Automobile accidents are, unfortunately, commonplace, yet many people don’t know what to do following an accident. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure drivers don’t mess up their auto accident case.
“After an accident, always make sure that everyone involved is unhurt or receives adequate medical attention,” said third-generation Virginia attorney Scott R. Barney, who focuses on personal injury law. “However, soon after injuries are assessed and help is called, the parties involved turn to assessing property damage and the costs related to the accident. Insurance companies quickly get involved, and it becomes apparent that the aftermath of an accident has significant financial impact.”
To educate drivers on post-accident essentials, Barney lists the following five tips:
No. 1: Get a police report. It is essential that the attending officer completes a traffic accident report, which provides the cornerstone for evidence in court. “Eventually, you will need to submit information and evidence to an insurance company, the other party, and, possibly, the court,” noted Barney. “A traffic accident report is a detailed account of the accident, taken down at a time when all facts and circumstances were fresh in the memories of those involved. This becomes invaluable if the parties proceed to court.”
No. 2: Seek medical attention. It is imperative to seek appropriate medical attention after an accident. “Failure to receive medical treatment could damage your auto accident claim,” stressed Barney. “The failure to promptly obtain medical attention can result in causation and evidence issues down the road. An insurance company will closely review your medical treatment after an accident, and gaps indicate the need to ask further questions or deduct a certain amount of funds from the claim amount.”
No. 3: Be 100% honest. When completing insurance paperwork and forms, one must be upfront and truthful about all information provided. “Any dishonesty could result in the denial of a claim or the cancellation of a policy,” stated Barney.
No. 4: Refrain from discussing the accident. There are certain forums where discussing one’s accident could be detrimental to their case. “You should not provide a statement and account of the accident to an insurance company until talking to a lawyer,” claimed Barney. “All information you provide to an insurance company will be analyzed and questioned.”
No. 5: Engage a qualified attorney. Legal advice is most helpful and robust when provided early on in one’s auto accident case. “It allows the lawyer a better opportunity to develop a strategy, assess gaps in information or evidence, and build a stronger case on your behalf,” concluded Barney. “Failing to engage a lawyer soon after your accident can have a substantial impact on the outcome of your auto accident claim.”
About Scott R. Barney, Esq.
Scott R. Barney primarily focuses on personal injury, DUI defense, and general civil litigation. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. For more information, please call (757) 607-4925, or visit https://www.barneyinjurylaw.com The law office is located at 1551 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
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Whether involved in a motor vehicle, hurt at work, or walking through the supermarket, the expenses of an accident can be significant. As medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses of an accident add up, many people begin to wonder whether there is a way to recover these financial costs. In the United States, including Virginia, the process for recovery is through a personal injury claim, and lawyers who represent individuals after these unfortunate accidents are Virginia personal injury attorneys.
When you contact a personal injury lawyer after your accident, the lawyer will want to schedule an initial consultation. These consultations are important for you and the lawyer, as it is an opportunity to discuss the basic information about your case. Sometimes, after this consultation, a lawyer may decline to take your case.
For those outside the legal profession, it can be confusing when a personal injury lawyer does not take a case. But behind the scenes, a lot is happening, and there are a number of plausible reasons a lawyer may need to turn down a particular case. Here are four of those reasons.
#1: Statute of Limitations Has Run
In every state, plaintiffs are allowed a specific amount of time from the date of an injury to file a personal injury claim. This time period is known as the statute of limitations. After this time period has passed, an individual is barred from bringing a personal injury lawsuit. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years.
If you approach a personal injury lawyer after this two-year period, the lawyer will decline to take your case. This makes it even more important to speak with a lawyer soon after an injury has occurred.
#2: Financial Considerations for the Lawyer
At times, whether a lawyer will or will not take a case is purely a business decision. Like other service providers, a lawyer needs to make money from his or her services. Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means the lawyer is only paid if the personal injury client is compensated. Given the time commitment required by every case, a lawyer needs some assurance that the case is likely to be won.
Other times, the amount of recovery is such a small amount, that the legal fees wouldn’t cover a lawyer’s costs. In this instance, a lawyer may also make the business decision to decline a case.
#3: There Is a Conflict of Interest
Lawyers in Virginia are required to comply with a specific set of ethical rules and regulations. One of these regulations prohibits a lawyer from taking clients or cases that would create a conflict of interest. Perhaps the lawyer previously represented the individual or business that would be adverse to you in a personal injury case. There are other situations that can create a conflict for the lawyer. When this happens, a lawyer will not take your case.
#4: The Defendant Is Not at Fault
To bring a successful personal injury claim you must have evidence that the defendant was liable for your injuries and the resulting costs. If a defendant was not at fault, or the plaintiff is unable to show in court that the defendant was at fault, the defendant will not be required to compensate the plaintiff. If based on the facts of a case, a personal injury lawyer feels the defendant is not liable – he or she will decline to take your case.
In this instance, it is important to understand why the lawyer refused your case.
Need to Learn More About Your Case? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If a personal lawyer in Virginia refuses to take your case, ask why. The best way to determine if you have a valid personal injury case is through initial consultations. These consultations are entirely confidential, and most attorneys do not charge for this first conversation. Therefore, if you were injured in Virginia, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer, such as Scott Barney, to determine your options for recovery.
Scott Barney is a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer, with experience representing clients across the Commonwealth of Virginia. To schedule an initial consultation with Scott, contact our legal team at (757)-383-7532.
After an accident or injury, most people turn to a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach to handle their Virginia personal injury case. The benefits of engaging a lawyer include knowledge of the law, familiarity of legal proceedings in Virginia, and generally, experience speaking with opposing counsel and insurance companies.
However, not every plaintiff wants or needs the assistance of a lawyer. If you have decided to handle your own personal injury case, it is beneficial to follow these first steps.
Documentation is Essential to a Successful Case
First and foremost, keep records of everything.
The strength of your personal injury case will be determined by what you can admit into evidence with the court. Of course, most personal injury cases are settled long before trial, but a paper trail and documentation are still crucial. The more documents you can provide, the better. This often requires collecting paperwork and evidence as the case progresses.
The other side and an insurance company will want to see evidence of your injuries, including medical records and photographs. You will also need accounts of the accident, such as police reports, eyewitness accounts, newspaper articles, and your personal recollection of the events. Other documents that can be helpful are records of any communication you have with the opposing party, an insurance provider, or law enforcement regarding the case.
Send the Right Communication to the Right Parties
At the onset of a personal injury case, there are several pieces of correspondence that you should send in writing. The first is a notification to the at-fault party and insurance company that you will be representing your own claim. Keep a record of this notice a subsequent communication as the trial progresses. These documents can also be important when it comes to negotiation and settlement.
Next, you will need to send a demand letter to any offending party and their insurance provider. You want this demand letter to include all your expenses and costs related to the accident or incident, this can include pain and suffering and loss wages. It can be a complicated process to assess significant costs and who is responsible. If you have difficulty understanding what is compensable in a personal injury case in Virginia, it might be time to contact a personal injury lawyer. Scott R. Barney Esq. in Virginia Beach is happy to discuss your case.
What Not to Do When Handling Your Own Personal Injury Case
Individuals who choose to pursue a personal injury claim in Virginia without a lawyer are prone to make certain mistakes. In addition to taking the affirmative steps listed above, you should also avoid these common errors.
Do not settle too soon. It is understandable that you want to resolve a personal injury case and move on, but it is possible that pain and certain injuries will not develop immediately after an accident. If you settle quickly, you could lose the opportunity to cover these costs.
As well, have confidence when you negotiate with the insurance company. One benefit of engaging a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA is the lawyer will be adept at negotiations with an intense insurance adjuster. Faced with an inexperienced plaintiff, an insurance representative may be particularly combative, assuming you will not handle the pressure and accept a lower offer. While most people do succumb to an aggressive insurance adjuster, individuals who negotiate will often be rewarded.
Need Advice or Counsel of a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Whether you recently suffered an injury or have been handling your own case for some time, Scott R. Barney Attorney at Law is prepared to assist with your case in Virginia Beach, VA. With over a decade of experience Scott R. Barney has handled a wide range of personal injury cases, including the representation of several clients who initially wanted to pursue their own case.
To arrange an initial consultation with our Virginia Beach office, call (757)-383-7532.
5 Ways to Mess Up Your Auto Accident Case
The first step after an automobile accident is ensuring that everyone involved is unhurt or receives adequate medical attention. However, soon after injuries are assessed and help is called, the parties involve turn to assessing property damage and the costs related to the accident. Insurance companies quickly get involved, and it becomes apparent that the aftermath of an accident has significant financial impact.
If you were injured or your vehicle damaged in an auto accident, you want to receive full compensation from the at-fault driver or insurance company. To ensure this happens, avoid these 5 ways to mess up your auto accident case.
Not Obtaining a Police Report
After immediate and life threatening injuries are assessed, individuals typically contact the local police. In Virginia Beach, it is essential that the attending office completes a traffic accident report. This report will be filed on the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles website and provides the cornerstone for evidence in court.
Eventually, you will need to submit information and evidence to an insurance company, the other party, and, possibly, the court. A traffic accident report is a detailed account of the accident, taken down at a time when all facts and circumstances were fresh in the memories of those involved. This becomes invaluable if the parties proceed to court.
Lack of Medical Attention or Not Seeing a Doctor
One of the first steps after an auto accident in Virginia is seeking appropriate medical attention. Most importantly, failure to receive medical treatment could jeopardize your health, but it could also damage your auto accident claim. The failure to promptly obtain medical attention can result in causation and evidence issues down the road.
This includes skipping follow up appointments, later consultations, or physical therapy programs. An insurance company will closely review your medical treatment after an accident, and gaps indicate the need to ask further questions or deduct a certain amount of funds from the claim amount.
Lying and Dishonesty
The necessity of honesty begins long before you are in an auto accident. When you complete insurance paperwork and forms, you must be upfront and truthful about all information provided. Any dishonesty could result in the denial of a claim or the cancellation of a policy in Virginia.
Another way lying and dishonesty can truly mess up your auto accident case is by withholding information from your doctor or medical professional. At every doctor’s visit, but in particular if treated by emergency services after an accident, you must disclose all symptoms, prior conditions, pain, and concerns.
Full disclosure to your medical professionals includes providing information on previous auto accidents or pre-existing conditions. These facts should not preclude recovery, but if not disclosed could snowball into a much larger problem. As discussed above, having an accurate medical record is essential.
Not Engaging a Qualified Attorney
Legal advice is most helpful and robust when provided early on in your auto accident case. it allows the lawyer better opportunity to develop a strategy, assess gaps in information or evidence, and build a stronger case on your behalf. Failing to engage a lawyer soon after your accident can have a substantial impact on the outcome of your auto accident claim.
Discussing Your Accident
Talking about your accident and what occurred can feel therapeutic, and after a traumatic experience, it can be helpful to reach out to family and friends. However, there are certain forums where discussing your accident could be detrimental to your case.
First, until discussed with your attorney, you should not provide a statement and account of the accident to an insurance company. All information you provide to an insurance company will be analyzed and questioned. Of course, your insurance provider must be informed of your accident, but before providing a recorded or official statement, speak with an attorney on your rights and what you do not need to disclose.
Second, avoid posting a lot of information about your accident on social media or other online accounts. Representatives for the insurance company and opposing party will do some due diligence around your social media accounts and online information. Anything these representatives see or find could be utilized for their own objectives and goals.
Speak with an Attorney
If you were involved in an auto accident and need advice on compensation or a claim, contact Scott R. Barney Esq., PLLC. Our office handles auto and trucking accidents in and around Virginia Beach. We find innovative ways to help people recover financially after these unfortunate accidents. Scott R. Barney Esq., PLLC would be honored to help you. Contact us today for a consultation.
Who Can I Hold Liable After a Truck Accident?
Each year there are an estimated 4,000 fatalities and more than 110,000 injuries from vehicle accidents involving large or commercial trucks. Often, these accidents result in serious injury or even death, and it is most commonly drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles who are hurt. Those responsible for these unfortunate accidents should be held accountable.
However, between the large trucking companies and individuals in the passenger car there is an obvious disparity of information and resources. Often, individuals are uncertain who can be held liable after a truck accident. Many people have never been involved in a personal injury claim before and have little knowledge on what to expect or how to proceed.
Lawyers focused on this area of law can help. Who can be held responsible for the collision is fact specific to every accident, but typically three parties are involved in the claim.
Holding the Truck Driver Accountable
In many instances, victims feel the truck driver is liable for the accident. This is the obvious and initial place to lay blame, as the truck driver was directly involved in the accident. It is difficult for occupants of the passenger vehicle to see responsible parties past the individual physically present at the accident scene. At times, the acts or omissions by the truck driver do warrant liability.
The truck driver could be liable under a claim if the accident resulted from fatigue or drunk driving. Driving when tired or under the influence are known causes of serious accidents and reckless driving. Everyone in Virginia is prohibited from drunk driving, and truck drivers are only allowed to be on the road for certain number of hours at a time and throughout the week. Disregard for these laws and restrictions could make the driver accountable for an accident.
Also, a truck driver could be held liable if he or she did not complete training or certifications required under Virginia law. There are specific regulations for the operation of large, commercial trucks. Failure or falsification of these qualifications could mean the truck driver is liable, whole or in part, for victim’s compensation.
Taking on the Trucking Company
Even if a truck driver directly caused an accident, the trucking company could still be in a claim or lawsuit as the driver’s employer. Actions or omissions by the trucking company, in terms of training or hiring practices, could mean the trucking company is responsible for the negligent actions of its employees. Trucking companies are often pushing employees to maximize time and capacity, even if unwritten, the pressure to exceed regulations on driving time or distance, could equate to liability for an accident. Investigation into company culture and policies is absolutely necessary.
Alternatively, the trucking company could be liable for failing to properly inspect or maintain the truck involved in an accident. If this is the case, individuals will want to know if the company owns the truck or leased it, as both parties could be named in a claim.
Trucking companies are heavily regulated in Virginia and in states across the country through laws at the state and federal level. These laws cover everything from proper training of employees, to insurance requirements for trucking companies. Failure to meet the obligations under these regulations could result in liability for the company after a truck accident. Therefore, a good accident attorney will always investigate the company’s current and past compliance record, including with federal regulations of the trucking industry.
Tracking Down the Manufacturers
It is possible that a truck accident occurred without fault by either driver involved, such as a mechanical malfunction. In this situation, you need to look to the different manufacturers when naming parties in a claim. The first potential party would be the truck manufacturer. A default or defect could result from assembly of the truck, and the truck manufacturer should have known it existed.
However, other manufacturing defaults occur under the hood and due to smaller parts. It could be the design flaw of a specific part or piece of the truck. In this situation, it might not be the named truck manufacturer that is liable, but the company making these individual pieces.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
If you need legal advice or information on a truck accident and who is accountable, contact the experienced legal team at Scott R. Barney Esq., PLLC,. Our office focuses on truck accidents and personal injury claims related to this specific area of law. To schedule an initial consultation, contact our office.
You are driving along the highway on your way home from work. Suddenly, a truck crosses into your lane and strikes your vehicle. The truck accident immediately leaves you shaken. You have insurance, but you have no idea if the truck driver has insurance. A million thoughts race through your head. What do you next?
As a truck accident lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA, we want to prepare you for what is coming next. Truck accident injuries are different than other automobile accidents. After a truck accident, you need to make sure that you follow the proper procedure to achieve complete recovery. With a truck accident attorney at your side, full financial recovery is possible.
First steps after a truck accident
After you have been injured in an accident with a truck, your first steps are to seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Pull your vehicle over to the shoulder if possible and call 911. Medical evaluation following the accident is important for an insurance claim or a lawsuit. A truck accident lawyer will need this information to evaluate your truck accident case. So make sure you are seen by a medical professional immediately!
After seeking medical attention, obtain the insurance information from the truck driver. Their insurance company may be liable for the injuries related to the truck accident. Do not panic if they do not have insurance. An experienced truck injury attorney may be able to seek compensation directly from the truck driver.
If possible, secure all evidence. A truck accident attorney will want to see pictures of the vehicle after the accident. Keep any documents related to the truck accident in a safe location until your lawyer tells you otherwise. This includes any cell phone pictures you may have been able to take.
Seek a truck accident lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA
A truck accident lawyer is always a good idea after a truck accident. It is strongly advised to contact a lawyer especially if the insurance company’s offer to settle the claim will not cover your bills. Trucks are larger, heavier vehicles and tend to cause more harm to other vehicles when involved in an accident. Following a truck accident, you may need prolonged time off from work. You may need time to visit a physical therapist to recover. Therapy costs money. The only way to get the help you need is to seek a trained truck injury lawyer. A truck accident attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf to seek compensation.
To show continuing problems from your injuries, your lawyer may ask you to see a doctor for an evaluation. Any doctor visits after the truck accident may be relevant to your truck accident lawsuit.
A truck accident lawsuit means that the plaintiff will need to prove negligence of the truck driver. Negligence means that an individual veered from the standard of care that a normal person exhibits. For instance, the truck driver texted, failed to signal, or fell asleep at the wheel.
Even if you were partially at fault for the truck accident, you may still be able to recover. The only way to fully recover is to seek the help of a truck injury lawyer.
After a truck accident has left you with serious injuries and mounting medical bills, contact Scott Barney, attorney at law, to get the help you need to recover.
At Scott R. Barney Esq., PLLC, we help our clients get back on their financial feet after devastating truck accidents. We would be honored to help you. Contact us today for a consultation.
Injured on the Job? Are You Eligible for Worker’s Compensation?
Employees who suffer on the job injuries or who are diagnosed with a work related disease may be eligible under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act for medical bills payment and disability benefits.
The Commonwealth of Virginia follows an “actual risk” rule, meaning that for workers’ compensation benefits, there must be a casual connection between the injury and the conditions of the work place.
If you are injured, you should do two things:
- Immediately report your injury to your employer
- File a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission Board.
You should report the work-related injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible, but no later than thirty (30) days from the date the accident occurs, or within thirty (30) days from the date of your medical diagnosis of your work related disease.
Within ten (10) days, your employer should file a report of the accident or disease with the Commission.
Important! Failure to report your injury or illness to your employer within thirty (30) days could result in your claim being denied.
Who is covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act?
- Coverage of the Act extends to employees of any person, firm or private corporation, including any public service corporation, that has regularly in service three or more employees in the same business within Virginia.
- Part-time employees may count toward this total if they are regularly in service of the employer.
What is covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act?
The Act provides benefits for:
- injuries by accident arising out of and in the course of employment
- occupational diseases
- certain ordinary diseases of life
To be compensable, injuries at work must satisfy three requirements. First, the injury must be by accident.Second, it must arise out of employment. Third, it must occur in the course of employment.
Why Should You Contact a Virginia Beach Worker’s Compensation Lawyer?
Getting the benefits you deserve should be a simple and easy process, but that’s not always the case. Employers’ insurance companies often look out for their own best interests.
Insurers often deny claims or attempt to limit your benefits. The worker’s compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Scott R. Barney have extensive experience working with the Commission, helping injured workers obtain their rightful compensation.
Protect your claim and know your rights!
Contact us today at (757) 383-7532 for a free consultation.
In many cases receiving a traffic ticket is just an annoying inconvenience.
Unfortunately, a ticket can affect your driver’s license and cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. Getting too many points on your driving record can result in suspension of your driver’s license.
You can fight a traffic ticket in Virginia Beach
There are times where contesting a traffic ticket makes sense. This is especially true if the violation may affect your driver’s license status. If you feel that you have received a ticket that you did not deserve or must fight to preserve your driving record and avoid suspension, it is important to have a qualified Virginia Beach Attorney that understands how the law works.
Citations or traffic tickets are issued in the Commonwealth of Virginia for breaking various violations of traffic law.
In Virginia, there are three types of traffic violations: Strict liability, moving violations, and non-moving citations.
Most traffic tickets in Virginia are issued for what are sometimes called “strict-liability” offenses. In these types of traffic cases, the only thing required to convict a driver of the offense is proof that they committed the act, regardless of any criminal intent.
Some examples of Strict liability traffic offenses include:
- Speeding tickets
- Failure to use proper turn signals
- Overdue parking meter violations
- Parking in an unauthorized handicapped parking spot
In addition to strict liability traffic violations, traffic violations are also classified by whether or not the vehicle was in motion at the type of the incident (moving and non-moving violations).
Some examples of moving violations in Virginia Beach include:
- Speeding or driving below the minimum speed
- Running a stop sign or red light signal
- Driving without a seat belt
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
Non-Moving violations include:
- Parking in a no parking zone or other illegal parking
- Driving with an invalid vehicle registration
- Driving with expired or missing license plates
- Broken or missing mirrors
When Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you have been cited for Reckless driving, DUI, or driving on a suspended license or vehicular manslaughter you need the knowledge and experience of a top Virginia Beach Criminal defense lawyer. These are serious charges and having a solid Attorney representing you is very important.
How does the traffic ticket process work?
In Virginia, you have the option to dispute the charges by appearing in court on the day listed on your traffic ticket. You must respond to a citation usually by appearing in court or paying a fine. Failure to respond to a citation can result in a suspended drivers license or a warrant issued for your arrest. Being unable to respond to your court date is not a valid excuse.
Ignoring a traffic ticket can result in further problems and additional costs. By contacting the Law Office of Scott Barney in Virginia Beach, we can help determine the best course of action.
Contact a Virginia Beach Attorney with the experience to help you fight for your rights!
If you’ve received a speeding ticket or another traffic violation and want to determine your next course of action, call the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Scott Barney at 757-383-7532 for a free consultation.
We proudly represent the entire Hampton Roads area including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, and Portsmouth VA.
Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer explains the DUI Laws in Virginia
In the past year, 27,333 people were convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Statistic from MADD Virginia)
DUI law in Virginia includes driving under the influence of alcohol and any narcotic drug.
What is the Legal Blood Alcohol Level in Virginia?
Like other states, Virginia measures sobriety by your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and those BAC percentages are based on age and driver’s license type.
- Drivers 21 years old or older the BAC is 0.08%.
- Drivers younger than 21 years old the BAC limit is 0.02%.
- Commercial drivers possessing a CDL have a BAC limit of 0.04%.
Is a DUI a Criminal Offense in Virginia?
Virginia classifies a first time DUI offense as a Class 1 Misdemeanor criminal act punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a fine between $250.00 and $2,500.00, a one-year license suspension, and alcohol education classes.
The punishment for this offense increases if you were arrested with a BAC of 0.15% or higher. In this case, punishment may include a minimum five-day jail sentence and the utilization of an ignition interlock device upon reinstatement of your license.
In almost all cases, drivers are expected to pay for the installation of the ignition interlock device, installation can cost up to $100 for the device, and $50-100 per month for the lease.
If you’re younger than 21 years old, there are further additional consequences including license suspension, a minimum $500 fine, possible alcohol safety action program, and a possible restricted driver’s license.
Repeat DUI Offenders in Virginia
For second time offenders, a prior DUI offense may be used to increase your DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony or impose higher sentencing penalties. Other punishments include a mandatory minimum sentence for second offense conviction.
What should you do if charged with a DUI in the Virginia Beach Norfolk Area?
First and foremost you should notify an Attorney that handles DUI charges in the Virginia Beach area. Do not try to handle this yourself. An experienced DUI Attorney can look at the case and find mistakes made or violations of your rights.
Contact a Top Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Attorney at the Law Office of Scott R. Barney
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the experienced lawyers at the Law Office of Scott R. Barney at 757- 965-7200 or fill out the form on this page for assistance in possibly pleading down DUI charges into lesser criminal offenses or traffic violations.
Each year over 6 million car accidents occur. Many only involve only property damage, meaning damage only to the property, not the drivers or passengers.
One out of three auto accidents do involve personal injury to the driver or passengers and in some cases fatal injuries.
An auto accident happens fast and it is important that if you are involved in one you do not panic and handle things the right way.
At the Virginia Beach Law Office of Scott Barney, we understand that when you’ve been involved in a car accident it can be a disoriented and emotional time.
After you have been involved in a car accident it is important to obtain crucial information.
Below is a checklist of important things to do at the scene of the accident in the Virginia Beach area.
- Stay at the scene of the accident. Never leave the accident scene until the appropriate time. If you hit a parked car or other property, try to find the owner or driver.
- If possible, pull your car over to a safe place and turn on your hazard lights.
- Check on all drivers and passengers for injuries and provide assistance to those injured.
- Call the police. Explain the situation and give the exact location of the accident, so that help can arrive quickly. Be sure to specify if you need an ambulance. Always call the police regardless if there are injuries as many insurance companies will not cover an accident unless there is a police accident report.
- Take immediate notes about the accident including specific damages to all involved vehicles. It is important when talking to the police that you explain what happened. Do not speculate, guess, or misstate any facts. If you are injured or not sure let the police know.
- Exchange information: It is important to obtain the insurance status of the involved drivers. If any drivers were not the registered owners, ask for the registered owner’s name, address, and phone number(s).
- Take pictures of all property damage as soon as possible after the accident. Photos help your attorney and your insurance adjuster determine how much you should be compensated for the damages to your property. If you have visible injuries, you should take a photo of them as well.
- Notify your own insurance company to inform that you’ve been involved in an accident.
- When speaking to any insurance company whether it’s yours or the other driver’s, never give out a recorded statement about the accident until you have sought out legal representation regarding your rights.
- Get the names, telephone numbers for independent eye witnesses that were not involved in the car accident. Eye witnesses are crucial when dealing with conflicting versions of the events.
It’s important to remember you will not get a police report at the scene of the accident. Police reports are not available until 7-10 days after the accident.
Protect your rights by contacting Virginia Beach Accident Attorney Scott Barney.
Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult a top auto accident attorney in the Virginia Beach area.
At the Virginia Beach Law Office of Scott Barney, we will protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident.
It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement. Our auto accident attorney will advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available.
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless we recover compensation for your injuries.