What to Do After a Car Accident in Virginia 2024

What to Do After a Car Accident in Virginia 2024

The steps you take after a car accident can be crucial to protecting your personal and legal interests. Car accidents can be stressful and frustrating, and you may not always be able to take these steps. However, if you can, it’s crucial that you know what to do after a car accident in Virginia. Even minor car accidents can significantly affect your finances and well-being if you do not take the appropriate actions.

Steps to Follow After a Car Accident

Virginia follows the laws of contributory negligence, which means that if someone is even 1% at fault for an accident, they are barred from recovering any compensation for their losses. It is a system that is very harsh on injured individuals and very beneficial for insurance companies.

If an insurance provider can claim that you were partially liable, it may prevent you from recovering compensation. It’s important to protect yourself after a collision to try to prevent this. Some of the steps you should take following a crash include:

Stop and Check for Injuries

You should first pull over and get to a safe location if necessary. Unless it will make things worse, move individuals and vehicles out of the road. Put on your hazard lights if visibility is low. Check yourself, your passengers, and those in the other vehicles for injuries. Failing to pull over and exchange information with the other driver is a crime.

Call Emergency Responders

Call to report the accident and any injuries. Even if no one thinks that they are injured, it’s still important to have emergency medical treatment. Even a minor car accident can cause whiplash, which may not be immediately apparent to injured individuals.

Exchange Information With the Other Driver

Exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident as you wait for emergency responders. This includes their name, address, and driver’s license information, along with the contact information for their insurance provider.

Gather Relevant Evidence

You should also document the accident at this time. This includes your injuries, the damage to both vehicles, the position of the vehicles, the condition of the road, and any property damage. You also want to determine if there were any witnesses to the accident and get their contact information.

Get Medical Treatment

When emergency medical services arrive, everyone should have their injuries treated. Even if you think that you are not injured, you should be looked at by a medical professional. In addition to whiplash, some injuries, like internal organ damage or traumatic brain injuries, may not show symptoms immediately.

Once you are done at the scene of the accident, you should get further medical care from your own medical provider. Getting medical treatment is not only crucial to your personal health, but it can also help with an insurance claim, clearly linking your injuries to the accident.

Make the Police Report

When law enforcement arrives at the accident, they will make a police report with information gathered from all those involved. It’s important to report the facts truthfully but not admit fault for the accident. The information and findings from a police report are crucial evidence in insurance claims.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance

Inform your insurance provider of the car accident, even if you were not at fault. There are still some situations where you will need to file a claim with your insurance, such as if the at-fault driver has insufficient coverage. Additionally, many insurance providers require you to report any accident that you are in.

Find a Car Accident Attorney

After an accident, you want to find a skilled personal injury attorney with experience in car accident claims. An attorney can help you understand your options. If you were unable to take the prior steps due to being injured, a car accident attorney can help you protect your interests.


Q: Should I Call the Police After a Car Accident in Virginia?

A: Yes, you should usually call the police after a car accident in Virginia. It is required by state law to file a report when any person has been injured or killed. Even if you think that no one is injured, it is often better to report the accident. This can help protect potentially injured parties, and it also provides a police report of the accident. If no one is harmed but property damage has occurred, parties must still stop and exchange information.

Q: Is Virginia a No-Fault Car Accident State?

A: No, Virginia is not a no-fault car accident state but an at-fault car accident state. When multiple drivers are involved in an auto accident, the party whose negligence caused the accident is liable for the resulting damages and injuries. When the at-fault driver has car insurance, this liability falls to their car insurance, and the other parties in the accident will file with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.

If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, they may face civil claims or the injured parties will file with their own insurance policy.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Virginia?

A: You should report an accident immediately when you are able to. It is required by law to do so when anyone is injured or killed. When you report an accident to emergency services, you can usually file a police report at the scene when law enforcement arrives. The amount of time you have to report the accident to your insurance provider is different, depending on the provider, but it typically must be as soon as you can.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Settle a Car Accident Claim in Virginia?

A: The amount of time you have to settle a car accident claim in Virginia will rely largely on the statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of a personal injury. If you do not settle a car accident claim within that time, your legal ability to take the claim to court will pass. Because you can no longer file a valid claim in court, the other party will likely drop negotiations. It’s important to secure a settlement before this deadline, or file it in court.

Secure Compassionate and Effective Legal Care After an Accident

If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in Virginia, Whitlock Law, LLC, can help. Contact our firm today to see how we can investigate and negotiate your car accident claim.

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