Nobody gets behind the driver’s seat with the expectation of getting hurt in a car crash in Fairfax, Virginia. Yet motor vehicle collisions can happen quickly and without warning, especially when another driver behaves recklessly or gets distracted behind the wheel. If you are injured in a car accident, it is important to know what to do after the collision in order to remain eligible for compensation. An article in The Balance provides a checklist for important steps you should take after a car accident. We want to discuss some of those tips and to provide you with additional information.
- Move Yourself Out of Harm’s Way
If you are involved in a crash and are able to move yourself out of the roadway, you should do so. You should also take this time to call the police to report the accident. If anyone has been injured, it is extremely important for law enforcement officials to respond to the scene of the crash and for emergency responders to provide medical care. Under the Code of Virginia, you are required to report an accident in which anyone was injured or killed, and if there was property damage.
- Gather Contact Information
You should obtain contact information from everyone involved in the accident, as well as any nearby witnesses to this accident. This means getting the names, phone numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses, and insurance information for anyone involved in the collision—both drivers and other vehicle occupants. It also means checking to see whether there were any witnesses in other vehicles, or as pedestrians or bicyclists, and getting their contact information.
- Take Photographs at the Scene
Photograph the scene of the accident, capturing the scene from as many angles and vantage points as possible. Your photos can prove that the other driver is responsible for the crash.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Whether you file a claim with your own insurance company or not, you will need to report the accident to your insurer. Make sure that you only give the objective facts, and that you do not offer your opinion about how the accident happened. The insurance company will be looking for reasons to deny a claim.
- Work with a Lawyer on Your Claim
Since Virginia is a “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 are unable to obtain the compensation you deserve by filing an insurance claim, it is important to work with an attorney to ensure that you are able to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. The statute of limitations for most Virginia car accident claims is two (2) years from the date of the crash.
Contact an Experienced Fairfax Car Accident Lawyer
Do you need assistance filing a car crash lawsuit? An experienced Fairfax car accident attorney can assist you. Contact Whitestone Young, PC today for more information.