While every situation varies significantly, it is more often the car’s fault. According to statistics, cars and trucks are at fault in motorcycle accidents 60% of the time. If you would like to learn how you can be a more cautious driver around motorcycles, check out our All About Motorcycles Guide.
If your Uber or Lyft driver is involved in a vehicle accident with you in the car, you should gather as much information as you can, such as:
- the Uber driver’s information
- the other involved parties driver’s license information
- take photos of the vehicle damage*
- gather insurance information from your Uber driver and the other involved party
- contact details of bystanders that may have witnessed the accident
For a more detailed look into how to handle a situation like this, visit our blogpost: You’re A Passenger in an Uber Accident — Now What?
- Try to get 8 hours of sleep before a drive.
- Take a pre-drive nap.
- Take a mid-drive nap. It is safer to pull over in a safe location to take a 20 minute power nap to continue driving when sleepy.
- Pull over at a rest stop and stretch or walk around.
- Try the buddy system to keep you engaged in conversation, but to also switch off driving every 2 hours.
- Do not drink alcohol. Even the slightest amount can make you drowsy.
- Caffeine has been proved to improves alertness, but be aware that the effects will wear off after a few hours.
- Difficulty focusing; frequent blinking or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming; Voicing disconnected thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven, missing exits or ignoring traffic signs
- Repeated yawning or rubbing their eyes
- Trouble keeping their head up
- Drifting from their lane or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless or generally irritable
Insurance coverage attaches to the vehicle and its driver. Therefore, a car owner is NOT liable for any accident that a friend, family member, or other borrower causes while operating the owner’s car.
BUT, the car owner’s insurance will provide primary coverage for the person operating the car (if that person had permission to drive).
So, if a car owner lends the car to a friend, and the friend causes an accident that injures somebody else, then the car owner’s insurance acts as primary coverage for the injured person’s recoverable damages.
The owner is not responsible for accidents that follow the theft of the owner’s vehicle or other use of the vehicle without the owner’s consent. The owner’s insurance is liable only for those accidents where the owner authorized or consented to the driver’s use of the vehicle.
Primary and Secondary Insurance Coverage When a Non-Owner Wrecks a Car
If a car owner lends the car to a friend and the friend driving the car causes an accident and injures somebody, the primary liability coverage is the car owner’s insurance policy. The secondary liability coverage is the driver’s liability insurance.
For example, let’s say the car owner has $25,000 in bodily injury liability, but the injured person’s damages are $30,000. The driver’s liability insurance would cover the remaining $5,000.
If you were injured in an accident involving a non-owner who was driving someone else’s vehicle, we recommend speaking with a car accident lawyer. Insurance coverage is more complicated in these situations, and we can help you sort it out and pursue compensation for the full value of your damages.
If the car owner was negligent in allowing somebody else to drive the car, and then the driver causes a wreck that injures somebody, the car owner can be personally liable for negligent entrustment.
For example, if the car owner allows somebody who is obviously drunk to drive the car, and then the drunk driver causes a wreck that injures somebody else, the injured person can hold the car owner liable for their injuries, as well as the drunk driver.
If the person driving the owner’s car did not have permission to drive the vehicle, then the car owner’s insurance would not cover the driver. And, thus, the car owner’s insurance would not cover people injured in an accident caused by the driver.
In cases of non-permissive use (i.e., the driver did not have permission to drive the owner’s car), the at-fault driver’s insurance acts as the primary coverage.
Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC for Help After an Accident
There are numerous approaches to prove liability and find insurance to cover injury claims. The best approach is the one that is right for your case.
If you were in an accident and need help pursuing compensation for all your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, call us. We can evaluate your case and investigate the accident to identify liable parties and help you with your case from start to finish.
Knowing what to do if you witness a car accident can help save lives. The next time you see an accident, remember to do the following:
Even if you cannot render physical aid, there other ways to help. Take a deep breath, call for help, safely assess the scene, and assist only if it is safe.
Keeping your wits about you is key. Witnessing an accident can be upsetting, even traumatizing. To help, it is essential that you do not panic. Taking a slow, deep breath will help you stay calm and focused.
Being calm and focused will help ensure your own safety and enable you to make better decisions. You will also be able to make a more effective call to 911 so that any accident victims receive help as quickly as possible.
Call for Help
Stop your vehicle safely, somewhere that will not result in a second accident. Park a safe distance from the accident and turn on your hazard lights. Dial 911 to request the aid of first responders.
Never assume that another bystander has already phoned 911.
If you are in an unfamiliar area, look for mile markers, exit signs, or anything that will enable you to give the dispatcher information about your location. Without putting yourself in danger, give the dispatcher as much information as you can about the scene.
Even if the accident was a minor “fender bender,” involved parties may require immediate medical assistance. Approach any injured victims with caution to ask whether they are OK and listen for a response.
Assess the Scene
If victims sustained severe injuries, waiting with them for help to arrive is a generous gesture. Your mere presence with a victim can comfort him/her until professional help arrives.
This does not mean that you should put yourself in harm’s way. Leave your own automobile only if you can do so safely.
Even if no one was seriously injured, your assessment of the accident scene could prove very useful to investigators in the future. You may wish to note any details. If, for example, the accident was a hit-and-run, record as much information as you can remember about the fleeing automobile.
Your observations of the accident could shed light on otherwise unanswered questions should disputes arise about how the accident occurred.
Mind Your Own Safety
Be mindful that leaking vehicle fluids can be flammable, and that hazards on the scene can expose you to danger. You should also be on the lookout for broken glass.
Do Not Confront Any Involved Parties
In some cases, those who stop to help can find themselves in danger if they decide to confront an obviously intoxicated driver or one who tries to flee the scene. Leave any questioning or law enforcement up to police officers and other trained professionals.
Virginia’s Good Samaritan Law
Thanks to the “Good Samaritan Law,” you do not have to worry about liability for making a good faith, reasonable effort to help. This law encourages citizens to help each other.
Virginia’s law states that a third party who renders emergency care or assistance to an ill or injured person at the scene of an accident, fire, or any life-threatening emergency shall not be liable (except under some extraordinary circumstances) for civil damages for acts or omissions resulting from the rendering of such care or assistance.
However, it is best to leave physical assistance to trained responders. It can be risky to try to render any support other than emotional support to victims unless you have received specific training. We recommend that you do not move an injured party unless remaining in that area would endanger the person further.
Cooperate with First Responders
Responding law enforcement officers may ask you for a statement and your contact information. Providing such information does not make you a suspect or a liable party. It is important that you are honest and stick to the facts. Do not speculate on what either driver was doing before the collision.
You may also eventually receive requests from information from insurance company adjusters, investigators, the parties themselves, or a car accident lawyer for either party. If you have the knowledge that they are seeking, providing it may help resolve any disputed issues.
Seek Follow Up Care for Yourself if You Need It
You have braved a stressful ordeal that most people have not. Witnessing an accident can traumatize bystanders, even if they were not in physical danger. Reach out for help if you find yourself reliving the accident or are preoccupied with its details.
Jim Parrish is a personal injury attorney dedicated to helping accident victims pursue compensation for injuries. If you have questions arising from a motor vehicle accident, call the Parrish Law Firm at 571-229-1800.
After a car accident, the first step is to secure the scene. Next, attend to follow-up details and comply with medical advice. Then, seek legal counsel as soon as possible protecting yourself from insurance company tactics that are not in your best interest.
Secure the Accident Scene
Your first responsibility is to stay safe. After ensuring your safety, you must attempt to help others.
Virginia law requires drivers involved in an accident to stop and try to help injured people at the scene. Call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so. Unless you suffered severe injuries, the law requires you to render whatever assistance you can to other injured persons.
Photograph the entire accident scene from a variety of angles if possible. While not always feasible, it is also a good idea to photograph the individual vehicles from multiple angles before moving them.
If you have them, use flares or emergency signaling devices to divert traffic from disabled vehicles. Only do this if you will not put your safety at risk. The law does not require you to put your well-being in jeopardy to render aid at the scene.
Take pictures of any additional details that may be relevant including:
- Traffic control devices
- Road signs or markings
- Skid marks
- Driving hazards
Collect as much information as you can from victims and bystanders, for example:
- Driver’s license information
- Vehicle registration information
- Phone number
- Email address
Find out from a responding law enforcement officer when a report will be available and how to access it. Make sure that you get the responding officer’s name and badge ID number, as signatures are not always legible.
If you leave the scene of an accident without rendering assistance, you could be criminally charged and lose your driver’s license.
Recommended Car Accident Follow-Up
If you were unable to call 911 at the scene, be sure to report the accident to your nearest police station as soon as possible.
Follow any medical advice that you received due to the accident. Keep any follow-up appointments recommended by healthcare providers, even if you believe it is unnecessary.
Symptoms of concussions, soft tissue injuries, and even internal injuries can arise after the accident. Shock can also prevent a victim from knowing the actual state of his/her medical condition right after the collision.
Getting proper medical care will help your cause in the event you want to claim against the other driver’s insurance for compensation. If you do not seek medical attention, the insurance company will argue that you were never injured. An insurance company might also say that you aggravated your injuries by not taking care of yourself.
You may have health insurance coverage or Med Pay coverage, which covers your medical bills up to your Med Pay coverage limits regardless of fault, which you can use during this time. If you do not have insurance and cannot afford treatment, you may need a letter of protection to receive the medical treatment that you need. A letter of protection basically reads that the health care provider will be paid from any settlement or court judgment and “protects” the provider from financial loss. A car accident attorney can help you navigate the claims process and fight for the compensation you need to recover.
If you have not done so previously, you may want to write down or record as many of the details of the accident as you can remember. Keep a log of any symptoms and limitations you experience as well as all expenses you are incurring because of the crash.
Secure Legal Counsel before Speaking to an Insurance Company Representative
Your insurance policy requires you to notify your carrier of an accident as soon as you can. It is vital that you provide only the basic information until you can speak with a car accident attorney.
Working with an attorney can help you avoid costly missteps when dealing with an insurance adjuster working for the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance adjusters may try to mislead or trick you into agreeing with them. They may want you to give a recorded statement, authorize the release of your medical records, or sign a work record release. Signing any documents the other driver’s insurance company sends you is not a good idea.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC is here to help
You may believe you can negotiate a settlement on your own, based on what you have read online or heard from friends who have gone through similar experiences. When it comes to protecting your rights and learning your legal options, however, there is no substitute for an experienced car accident attorney.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC dedicates its practice to injured victims. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney, call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC at 1-571-229-1800.
If you recently got in a car accident and your back hurts, there are three things you can do to protect your physical health and strengthen a potential injury claim:
- Seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s care plan
- Start a pain journal
- Watch what you say about your injury
- Discuss your case with a personal injury attorney familiar with car accident cases
Seek Proper Medical Attention and Follow Your Doctor’s Directives
If you did not seek medical attention immediately after the accident, go as soon as possible. If your back pain symptoms did not manifest for hours or days, or if you did not visit the doctor soon after the collision, it can be difficult to establish a link between your pain and the car accident. Getting the right treatment as soon as possible is also critical to preserving back and spine function.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Sometimes injured parties disobey doctor’s orders or skip their appointments. Life gets in the way, or sometimes the treatment is too expensive to keep up with. However, this can jeopardize your health and your right to recover compensation.
If your doctor tells you to remain on bedrest for three weeks or avoid lifting heavy boxes, do so. If you ignore your doctor’s orders and the other party’s insurer finds out, it may allege that you are exaggerating your injuries or contributing to them. In either case, you may lose money you deserve.
Note: You may want to ask your doctor how you can help expedite your recovery. Your doctor may instruct you to apply ice or heat to your back, do light stretches, or take a short walk around the neighborhood to keep your muscles active. You should do as your doctor suggests unless it causes you pain.
Keep Track of Your Pain
Following an accident, it can be useful to keep a daily record of the pain you are experiencing. Be specific about where your back or neck pain is occurring.
Write down any particular movement or activity that makes the pain worse. Take note of what (if anything) you have done that lessens the pain.
Include the intensity of the pain on a scale of one to 10 and any details such as whether the pain is dull and aching, throbbing, stabbing, radiating, or fixed. Also, record any spasms or areas where you feel a numbness or tingling sensation.
Keeping this record will not only increase your chances of receiving an accurate diagnosis, but it could be useful in the insurance claim process. Your lawyer may recommend that you make a pain and suffering claim. Having a record of your pain and suffering could be helpful, especially in the case of lumbar strains where an objective diagnosis can be difficult.
Modify Activities Accordingly
Do not try to work through your back pain. Unless your physician has allowed you to proceed, it is important to refrain from rigorous physical activity. Do not try to lift heavy items or engage in hard physical labor. Doing so could make your condition worse, even permanent.
If you take over-the-counter medication to reduce your back pain, be sure to do so only as the packaging instructions direct.
Watch What You Say About Your Accident and Injury
If you are considering filing an accident claim against the other driver, you must be cautious about what you say regarding the accident. Refrain from posting about the accident on social media and be very careful when speaking with an insurance adjuster as they can use anything you say against your claim. The adjuster can twist something as innocent as “I’m OK” or “I’m sorry” to claim you admitted fault or that you are uninjured.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney about Your Rights
If you believe another party caused your accident, speak to a car accident attorney familiar with back pain cases. You may be entitled to any losses related to your back pain and any other injuries. The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC is dedicated to helping accident victims recover compensation for back injuries and other damages. We can help you build your case and defend against any tactics the insurance company tries to use to devalue or deny your claim.
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries from a car accident, call 571-229-1800. The consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis, so you owe us nothing upfront. We only get paid if you get paid.
It is best to report a car accident as soon as possible. How long you wait to report a car accident can affect your insurance compensation/injury claim and ability to prevail in a lawsuit. You will want to report the auto accident to both the local police and your insurance provider.
Reporting An Auto Accident to the Police
The state of Virginia requires that you report a car accident to the police if any of the following situations are present:
- A person was injured or killed
- A vehicle was damaged
While it is expected that you will file a report as soon as possible, Virginia requires that you file a police report within 24 hours of the accident. If medical injuries prevent you from reporting, you are then expected to report the accident as soon as is possible.
Reporting An Accident to the Insurance Company
The specific timelines vary when dealing with insurance, depending on your insurance provider. However, most providers require that you report the accident as soon as is reasonably possible. Many insurance providers have 24-hour hotlines so you can report an accident immediately. This is especially important if you plan on filing a claim with your insurance provider. It can also be helpful to go over your insurance policy to check for any claim limitations.
Important Steps Following an Auto Accident
Auto accidents are often very hectic. It can be difficult to remember the appropriate steps to take following an auto accident. The steps you take, however, can affect your ability to seek compensation. The following steps are important immediately following an auto accident:
- Prioritize safety: Prioritize the safety of everyone involved. Get yourself and others to safety before anything else.
- Call for help: Call 911. The responding officers will file a police report and send for medical help.
- Receive medical help: It is important to focus on your health first. If you do not receive medical assistance at the scene, be sure to visit your health provider for a follow-up.
- Plan for vehicle maintenance: If your vehicle is not drivable, you will have to make arrangements to have it moved to an auto shop. Be sure to have a full inspection completed. Seeking compensation for damages later on without an inspection report can be very difficult, if not impossible.
Statute of Limitations
Statute of limitations is a state-set limit on the time limit you have to file a lawsuit claim. In most auto accident cases, we are seeking a settlement from the insurance providers. There are some cases, however, when a lawsuit is necessary. Following an auto accident case, the statutes of limitation in Virginia are:
- To seek compensation for injuries caused by the accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
- To cover damages to your vehicle, you have five years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
- For compensation from an auto accident that led to the wrongful death of a loved one, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the death date.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Assist You
The attorneys at The Parrish Law Firm are ready to evaluate the details of your auto accident case. We offer a free consultation that will allow us to get to know you and your case better. You can also learn more about our attorneys and services during this consultation.
Establishing fault is an important part of auto accident cases. If you are at fault for the car accident, the law may limit your claim. We will assist you in proving liability by collecting the necessary documents, calling on witnesses, and collecting the appropriate evidence in your personal injury case.
Negotiate With Insurance Providers
Sometimes insurance claims are straightforward. Other times they are complex and the offered settlement amount does not cover the costs incurred from the auto accident. In some cases, the insurance company refuses to pay compensation at all. We will fight back and do all that we can to get you the compensation that you deserve.
We will gather all of the necessary documentation and witness statements needed for your car accident claim. Whether we are negotiating with your insurance provider or the other parties’ provider, we are willing to take your case to court if a settlement amount is not deemed appropriate.
If you or a loved one was recently injured in an auto accident case, remember that how long you wait to report a car accident can affect your claim. Call the attorneys of The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC at 571-229-1800 today to help evaluate your case.
If possible, take pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicle involved. Take pictures of the location where the accident took place. Get medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. Other than reporting your claim to your insurance company, you should not give them statements about the accident. Talk with a lawyer first.