Important Evaluation Factors for Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of auto accidents. Many rear-end collisions happen when a vehicle is waiting in traffic, waiting to turn left or right, or waiting for a light to change.
Often, in the accident report, the police will put the blame on the car that was moving. Usually, the police say this driver was following too closely or was inattentive. Sometimes, the driver in the car that caused the accident will admit fault to you or the police officer.
If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, the insurance companies will probably pay significant attention to the police accident report. But, sometimes insurance companies will deny a claim if their driver says that you stopped unexpectedly, didn’t put on your turn signal, or didn’t yield before pulling into traffic. Often, drivers also claim that they experienced a defect with their brakes.
At the Ritchie Law Firm, these things are important in our evaluation of who’s at fault in a rear-end collision:
- Position of Car. Was your car stopped in traffic, waiting for a light to change, turning left or right, slowing down for traffic, or waiting to turn, etc.?
- The Other Driver’s Speed. How fast was the other driver going?
- Following Distance. How far away was the other car before it hit you?
- Turn Signals. Did you have your turn signal on if you were getting ready to turn? How long was the signal on?
- Vehicle damage. What is the extent of the damage to each vehicle? Did you take any pictures?
- Driver Statements. Did either you or the other driver say anything about fault at the scene?
- Witnesses. Were there any witnesses to the accident that don’t know either party?
- Alcohol Use. Were either you or the other driver drinking prior to the accident?
- Passengers. Did you have any passengers in your car?
- Vehicle lights. Were your signal and brake lights working?
- Defenses. Is the insurance company claiming that brake defects, icy road conditions, blaring sun, or failure to signal were to blame for the accident? If so, can the insurance company prove it?
How Long Can I Wait to Call a Lawyer?
When you’re injured in an auto accident in Virginia or West Virginia, you must be aware of the statute of limitations which applies in your particular case. The statute of limitations refers to the time you have following an accident to file a lawsuit. In both Virginia and West Virginia, this time limit depends upon the circumstances of your accident and injury. The time limitation starts to run on the date of the accident. Filing a claim with an insurance company does not extend or delay the time.
The longer you wait to contact an attorney, the greater the risk that the statute of limitations time limit will expire. If it does, you may lose your right to sue the at-fault party and recover compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been seriously injured and someone else is at fault, you should contact a personal injury attorney at the earliest possible time. Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer early in your case will help prevent deadlines from expiring and will allow your case to be properly prepared.
To be able to determine whether you have a case, your lawyer needs to thoroughly investigate the details about your accident and injuries. Investigating the accident and collecting information is much easier if it occurs quickly after the accident has happened. A time delay can result in many problems like lost evidence and witnesses who can’t be found.
When you hire a lawyer to handle your car accident claim, he or she will first negotiate with the insurance company to try to settle your claim. If settlement negotiations break down, your attorney will prepare to file a lawsuit and prepare your case for trial. For this reason, it is especially important that you get an experienced lawyer to help with your case, such as one certified through the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Talk With A Virginia And West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered significant injuries in a car accident in Virginia or West Virginia, Ritchie Law Firm is here to help. The experienced, certified attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm has helped thousands of injured victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve after an accident. Contact us by phone at 800-277-6124 or by using our online contact form.
Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Winchester, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, and Staunton, and also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.