Why Your Insurance Coverage Matters After Crashes That Weren’t Your Fault
When you’re hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, you may think that all of your accident-related expenses will be covered by the other driver’s insurance. And that often ends up being the case for many victims. But there’s a good chance you won’t be able to rely on the other driver’s insurance to pay for your bills, especially if their coverage is insufficient—or nonexistent.
Around 10% of all drivers in Virginia don’t have any insurance, and many more have the bare minimum of coverage, which is $25,000 per injured person. That means that there’s a good chance the driver who caused your crash will either have no insurance, or only enough coverage to pay for some of your medical bills and lost wages.
That’s why purchasing two additional forms of insurance can be critical. The first is called uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and it kicks in when the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient or nonexistent. These types of insurance are mandatory in Virginia, but you can purchase additional coverage that will go above and beyond what these mandatory policies typically provide. You can also purchase Medical Payments coverage, which will give you money towards your medical bills—even if you’re at fault for the crash.
Of course, getting any type of compensation after a crash can be difficult, especially when you’re going through an insurance company, whether it’s yours or the other driver’s. That’s where we come in. Our Roanoke auto accident lawyers can help you get the money you’re owed. Contact Skolrood Law Firm today for a free consultation.
THE 3 BIGGEST MISTAKES YOU CAN MAKE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
You’re driving along and suddenly you collide with another vehicle. Time seems to slow down as you feel the brunt of the impact, you hear the sound of crunching and tearing metal, and you feel yourself be restrained by your seat belt and cushioned by your airbags. You’re probably hurt, and you’ve just gone through one of life’s most traumatic experiences.
It can be a bit much to ask auto accident victims to comply with detailed checklists in the immediate aftermath of such an unexpected and violent event in their lives.
At Skolrood Law Firm, we help many auto accident victims who are injured by negligent drivers, and very few of our clients follow every recommended step to a tee. But in many cases, it’s less about taking the right steps and more about avoiding the WRONG steps, which can include:
- Admitting fault for the crash—If you tell the other driver or police officer that you think you caused the crash, it can be difficult to get compensation. As soon as the insurance company gets wind of your admission of guilt—even if it’s later proven you didn’t cause the crash—you’re fighting an uphill battle.
- Lying about your injuries—Never exaggerate or even downplay your injuries. Be honest and upfront from the beginning, whether you’re talking to the other driver, the police, the paramedics, or the doctor.
- Waiting too long to get a lawyer—Although our state has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, waiting too long to file means there will be less evidence and more suspicions from the insurance company. Call a Roanoke auto accident lawyer right away after your crash to maximize your chances of getting paid!
3 STEPS TO TAKE IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT IN VIRGINIA
At Skolrood Law Firm, we know that auto accidents are traumatic and confusing. You may find it difficult to concentrate due to the adrenaline and shock from the accident. We also know that most victims don’t respond in a textbook manner after their crashes—but that’s okay. That’s what we’re here for!
However, if you’re able to follow three important steps in the minutes, hours, or days after your crash, you can do a lot to protect your health and your rights to compensation. Those steps include:
- Get medical treatment—Never try to “tough out” an injury. Even if you don’t go to the hospital straight from the accident scene via ambulance, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor with hours of the crash at the most. Doing so treats your injuries, prevents them from getting worse, and establishes a record of what happened.
- Report the crash to your insurance provider—Regardless of whether you believe you caused the crash or not, you’re still required to report the crash to your insurance company. This is especially important if you have MedPay coverage, as this coverage will kick in whether you’re 100% at fault or 100% not at fault.
- Call a lawyer—Virginia’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims is two years from the date they occurred. But more importantly, the limitations on collecting evidence is the amount of time it exists—and that may be just a few days after the crash! The more evidence we can find, the better your chances of winning your case.