Auto Accident

The 3 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make After a Car Accident

by Staff Blogger | November 12th, 2020

You’re driving along and suddenly you collide with another vehicle. Time seems to slow down as you feel the brunt of the impact, you hear the sound of crunching and tearing metal, and you feel yourself be restrained by your seat belt and cushioned by your airbags. You’re probably hurt, and you’ve just gone through one of life’s most traumatic experiences.

It can be a bit much to ask auto accident victims to comply with detailed checklists in the immediate aftermath of such an unexpected and violent event in their lives.

At Skolrood Law Firm, we help many auto accident victims who are injured by negligent drivers, and very few of our clients follow every recommended step to a tee. But in many cases, it’s less about taking the right steps and more about avoiding the WRONG steps, which can include:

  1. Admitting fault for the crash—If you tell the other driver or police officer that you think you caused the crash, it can be difficult to get compensation. As soon as the insurance company gets wind of your admission of guilt—even if it’s later proven you didn’t cause the crash—you’re fighting an uphill battle.
  2. Lying about your injuries—Never exaggerate or even downplay your injuries. Be honest and upfront from the beginning, whether you’re talking to the other driver, the police, the paramedics, or the doctor.
  3. Waiting too long to get a lawyer—Although our state has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, waiting too long to file means there will be less evidence and more suspicions from the insurance company. Call a Roanoke auto accident lawyer right away after your crash to maximize your chances of getting paid!

Are You Eligible to Receive Punitive Damages for Your Accident Expenses?

by Staff Blogger | September 24th, 2020

After an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the other driver or their insurance company to get money for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. And depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for a separate type of compensation called punitive damages.

While personal injury claims are designed to help victims recover the money they lost due to their accidents, punitive damages are designed to punish the offending parties. For example, if another driver loses control of their vehicle and crashes into you, you can file a personal injury claim due to the crash being an accident. But if it can be proven that the other driver intentionally crashed into you, you can file both a personal injury claim and be eligible to get punitive damages designed to punish the driver for their recklessness and maliciousness.

Punitive damages aren’t always considered in injury claims, as it must be proven that the at-fault driver wasn’t just negligent, but acting in an excessively reckless or aggressive manner. The Roanoke auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm have many years of experience collecting evidence to prove fault, and we know how to determine when punitive damages should be awarded as well.

Simply put—we believe victims should get every penny they’re owed, and when that includes money that punishes drivers who seek to harm or injure others, we believe our clients deserve those checks, too. Contact us today for a free consultation. It’s our goal to get you the money you need to move forward with your life.

Fall is Almost Here—Get Your Vehicle Ready for Colder Weather.

by Staff Blogger | September 17th, 2020

We’re still several weeks away from the first freezing temperatures of the year, but cold weather and the threat of icy roads will be here before you know it. With temperatures still warm during the day, there’s no better time than right now to prepare your vehicle for the perils of late fall and winter.

First, complete this checklist:

  • Inspect your tires. Your tires play the biggest role when it comes to keeping you safe on Virginia’s roads, especially when ice and snow are present. Ensure that all four tires are properly inflated, have plenty of tread, and are free from damage.
  • Get your brakes checked. Brakes can begin to lose their effectiveness and responsiveness long before they completely fail. But worn-out brakes can lock or fail to engage when roads are slick, so be sure to keep yours in good condition.
  • Check your battery. Cold weather can be hard on car batteries. Inspect your battery for signs of wear, corrosion, or loose cables. In addition, get it replaced if you notice your vehicle’s electrical system is sluggish or malfunctioning, as it could indicate battery failure.

Second, pack your vehicle with essentials in case you’re stranded during winter weather. That includes things like non-perishable food, bottled water, blankets, flashlight, phone charger, jumper cables, and traction mats.

The better prepared you are for winter weather, the less likely you’ll find yourself in a dangerous situation once temperatures begin dropping. And if you find yourself the victim of a crash caused by a negligent driver, you know who to call—the Roanoke auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm.

3 Steps to Take Immediately After an Auto Accident in Virginia

by Staff Blogger | August 6th, 2020

At Skolrood Law Firm, we know that auto accidents are traumatic and confusing. You may find it difficult to concentrate due to the adrenaline and shock from the accident. We also know that most victims don’t respond in a textbook manner after their crashes—but that’s okay. That’s what we’re here for!

However, if you’re able to follow three important steps in the minutes, hours, or days after your crash, you can do a lot to protect your health and your rights to compensation. Those steps include:

  1. Get medical treatment—Never try to “tough out” an injury. Even if you don’t go to the hospital straight from the accident scene via ambulance, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor with hours of the crash at the most. Doing so treats your injuries, prevents them from getting worse, and establishes a record of what happened.
  2. Report the crash to your insurance provider—Regardless of whether you believe you caused the crash or not, you’re still required to report the crash to your insurance company. This is especially important if you have MedPay coverage, as this coverage will kick in whether you’re 100% at fault or 100% not at fault.
  3. Call a lawyer—Virginia’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims is two years from the date they occurred. But more importantly, the limitations on collecting evidence is the amount of time it exists—and that may be just a few days after the crash! The more evidence we can find, the better your chances of winning your case.

These are just a few steps to take. We can help you with more steps and fight to get you the money you deserve when you contact our Roanoke auto accident lawyers. Call today.

Can You Get Compensation After a Crash Without a Lawyer?

by Staff Blogger | July 2nd, 2020

At Skolrood Law Firm, it’s our job to help injured victims get money after crashes that weren’t their fault. However, we know that many victims are hesitant to call a lawyer. Going through the legal system can be an intimidating process for people who have never needed it before, and many people don’t want to burden others by suing them.

We get it! And in fact, you can get compensation after a crash without ever speaking to a lawyer. But it’s important to keep in mind that it’s typically the insurance companies that pay settlements to crash victims, and they don’t like spending money. In fact, that’s how they report big profits year after year.

Sometimes, insurance companies even offer victims settlements just days after their accidents occur. While they may seem great initially, as it requires less work and almost no waiting for a check, the deal is almost always rigged to be in favor of the insurance company.

Adjusters know about crashes right away, and when they realize they can’t easily deny a claim, they act fast to minimize the damage. One tactic is to offer a lowball settlement right away. Victims are often in shock and worried about medical bills and lost wages, and they frequently accept. But when they do, they forfeit their rights to future compensation.

That’s just one tactic insurance companies use. Simply put—having an experienced Roanoke auto accident lawyer on your side means you can focus on your recovery without worrying about the insurance company taking advantage of you. In addition, we’ll work hard to get you paid fair and square, and we’ll never accept less than what your accident is worth. Contact us today.

Tips for Re-Acclimating to a Congested Commute

by Staff Blogger | May 28th, 2020

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, but many cities and states are beginning to reopen. That will mean more people heading back to work and more traffic on Virginia’s highways and interstates.

Whether you were still doing your daily commute, or were just getting out to buy groceries and other essentials, you may have noticed that roadways had much less traffic than before, as more people were staying home. The loosening of restrictions and the reopening of offices and businesses may slowly result in traffic volumes returning to normal, and that can increase your risks of being involved in a crash.

Keep these tips in mind as you re-acclimate to your daily commute:

  • Maintain a safe following distance—With fewer cars on the road, this was more easily accomplished during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s still important to leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Avoid distractions—Larger traffic volumes mean a higher chance of stop-and-go traffic or sudden slowdowns. It’s important to always keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on the task at hand, particularly when driving in congested areas.
  • Stay calm—Many people rate their daily commute as the most stressful part of their day. Wide-open freeways were a nice respite, but traffic volumes are slowly increasing. Stay calm if you experience newfound congestion and traffic jams, as doing so will help you stay safe.

The Roanoke auto accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm are here to help if you or someone you love gets injured in an auto accident, whether it’s during your daily commute, on a vacation road trip, or just while driving to the store. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Reduced Traffic Isn’t an Excuse to Lose Focus

by Staff Blogger | April 9th, 2020

Virginia is currently under a stay-at-home order, and that means many businesses are closed or have reassigned employees to work from home. If you’re considered an essential employee and still need to go into work, or if you’re driving to complete essential tasks and errands, you may have noticed that previously jammed highways and interstates are relatively traffic-free.

This can be a nice change of pace, especially if you’re used to daily delays during your morning and evening commutes. But fewer cars on the roads doesn’t mean you should take your mind off of safe driving. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drivers on rural roads—with little to no traffic—die at a rate 2.5 times higher than drivers on urban highways.

That statistic goes to show that traffic doesn’t mean you have a higher risk of a fatal crash, and decreasing it also doesn’t mean you’re any safer. It’s up to you to drive as safely as possible to protect yourself, your passengers, and other motorists, regardless of what’s going on in the world or how busy the roadway is. Safe driving during a pandemic or at any other time of year means avoiding distractions, staying at or under the speed limit, never following too closely, staying in your lane, and never driving while impaired.

The Roanoke auto accident attorneys at Skolrood Law Firm know that even the safest drivers can still be involved in crashes, especially when other drivers fail to do their part. If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, we want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How to Handle the Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident

by Staff Blogger | February 21st, 2020

After a crash that wasn’t your fault, you need compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. For injured drivers and their passengers, settlements typically come from the at-fault drivers’ insurance policies, their own insurance policies, or both. But despite spending big money every year to convince people that they have their best interests in mind, insurance companies are instead focused on protecting their profits.

Big insurers generate huge profits year after year because they reduce or deny the payments that innocent victims are owed. One of the most effective ways they do that is by giving victims a chance to jeopardize their own claims. For example, insurance companies often contact victims in the hours or days after their accidents occur to ask them questions or offer them settlements. If victims admit fault, make contradictory statements, or accept the initial settlements, they may end up with far less money than they deserve.

Whether or not you have personal injury protection or MedPay insurance, you’re still required to alert your own auto insurance provider of a crash. When talking to your insurance company, stick to the facts of what happened. And if the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, the same strategy applies, though you should know that you aren’t obligated to speak with a representative of someone else’s insurance company.

The adjuster you speak to may seem friendly, but remember that their job is to either reduce or deny your settlement. If you have an attorney handling your claim, refer representatives of any insurance company that isn’t your own to your lawyer.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident attorneys know how insurance companies operate, and we want to protect you from their tactics. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Using Social Media After a Crash Can Hurt Your Claim

by Staff Blogger | January 2nd, 2020

A recent study found that 223 million Americans used at least one form of social media in 2019. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, it’s important to understand the effects that social media can have on your auto accident claim after a crash.

Insurance companies report big profits every year, and that’s primarily because they’re adept at finding ways to reduce or deny compensation claims. They have teams of adjusters who dig into claims and the histories and daily lives of the people who file them, including their social media accounts. If they get access to your posts, tweets, or pictures, they may find information that can be used against you—even if they take it out of context.

If you talk about your accident or your claim in a post or tweet and any of the facts don’t line up with what’s in your official compensation claim, it may result in less money or an outright denial. Additionally, if pictures of you are posted on social media that appear to show you taking part in activities that might be difficult due to your injuries, the insurance company may argue that you aren’t as hurt as you say you are.

At Skolrood Law Firm, our Roanoke auto accident attorneys do everything we can to protect injured victims from the insurance companies trying to deny them, and a part of that is informing victims what not to post on social media. If you have questions or concerns about what to do after a crash that wasn’t your fault, contact us today for a free consultation.

3 Post-Auto Accident Dos and Don’ts

by Staff Blogger | November 7th, 2019

The aftermath of an auto accident is a confusing, stressful, and often painful time. It can be difficult to think straight after a crash that leaves you injured, but if you’re capable of doing so, following a few steps—and avoiding a few mistakes—can help you protect your health and your right to compensation.

After the crash, DO:

  1. Get medical attention—Even if you don’t think you were seriously injured, getting medical attention helps prove your injuries are accident-related and rules out internal injuries.
  2. Get the other driver’s contact information—Exchange insurance details with the other driver and get their name, phone number, and email address.
  3. Get a lawyer—Having a Roanoke auto accident lawyer on your side right away after a crash can improve your chances of getting compensation, especially when evidence is still easily obtained.

After the crash, DON’T:

  1. Leave the scene before police arrive—Always call 911 after the crash, and never assume someone else already has. When police arrive, remain at the scene until either you leave with EMS or you’re told you can go.
  2. Admit fault for the accident—Admitting partial or full fault for the crash can jeopardize your chances of getting compensation, even if it’s later proven you didn’t cause the accident.
  3. Exaggerate or downplay your injuries—When talking to the police, your doctor, or your lawyer, always be truthful about your injuries. Making false statements about your injuries can jeopardize your chances of getting a settlement.

Need an experienced law firm after an accident that wasn’t your fault? Contact Skolrood Law Firm today. We’re here to help.