What to Do if You’re Hurt in a Virginia Multi-Vehicle Crash

Aug 24, 2023 | Auto Accidents, Blog

car accident

Any car accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries and property damage, and multi-vehicle accidents can dramatically increase those risks. 

Multiple-vehicle accidents involve three or more vehicles, which also complicates determining fault and collecting compensation for damages. Here are the basic steps to take after a multi-vehicle accident in Virginia and how an attorney can help you recover. 

Determining Car Accident Liability in Multi-Vehicle Accidents 

No matter how carefully you drive, there are infinite factors that can cause an accident. According to The Legal Examiner, the majority of car accidents in Virginia are multi-vehicle accidents.

Whether it’s drunk driving, distracted driving, or poor weather conditions, an accident can happen virtually any time. For an innocent driver to prove that another party (or parties) is at fault for the accident, they must also prove that they share 0% of the blame for the incident. This rule comes from Virginia’s contributory negligence standard, which bars an accident victim from receiving compensation even if they were only 1% at fault for the crash.

The Virginia contributory negligence law is recognized as relatively harsh, and Virginia is one of only a handful of states that follows this standard. The majority of states use a comparative negligence standard that allows accident victims to recover if they share less than 50% of the blame.

Because of the high stakes involved under a contributory negligence standard, it can be helpful to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to advocate for your rights and negotiate on your behalf. 

The role of a personal injury attorney includes the following: 

  • Investigate the accident to determine fault
  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Arrange for medical care that can be paid for from your settlement
  • File paperwork and other documents
  • Initiate a lawsuit and represent you in court if settlement talks fail 

What to Do After a Multi-Vehicle Accident in Virginia

Whether your car crash involved two cars for ten, the steps to protect your health and your personal injury claim are the same. 

We’ve outlined the appropriate steps below: 

  1. Call the police. In any accident with an injury or property damage, the police should be contacted to take a report. This documentation can be used as evidence in your case
  2. Gather evidence. Take pictures of the vehicles involved, skid marks, weather conditions, signage, and anything else related to the circumstances of the accident. Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos
  3. Exchange contact information. While you’ve got your smartphone available, take pictures of the other car’s license plates, drivers’ licenses, and insurance information cards
  4. Identify witnesses. If anyone saw what happened, be sure to ask for their contact information as well. The police will likely interview them, and your insurance company and attorney may want to follow up
  5. Never admit fault. Do not apologize for the accident or admit blame in any way. This type of admission can be used against you
  6. Get medical attention. Even if you don’t think you have a serious injury, it is prudent to be examined by a doctor. A physical examination may detect an injury before other symptoms arrive, which can preserve your health and your case. Insurance companies will often attempt to argue that your injuries weren’t serious if you delayed seeking medical attention
  7. Contact a personal injury attorney. Car accidents can get complicated, especially when the crash involves multiple vehicles. An attorney will go head-to-head against the insurance company and be your advocate. 

Contact an Experienced Virginia Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney 

At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we have more than 25 years of experience representing car accident victims in Virginia. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact us at (804) 635-3508.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.

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