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 Beach 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.
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.
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
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.