As licensed drivers in the state of Virginia, we all know that there are laws that govern how we drive on the road. That doesn’t mean that we all follow them 100 percent of the time. One of the most often ignored rules is the speed limit. Unfortunately, the increased speed tends to lead to an increased risk of an accident. Whether you were the one speeding or the other driver, an accident is unpleasant to experience. It can leave you feeling stunned and confused. Knowing who to call before it happens, such as a reckless driving attorney, can make the experience less upsetting.
Plan to make these seven calls after experiencing a speeding accident.
1. Emergency Medical Services
Your first priority should be to make sure that everyone in your car and in any other cars involved in the accident is safe and ok. If anyone is hurt or thinks they are hurt, you need to call emergency medical services immediately. Be aware that an accident is stressful and sometimes traumatizing; adrenaline can make people unaware of their physical injuries immediately following an accident. Do not move someone that is injured. Wait for the trained medical professionals to administer treatment.
Reporting an accident that results in injury is also required by Section 46.2-371. Calling 911 is sufficient to comply with this.
2. Law Enforcement
Once you address the physical injuries, you can begin to address the accident. Your next call should be to law enforcement. Not only does Virginia law require the reporting of most accidents, but the insurance companies will also want a report. Section 46.2-372 of the Virginia code requires that anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in property damage, uninsured motorist, injury, or death must make a written report. Calling law enforcement and having them come out to prepare a report is sufficient to comply with this law.
To better understand what qualifies as property damage, you typically aren’t required by law to report an accident between insured drivers with no bodily injuries, and the property damage is less than $1,500. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t make a report. Reporting any accident, no matter the value of the property damage gives you a verifiable, third-party report of the events that took place. This can make filing an insurance claim or lawsuit easier in the future.
3. Tow Truck
If your vehicle is drivable, you can simply drive it from the accident scene. However, reckless driving and speeding accidents often involve extensive damages. You may not be able to see the extent of the damage just by looking at your car. Having a tow truck take your vehicle to a mechanic’s shop prevents further damage from happening. It also keeps you safer by not driving a vehicle with questionable performance reliability.
Once you get to work or home, you need to report the accident to your insurance company. Let them know an accident occurred and give the number to the police report you received from the officer. You may also need to provide pictures of the damages of the vehicles involved. Avoid discussing the details of the case or admitting fault.
Once you notify the insurance company, the next step is to consider hiring a Virginia reckless driving attorney. Hiring a lawyer ensures you have someone who is well versed in Virginia law looking out for your best interests. Research local attorneys and schedule a consultation with two to three lawyers. Sit down and explain the circumstances surrounding the accident. The lawyer will explain your legal options and what they can do for you. If you agree with the lawyer’s recommended plan, then you can hire them. Be sure to provide them with all of the documentation and any other evidence you may have.
6. Automotive Repair
When you had the vehicle towed, you probably had it taken to the nearest shop. This may not be the best place to have your car repaired. Call around and get quotes or work with your insurance company to choose the best repair shop. Call your chosen body repair or repair shop and make arrangements for delivery of your vehicle and the subsequent necessary repairs.
In the days following the accident you may discover that you have a few aches and pains. This is normal. However, visiting a doctor and getting checked out can give you peace of mind.