How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident?
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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.