One of the most common mistakes that people make after being involved in a serious car accident is not getting legal advice as soon as possible. A lawyer can be vital to helping you get the compensation you need, by gathering evidence and building a strong case. Accident victims with experienced legal counsel tend to receive more money than those who do not have an attorney — and insurers would love for you to represent yourself, because it means they are more likely to save money.
The Virginia Beach car accident team at Deering Hedrick can help you get the most out of your car insurance claim. We are committed to protecting the rights of car accident victims and aggressively negotiating on their behalf. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, reach out to today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
The Statute of Limitations
It is essential to remember that victims of car accidents have a limited amount of time during which to file a lawsuit. In Virginia, this statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident for most lawsuits, and five years from the date of the incident for lawsuits concerning vehicle and other property damage.
While two years may sound like a lot of time, it can go rather quickly. Victims attempting to negotiate with an insurer may not realize the statute of limitations is close to expiring until it is too late. And without the threat of a lawsuit to back up your demand for compensation, the insurance company will feel no pressure to offer you a decent settlement.
Common Mistakes People Make After Car Accidents
Car accidents are sudden, frightening, and often painful, and it’s easy to lose your calm as a result. This can lead to mistakes, which can jeopardize your ability to get the money you deserve if someone else is to blame. Some of the most common mistakes people make after car accidents include:
- Not reporting the crash – If you are involved in a serious car accident, don’t just exchange information with the other driver and call it a day. You need to call the police so that a report can be made on the accident. Not only is it helpful for your claim to do so, but it’s the law. Virginia requires drivers to report accidents when a person is injured or killed in a crash, or when property is damaged.
- Talking to others about the accident – Do not admit blame for the crash in any way. Even uttering the words, “I’m sorry” can be taken as an admission of wrongdoing, which could impact your claim. Similarly, do not talk about the accident on social media. Your words, no matter how innocent, could be used against you by an insurance company looking to diminish the amount of compensation they need to pay out.
- Negotiating with the insurer on your own – Insurers want you to quickly accept their first offer so that they can protect their shareholders’ investment. It is in their best interest that you accept a fast, and typically low, settlement. Instead, refuse to sign anything right away, and consult with an experienced attorney.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A knowledgeable car accident attorney can help by:
- Investigating the cause of the car accident
- Gathering evidence to strengthen your claim
- Establishing liability for the crash
- Calculating your financial losses and placing a value on your car accident claim
- Handling communication with your insurer
- Negotiating aggressively on your behalf
- Preparing a court case if necessary
An attorney can be a vital tool for helping you to recover the compensation to which you are entitled after a serious car accident.
Contact Deering Hedrick
Don’t wait to talk to an experienced car accident lawyer in Virginia Beach. Get in touch with the team at Deering Hedrick today. We look forward to learning more about your case during a free initial consultation, and explaining how we can help get you the money you deserve.