Each year, millions of foreign and domestic tourists visit the beaches, cities, and mountains of Virginia. In fact, Virginia is one of the most-visited states in the entire country. However, Virginia—situated amidst some of the most sprawling metropolitan areas in the world—also has some of the nation’s busiest roads. While nobody expects a vacation to go awry, car accidents happen regularly, affecting thousands of tourists each year.
A car accident close to home is unnerving enough, but an accident while on vacation in another state can be the cause of even more stress. Here’s what to do if you were hurt in a car crash while vacationing in Virginia.
How to Deal With Your Virginia Car Crash
Nobody wants to get into a car crash, especially when they are far from home. You may not have friends or family nearby to call for assistance or know the nearest place to seek medical attention or legal advice.
However, if you follow several simple steps, you can keep yourself safe and help ensure that you don’t pay for another driver’s negligence:
- Assess your health. After a crash, assess your injuries and those of your passengers. If anyone’s hurt, immediately dial 9-1-1 and request assistance. Emergency medical services will take you to the hospital and provide treatment in a safe and sanitary environment.
- Call the police. Virginia law requires that any accident resulting in property damage, bodily injury, or death be reported to the proper authorities. The easiest way to do this is by calling law enforcement. If you cannot reach the police, or an officer does not arrive at the scene, you may file a report with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Collect evidence. If you are not critically injured, you should collect evidence from the accident site. Take pictures of your damaged vehicle, as well as of your injuries.
- Collect contact information. Get the other driver’s insurance information while you are waiting for the police. If anyone else witnessed the crash, ask them for their name, phone number, and home address.
- Call a local personal injury attorney. If you are able, locate a local personal injury attorney. They may be able to send a professional team to begin collecting evidence as soon as possible. Sometimes, an attorneys’ staff can arrive on-site before emergency services.
Why You Need a Local Lawyer
Even if you have an attorney in your home state, they may not be the best option to help you recover from a Virginia car accident. Because the crash happened in Virginia, any legal action you pursue will have to go through a Virginia court, regardless of your own residency. So, it really requires a lawyer who can be present in Virginia and constantly available to negotiate with the insurance companies and other attorneys.
A Virginia car crash lawyer is knowledgeable in Virginia automobile accidents, Virginia law, and Virginia court processes. They have the legal experience needed to handle a case and recover damages on your behalf. You will not have to be present in-state for your lawyer to aggressively advocate for you.
However, you do need to act fast: not only does Virginia require that you report accidents within a reasonable timeframe, but you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long to file a claim, your case may be automatically dismissed.
Potential Damages in a Virginia Car Accident
If you were hurt in a car crash due to the negligence of another driver, you should not have to pay for car repairs, medical bills, and physical rehabilitation from your own pocket. A personal injury lawsuit can help you recover damages, including hospital expenses and lost future income, and help determine fair compensation.
Contact Us Today
A vacation disaster should not leave you in dire financial straits. An experienced Virginia car crash attorney can fight for compensation you need to resume living your best life. Send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi a message online today to schedule your initial consultation.