In Virginia, there are laws pertaining to financial responsibility in car accidents. For example, suppose someone is injured in a car accident. In that case, the driver at fault will be responsible for covering the medical bills. Typically, people fulfill this responsibility by purchasing auto insurance from a licensed provider in Northern Virginia. This ensures that the at-fault driver has a certain level of bodily injury liability coverage to pay for third-party bills. However, things can become complicated if the insurance company refuses to pay out for the bodily injury liability coverage. In such cases, it's important to contact a car accident lawyer in Virginia who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. You should speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Responsibility for Damages in Car Accident Legal Cases
Virginia operates under a tort system, meaning that no-fault laws do not restrict car accident lawsuits as in other jurisdictions. If a motor vehicle operator causes injury to another driver, passengers, pedestrians, or bicyclists, the injured party may be entitled to compensation and can pursue legal action to obtain it, especially if the other driver was at fault, for example, by failing to yield. By engaging an experienced Virginia car accident attorney, injured individuals can file a personal injury claim in Northern Virginia courts to seek damages resulting from the collision.
Motor vehicle accidents can result in various damages, including economic damages. Injured individuals may need to take time off work to recover from the accident, attend rehabilitation, undergo multiple doctor visits, surgeries, and tests, and pay for costly medical bills. If the injury is severe, they may require long-term care, and compensation may be necessary to cover this high level of attention. For instance, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an example of a severe injury one may sustain in a head-on or rear-end collision.
Establishing Liability in a Car Accident Case
The legal concept of negligence allows individuals to be held financially accountable for the harm they cause to others, even if their actions were unintentional or without malice. Consequently, the determination of legal negligence by the defendant named in a lawsuit or settlement demand often plays a crucial role in successful car accident claims.
In Virginia, a driver may be deemed negligent if they act carelessly or recklessly, and this leads to harm to another person. Negligence can take various forms in a car crash, ranging from explicitly illegal actions such as speeding to less obvious actions such as driving while distracted. Given this, different types of evidence may be necessary to establish negligence and hold someone else responsible for injuries and damages sustained in a car accident.
In certain cases, determining whether a party pled guilty to a ticket in a wreck could be enough to make them liable for the resulting incident. In other situations, a Virginia car accident lawyer could help gather additional evidence of negligence, including surveillance camera footage, photographs from the accident scene, and testimony from both eyewitnesses and accident reconstruction experts.
The Possibility of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Family Members
In the event of a fatality caused by a car accident, the family members of the deceased may seek to hold the at-fault driver accountable for the loss of their loved one and the loss of their primary provider through a wrongful death action. Damages that may be sought through such an action include medical bills, expenses incurred by emergency responders, funeral expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and economic damages related to the loss of future anticipated earnings.
The Importance of Seeking Legal Assistance After a Car Accident in Virginia
Determining when to hire a Virginia car accident lawyer can be a daunting task for those involved in such an incident. Some may be unsure of the value that a lawyer can bring to their case, while others may be concerned about the cost of legal services or unsure of what questions they should be asking. However, individuals who have suffered injuries or property damage as a result of a car accident should not wait for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to contact them before seeking legal representation. It is advisable to contact a lawyer immediately after the accident to ensure that everything is handled correctly in the event of a potential lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
By engaging a legal professional early on, accident victims can secure their knowledge and expertise in navigating the legal process. Furthermore, even if legal representation is not required for a particular case, an experienced personal injury attorney can provide valuable guidance and peace of mind during a potentially difficult time.
Essential Procedures to Follow After a Car Accident in Virginia
Before initiating any civil litigation proceedings related to a car accident, it's essential for victims to take certain procedural steps to avoid facing criminal charges for hit and run. Those who are still determining if they have fulfilled these requirements should consult with their Virginia lawyer before filing a lawsuit or settlement demand related to the accident.
Under Code of Virginia §46.2-894, all individuals involved in a traffic accident, regardless of whether it resulted in injuries, fatalities, or property damage, must stop their vehicle out of the flow of traffic as soon as possible and offer aid to any other parties involved who require assistance. Additionally, they must provide their name, address, driver's license number, and vehicle registration number to everyone involved in the accident, including responding law enforcement officials.
If an accident victim is injured and unable to perform these duties at the crash site, they must file an accident report with local or state police and make a good-faith effort to locate the other party or parties involved as soon as possible to exchange information, just as they would have done at the accident scene. As noncompliance with this law is a Class 5 felony offense, adhering to these requirements is crucial to preserving the right to seek civil recovery.
The Importance of a Car Accident Lawyer in Virginia
While people have the option to represent themselves or hire an attorney who does not specialize in personal injury litigation, their best chances of obtaining a favorable outcome with the highest possible judgment lie in retaining a Virginia car accident lawyer who is dedicated to helping them receive the most favorable compensation.
Clinton O. Middleton, Attorney At Law, has years of experience practicing personal injury law, which has given us a thorough understanding of both the medical and legal aspects of these cases. For instance, such cases often require expert witnesses to testify on behalf of the plaintiff, and our attorneys have tried enough cases to know who the best experts are and how to approach them.
The complexity of lawsuits can be overwhelming for some, which may deter them from seeking legal representation. However, hiring a car accident attorney does not necessarily mean a lawsuit will be filed if the insurance company tries to avoid paying the injured party's bills. When auto insurance companies discover that an experienced car accident lawyer represents the injured party, they may reevaluate their initial position and, in some cases, be willing to offer a favorable settlement outside of court.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in which the other driver was at fault, Clinton O. Middleton can help. Call us today at 703-777-9630 and tell us what happened to you or your loved ones, if you were injured in an automobile accident and we’ll help you navigate through the process to get the financial compensation you deserve.