Virginia Beach Car Accident: Know What to Do if You're a Crash Victim

by admin on February 22, 2011

Virginia Beach Car Accident: Know What to Do if You're a Crash Victim

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Home Page > Law > Personal Injury > Virginia Beach Car Accident: Know What to Do if You're a Crash Victim

Virginia Beach Car Accident: Know What to Do if You're a Crash Victim

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Posted: Feb 21, 2011 |Comments: 0

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If a drunk driver slams into your car on I-64 or I-264 in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), leaving you with severe pain in your neck and wrist, would you know what to do? Who would you call? What if the other driver wasn’t drunk but still caused you or your children injuries requiring treatment?

Follow these steps to make it easier to recover from your injuries and receive fair compensation from the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

1. Get medical attention. If an ambulance arrives at the accident scene, get checked out and go to the hospital if that’s warranted. Make sure you get a report of the care delivered by EMTs or emergency room doctors and nurses. Also make sure you receive a full examination by a doctor within a couple of days of the crash. This is important because you may have suffered a brain injury that did not immediately produce symptoms. In fact, evidence of a concussion or other trauma to your brain may not show up for days or weeks. The only way to get diagnosed is to be seen by a medical professional.

2. Write down your account of the wreck. As soon as you can, write down as much you can remember about what happened before, during and immediately after the accident. Even though you may find this emotionally difficult, you need to do this while the crash is fresh in your mind. If you wait too long to get your story on paper, you may forget small but essential details about traffic and road conditions, weather, your speed and direction and the description of the other driver’s car or truck. Lock down those details while you can recall them easily and clearly.

3. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach. Representatives from your insurance company and the other driver’s insurer will be calling you. You may get the first calls asking you to give a recorded statement about what happened within 48 hours of the accident. An attorney practicing in Virginia Beach who is working only for and has only your best interests in mind can give you expert advice and guidance on how to deal with insurance companies.

4. File a personal injury claim. If you suffered serious harm like whiplash, broken bones, or a traumatic brain injury and the crash was the other driver’s fault, you should file a claim to receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages from missed time at work, and any decrease in your quality of life following the wreck. You might also be able to pursue punitive damages if the driver who hit you was drunk and had a high blood alcohol content. Punitive damages penalize an at-fault driver for reckless, irresponsible behavior.

5. Follow your doctor’s advice. As your personal injury claim proceeds, follow your doctor’s orders and advice regarding therapy and rehabilitation to the letter. Any deviance from those instructions may be used against you by lawyers for the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They could argue that your decision to perform certain activities or exercises exacerbated the injuries you suffered in the accident.

An injury claims process usually goes smoothly when car crash victims follow these five steps.


About the Author:
John M. Cooper is a partner with the Virginia Beach, Virginia-based personal injury law firm Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton. Cooper has won fair injury and wrongful death settlements and verdicts for victims medical malpractice and negligence and of car, truck and motorcycle accidents. He also specializes in giving legal advice to and representing railroad employees who became injured or sick while working on trains or tracks or in rail yards. Cooper has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and has perfect ratings with Avvo and the peer ranking organization Martindale Hubbell. To contact Cooper, visit his firm’s website or call (800) 752-0042.
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