What to Do After Your Car Accident in Virginia Beach
Justin Sheldon—November 4, 2019
Whether your car accident was caused by a tourist or a local, there are important steps that you will want to take to ensure that your rights are adequately protected. One thing you should not do is talk to the liable party or the insurance company about the accident. Make sure you don’t incriminate yourself and damage your opportunity of financial recovery associated with a successful claim.
Step 1: Your Health
Even if you do not seem to be injured at the scene of the accident, it is helpful to obtain a medical health exam following the accident to ensure that no serious damage was sustained. Some symptoms do not arise until later on after you have already claimed that no harm was done. These small injuries can then turn into a significant condition if left unattended and you will end up paying out of pocket.
If you do recognize that you or another party have suffered serious injury at the scene of the accident, call 911 immediately to get medical attention.
Step 2: Call the Police
With the exception of a minor fender bender, your first step after ensuring medical help is to contact emergency personnel. Calling 911 to get a police officer dispatched and on your case is essential to building a successful claim. Tell the truth about the accident to the investigating officer and provide all minor and major details that could be utilized to build your case. Additionally, if you are unsure about an element of the case, be sure to say that. Don’t give incriminating testimony that assumes personal guilt as this will be disadvantageous in your case.
Step 3: Document the Scene of the Accident
During the time that you are waiting for the police officer to show up and file an accident report, you should be taking pictures and video of the scene of the accident. Be as thorough as you need to be with your camera by taking images of all angles. Be sure to photograph:
- Vehicle damage
- Environmental factors
- Conditions of the road
- Injuries sustained
Step 4: Obtain Testimony & Documentation
If there were any witnesses of the accident, get their contact information so they can be interviewed in the future. Additionally, get the name, address, license and insurance information of all drivers involved. This information will be critical when it comes to building a solid case on your behalf.
Step 5: Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
When accidents involving multiple automobiles occur, the determination of who is at fault is one that can cause frustration and stress. If we handle your case, our team will tirelessly investigate the matter and help build a solid case on your behalf. Keep in mind that the other party will likely be claiming that you were at fault, even if they clearly acted negligently. Since Virginia Beach follows the pure contributory negligence laws, even being 1% at fault can bar you from bringing forth a legal action for compensation.
After graduating, cum laude from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2011, Justin Sheldon began his legal career with a large national firm doing high-stakes business litigation. He soon moved on to a boutique firm specializing in auto products liability litigation throughout the United States.