Your day has taken a turn for the worse thanks to a careless driver. You have just been involved in a car accident, and you feel pain as a result of the sudden impact.
Directly following a car crash, whether it takes place here in Virginia or elsewhere, the scene can understandably become chaotic. Here are a few steps that are important to take to protect your best interests following the wreck.
First and foremost, it is paramount that you remain at the crash scene. If you end up leaving the scene of the collision, especially when the accident resulted in injuries, you may face major criminal penalties for committing a hit-and-run.
Next, checking on your fellow passengers and drivers is critical to ensure that anyone who is hurt receives medical care immediately. However, it is best to avoid moving those with back and neck pain before qualified help arrives.
After ensuring that everyone is safe and has his or her medical needs met, you can contact police who will draft a report on the accident, of which you can later obtain a copy. You may want to get the badge number and name of the responding officer for future reference.
In addition, while you are at the accident scene, it may behoove you to gather the name, phone number, address and driver's license number of the motorist who struck your car. However, it is best not to admit to making a mistake during your conversation with the other party. If you apologize for not seeing a stop sign, for example, you might essentially be admitting financial responsibility for what took place.
Your rights as an injury crash victim
Following an injury accident stemming from another driver's negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury claim, seeking the reimbursement of monetary damages. Competent proof of negligence -- such as speeding or texting while driving -- is necessary to establish liability before the civil court hearing your case. Only if liability is established will a judge determine damage claims.
A successfully fought personal injury claim may lead to a monetary award that might help you to cover your medical costs and other monetary losses tied to the car crash. In addition, it may help you to address pain and suffering as well as emotional stress resulting from the wreck.