What is the first thing I must do after a car crash?
- Call an ambulance if anybody was injured
- Move your vehicle away from oncoming traffic if possible
- Call the police and report the accident / where it took places. This is very important especially if any property was damaged or anybody was injured or even death.
- Try to gather as much information and evidence about the accident from the witnesses and the other party.
What kind of evidence should I collect at the accident scene?
As you are gathering information and evidence make sure to exchange information with all the other involved parties in the accident such as :
- Collect phone numbers and all contact information
- Make sure to get their names
- Insurance info.
- License plate numbers
- Make and model of car
- Take pictures of any damage done to any assets or if anybody was injured
Should I continue driving my car?
Even if the damages seem minor (for example, you can spot only a few dings and scrapes on the bumper), you should have your vehicle inspected by an auto repair mechanic BEFORE you resume using your car as you normally would.
Note that some insurance companies work exclusively with certain mechanic shops, so call your insurance provider first and ask about which shops you can visit.
What if my injuries keep me from working?
Generally, car accident attorneys take lost wages into account when filing suits against insurance companies.
Be sure to keep records of specific dates you missed work, the amount of money you lost, and even any money you paid for public transportation to get to work (if your injuries allowed it but your vehicle was too damaged).
How should I choose a car accident attorney?
When searching for a car accident attorney in Virginia, look for one who:
- Focuses on personal injury or property damage, depending on your situation.
- Has experience with your specific circumstances.
- Has a good reputation among both other clients and other attorneys.
- Shows dedication to your case (i.e. keeps you regularly updated).
- Makes you feel comfortable.
When should I hire a lawyer in Virginia?
While you should consider hiring an accident attorney if there’s severe property damage and you don’t feel the insurance company is fairly compensating you, you should always hire a personal injury attorney if you’ve been injured in an accident.
Car accidents especially those involving bodily injury can bring about stressful times. Add to those multiple insurance companies with teams of skilled lawyers, and you could find yourself in completely uncharted territory.
Who is responsible for car repair costs in accordance with the laws of Virginia?
Generally, the insurance company of the party at fault is responsible for paying car repair costs; however, some factors could muddy those waters.
For example, if a fault isn’t yet determined, you might file a claim with your own insurance company and, after determining the other party was at fault, your insurance company might file for reimbursement.
How should I have my car inspected or appraised in accordance with the laws of Virginia?
Generally, an insurance company will send out an inspector to review the vehicle damage and direct you to a mechanic who will appraise the cost of vehicle repairs.
Because every policy differs (including who handles inspections and appraisals), you should contact your car insurance provider.