Intersection Accidents: Red Light Warning?
If you’ve been involved in an accident in an intersection, you need to be very careful in dealing with the insurance company. Many times, it can be very difficult to prove liability with an intersection accident. Here’s why:
- Other Driver Claims Innocence. Often, the other driver will deny fault and change the facts when the police or insurance adjuster interview him or her.
- Lack of Witnesses. Frequently, any witnesses there may be to an accident just continue on their way without stopping to give their contact information
- Complex Laws. The laws that control intersections, signal lights, and yielding to other traffic can be complicated.
- Scheming Insurance Adjusters. The job of the insurance adjusters and defense attorneys is to find or create some question of negligence on your part that will help them to either deny your claim or else reduce the value of your settlement.
Read more on this topic in our article “5 Ways Insurance Adjuster Reduce the Value of Your Claim“
The following factors will be very important in determining the strength of your case in intersection accidents:
- Police Report. What does the investigating police officer say about the accident and who was at fault?
- Rules of the Road. Are there any laws that apply to how your accident happened?
- Driver Statements. What did you and the other driver say about the accident?
- Witnesses. Were there any witnesses? If so, what did they say about the accident?
- Scene of the Accident. Were there any skid marks? What is the position of the traffic lights and street signs? Was there a warning signal flashing? Any other evidence?
- Weather and Other Factors. What were the weather conditions? Were road conditions a factor in causing the accident?
- Alcohol and Drugs. Had either driver been drinking or using drugs before the accident?
- Mechanical Defects. Is the insurance company claiming any mechanical problem in hopes of denying the claim and defecting liability?
- Conflicting Statements. Even if the other driver admitted fault at the scene, insurance companies often try to persuade the people they insure to change their stories.
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.
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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.