When you have been injured in a car accident, your mind may be reeling as you try to make sense of the situation. If the incident was not your fault, you will realize quickly that there are certain steps you need to take to protect your rights. One of your first tasks should be contacting a Virginia automobile accidents lawyer to discuss your situation and learn about your legal options. However, there are other things you may need to do in the immediate aftermath to protect your rights to recover compensation for your losses.
- DO Seek Medical Treatment Right Away: Whether you call 911, head to the emergency room, or visit an urgent care center, make sure you obtain proper medical care as soon as possible. Not only is your health at risk, but waiting too long could have adverse implications for your claim. An insurance company or jury may doubt the severity of your injuries if you delay seeking medical treatment, since it could be considered an indication that you were not hurt too badly.
- DON’T Make Any Statements: You should definitely exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, but do not engage in conversation about the circumstances surrounding the car crash. You may accidentally make statements against your interests, even when you are not at fault in any way.
- DO Gather Information at the Scene: Evidence is critical in a car accident claim, so you should collect as much as possible immediately after the incident. Use your cell phone to take pictures of your car, your injuries, the intersection, traffic signs, and other details. If there were any witnesses in the vicinity, get their contact information in case you need to reach them for future testimony.
- DON’T Accept Money or Sign Anything: Your attorney should handle all contact with the responsible driver’s insurance company, but a claims adjuster may attempt to reach you regarding the crash. As mentioned above, you should not make any statements. In addition, do not accept any offers for payment, cash a check, or sign any documents sent to you by the insurance company. You could be signing away your rights without realizing it.
- DO Act Quickly: Keep in mind that Virginia’s statute of limitations is two years, and you must file a lawsuit in court before it expires. The clock starts running the date of the car accident, and it continues to tick even as you are going through the claims process with the insurer. If you do not initiate litigation within this time frame, you are forever barred from recovering compensation.
Speak to a Virginia Car Accident Attorney About Your Rights
When you have an experienced auto collision lawyer at your side, you can feel at ease in navigating the rest of the claims process. You will also have a legal advocate to represent your interests in court. To learn more about how car accidents work, please call Hampton Injury Law PLC to schedule a case evaluation. A Virginia auto accident attorney can tell you more about your legal rights and remedies after reviewing your circumstances.