Answers To Common Questions About Car Accidents in Virginia
As attorneys dedicated to personal injury law, we frequently field questions from clients and potential clients about motor vehicle accidents. On this page, we’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions we hear. After reading, we invite you to contact Sethi & Sledd, PLLC for answers to any additional questions you might have.
What should I do if I’m injured in a car accident?
The first priority if you’ve been injured in a car accident is to seek emergency care for yourself or anyone else who needs it. You should also make sure that all occupants of either vehicle move to a safe location out of traffic. If you remain on the scene after these tasks have been accomplished, you can then turn your attention to documenting as many details as you can, exchanging information with the other driver, and cooperating in filing a police report.
Documenting details includes taking pictures of vehicle damage, license plates, tire tracks, and any other unique features. You should also try to get the contact information of any witnesses who could later give testimony.
Once you have left the scene, you can report the accident to your insurance company, but avoid giving any more information than necessary (especially regarding who may have been at fault). Also, contact the attorneys at our firm for case-specific advice and guidance.
Is Virginia a no-fault state?
No, it is not. As in most states, blame is assigned after an auto accident and the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying damages. Because determining fault is an important element in collecting compensation, it is a good idea to work with an experienced attorney.
When should I contact an attorney after an accident?
Stated simply: as soon as reasonably possible. Acting quickly is one of the best ways to preserve evidence and maximize your legal options.
Above, we note that many people report the crash to their insurer before calling an attorney, but it may actually be safer to do the opposite. Even though you are a policyholder, your insurance company is primarily concerned with its own bottom line. By speaking to an attorney first, you can avoid saying anything to your insurance company that could compromise the strength of your claim.
Should I see a doctor after a car accident?
If you know you have been injured or even suspect that you could have been hurt, you should definitely see a doctor. There are two reasons for this. First, you need a professional to assess the extent of your injuries and provide treatment. Second, medical records will be an important part of your insurance claim and personal injury case. It is always better to seek treatment and not need it than vice versa.
What if the other person has no insurance?
Virginia is one of just two states that do not mandate auto insurance, allowing drivers to pay an annual $500 fee instead. For that reason, all auto insurance policies offered in Virginia must include uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage unless the policyholder opts out of this coverage in writing. Assuming that you didn’t opt-out, you can file a claim with your own policy to recover for injuries caused by an uninsured driver. As long as you are not at fault for the accident, your claim will not affect your insurance premiums.
It is worth speaking to an attorney after an uninsured motorist accident. When you contact us, we can help you explore your full list of options, which could include filing a UM claim, searching for other sources of insurance coverage, and naming additional defendants.
Let Us Answer Your Questions – Contact Us Today
Sethi & Sledd, PLLC is based in Reston and we serve clients throughout Virginia and DC. To discuss your legal options with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us to schedule an initial consultation. Just call 703-214-9671 or fill out an online contact form.