Despite your best efforts and skill behind the wheel, there may come a time when you find yourself in a car accident and need the services of a Virginia car accident lawyer. If this happens to you, it is important that you do these 5 things after the accident to lessen the negative consequences and increase your chances of receiving compensation. Doing so will ensure that you are in the best possible position to recover the compensation you deserve.
After any collision, drivers should follow these steps:
Step One: Call the Police and Get Out of Danger
If you are involved in a car accident and are able to get off the road, you should do so immediately.
You should also take advantage of this time to call the police to report the accident and report the case. Later, the police report can help you in your case. If someone has been injured, it is very important that law enforcement officers come to the scene of the accident and that emergency services provide you with medical attention. As an experienced Virginia car accident lawyer, you are required by the Code of Virginia to report an accident in which someone has been injured or killed, and if there has been property damage.
Step 2: Receive Immediate Medical Attention
If you are involved in an auto accident in Fairfax, Virginia it is essential that you seek medical attention quickly even if you think it is not necessary. Even if you do not feel injured at first, it is wise to be examined by a doctor, whether it is your trusted physician or at primary care or urgent care center. It is not uncommon for the initial shock of the accident to mask pain or bodily injury until several days later. At our Virginia auto accident law firm, we have often seen injury victims feel shame or guilt for being involved in an accident and do not want to seek treatment. However, it is usually not your fault and you should deal with your injuries from an accident. Also, if a police report indicates that you (the injured party) are not at fault and that the other party is at fault, this could greatly help your case.
Step Three: Don’t Talk to the Insurance Company
After a car accident, you will likely receive calls from the other driver’s insurance company, even if it is more than obvious that the other driver was at fault for the accident. You are not required by law to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. It is also not a good idea to talk to your insurance company without first consulting with a Virginia car accident attorney. Always remember that insurance companies are not your friends. Before fighting for your interests, the insurance companies will fight for the company’s interests.
Step 4: Do Not Accept Any Check from the Insurer
Do not accept checks from the insurer. By doing so you are considered to be satisfied with the compensation and are not entitled to receive more. Insurance companies will always try to pay you as little as they can get away with. You may not realize it, but that check may only be a small percentage of what you are actually entitled to. But if you sign and cash that check, that’s all you’re going to get, regardless of the amount you should have received. Of course, if you have filed an insurance claim and received a check from the insurance company, you are most likely anxious to receive the claim money.
You will probably have to make repairs to the vehicle or pay medical bills. Although the temptation will be great, it pays to get the opinion of a personal injury attorney before cashing any insurance company check. If you can be a little patient, you may discover with your specialist attorney that you are entitled to a much larger amount of compensation. Again, remember that insurance companies are not your friends.
Step 5: Work with a Lawyer on Your Claim
Since Virginia is an “at-fault” state when it comes to car accident claims, you will be able to decide whether to file a first-party claim (through your own insurance company) or a third-party claim (through the responsible driver’s insurance company). If you cannot get the compensation you deserve by filing an insurance claim, it is important to work with an attorney to make sure you can file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out.
The statute of limitations for most Virginia auto accident claims is two (2) years from the date of the accident. Those are the five steps you must take after an accident. Thank you very much for your interest and for taking the time to read them all. Now, we want to go a step further in our article and reward your interest with another step you should take after an accident:
Step 6: Take Photos of the Accident and Gather Evidence
If you are in an auto accident in Fairfax, Virginia, one of the best ways to protect your legal rights is to gather evidence as soon as possible. By doing so, you will be protecting your legal rights and strengthening any claim you end up filing for the accident. Let’s look at the types of evidence you should try to gather in a typical car accident case. If you are in a position to take pictures immediately after the accident, take your phone and take pictures of the accident scene. The more angles you cover the better. Also, ask for the contact information of other drivers and witnesses to the accident.
If possible, do not let the other driver leave the scene without identifying himself. Neutral witnesses can also be very important in a Virginia car accident case. If you are aware of other drivers or pedestrians who witnessed any part of the accident or the other driver’s actions prior to the accident, try to obtain the address and phone number of those individuals.
Contact a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, and you are trying to determine what the best course of action is, please call a Fairfax, VA car accident lawyer today. Our experienced accident attorneys will help you begin to recover from your injury and obtain fair compensation to help you move forward.