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What to Do After a Virginia Beach Car Accident?

There are few things in life quite as unsettling as a car accident. In a matter of seconds, your life can be changed by a serious injury. Even if you don’t seem to be seriously hurt at the scene of an accident, a minor injury can become a major injury if it is overlooked, and in many significant conditions – such as brain injury or spinal injury – symptoms may not appear until later. Our Virginia car accident team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has helped clients like you throughout Virginia and beyond to get the compensation you deserve. With all of this in mind, it is important to take a few key steps to protect your rights and your health in the immediate aftermath of an auto accident.

Bill OMara

Ask The Car Crash Experts

Bill O'Mara, Personal Injury Lawyer

“After an accident, your first priority is ensuring your safety. Position your vehicle away from harm’s way, off the road, to avoid the risk of further collisions. Next, assess your physical condition for any injuries. Immediately contact the police or dial 911, informing them of any injuries so they can dispatch a paramedic to provide necessary medical attention and ensure your well-being.”

1. Call The Police and Get Medical Attention

The first step you should take after a vehicle accident is to call 911. Emergency personnel should be dispatched even to a seemingly minor car accident. Be sure that everyone who may be hurt – including you – is examined by a medical professional. Do not move your vehicle unless the police tell you to. Once emergency personnel arrive, cooperate with them fully. Give a detailed police report especially including what the other driver did wrong. Get the name, badge number, or employee identification information of all emergency personnel that come to the scene. Make sure to always tell the truth about the accident to an investigating officer. If you are unsure about something say so. Don’t give incriminating expressions of opinion to the police that may later harm your case such as admitting you were to blame for the wreck. Stick to the facts.

Bill OMara

Ask The Car Crash Experts -
Do you always have to call the police after an accident?

Bill O'Mara, Personal Injury Lawyer

“After an accident, it’s advisable to always call the police. The police will investigate, which will help corroborate and preserve what happened that day. It will prevent another driver from trying to fabricate a story after the fact about what happened, which could complicate your ability to make a personal injury claim down the road. With that said, the law does not require you to report all accidents to the police department if both drivers agree to simply exchange contact information and insurance information; that is permissible under the law. This is usually, however, not advisable. “

2. Document the Auto Accident Scene

While waiting for police to arrive, photograph or take videos of the scene as thoroughly as you can with your cellphone or camera. Get as many different angles as you can and be sure to include:

  • Vehicle Damage
  • Environmental Factors
  • Road Conditions
  • Obvious Injuries
  • Interviews With Witnesses on Recorder or Video
Bill OMara

Ask The Car Crash Experts - What questions should you ask witnesses after an accident?

Bill O'Mara, Personal Injury Lawyer

“An eyewitness can be the difference between winning and losing your case. So if you’re aware of an eyewitness at the scene of an accident, it’s advisable that you politely ask them for their name, phone number, or any other contact information so that, if necessary, your lawyer or the insurance company can reach out to them after the fact to corroborate your version of the accident. Sometimes, police officers, who have a lot going on at the scene, do not always put that witness’s name or contact information in their report. And if that information is not preserved there at the moment, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to find that person later. “

3. Do Not Give Any Recorded Statements to Insurance Claims Agents

Get the name, address, license, and insurance information from all other drivers and all witnesses. At this point, call your insurance company to report the accident. They may send an adjuster to the scene. Provide them with pertinent information. If you speak to the other driver’s insurer, you should not give them a recorded statement. Remember, their goal is to keep their costs to a minimum. The other party’s insurance agent may ask for detailed records such as your health documentation for the last 20 years. You have no obligation to provide it and should talk to a Virginia personal injury lawyer first.

4. Use Your Health Insurance

Even if an accident is not your fault, you should use your own health insurance, if you have it, for all treatment. It’s better to use medical providers who you are familiar with. You should also check if your car, truck or motorcycle insurance policy has medical payments coverage. This will cover your medical bills related to the accident up to the limits you bought. This money is in addition to any health insurance. You pay for it, so you may as well use it.

5. Get Your Car Repaired by The At-Fault Driver

Although the number one priority after a car wreck is to deal with your injuries, many people who have been involved in a wreck become upset about damage to their vehicle. If you are not at fault, the other party’s insurer should pay to repair your vehicle. You get to choose the body shop that does the work. You should also be aware that you are entitled to a rental car paid for by the insurance company of the at-fault driver, while yours is being repaired.

6. Hire An Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer

In many situations, auto accidents happen too quickly for you to fully understand what took place. An investigation could uncover evidence that points to a contributing factor you were not aware of. When you hire our experienced team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we tirelessly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to give you the best possible chance of recovering damages. Our seasoned attorneys take the time to thoroughly understand your situation and work to get you the compensation you need, through settlement or at trial. If you don’t hire an attorney and deal directly with an insurance company, you could end up settling for a lump sum that fails to meet your medical needs and requirements.

Do You Have Additional Questions About Auto Accidents?

 Reach out to the Car Crash Experts at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers. Our team of top-rated attorneys collectively boasts an impressive 128 years of legal experience. With an exceptional winning streak that has secured tens of millions of dollars for our clients, including Virginia’s largest reported car accident recovery of $6.5 million in 2020, our record of obtaining substantial settlements and verdicts is unmatched. Our exclusive access to video footage from 978 traffic cameras across Virginia through our innovative Crash Cam technology has positioned us as pioneers in utilizing crucial evidence for case success. With a dedication to client satisfaction, Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers sets the standard for exceptional customer service and unwavering commitment to representing the injured, never the insurance companies.

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