Mistakes to Avoid Following a Manassas Car Accident

Car accidents can be very scary. A person can be understandably shaken up in the immediate aftermath. However, it is still vital to remember that one should keep their health in the forefront of their considerations. In addition to immediate physical well-being following a car accident, people must also be cognizant of any potential future injuries they may have incurred. Some injuries are not as readily apparent physically and may take a few weeks or months to fully manifest. Read on to learn about some mistakes a person should avoid making in order to protect themselves following a car accident in Manassas where they were not at fault.

Not Taking Note of the Accident Scene

After a car accident, it’s important to write down everything so that your record reflects a clear picture of how the accident happened and all the factors involved, including the road you were on, the nearest intersection, any traffic control devices, the positions of the cars, which way they were coming from, which way they were headed, the speeds of the vehicles involved and whether your vehicle was at a stop or moving at the time of the accident. All of this information makes it easier for a lawyer to help your case in the courtroom.

All this is important because when it comes time for you either to make a demand to settle the case with the insurance company or to present your case before a judge, jury, arbitrator or mediator, you’ll be able to provide as much detail as possible. The benefit of that is because whomever you’re presenting your case to wasn’t present at the accident scene and therefore doesn’t know what you know. By extracting as much detail as possible, you’re presenting the clearest picture that you can as to why the other person is at fault for the accident and why you are free from any responsibility.

Moving a Vehicle Away From the Scene of the Accident

Firstly, unless it’s absolutely necessary to move the car off the road after a collision, you should not move it until directed to do so. If you determine that you are in danger by leaving it where it is, then you should move it, but you should keep it as close to the original spot as possible. That way, when the Manassas police come, they’re better able to document where the car came to rest following the collision.

The reason that this is important is that if your version of the accident does not match up with where your car came to rest, then that could weigh on your credibility as to how the accident happened, and the Manassas police officer could note that in his or her report. It’s important to make sure that the cars stay where they are if possible. Sometimes that’s not possible because the vehicle is in the middle of an intersection or at the end or middle of a traffic light, so people can’t get on and off the highway. If that’s the case and you’re worried about getting hit by other vehicles, then you should move your car because your life and safety are always more important than preserving the scene. But as a rule of thumb, it’s best not to move your vehicle whenever possible.

Failing to Exchange Information With the Other Party

By Virginia law, you are required to exchange certain pertinent information, including name, car identifying information, and insurance information after a Manassas car accident. You should also ask for his or her license and registration and insurance card.

The county is important because that’s how you determine venue—the county in which to file a lawsuit in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Venue is based upon either where the accident took place or where the defendant lives or carries out his or her business activities. It’s important to locate that information as early as possible. If the driver refuses to give it to you, then you should just go back to your vehicle and make sure you take down the person’s license plate number and any other information you can about his or her car.

If the driver doesn’t want to give you his or her license or other information, that’s fine. Just make sure you have the license plate number and the description of the car. If the person leaves the scene, you can call the police and give them the plate number as well as the make and model of the car. Then the police can track the person down for you.

Admitting Fault or Apologizing After the Accident

If you admit fault at the scene of a car accident in Manassas, that can be used against you. If you bring a lawsuit and you weren’t at fault but you earlier admitted fault, then that can be enough to lose your case. You should never admit fault. You should never discuss fault at the scene because anything you say can be used against you. You should not admit fault for an accident just because it’s polite; the consequences are too great. You may not be able to collect for your injuries if you say anything suggesting that you might be at fault. If you do, an experienced lawyer would predict that you’ll lose your case and be stuck with medical bills that won’t get paid—all because you wanted to be polite.

Whether or not admitting something at the scene can hurt you depends on what you’re admitting to. If you’re admitting that your car was red or that you’re the owner of the vehicle, that doesn’t hurt your case. On the other hand, if you’re admitting fault for the accident, then that can hurt your case. Similarly, if you’re admitting that you’re not hurt, that you were drunk, that you weren’t paying attention, that you were speeding or that you were on the phone when the accident happened, any of those things can hurt your case. A lot of admissions can hurt your case.