Car Accident Law Firm Fairfax, VA
When you are dealing with property damage and injuries after a car accident, it is time to speak with a Fairfax, VA car accident lawyer from Cohen & Cohen. Getting into an accident is already bad enough. You’re now late to wherever you’re going, need to take time to go see a doctor, and have to figure out filing a claim. At the least, all of this can be incredibly annoying. However, it usually ends up being more than just annoying. Often, people who are in car accidents need to not only recover from their injuries but also need to fight the uphill battle that is the insurance company. If you were just in a car accident and need legal help, reach out to our trusted legal team. We are ready to help when you need to file a claim.
Understanding Virginia Car Accident Laws
Each state will have its own laws regarding car accidents and it is important that you speak with a lawyer to understand what that means for filing a claim.
- Virginia is known as a “fault” state. While some states follow the “no-fault” rules, meaning a person must first file with their own car insurance first, Virginia gives you the option of filing with whoever’s insurance makes the most sense. If you want to, you can immediately file your claim with the liable party’s insurance or take them to court with a lawsuit.
- There are certain times you must report the accident. There are certain situations where you must legally report a car accident. This includes if there is property damage or if someone was injured or killed.
- You will have a limited amount of time to file your claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you are filing a lawsuit over your car accident injuries, you will have two years to file from the date of the accident. If you are filing a lawsuit over property damage, you will have five years from the time the accident occurred.
- Virginia follows contributory negligence rules. This means if you want to take your case to court and are even the tiniest bit responsible for the accident occurring, you will not be allowed to recover any compensation. This can even play a role in how the insurance agent determines your settlement award if you hope to settle outside of court. This is one reason you want to work with a trusted Fairfax car accident lawyer.
Finding the Right Team For Your Case
It can be difficult to know whether you should submit a car accident claim and how aggressively you want to pursue this. A lawyer will give you the best chance at understanding what your case is worth and have experience negotiating with insurance agents. When you are ready to move forward with a car accident claim and have no idea where to start, it is a good idea to get the help of a lawyer you can rely on from Cohen & Cohen. When you would like to set up a consultation, reach out to our Fairfax car accident lawyer for more help.
What To Do After A Car Accident
Whether you have experienced a minor fender-bender or a more serious collision, a Falls Church car accident lawyer at Cohen & Cohen is willing and able to help. Car accidents can be terrifying and disorienting experiences, but knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath is crucial for your safety and the well-being of others involved.
1. Ensure Safety First:
– If you are able to do so, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further accidents.
– Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to the situation.
– Check for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately for medical assistance.
2. Call The Police:
– In most cases, it’s advisable to contact the police and file a report, even for minor accidents. A police report can be valuable for insurance claims.
– Provide the necessary details to the dispatcher, such as the location, the number of vehicles involved, and any injuries.
3. Exchange Information:
– Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. This includes names, contact information, insurance details, and license plate numbers.
– If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information as well.
4. Document The Scene:
– Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates, and the surrounding area. These images can serve as crucial evidence later.
5. Notify Your Insurance Company:
– Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and start the claims process.
– Provide them with all relevant information, including the police report and any photos you took.
6. Seek Medical Attention:
– Even if you feel fine, it’s a good idea to see a doctor after an accident. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and early diagnosis can be essential for recovery.
– Keep records of all medical evaluations, treatments, and bills for your insurance claim.
7. Follow Up with Your Insurance Company:
– Keep in regular contact with your insurance company to ensure the claims process is progressing smoothly.
– Provide any requested documentation promptly to avoid delays.
8. Understand Your Coverage:
– Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and understand what it covers. This will help you make informed decisions during the claims process.
9. Get A Repair Estimate:
– Obtain repair estimates from trusted auto repair shops. Your insurance company may recommend preferred providers, but you have the right to choose your own.
10. Stay Organized:
– Keep all documents related to the accident, including the police report, medical records, repair estimates, and correspondence with your insurance company, in a safe place.
11. Be Cautious With Settlement Offers:
– If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you with a settlement offer, consult with your own insurance company or a lawyer before accepting anything.
– Ensure that any settlement adequately covers your medical bills, property damage, and other expenses.
12. Consider Legal Advice:
– If the accident resulted in significant injuries, a dispute over liability, or a denied insurance claim, consult with a Falls Church car accident lawyer. They can help protect your rights and navigate the legal process.
13. Maintain Open Communication:
– Keep the lines of communication open with the other driver, their insurance company, and your own insurer throughout the entire process.
14. Prepare For The Future:
– Use the experience as an opportunity to reassess your insurance coverage and driving habits to prevent future accidents.
Knowing what to do after a car accident can make a significant difference in the outcome. Prioritizing safety, gathering information, seeking medical attention, and working closely with your insurance company are essential steps in the process. Additionally, consulting legal counsel from an experienced Falls Church car accident lawyer at Cohen & Cohen when necessary can help protect your rights and ensure a fair resolution to the situation. Stay calm, be proactive, and remember that your safety and well-being are paramount in the aftermath of a car accident.
Understanding Contributory Neglience In Your Car Accident Case
As a Fairfax, VA car accident lawyer can tell you, navigating the complexities of contributory negligence in the context of a Virginia car accident can be challenging. We understand that you may have questions about this legal concept. If you have been injured in a car accident and are looking for legal help, don’t hesitate to turn to our trusted team to guide you through the claims process and be with you every step of the way.
What Is Contributory Negligence, And How Does It Apply To A Virginia Car Accident Case?
In Virginia, contributory negligence is a legal doctrine that can impact a car accident case. It means that if the injured party is found even partially at fault for the accident, they may be barred from recovering any compensation. This is a strict standard, and it’s crucial to consult with an experienced lawyer to assess the specifics of your case. Only a handful of states follow the contributory negligence model.
How Is Contributory Negligence Determined In A Car Accident Case?
Contributory negligence is typically determined by assessing the actions of all parties involved in the accident. If it is determined that the injured party’s actions, such as speeding or not obeying traffic signals, contributed in any way to the accident, they may be considered contributorily negligent. It’s essential to consult with our legal team to evaluate the evidence and build a strong defense.
What If I Believe The Other Driver Was Entirely At Fault For The Accident?
Even if you believe the other driver was entirely at fault, Virginia’s contributory negligence law can be unforgiving. If it can be argued that you were negligent in any way, it could potentially affect your ability to recover compensation. However, your Fairfax car accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case to build a strong argument in your favor.
Can Contributory Negligence Be A Complete Bar To Compensation In Virginia?
Yes, contributory negligence can serve as a complete bar to compensation in Virginia. If you are found even 1% at fault for the accident, you may be denied any recovery. This makes it essential to have a skilled legal team on your side who can challenge allegations of contributory negligence and protect your rights.
What Steps Should I Take If I’ve Been Involved In A Car Accident In Virginia?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Virginia, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention if needed and report the accident to the authorities. Collect evidence, including photographs, witness information, and insurance details. Consult with your lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected and to determine the best course of action for your case.
Get Legal Help You Can Rely On Now
Navigating contributory negligence in Virginia car accident cases can be challenging, but with the right legal representation, you can protect your interests and seek the compensation you deserve. At Cohen & Cohen, we are here to provide expert guidance and support. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you navigate the complexities of your case. Your well-being is paramount. For help, reach out to our Fairfax car accident lawyer now.