Being injured in a car crash is an unexpected, scary, and stressful experience. Knowing what to do when another driver is responsible for your injuries is crucial. You must take prompt action to hold the negligent party liable and recover compensation.
Notify Law Enforcement
Virginia law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision that leads to someone’s injury or death to inform a law enforcement officer immediately.
Get somewhere safe if possible, and call 911. You should request an ambulance if your injury or vehicle damage prevents you from driving to the hospital.
Wait for an officer to arrive on the scene. They should investigate and write an accident report detailing their findings. They will let you know when you can leave.
Gather Visual Evidence
If you can safely walk around, start collecting evidence at the accident scene. Take pictures of your visible injuries to document their severity.
You should also take photos of vehicle damage, skid marks, broken glass, and road debris. Capture pictures from different angles of the cars involved in the collision and the point of impact.
Show the surrounding area by taking pictures or videos of traffic signs and signals, intersecting roads, and weather conditions.
Talk to Witnesses
One or multiple people might have seen what happened. They can recall the sequence of events leading up to the crash. Ask them if they noticed what the other motorist did before the accident. They might inform you that the other driver ran a stop sign or red light.
After speaking with the witnesses, ask for their names and phone numbers. They might be willing to give the investigating officer and insurance company a statement. They can also testify at trial if your case ends up in court.
Medical care is essential after a car crash. You should visit the emergency room after the officer advises you that you can leave. Inform the physician of your symptoms and medical history. They should examine you to diagnose your injuries and determine the type of treatment you need.
You must follow up with all recommended doctors. Skipping appointments or deviating from the treatment plan can hurt your case. The insurance company might assume your injury isn’t as severe as you claim and reduce their settlement offer.
Keep a Pain Journal
You should document your injuries from day one. List every symptom you experience after the collision and indicate its severity on a scale of one to ten. Describe the pain you feel, such as aching or throbbing. Note whether your symptoms worsen during particular movements or prevent you from performing specific tasks.
Notify Your Insurance Carrier
Car insurance companies often impose timeframes for reporting accidents. Although many don’t follow strict deadlines, they often recommend prompt notice.
You should contact the insurance company immediately to begin the claims process regardless of the policy requirements. However, don’t provide more than basic information, such as the date, time, and location of the crash. Politely decline to answer any other questions and refer them to your attorney if they ask for additional details.
Hire a Lawyer
You don’t have to hire a car accident lawyer, but it is beneficial. An experienced attorney knows how to deal with greedy insurance carriers that focus on avoiding significant payouts to save money.
Injured in a Car Accident? Call Us Today
The attorneys of Deering Hedrick have over 30 years of combined legal experience. We know how to hold people accountable for their actions. You will receive dependable advice and advocacy from a team who cares about our clients.
Call us at 757-383-6848 for a case evaluation if you sustained injuries in a car crash due to someone else’s negligence in Virginia Beach.