare cell phone)
At the Accident Scene
Take a few deep breaths, stay as calm as possible and take the following steps:
Check for injuries. Do a quick check of yourself, your passengers and those in the other vehicles to see if anyone needs emergency medical treatment.
Stay there. Don’t leave the scene. Ask anyone else involved in the crash to stay, too. Turn on your hazards and/or put out your flares or warning triangles to alert other cars.
Call 911. You want police to respond to the crash, secure the scene and prepare a report. Ask for an ambulance if one is needed.
Get witness information. Witnesses may leave soon after police arrive. Use your pen and notebook and get their names and contact information. Note of what they saw or heard.
Take photos. Before cars are towed away and the scene is cleaned up, try to take as many photos as possible with your phone or small camera. Get shots of the front, back, sides of each car as well as debris, skid marks, street signs and traffic controls.
Exchange information. Trade basic information with all other drivers involved in the crash, including names, driver’s license numbers, insurance information and contact information.
Speak with police. Answer all of the officer’s questions. Stick to the facts. Do not accept or assign blame. Make sure to get the officer’s name and badge number in case you need to ask a question about the report he or she prepares.
Move your car. Never leave your vehicle at the accident scene. If you must, call for a tow truck to take it to a safe place.
After the Accident
The steps you take in the hours and days after you leave the accident scene are highly important. Please do the following:
See a doctor. If you do not leave the scene in an ambulance, go immediately to your family doctor or to the emergency room. You need to get checked as soon as possible for injuries. Make sure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
Write it down. When you have a moment, and while the details are still fresh in your mind, note everything you can recall about the accident. These notes will help to jog your memory at a later date.
Get a copy of your crash report.
You can call the local law enforcement agency that responded to your crash. You can also make a written request or submit an information request form to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
. The cost is $8. Fax your request to (804) 367-0390 or write to:
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Customer Records Work Center, Room 514
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269
Call your insurance company. Your auto insurance policy likely requires you to give notice of your crash. Provide basic information. Do not give a recorded statement.
Do not talk with other insurance companies. If a representative from any other insurance company contacts you, do not give a recorded statement or even casually discuss what happened. Refer the insurer to your lawyer. Never accept a settlement offer – even for car repair or replacement – until a lawyer has reviewed the offer first.
Store everything in a folder. Keep copies of all medical invoices, car repair bills, insurance company letters and receipts of other accident-related expenses in a folder. Down the road, you will be glad you have all of this information in one place.
Stay away from social media. In today’s world, insurance companies mine Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for information that can be used against accident victims. The safest thing to do is to stay off social media until your case is resolved.
Central Virginia / Shenandoah Valley Car Accident Resources
These phone numbers are listed for informational purposes only and do not serve as an endorsement by Kendall Law Firm.