Motor vehicle accidents remain a top cause of fatalities and injuries throughout the US, but data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) highlights the severity of the problem closer to home. Every year, almost 830 people are killed and 65,700 victims suffer injuries in the 128,000 auto crashes that occur statewide. More than 1,200 of these incidents happen in Frederick County, leading to hundreds of casualties. For victims and their families, the losses can be devastating.
It should come as welcome news to know that Virginia personal injury laws cover car accidents, so you have legal remedies for recovering compensation. You can count on a Winchester car accident lawyer to handle specific legal issues, but some effort on your part will support your claim. Some tips on what to do after a car accident should be helpful.
Seek Medical Care
Your first priority after a collision is getting proper treatment for your injuries, and the decision may be made for you if you are transported by ambulance. Head to an emergency room for life-threatening injuries, but consider an urgent care center for same-day treatment. Getting medical attention right away is important for your well-being and for your rights. Delays create the impression that your injuries were not that severe.
Perform Your Legal Duties
Virginia law requires motorists to remain at the scene, exchange information, and contact authorities after most car accidents. It is important to call 911 and request assistance since law enforcement will prepare an incident report related to the crash. The police report will contain details that might serve as support for your claim.
Avoid Conversations with Other Drivers
Aside from exchanging contact, registration, and insurance details, do not get into discussions with other involved motorists. A critical element in a Virginia car accident case is fault. You must first prove that the other driver was negligent, while also defending claims that you were responsible for the crash. Conversations with other motorists might lead you to reveal too much, potentially harming your rights.
Collect Evidence at the Scene
If you are physically able, do your best to gather information while still at the scene of the car accident. Use your cell phone to capture photos of:
- Damage to vehicles;
- Your injuries;
- The intersection or surrounding roadway;
- Weather and traffic conditions;
- Traffic controls, including lights, signals, signage, and lane markings;
- Skid marks and other collateral damage; and
- Businesses and properties in the vicinity of the crash that might have surveillance video.
Consult with a Virginia Car Accident Attorney About Your Legal Options
One of the most important tips on what to do after an auto collision is retaining skilled legal counsel to assist with your remedies. You may qualify to recover monetary damages for a wide range of losses, including medical costs, pain and suffering, and others. For more information, please contact the Correll Law Firm by calling 540-535-2005 or going online. You can schedule a free consultation with an experienced Winchester car accident lawyer who can advise you on your rights.