Vacationers and tourists are the life-blood of many coastal cities and towns in Hampton Roads, Virginia, but with the “summer money” they bring to help sustain the businesses, they also bring danger.

A higher population during summer months not only causes congestion on the roads and beaches, but also increases the number of accidents on the roads and in the water. If you live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, the Eastern Shore, or elsewhere in Hampton Roads, you may one day find yourself seriously injured by someone from out of town. So what do you do? 

There are three important rules to follow when you are injured in a car accident caused by another person’s fault.  First, if you are able, call 911!  If you are injured, calling 911 immediately will afford you the opportunity to receive emergency medical care and transportation to a local hospital.  In addition to rendering first aid and medical services, in most cases, calling 911 will cause law enforcement to arrive on-scene and document evidence by obtaining the out-of-state resident’s drivers license number, insurance information, taking photographs, witness statements, preserving of a potential crime scene for proper investigation, conduct field sobriety tests if substance and/or alcohol is a possible factor, and to make sure all parties are safe and secure.  Documenting the accident, obtaining the out-of-state driver’s legal contact information, and preserving evidence will greatly assist your personal injury attorney when it is time to track the at-fault party outside of Virginia in the event a lawsuit may need to be filed.

Secondly, make sure you seek medical care as soon as possible!  Not only does seeking medical care help you recover from your injuries, it creates a RECORD of your injuries and the timing when they were sustained.  Often times, those who delay seeking care will face scrutiny in a deposition and/or at trial because there becomes a question as to who caused your injuries; when the injuries were actually sustained; and, whether your own negligent failure to seek medical care exacerbated, worsened, or contributed to your condition.  If you are transported to an emergency department, be sure to follow up with your primary care provider (PCP) and/or any specialists to whom you were referred.

Third, call an experienced personal injury attorney.  An experienced personal injury attorney will know exactly how to investigate the cause of the accident, obtain statements from transient military personnel and witnesses who may be from out-of-town.  A personal injury attorney will know how to find out whether there are multiple sources of liability insurance coverage, assess your damages (i.e. loss of income, past medical expenses, future medical expenses), and present your damages claim to the applicable insurance carriers for a speedy and expedited resolution.  

**This article is not legal advice, nor should it be construed as such.  Legal advice is only provided to clients upon execution of an attorney-client agreement.