In a Richmond, VA accident it is important to start your case on the right foot. Tips to help you maximize your accident injury claim.
No one plans to have a car wreck, but it can happen in the blink of an eye, and in that instant your life can change forever. In just seconds you could be the victim of a tractor trailer truck accident. Or you could be a pedestrian or biker hit by a car. The important thing is to avoid critical mistakes that are sometimes forgotten during the emotional trauma that comes with a bad Richmond accident injury.
Your first concern, of course, is any physical injury or wrongful death that may have occurred. But in any automobile accident in Richmond, an attorney may be necessary to negotiate the after-effects. Virginia is a fault state, meaning insurance companies for each party usually try to place blame for the accident on the other. Due to the Virginia law of contributory negligence, if you can be shown to be in any way at fault for the accident, then you are not entitled to get any money for your claim. Richmond auto accidents and litigation, consequently, are rarely simple matters. Therefore it is important to do things in the proper way from the moment the accident happens.
First steps if you are involved in a automobile accident in Richmond
What happens in the moments following a car accident in Richmond can be critical to the success of a Richmond auto accident case. The following are key steps to take:
Do not leave the scene: It can negate your claim to damages if you do. It is also a crime to leave the scene of an accident.
Call the police: Their report on the accident will be crucial evidence in litigation. They are able to talk to the accident victims and witnesses and make crucial judgments about what actually happened. The police are able to calmly take control of a chaotic accident scene and help the victims get the help they need.
Gather information: Name, address, insurance companies, auto license numbers and driver’s license numbers are of primary importance. Get all the information you can while at the scene because it can sometimes be difficult or impossible to get it later.
Note other factors: Richmond automobile accident attorneys can use your notes on what you observe about the accident scene, what the other driver or drivers said at the scene, and what information witnesses say. Take photos if you can. Remember that your cell phone may have a camera. Pictures of the accident scene are extremely valuable in court. Even a low quality cell phone picture can still provide important evidence about what actually happened at the scene of an accident.
Seek immediate medical attention or observation: Some injuries are not immediately apparent; the court will need to see you took steps to find this out and may discount an injury if it is not documented as resulting from the accident. You may be in shock after the accident and unaware of how serious your injuries actually are.
File your claim: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Remember that the other party or parties will hire their own Richmond auto accident lawyers to attempt to place blame for the accident on you. That is why following proper procedures and contacting an automobile accident attorney early on is in your best interest.
Richmond Attorney Wayne O’Bryan works extensively in Richmond on automobile accidents and personal injury litigation. He has over thirty years experience negotiating with insurance adjusters.
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